Success on and off the water at Henley Women’s

What a weekend of racing at the 27th Henley Women’s Regatta on the banks of the River Thames! More than 1,600 competitors competed for the 27 trophies on offer in perfect conditions both on and off the water. 

Spectators lined the bank from start to finish and, during the finals, a further 30,000 took advantage of the live online streaming throughout the weekend.

The Sports Council Cup for elite eights was won by girls from the GB senior development squad, rowing as Molesey, Leander, Imperial College, Agecroft, Nottingham and Exeter University. Despite being down by half a length after 500 metres to the French U23 composite crew in their semi-final they confidently rowed through opposite the enclosure area to win by two lengths. In their final they led Yale University, USA, from start to finish, taking the trophy by one and one third lengths.

Spectators were treated to many tight races throughout the weekend, none more so than in the final of the academic eights where University College London hung on to take the PricewaterhouseCoopers Cup by just one foot over Reading University.

“Our primary aim this year was to win this event – and we achieved it – just,” exclaimed coach Jamie Smith. “The girls were distraught at losing in the semis last year and were determined to put this right,” he added.

This year, junior crews made up nearly a third of the entries, which is encouraging for the future. Of note was Headington School who brought the Peabody Cup for school/junior eights back to home shores, and locals Henley RC – winners of three events at this year’s regatta.

Helen Grant, Minister for Sport, Tourism & Equalities, recently returned from the football World Cup in Brazil to present the prizes together with Olympic champions Anna Watkins and Sir Steve Redgrave.

For more information about the regatta and the results, visit www.hwr.org.uk/results.

By Maggie Phillips

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