Henley Rowing Club crews competed at Marlow Town Regatta (26th June) and British Rowing’s J16 regatta (27th June) in Nottingham. Marlow Town is a traditional regatta held on the Thames over a 900m three lane course between Bisham Abbey and Marlow Bridge. Covid restrictions meant that there were no spectators or enclosure. Crews raced heats then returned to the start to race the final.
A women’s masters 4x of Helen Turnell, Ann Tully, Margaret Hall and Victoria Molloy raced Staines BC and Marlow RC in a straight final. As a Vet E crew, the Henley were set off 6 seconds ahead of the two younger Vet D crews, needing to hold them off to win. Following a fast start, the Henley ladies raced well to increase their lead over the two chasing crews and go on to be victorious by a clear margin.
The WJ15 squad continued their winning ways with wins in the 8x+, and 4x and also stepped up an age group to win WJ16 4x. The 8x+ Daisy Janes, Sophie Eltze, Tilly Macartney, Florence Lenthall, Tabbie Hall, Matilda Ley(cox), Evie Bell, Anna Merritt, Sophia Spanswick beat Maidenhead RC and Great Marlow School in their heat and Sir William Borlase Grammar School in the final. The 4x+ of Daisy, Emma Eltze, Matilda, Evie and Sophia had a comfortable victory in the heat over Pangbourne and Wallingford Rowing Clubs but scraped a one foot victory in the final against Maidenhead. J15s Tilly, Tabbie, Florence and Anna took on the older J16 girls from Abingdon and Wallingford in J16x and won their heat before registering an easily verdict in the final against Sir William Borlase GS.
For the WJ14’s their first race saw the crew of Honor Kennedy, Josie Savin, Annie Hunt, Kaia Marston, cox Charlotte Tong make their way to the final, only to come up against last weeks winning crew from Headington School who took the win. The WJ14x+ crew of Holly Fuller, Nicolette Pagdin, Jessica Mack, Lilya Wild and cox Florence French, had better luck in their final, beating another crew from Headington School. This was their first ever win and all were over the moon, parents included. The crews then jumped in the 8x+, where Jemima Butterworth sat in for Annie Hunt, and Matilda Ley coxed. They again made the final, only to be beaten by a very strong crew from Headington School.
The J14 boys 4x+ also had another successful day. They had to wait for the late afternoon, but the crew of Jacob Len, Zak Jenkins, Callum Gaffney, and Felix Richardson with cox Viggo Gibbons, dominated their races and won both heat and final convincingly. Viggo had earlier helped their older J15 counterparts of Connor Simpson, Theo Szweda, Sam Hunter and Louis Bolton to the final of their equivalent event. The other J15 4x+ of Roman Meredith, Kit Daly, Pascal Giret and Albert Butler with cox Abi Eltze missed out on progressing to their final. All eight boys with Abi coxing, tried a new event for them, the 8x+ but again missed out in a close final to more experienced opposition.
On Sunday, the National Water Sports Centre played host to a J16 regatta held by the GB Rowing Team. Henley Rowing Club had five boats entered. A boys and girls 4x, a boys single and girls 4+ and 4-.
The stand out performance on the boys’ side came from Guy Hutchins in JM16 1x. Over a 1500m course in tricky conditions caused by a strong, gusty tailwind, Guy came first in the time trial in a field of 16. He went on to win his semi final by nearly 5 seconds. In the final, he found himself down by clear water at 500m gone, behind Bain of Maidstone Invicta but gradually clawed his way back to an overlap. In the final sprint to the line he gained again but ran out of course, finishing 2nd, a tantalising 0.63 seconds behind the winner. His time of 5:26.52 was exceptionally quick at J16 level, equivalent to 7:17 over 2k. The J16 4x of Matthew Provoost, Sam Pratt, Alex Girling and Connor O’Shea, had a day of mixed fortunes, finishing 5th in the B final.
The girls 4- was the first final of the day having a straight final coming home in third place. The girls 4x of Lucy Jones, Rhiannon Luke, Ailish Harkin and Hannah Boddy stormed home to win the event by five lengths. Then it was the turn of the 4+ to run down the track. They had a great row to overturn Wimbledon High School, who beat them in the semi final, to take third place. A first time racing at Nottingham for some, so HRC come home with one win and a lot of racing experience.