October proved a month to remember for Henley Rowing club with 25 wins across x4 Regatta’s including Burway Small Boats Head, the Pairs Head, Phyllis Court Time Trials and the Upper Thames Autumn Head (UTAH). This weekend’s performances at UTAH were the most impressive, with a huge representation from the club across all ages and levels of experience from Elites to Novices. In just one epic day of time trial racing, Henley Rowing Club walked away with 18 wins.
The J15’s started their day with a 1st and 2nd in the doubles with David Rechner and Charlie Garnham taking the honours from Sam Beattie and Tom McLellan – all of whom putt in a massive effort to achieve their success, coupled with some excellent steering . This was followed in the afternoon by another 1st and 2nd this time in coxed quads. The first quad consisting of James Swinburn, Euan Turnell, Grant Taylor and Alex Carr with Ton McLellan coxing powered their way to victory with an impressive performance followed closely behind by the second quad of Sam Beattie, Charlie Garnham, James Wallace and Charles Wasbourn with David Rechner coxing. For the J16-17s boys, Bruce Turnell and Grant Taylor won the J16A 2x, and with Balthazar Issa, Bruce went onto win J18 2x.
The J16 girls of Amelia Crick, Sophia Hahn, Felicity Parfitt Caoimbe O’Donohue and cox Freya Reid had a great win in the coxed fours. This was followed in the afternoon by the J15 crew of Jess Roberts, Georgia Brown, Carla Russell Natalie Cooper and cox Ella Nolson winning by just over a second in a field of ten other crews. The day was finished for the J15 & 16 girls by a mixed crew of Phoebe Fletcher, Hanna Hills, Amber Weller, Jessica Arlett, Bobbi Miles, Ruby Borg, Ellie Coxwell, Emeline Warner and cox Freya Reid winning womens novice eights.
Henley’s older junior squads also had and impressive performances with wins for the WJ18A 4x-, the WJ18A 4+ and the WIM2 8+ and IM2 4x. The later posting one of the fastest times of the day.
Henley’s Masters crews were also out in force with the women’s masters sculling squad having their largest turn out ever for this event, including several new racers. Two Women’s Novice quads had a good battle in their event: Ann Tully, Jan Watson, Julie Norman and Aoife Scott finishing close behind Louisa Clarke, Emma Avery, Karen Wade and Lizzie Firth. Our Women’s Masters D quad of Helen Turnell, Niki Orr, Linda Thomas and Valarie Bennett came 2nd by only 2 seconds to the Eton Excelsior Masters C quad. Niki Orr and Helen Turnell finished a close 2nd in their Masters C double against the Eton Excelsior ladies. Margaret Hall and Julia Lock sculled well to 2nd place in their Masters E double event. Caroline Cryer and Rachel Galbraith had their first race in the Women’s Novice Double event. These results came hot off the back of a win for these two at the Phyllis Court Time Trials the day before in a women’s Quad. Their wins also mark the continued growth in the competitiveness of the club’s Masters Squads.
None more so, than with Henley’s Masters Men at UTAH where Masters C 4x (Jeremy Sedgewick, Ian Mills, Tom Wedgewood and Barry Redman) and Masters D 4x (Philip Davies, Bill Adamson, Simon Morgan and Michal Hornsby) rowed well but sadly had no competition. The Master pairing of Rob Wilson and Mike Jennings also continued their form in Masters D 2-.
Earlier in the month at Burway Small Boats Head Henley also added to the club’s medal tally. The course was a challenging 3k upstream with a number of bends which caused various crews problems and a complete scrum at the finish with many boats colliding and at least one sculler tipped in by a passing quad. Sam Beattie stroked the first J15 quad containing David Rechner, Charlie Garnham and James Wallace with Hugo Rompani coxing into second place with Hugo managing to negotiate the boat around a couple of wayward crews. James Swinburn and Grant Taylor powered to a win in the doubles and James Swinburn then went onto win in a single.
As October draws to a close and Autumn takes its grip, Henley can look back on October as one of the many great month’s of competitive rowing. With a large and growing membership, the club looks forward to the new season and to welcoming more enthusiastic rowers looking to row the town’s beautiful stretch of the Thames.