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Upper Thames in dominant form
Published 28/02/11

UPPER Thames had another successful day’s racing at the Henley Fours and Eights Head of the River Race.

The Women’s IM1 coxed four (Elise Cope, Katie Pollard, Juliet Machan, Rachel O’Sullivan and cox Helena Smallman-Smith) raced hard against a fairly strong stream, to collect first prize.

They returned the fastest time of the regatta, 11 seconds ahead of their nearest rivals from Oxford University.

The Women’s quadruple scull of Naomi Ashcroft, Bethan Thomas from Henley RC, Vicky Myers, and Lucinda Gooderham then teamed up to record the fastest time of the day in this event.

A composite women’s eight came third in a strong field. The win will give them confidence going into the Women’s Eights Head in Putney on March 19.

The J18 quad romped home by nearly half a minute in the second of the three divisions. The crew was stroked and steered by James Shorland, backed up by Richard Laney, Nick Vail and Harry Rushent. They will be looking forward to pushing for honours in Henley Royal Regatta’s Fawley Cup.

The veterans also won two Masters events, adding to their list of wins this season.

Dan Sadler, Pete Jacobs, David Hope and Mark Shimmin won the quadruple sculls and Mike Jennings, Graham Lloyd, John Ewans, Alex Jessel and Liane Butcher (cox) won the coxed four. The vets will be teaming up again in an eight for the Reading Head on March.

The UTRC senior men boated two eights, both of which had a good day. The first of the two overtook local rivals Henley Rowing Club, and beat Thames Rowing Club, who were finalists at Henley Regatta last year.

Both UTRC crews will go to the Head of the Trent in Nottingham this Sunday with growing confidence.

Club captain Justin Sutherland said: "This is the first race after a long winter’s training so there’s still a long way to go, but we are beginning to see the hard work pay off.

"All the Upper Thames squads are competitive this year, which is a testament to the coaching team as well as to the athletes themselves.”

Published 28/02/11

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