Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Henley crews of all ages triumph at weekend regattas

Henley crews of all ages triumph at weekend regattas

HENLEY Rowing Club had a busy weekend with crews competing at Marlow Town Regatta on Saturday and Reading Amateur Regatta on both Saturday and Sunday.

At Marlow Town the club had five wins over the 900m three lane downstream course rowed from Bisham Abbey to Higginson Park.

The girls’ J14 squad who raced at both regattas had a very successful weekend winning every event they entered. This run started on Saturday at Marlow Town where both WJ14 quad crews made it to the final. It was a close race all the way down the 1,000m course, with the crew of Yasmin Lakatos, Nonnie Luke, Karima Erbolat, Eleanor Taylor and cox Fran Whittle overcoming their club mates to win by half-a-length.

Luke, Lakatos and Taylor then jumped into the octuple with Lucy Jones, Ailish Harkin, Hanna Boddy, Gabby Chaplin, Lilly Hoogenberg and cox Caitlin Emery to win in a straight final against Sir William Borlase and St Edwards school.

Jones, Harkin, Luke, Eyla Wild and cox Whittle, then got back into their quad to race up an age group at WJ15. They raced with grit and determination, to triumph against 10 older crews from Headington, Marlow, Sir William Perkins and City of Oxford.

At the other end of the age spectrum the club’s masters won Master E men’s quads and women’s Master D races, both against crews from Marlow RC. The men crew Sidgwick, Berrington, Paice and Hornsby win easily and retain their title won last year. The women’s race was close and after a nail-biting wait the Henley crew of Tully, Stevens, Paice and Molloy were confirmed winners by two feet.

Strong performances also came from Master men’s E single Ellison and Master men’s F double with Ellison and Skinner coming second a strong competition from Marlow and Tideway Scullers’ School respectively

A smaller contingent from the club raced at Saturday’s Reading Regatta which is held over 1,500 metres finishing just upstream of Reading Rowing Club.

For the senior men’s squad Nathan Hillyer competed in the single sculls band C and after a comfortable win in the semi-final his opponent failed to appear for the final and Hillyer rowed over for the medal.

In a straight final in women’s school eights, which is two age groups up, the J15 girls of Rose McEwan, Bea Bethall, Ella Mackay, Mia Roullier, Mia Vickerman, Laoise O’Donohue, Natalie Schoenmakers, Josie Sawbridge and cox Daisy Rolstone recorded a four-and-a-half length victory against Reading Blue Coat School.

For Reading’s Sunday regatta Henley had a much larger entry with master and J13 to 15 squads all competing and all having success notching up 10 wins on the day over the course that was reduced to 1,100m.

The J13 girls of Anna Merritt and Gwennie Hunter won the doubles event, firstly beating a City of Oxford and then winning by two lengths in the final against Reading Rowing Club in a tough race in blustery conditions. The two J13 girls quads were the only entries in this event but to provide a more unpredictable outcome the normal race combinations were mixed to try and produce matched crews. The change worked out well with the crew of Pia Butcher Ruby Rodgers, Freya Weiser, Tabbitha Hall and cox Esme Davis leading all the way but with the other crew of Emily Simmons, Mimi Dal Largo, Ella Dickson and stroke Florence Lenthall with cox Katia Loggie overtaking in the last 100 meters of the race to win by half-a-length. Repeating their success from the previous day at Marlow Regatta the two WJ14 boats again met in the final. This time, the crew of Anya Marston, Georgia Catlin, Hanna Boddy, Lilly Hoogenberg and cox Caitlin Emery stormed away from the start and won by three lengths.

The crew of Lucy Jones, Ailish Harkin, Eyla Wild, and cox Fran Whittle, were joined by WJ15 Mia Roullier to race up a year again. This saw the closest race of the weekend with a win over Reading RC of two feet. They then had a tough final against Wycliffe Junior RC, who were a silver medal winning crew from National Schools Regatta. The Henley quad squeezed out to a one-length lead which they held until the end.

Also racing up was J15 Laoise O’Donohue who raced in the senior women’s event in single sculls band B, on what is not an easy course to steer she had a very tight side by side race in her semi final but went on to win the final with a comfortable easy verdict against Bawn from Reading University.

Competing at her age group Mia Vickerman had a row over in the final of WJ15 single sculls when her City of Oxford opponent did not appear at the start. In the semi-final Vickerman had had an easily verdict against another sculler from City of Oxford.

For the masters Helen Turnell and Niki Orr had a comfortable win against a Twickenham RC double in the masters D event repeating recent success at the Nottingham Regatta.

A second masters double win came from Margaret Hall and Janet Dutton in women’s masters F/G double scull, in the first heat rowing through a Twickenham crew who had had a 12 second head start based on the F/G handicapping and then leading a Twickenham crew from the start to win the final by one-and-a-half lengths.

Hall and Dutton plus Helen Knowles then raced with five Walbrook members in a composite masters F eight winning the final against Upper Thame RC by four-and-a-half lengths.

The three Henley masters were then joined by Julia Lock to race in masters E quads where they had a tough battle against a crew from Minerva Bath, but just managed a win by one-third of a length. In the final against a Walbrook masters F crew, who had a nine second advantage at the start, they could only manage an overlap of two-thirds of a length at the finish running out of room for a win.

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