The Upper Thames Autumn Head took place on Sunday 31st October and after a windy and very wet start to the day was able to take place in decent sunshine though a strong and swirling head wind remained to make life difficult for the competitors. Nearly 300 crews competed in the two divisions over the circa 3000m course from below the Management College to the Regatta finish.
HRC had 28 crews entered in 21 events covering the whole spectrum of the club membership from masters to under 14 junior girls. The Clubs 9 wins coming from the Junior crews. The boys squad’s J18 4x of Guy Hutchins, Daniel Landau, David Wallace and Finlay Ribbons produced a strong performance winning their event by a comfortable 24.4 seconds from Marlow Rowing Club’s top boat . The crew settled early to a lively relaxed rhythm and then progressively pulled away from Marlow behind them.
In J18 2x Finlay Ribbons and Ross Lamont were reprising a combination in which they had raced when members of Peterborough City Rowing Club, before moving to the Henley area. They re-discovered the success of their original partnership, winning this event by 10 seconds in a field of 6 crews. The J16 4x of Pascal Giret, Roman Meredith, Kit Daly and Connor Simpson, showed good technical development to come 2nd behind a strong crew from Hinksey Sculling School.
Competing in the senior women’s 4+, which was one of the larger entries of the day, Juniors Eyla Wild, Evie Tingate, Florence Lenthall, Lucy Jones, cox Rose Mcewan had a five second victory over 2nd place Southampton University. Lucy clocked up a second win of the day with partner Ailish Harkin when they won Women’s Junior 18 2x, ahead of team mates Eyla Wild and Pippa Jamieson.
One of the most resounding wins of the day came from Tilly MaCartney, Gwennie Hunter, Tabby Hall and Emma Eltze who finished 52 secs ahead of the second place Hinksey Sculling School and 81 secs ahead of third place Barn Elms RC. Girls J18 4- was another one two for Henley with just 2 secs separating the two crews. The J18s of Natalie Schoenmakers, Laoise O’Donohue,Nonnie Luke and Josie Sawbridge just staying ahead of the J16s Tilly MaCartney, Gwennie Hunter, Tabby Hall and Florence Lenthall who in turn were 47secs ahead of third place Weybridge RC. The WJ14 squad had two quads race in the morning Jemima Butterworth, Molly Hall, Martha Dickson, Lucy Green and cox Florence French, coming in 1st 15secs ahead of Jemima Painter, Lilian Graham, Chloe Hughes, Evelyn Meeks, and cox Charlotte Tong who were 32 secs ahead of third place Maidenhead.
In the afternoon, with slightly better conditions, Jemima Butterworth and Molly Hall raced with real grit to win their division by 40secs, over team mates Lilian Graham and Chloe Hughes again ahead of third place Maidenhead.