Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Head success for Henley and Upper Thames crews

Head success for Henley and Upper Thames crews

BOTH Henley Rowing Club and Upper Thames gained success across the age ranges at last weekend’s Wallingford Head.

This is always a popular race with entries being full within 24 hours of opening with all 350 crew places being taken.

Raced over a difficult course with the first 2,000 metres of the 4,500 presenting some interesting steering challenges, the event was split in two divisions.

Henley Rowing Club’s girls picked up wins in four of the eights events winning U23 and all three of the junior categories — J18, J16 and J15.

The Henley U23 crew of Phoebe Fletcher, Daisy Bellamy, Phoebe Snowden, Sophia Hahn, Carla Russel, Maddy Pollard, Holly Cookson, Hannah Hills and cox Ella Nolson were the fastest women’s eight in Division 2, beating crews from universities including Oxford Brookes.

Henley’s J18 octuple scull of Charlotte Williams, Emma Berry, Georgia Brown, Izzie Bird, Charlotte Rowley, Millie Guida, Amber Weller, Emeline Warner and cox Madison Sturgess finished 10 seconds ahead of Lady Eleanor Holles who took second and third while the WJ16 octuple scull of Emilia Fulford Dobson, Georgie Pollard, Izzy Cotten, Della Luke, Riley Butcher, Holly Thompson, Gina Segrt, Sophie Underwood and cox Madison Sturgess had a convincing one minute and five seconds victory over Lea RC, in a time that would have seen them only just missing out on first place in the older age group of J18.

The Henley WJ15 octuple scull of Beatrice Bethell, Cleo Davis, Rose Mcewen, Josie Sawbridge, Ella McKay, Laoise O’Donohue, Natalie Schoenmakers, Mia Vickerman and cox Daisy Rolstone had one of the biggest winning margins, coming in nearly three minutes ahead of their opposition and again in a time that would have seen them well placed in older age categories. In the coxed four events, Henley took first and second place in WJ18. The crew of Phoebe Fletcher, Daisy Bellamy, Sophia Hahn, Hannah Hills and cox Ella Nolson took first place ahead of Holly Cookson, Maddy Pollard, Phoebe Snowden, Charlotte Rowley and cox Ava Reineke, both boats clear of the following pack, which included crews from the top girls schools. The Henley WJ16 four Emilia Fulford Dobson, Izzy Cotten, Della Luke, Georgie Pollard and cox Ava Reineke had a comfortable win of 21 seconds ahead of the Lady Eleanor Holles School and third-placed Putney High School.

The Henley J18s fielded an eight and a four, both with great success. In Division 1, the eight of Luke Marshall, Balthasar Issa, Grant Taylor, Seth O’Connor, Ed Roy, Joe Long, Euan Tufnell and James Swinburn, coxed by Charles Washbourne, containing six of this season’s GB sculling triallists, won band two, in a time that would have seen a top-three finish in the open category.

In Division 2, a Henley J18 four of Alex Carr, Sam Beattie, Olly Taylor and John Yolland, coxed by Charles Washbourne, produced their row of the season so far to take fifth place out of nine crews.

Upper Thames had four eights and two fours entered in the morning division and two eights in the afternoon.

In the morning the club’s senior squad coxed four completed the course in a time of 16 minutes, 26 seconds, placing the crew third out of eight entrants. The coxless four went a few seconds slower, perhaps as a result of difficult steering conditions along a hazardous stretch, to finish seventh of 11 in their event.

The Upper Thames women’s eight posted a time of 17 minutes 20 seconds to finish 13th of 21 crews taking part.

Three Upper Thames veteran men’s crews also took to the water in the morning, representing three different age categories — average 45, 50 and 55 years. The results went with age with all three crews winning their age categories, the youngest two comfortably.

In the afternoon Upper Thames senior men’s eight raced well to finish 14th out of the largest field of 49. In the veteran women’s event, the Upper Thames crew placed second behind local rivals Wallingford.

• LAST Saturday some of the Henley Rowing Club boys squad competed at Hampton Head. Dan Crick and Soren O’Connor finished third in a strong field of 27 in the J16 doubles event. James Wallace and Tom O’Reilly also performed well in the J17 doubles to finish seventh in a field of 19.

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