“Fantastic racing” at Reading Regatta

With a mixture of sunshine, showers and a power cut, another very successful Reading Amateur Regatta was held this weekend.

Attended by many clubs as part of their preparation for Henley Women’s and Henley Royal Regattas, the Regatta had a bumper year for entries and saw some exceptional racing. 

The final of the Senior Eights on Saturday saw a strong battle between Lea RC and Thames RC, resulting in a 3/4length win for Lea. The Thames RC women also had to settle for 2nd place in the Women’s Senior Eights, being beaten to the line by an strong crew from the University of London BC.

The Novice women’s event provided an exciting university battle between Southampton and UWE with Southampton crossing the line first. They moved up to IM3 Eights for Sunday, where they won one of the closest races of the day against Manchester University before losing by just half a length to Birmingham University in the semi-final.

In the fours events, the final of IM1 Coxed Fours saw another close contest between universities, with Reading University beating Worcester by 1.5 lengths. At the other end of the scale, it was a school battle in the novice event with Abingdon beating Reading Blue Coat. The final of the Novice Women’s Fours was between two crews preparing for Henley Women’s, with Wallingford taking the honours over Bournemouth University.

The Regatta also provided a significant number of opportunities for junior crews to race, with local clubs Wallingford and Henley both sending strong junior squads.

Henley only attended the event on Sunday, having raced at Marlow Town Regatta on Saturday, but still managed to notch up five wins – most notably in the Women’s IM3 Eights with a very impressive junior crew winning all of their races in style.

Wallingford were winners of the Saunders Challenge Cup, which is presented to the club winning the most events over the weekend. Vice Captain Eve Newton, who contributed towards the tally with a win in the Novice Single Sculls on Sunday said: “winning the Victor Ludorum was a great representation of the talent spread across the squads. Seven wins for the junior squad alone is a fitting reward for their hard work over the last few months.”

After two long days, Entries Secretary Adrian Champion said: “After a record number of entries we had some fantastic racing and stiff competition for all clubs. We’d like to thank all our volunteers and umpires, and competitors, for an excellent weekend. We look forward to seeing you all next year!”

Full results from the Regatta will soon be available at: www.reading-amateur-regatta.org.

James Lee