Sunday, 16 January 2022

Henley junior crews set the pace at Wallingford Head

Henley junior crews set the pace at Wallingford Head

HENLEY Rowing Club, Upper Thames and Leander crews triumphed at Sunday’s Wallingford Head of the River races.

The event for fours and eights took place in bright sunshine but this couldn’t offset the cold wind and freezing temperatures that the athletes had to contend with.

In all 298 crews were split across two divisions in what was a capacity entry for the event which was raced over a challenging 4,000-metre up stream course that consisted of various bends and finished just below the Wallingford town bridge.

From nine entries, Henley Rowing Club junior girls finished with four outright wins and a second and third place with three crews having no opposition in their category.

Competing in WJ16 eights Emily Simmons, Anna Merritt, Tilly Macartney, Tabbie Hall, Gwennie Hunter, Ella Dickson, Emma Eltze, Flo Lenthall and cox Matilda Ley had a convincing win finishing nearly a minute ahead of second-placed St Paul’s Girls’ School who were just ahead of the Henley second boat in third place.

The time of 16 minutes and 58 seconds for the winning boat also made them second fastest junior girls’ eight across all age groups. They were only beaten by the Henley WJ18 eight octuple of Eyla Wild, Lucy Jones, Pippa Jamieson, Ailish Harkin, Nonnie Luke, Laoise O’Donohue, Natalie Schoenmakers, Josie Sawbridge and cox Rose McEwan who finished in 16 minutes and 21 seconds — 39 seconds ahead of St Edward’s School. Their finishing time put them in 10th place of all the women’s eights competing which included top boats from Oxford University, Oxford Brookes and Leander.

Girls from both the winning eights also competed in coxed fours events with Nonnie Luke, Ailish Harkin, Pippa Jamieson, Laoise O’Donohue with cox Neave Stark, winning WJ18 coxed fours and Emily Simmons, Tabbie Hall, Tilly Macartney, Florence Lenthall with cox Caitlin Emery, winning WJ16 coxed fours.

Taking second place in the WJ16 event was the other half of the winning WJ16 eight of Ella Dickson, Anna Merritt, Gwennie Hunter, Emma Eltze and cox Matilda Ley, who finished 83 seconds ahead of third place Lady Eleanor Holles School.

Only one other women’s coxed four was quicker than the three Henley boats and that was the Oxford Brookes top boat.

In Division 1 Leander’s leading men’s eight finished third with the category won by Oxford University who contained Tokyo Olympians.

In Division 2 both the Leander women’s eights racing in Band 1 were split by less than two seconds. Oxford Women won this category overall. The Leander women’s third eight won Band 2 eights convincingly ahead of the next placed crew.

The Upper Thames first eight of Michael Scott, Dale Buckett, Thomas Hole, Matt Swiss, Gareth Syphas, Matt Cummings, Steve Grifitths and Henry Pearson, coxed by Bea Crossley, had a solid race to finish as the second
fastest club crew behind the Putney, London-based Thames Rowing Club. Upper Thames’s second men’s eight had a disappointing row especially over the second half of the race. In the afternoon the Upper Thames senior
women’s eight of Penny Hamand, Daisy Hampton, Rebecca Abbott, Yasmin Ryman-King, Courtney Edmonds, Sian Hinton, Beth Arscott and Lucy Rya, coxed by Zoe Thomas, were the fastest club eight finishing third in Band 3 eights behind crews from Oxford and Exeter Universities.

The women’s second eight also had a very strong race finishing 10th. In the afternoon
division there were two Masters D eights from Upper Thames racing each other and crews from Marlow and Wallingford. The Upper Thames crews finished first and second.

More News:

POLL: Have your say