After a year of hard training, YCRC members of all ages headed to the Thames for Henley Women’s, Henley Royal and Henley Master Regatta.
Henley Women’s Regatta saw all three YCRC crews take to the water and qualify for their events in the time trials.
Helen Waller and Katie Mole (UYBC) raced in the aspirational W2x, beating Nottingham to progress to their quarter final before being going out to an Aberdeen University/Robert Gordon composite in their semi-finals. The J4x- of Charlie Widdowson, Tamsin Forde, Lauren Carey and Olivia Appleton were knocked out by only a length in their quarter final by the perennially strong Gloucester Hartpury, whilst the J164x of Eliana Soma, Alice Laidlaw, Josie Lewis and Charlie Faint only conceded the same margin to a strong Headington School crew in their semi-final
Henley Royal Regatta Qualifiers saw an exceptional entry of four junior YCRC boats – two 4x- to the Fawley, comprising of Aidan Wilson, James Gowling, Freddie Orpin and Josh Barwick and a younger crew of Tom Mills, Gonzalo Brionez, Ben Plevey and Frank Kesteven, along with the two crews that had raced at HWR. The already high standard of the junior events at HWR rises every year, and with only 7 and 8 qualifying slots available in each event, none of the YCRC crews progressed to the main draw.
Henley Masters Regatta may be an altogether more relaxed affair on the bank, but on the water racing remained as competitive as ever with the five YCRC crews who made the journey well in the mix. Darren Woodford battled hard in his MasD1x heat but was knocked out by a strong sculler from Bideford, whilst Philippa Press and Karen Williams took on Weybridge in a straight final for the WMasE2-, with Weybridge eventually triumphing. Hillary Howe and Paula Widdowson in the WMasE2x saw off Sudbury Rowing club by an epic 1ft margin, later bowing out to the eventual winners Lincoln Park RC in their semi-finals. The Women’s MasE8+, following success at British Masters and Veteran’s Head of the River missed out on the treble when they encountered the elite Chinook RC from the USA in their semi-final. Finally, the Mens E4+ of Neil Paveley, Martin Walsh, Andy Lyon, Mike Porte and Robyn Inglis cruised through their quarter and semi-finals, only to be beaten by a rapid Grosvenor RC crew in the final by a length.
The Henley Regattas are the highlight of the Summer racing calendar, and the depth of participation at the events highlights the breadth across all ages of competitive rowing at YCRC – well done all!