The intermediate coxed four of Loretta Williams (stroke), Cath Smith, Mags Felter, Tash Kefford (bow) and cox Matthew Clayton-Stead reached the final of Henley Women’s Regatta 2008. This is the first time a York City women’s crew has raced to this level at this prestigious regatta.
The crew, coached by Ed Bedingfield and Ian Hazel-Gant, have only been together since the Metropolitan Regatta three weeks previously, where they came third in the Senior 3 Coxed Fours out of 19 crews.
The Henley time trial on Friday saw 54 crews hoping to be in the top 32 to qualify. York had a very successful row, which resulted in them being seeded fourth. High winds on the day did not put them off in the first of the knock-out rounds where they beat Reading University comfortably.
The wind picked up on Saturday but despite being one of the lightest crews, York won easily over City of Bristol. Bedford School put up a bit more of a fight in the quarterfinals but York were able to stay ahead to win by one length.
Sunday saw even higher winds for the semi-finals against Imperial College. The bigger crew were a length and a half up by half-way but were not prepared for the fight York gave them! York clawed their way back seat by seat putting IC under pressure they had never had to deal with before (as they admitted later!). York took the lead with a matter of metres to go as IC caught a crab and hit the booms on the finish line.
The final saw an out-and-out battle between York and Edinburgh University. As the wind picked up even more, Edinburgh took a length by half-way. York stayed with them but were unfortunately unable to catch them losing by one and a quarter lengths to take second place overall.
The crew are extremely happy with their achievement, which makes them the most successful YCRC women’s crew to compete at Henley.