Sunday, 22 September 2019

Henley crews dominate at National Schools Regatta

Henley crews dominate at National Schools Regatta

HENLEY Rowing Club starred at the National Schools Regatta at Dorney Lake last weekend.

Its crews picked up seven gold, two silver and a bronze medal at what is the premiere junior regatta in the country.

The girls’ J16 eight even set a new race record in their final over the 2,000 metre course.

The regatta attracts crews from more than 350 schools and clubs in the country and features more than 5,000 competitors.

The format of racing is an eliminating time trial with the top 12 crews then going to semi-finals and finals.

Friday last week was the first day of the regatta with racing for under-14s and 15s. Henley’s girls’ J14 octo sculled well in the time trial and made the “A” final, where they put in another strong performance to finish sixth against some strong opposition.

This was followed 30 minutes later by the girls’ J14 quad of Lucy Jones, Ailish Harkin, Nonnie Luke. Eyla Wild and cox Fran Whittle, who won their time trial by five seconds.

They sculled a magnificent race in the final to win gold by 11 seconds ahead of Headington School.

The J14 “B” quad of Karima Erbolat, Livvy Bogdanavic, Amelia Sterjo, Ava Timms and cox Daisy Rolstone were the fastest B boat and won the C final.

The girls J15 quad of Bea Bethel, Laoise O’Donohue, Natalie Schoenmaker, Mia Vickerman and cox Milly Short missed out on the medals by 0.8 of a second to finish fourth out of 68 crews, which was the largest entry of any event.

Last Saturday the J15s girls raced in the eights with Bea, Laoise, Natalie and Mia from the quad being joined by Mia Roullier, Ella Mckay, Rose McEwan, Josie Sawbridge and cox Daisy Rolstone. Again, they were just outside of the medal places in fourth position by 0.9 of a second.

But it was a different story for the J16 girls’ eights, which stormed to gold. The crew, comprising Georgie Pollard, Poppy Wilson, Holly Thompson, Darcey Smith, Della Luke, Issy Cotton, Sophie Underwood, Emilia Fulford Dobson and cox Ava Reineke cruised to a comfortable six second victory over Headington School and set a new course record.

In the top girls eight event Hannah Hills, Holly Cookson, Sophia Hahn, Phoebe Snowden, Daisy Bellamy, Georgia Brown, Carla Russell, Phoebe Fletcher and cox Ella Nolson set a new course record in winning their semi-final.

In the final, they went on to take silver just 0.27 of a second behind the girls from Lady Eleanor Holles school.

Another gold in the eights came from Maddy Pollard, Georgina Segrt, Millie Guida, Izzie Bird, Amber Weller, Charlotte Rowley, Emma Berry, Charlotte Williams and cox Madison Sturegess, who won the girl’s second eights event. Four of the girls in these eights are part of the programme that the club operates in conjunction with The Henley College, which allows time for rowing as part of their daily study timetable.

The top win of Saturday for Henley was the boys’ quad, comprising Joe Long, Seth O’Connor, Ed Roy and Balthasar Issa, who took gold in Championship quads, beating Leander Club by just over a second in a hard fought final.

In the event for second quads Leander had their revenge, beating Euan Turnell, Grant Taylor, Luke Marshall and James Swinburn by 1.4 seconds.

In the event for non-championship coxed fours, Oliver Taylor, John Yolland, James Wallace, Sam Beattie and cox Charles Washbourn finished second in the B final.

Late on Sunday afternoon in a frantic 30 minutes, three more gold medals where won by Henley.

The girls’ J16 quad, comprising Darcey Smith, Della Luke, Issy Cotton and Holly Cookson were the first of the winners, followed 12 minutes later by Maddy Pollard, Phoebe Snowden, Carla Russell and Phoebe Fletcher, who won gold in Championship coxless fours.

Another 12 minutes later the girls’ Championship quad of Hannah Hills, Sophia Hahn, Daisy Bellamy and Georgia Brown came from behind to take gold when Gloucester Hartpury faltered 100 metres from the finish line.

Earlier in the afternoon the girls J16 B quad, comprising Georgie Pollard, Holly Thompson, Sophie Underwood and Emilia Fulford Dobson won the B final making them seventh overall.

For the boys, Sunday afternoon saw a bronze medal for Joe Long and Balthasar Issa in the Championship double sculls, finishing behind two Leander Club doubles.

In the J16 doubles, Cameron Seager and Soren O’Connor finished as runner-up in the B final and eighth overall.

In the Championship singles, Euan Turnell and Luke Marshall qualified for the B final and Grant Taylor and James Swinburn for the D final.

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