Henley Rowing Club crews successfully competed at Marlow Regatta at Eton Dorney. Saturday was over 2000m with a ranking time trial followed by finals. Sunday was a 1000m course for the J14 and 15 crews with heats, semi final and finals.
On Saturday, the Senior Mens 4- came bitterly close to making the A final, missing out by just 1 second in the time trial but won the B final in commanding fashion, putting themselves ahead on time than a number of crews in the A final. The 8 stepped on from their performances at Met, placing 2nd in the B final of a stacked 8’s field, and coming away being the fastest Thames eligible crew, overtaking a large number of crews that beat them at Met.
Henley boys squad’s top 4x was back in action in the morning division in J18 4x, the crew of Guy Hutchins, George Lauchlan, David Wallace and Finlay Ribbons sculled a well judged and fast time trial coming 3rd in a field of 30 crews. They dramatically reduced the gap from the time trial at National Schools Regatta, coming only 2.6 seconds behind 2nd placed Windsor Boys School, and 5.5 seconds behind Tideway Scullers School. In the final they came 4th, not quite repeating the quality of their time trial performance.
Then three of the boys did it all again in the afternoon racing, competing in open Championship 4x, with Cameron Seager in place of Finlay Ribbons. Their time trial result in a high quality field put them in the B final. At 750m gone they were down a length and a half on a composite crew from Leeds University, Leeds RC, and University of York, who had been 7 seconds faster in the time trial, and level with Oxford University lightweights. The Henley crew rallied and began to chase down the more experienced composite crew. In a thrilling last 500m, Henley just got ahead in the last few strokes, to win the B Final by 0.32 seconds!
The WJ15 8+, Tilly Macartney, Freya Weiser, Ruby Roger, Gwennie Hunter, Daisy Janes, Tabby Hall, Ella Dickson, Florence Lenthall and cox Matilda Ley finished ninth of the 30 eights competing in the time trial, making them the fastest WJ15 crew and proceeded to the A final for J15 8s. They won the seven boat final comfortably leading from the start and finishing 26 secs ahead of second placed Surbiton High School.
Sunday in the WJ15 4+ event, Henley had two crews entered Ruby Roger, Gwennie Hunter, Daisy Janes, Anna Merritt and cox Matilda Ley and the 2nd boat of Tilly Macartney, Tabby Hall, Ella Dickson, Florence Lenthall and cox Caitlin Emery. Both Henley crews winning their respective heats. Putting them on opposite sides of the draw for the semi-finals which again both crews won. In the six boat final they were of course up against one another plus local rivals Great Marlow School (GMS) who had been 2nd to both boats, one in the heats and one in the semis. These three crews took an early lead with the Caitlin Emery boat just in front, then GMS, then the second Henley boat, this remained the order through the halfway mark but going into the last 400m GMS fell back and less than half a length separated the two Henley boats, going into the last 250m very little separated the boats but the boat coxed by Caitlin just kept its bow ball ahead to cross the line first by just a few feet.
Due to flooding and Covid, Marlow regatta was the WJ14’s very first race since joining the club in September 2019. The atmosphere was really great at this specially organised event by Marlow RC. The morning division saw both 4x+ reaching the final after two rounds of six lane racing. Competition was stiff, with the quad of Honor Kennedy, Josie Savin, Florence Short, Kaia Marsden cox Eleanor Quinn coming 3rd, and Holly Fuller, Nicolette Pagdin, Jessica Mack, Lilya Wild and cox Darcy Jacobs coming 2nd.
The afternoon division saw the big boats coming out, where the girls came up against the likes of Headington, Surbiton High School and Sir William Perkin’s School. The crew of Honor Kennedy, Josie Savin, Holly Fuller, Nicolette Pagdin, Darcy Jacobs, Lilya Wild, Annie Hunt, Jessica Mack and cox Kaia Marston made their way to the final. After a tricky start in a fairly strong cross wind, where all crews had been called back when two crews clashed, they found themselves last out and half a length down. Showing grit and resilience, they fought back to come over the line in 4th, 1sec behind Nottingham and Union RC.
When asked how they enjoyed racing, all said it was fantastic and couldn’t wait for the next one.
The J14 boys, Jacob Len, Zak Jenkins, Callum Gaffney, Viggo Gibbons and cox Felix Richardson, were excited to be rowing their first ever regatta. They got off to a slow start but still qualified for the semi finals. In the semis they hit their stride in the second 500m to finish in second place and so reached the A final. They managed the final much better and in a very tight and exciting race rowed through their opposition to win by 0.3 seconds on the line.