A FORMER Olympian from Hurley has become the first woman to umpire a race at Henley Royal Regatta.
Sarah Winckless, a double world champion and Olympic medallist, became the first woman in the regatta’s 177-year history to preside over a race.
She officiated Molesey Rowing Club’s B crew against Sydney Rowing Club in the Thames Cup at 9am on Wednesday.
Sydney won by three-and-a-quarter lengths in a time of six minutes and 57 seconds.
Winckless rowed for Great Britain at three Olympic Games and won a bronze medal in the double sculls in Athens in 2004. She was elected as a steward of the regatta in 2012.
Annamarie Phelps, who chairs British Rowing and is a fellow steward, wrote on Twitter: “First women ever to umpire a race at Henley Royal Regatta. Congrats, Sarah!”
Winckless was also the first female Boat Race umpire, umpiring the reserve race for the women.
Earlier this year, she umpired the men’s reserve race.