Junior Girls Medal at International Regatta
Henley Rowing Club’s J18 girls travelled to Ghent, Belgium, for an enjoyable weekend of racing as part of their final preparations before National Schools Regatta at the end of this month. The regatta attracts crews from all over europe as well as being a significant draw for UK and Irish crews. It is held over two days with separate events being held each day.
Competing in the coxless fours event Alicia Redman, Georgia Edwards, Amy Sotnick and Emma Lister had comfortable victories over Irish crews from Cork and Dublin, but a mixed Belgium crew who are part of the Belgium National squad proved too strong for the girls. Whilst in both Saturdays and Sundays events the girls challenged to halfway the strong head wind work in the Belgiums favour who took Gold on both days with the Henley girls picking up the silver medals.
In the Junior quads event Ella Morgan, Lauren Kay, Clare Pearson and Florence Wiggins, faced over 20 crews from all across europe. With large events the crews race heats side by side but the overall winner is based on the faster time from all the heats. On Saturday in their heat the quad had a comfortable victory but had to wait the results of the other heats to know if they had done enough for an outright win. In the end their closest rival SN Perreux of France where some 12 second behind. The girls repeated their victory on Sunday where the races are seeded based on Saturdays results so the fastest crews get to race one another.
The two crews combined to race in Junior eights with cox Freya Reid. On Saturday with opposition from Ireland and Belgium in a straight final the girls took an early lead which they extended to 20secs by the finish. On Sunday the Belgiums put a national squad crew together to give the Henley girls a race. This resulted in a very exciting and tight race. The Belgiums taking an early lead which they extend to 3/4 of a length by half way, but with 500m to go the Henley girls pulled it back and nudged in front. The race was neck and neck up the enclosures but the Belgiums crossed the line first with a final push.
It was good weekend’s work for the girls coming home with three gold and three silver medal from six crews, and getting in some much needed multi lane race experience and some tight racing.
Senior Men Medal in U23
The young pair of Leon Redman and Brendan Edwards, both aged 20, competed in the Under 23 pairs event on both days. Saturday saw them win a silver medal finishing behind a strong mixed German crew , both of whom had recently gained representative honours in the German national squad. On Sunday the pair executed their race plan well and were leading at the 1000m mark, showing good speed and technique, but eventually finished in third place behind two mixed German crews. The pair were pleased with Sunday’s performance, which gave them a time that would have seen them take third place in the elite pairs event that followed their final. The regatta was their first opportunity to race as a pair since forming their partnership a few weeks ago, and they were particularly encouraged by their improved performance on Sunday where they halved the time gap from 40 seconds to 20 seconds between them and the pair from Frankfurt that won the elite event on both days.