Top spot on the medal table for Henley

The three day National Schools Regatta took place at Nottingham National Watersports Centre over the May bank holiday weekend.   The final medal tally for Henley Rowing Club was six golds, one silver and one bronze, giving them top spot on the medal table for the second successive year

On Friday, racing over 1000m, Henley’s J14 boys and girls performed well to come home with two medals from six entries. 

Following on from their triumph at Thames Ditton the previous weekend, the J14 boys quad of Jack Spiers, Oli Taylor, Tom Crook, and Henry Peters with cox Joe Edwards seized a well-deserved Silver medal at the National Schools Regatta in Nottingham. They reached the final in the second fastest time of the day, and after a four-way tussle they crossed the line in clear second place behind City of Bristol and ahead of Marlow. The boys have been battling these crews all season and to finish only a half-length down on Bristol and a similar distance ahead of Marlow is a significant success.

The J14 double scull of Joe Sidgwick, who only started this year, and Jake Collins were not so fortunate, narrowly missing qualification for their semi.  The J15 double scull of Lachlan Reid and Anthony Howe also missed out on qualification for the semi finals.

The WJ14 1st quad of Livia Petersen, Jess Arlett, Sophia Hahn Felicity Parfitt, coxed by  Esther Morgan qualified for the final or their event, and finished 4th just a canvas behind the third place boat in a tightly fought final.  The squad entered two boats in the WJ14 2nd quads events.  Amelia Crick, Emma Gray, Maya Andrews and Phoebe Fletcher with Emilene Warner as cox qualified for their final and won gold.   Georgina Stebbings, Ruby Borg, Bobbi Miles, Rachel Opalinska, with cox Ella Nolson qualified for the semi-final, but did not make it to the final.

 Saturday’s medals for 15s and 16s

Saturday saw good weather and calm conditions, with racing over 2000 metres for the older age groups.  The WJ15 eight of Georgie Robinson Ranger, Tilly Lock, Charlotte Moss, Mary Wright, Lottie Orr, Issy Johansson, Eve Poulter, Ruby Brown, coxed by Freya Reid proved themselves to be the class boat of the field.  In their semi final they had taken a lead of one and a half clear lengths by 500m and won with a time of seven minutes and six seconds, nineteen seconds clear of the second place boat.  Their time took 2.5 seconds of the championship record, set by Henley last year.  In their final they dominated from the start, clocking a similar time of seven minutes ten seconds, comfortably beating Lady Eleanor Holles School into second.

The WJ16 8 of Lauren Kay, Lily Stimpson, Anna Roe, Katy Claridge, Georgia Edwards, Clare Pearson, Ella Morgan and Florence Wiggins coxed by Rebecca Lister stormed through their semi-final on Saturday and were lined up in the final against extremely strong competition in the form of Marlow and St Pauls Girls.  The pack were level at 250m before Henley made a push that saw them begin to take a lead over St Pauls and Marlow.  The race was close throughout with the Henley girls withstanding pressure from the Marlow Crew, taking gold with a winning margin of 3.8 seconds over Marlow in second place.

Henley’s performance of the regatta surely goes to the crew entered into the Girls coxed four event, which is normally contested by J17 and J18 crews.  The Henley crew of  WJ16 Alicia Redman, WJ15s Grace Johnson and Alice Jones, WJ17 Emma Lister and cox Rebecca Lister performed exceptionally well against older crews.  This young crew only came together a couple of weeks ago, yet raced strongly into second place in their semi to secure a place in the final.  After a brave row that saw them contest the third and fourth place throughout the race, they narrowly lost out and came through in fifth place, just four seconds behind the silver medal spot.

The J15 boys coxed four of Jack Broadbent, Bruce Turnell, Cameron Jones, and Joseph Zolkwer, coxed by Lachlan Reid, had an excellent day and qualified for the final as the fourth fastest boat.  After a hard race they narrowly hung on to claim a bronze medal just half a second in front of 4th place Kington Grammar School, and three seconds behind the winners from Tideway Scullers.

Racing continued on Sunday…

Many of the same athletes were competing again over 2000 metres.  The boys J15 quad of Anthony Howe,  Cameron Jones, Bruce Turnell and Joseph Zolkwer coxed by Euan Turnell performed well in this highly competitive event.  From a field of 31 they qualified as one of the fastest six to the final, but finished in last place.  The performance of Cameron, Bruce and Joseph over the weekend needs special mention as being the only J15 boys to feature in a final of both sweep and sculling disciplines.

In the J15 2nd quad event the Henley Crew of Juan Elkington,  Lachlan Reid,  J14 Olli Taylor Jack Broadbent coxed by Emeline Warner qualified for the semi final, but finished fourth narrowly missing out on a place in the final.

The J17 boys double of Lucas Ovsyannikov and Harry Farley competed against 45 other crews in the Championship doubles event.   The finished 19th overall in the time trial and missed out on a place in the semi final.

The WJ16 Quad of Ella Morgan, Lauren Kay, Clare Pearson and Florence Wiggins enjoyed a relaxed row in their semi-final and were pleased to start in the more favourable lane 6 in the final.  Great rivals Headington and Marlow were extremely quick off the start and began to lay down power early on.  Henley executed their race plan calmly and with conviction and by the 1000m mark, they were taking a seat off the leading Headington crew with every couple of strokes.  Henley dominated the second half of the race and finished a clear 8 seconds in front of 2nd placed Headington and Marlow in 3rd place.

The WJ16 coxed four of Lily Stimpson, Anna Roe, Katy Claridge and Georgia Edwards coxed by Rebecca Lister came 2nd in their semi-final to Lady Eleanor Holles, but after a slow start in the final found themselves off the pace and out of contention for the medals.  They finished in 5th place having left their drive for the line a little too late.

WJ15 1st coxed quad of Georgie Robinson Ranger, Lottie Orr, Charlotte Moss, Issy Jonsson cox Freya Reid stormed through their final and after a blistering first 750m were able to sit and watch their competition from the safety of a lead stretching to some 6 lengths.  They crossed the line in a time of 7.58.97, taking the gold medal some 12 seconds ahead of their nearest rival Lady Eleanor Holles and bringing home a new course record.

WJ15 2nd coxed quad of Tilly Lock, Mary Wright, Eve Poulter, Ruby Brown, cox Emma Lister reached the final with ease where they took 6 seconds off their rivals in the first 500m of their final and then crossed the line to win gold an incredible 19 seconds ahead of the second placed crew Marlow.