Monday, 27 September 2021

Fun for all ages at traditional Regatta

A TEENAGER who rows for Great Britain won three finals at the Wargrave and Shiplake Regatta

A TEENAGER who rows for Great Britain won three finals at the Wargrave and Shiplake Regatta.

Henry Blois-Brooke, 16, from Kiln Green, won the Vickerman Challenge Cup for the boys? double sculling skiff pair, the Diana Long Challenge Cup for men?s novice punting and the Bushnell Trophy for the mixed under-17s Canadian canoe race with his 14-year-old sister Eleanor.

It came a month after he was part of the GB rowing team that beat France in a junior U16s match at London Docklands.


Henry, a pupil at Shiplake College, said: ?I?m happy to have won all three finals but am knackered. I started off feeling quite energetic but really felt it in the finals.

?I was behind in most of my punting final and only managed to get in front right at the end. I have been trying to win the punting for four years so it?s wonderful to win.? The teenager was one of almost 1,000 competitors who took part in 350 races on the Thames on Friday and Saturday, watched by thousands of spectators shouting their support from the bank.

Lucie Daman, 20, of Wargrave Road, Wargrave, raced in five finals and won two ? three fewer than she managed a year ago.

Regatta veteran William Konarzewski lost in the final of the Mardon Challenge Cup for single Canadian canoe to his protégé Ben Bower.

Dr Konarzewski, a consultant anaesthetist who first competed at the regatta in 1984 and has a home in Shiplake, had won the title for the last two years.

He said: ?Ben won through hard work, commitment and determination.? Mr Bower said: ?Over the past five years I have slowly been picking up tips and getting advice from William. It?s the fourth time we have raced against each other here.?


The pair then raced together in the Old Grey Goose team that won the Dongola Grand Challenge Cup. The crew also included Jenna Shanks, Amy Etherington, Peter Brown and Dr Konarzewski?s son Tom.

Annie Paddison and her daughter Nicola Hounsell won the ladies? double punting in canoes for the first time.

Mrs Paddison, of Ferry Lane, Wargrave, said: ?It has taken us about 20 years to win it since Nicola first started punting!?

The Lashbrook Loonies team of Oliver Doyle, Matt Crook, Joel Trinder, Amelie Blomfield and Becky Bradbury won the under-12s dongola race for the second year running. They are all friends from Shiplake Primary School.

Oliver?s father Joe, who steered the crew, said: ?They?re really good kids and it helps when the crew stays the same.?


Peter Symons, honorary secretary of the regatta, said: ?It was a hugely successful event, with beautiful weather and skilled racing shown throughout.

?About 4,000 people came across the two days. We had a food court for the first time this year and it was very well used.?


Click here to see more photographs of the racing and winners.

Early on Saturday there were 2km and 1km open-water swimming events.

The fastest man in the longer race was Matt McQuillan who won with a time of 24 minutes and 47 seconds. Last year, he won the shorter race.

Claire Williams was the fastest woman and second overall with a time of 27 minutes, 21 seconds.

In the 1km race Simon Hart was the winner with a time of 14 minutes and 1 second with Hannah Young second in 16 minutes, 41 seconds.


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