This years Henley Women’s Regatta took place from the 20th – 22nd June in glorious weather. Entered for Durham were 2 Academic Eights, a Senior Quad Scull, an Elite Pair, an Elite Lightweight Pair and a Senior Lightweight Double.
Friday morning saw the time trials take place. 3 of our boats had to complete the time trial (2 Academic Eights, 1 senior quad scull). The top Academic Eight (Rachel Francis, Ellie Williams, Joanna Leyden, Lizzie Chapman, Lydia Haslewood, Isobel Currie, Ruth Morley, Ella Hopkins, Theo Gibson cox) qualified in 7th for the main draw. The second Academic Eight, predominately made up of freshers, unfortunately failed to qualify. The Senior Quad (Becky Dell, Joanna Thom, Charlotte Drury, Camilla Hadland) qualified in 8th for the main draw.
Once the time trials were out the way, it was time to start the side by side racing. First up was the Senior Quad, who drew the Tees RC/Bath RC composite. Unfortunately the composite proved too strong as our girls lost easily. The composite would eventually go on to win the event.
Next was the turn of the Elite Pair (Henriette Ringleb, Anna Tyndall) who breezed past Leicester RC easily in their 1st round.
First to race for Durham on Saturday morning was the Senior Lightweight Double (Katy Denham, Amy Ellerker). They came up against a very strong Mortlake Anglian & Alpha BC double. In a very tightly fought race, our girls unfortunately ended up on the wrong side of 3/4 length verdict.
After having the afternoon of the previous day off, it was time for the top Academic 8 to race their first heat against Queen’s University BC. In a race very close race that was impossible to call, it was the 8 was Queen’s that came out on top, by a 1/3 of a length.
The Elite Pair was next up against the Bath University/Imperial BC composite that was until that point the GB Women’s U23 Pair. In a very exciting race the Durham pair managed to hold off the composite to win by 3/4L. The girls were exhausted after their effort and needed help out of the boat.
Compared to the extraordinary effort the Elite Pair had to make to beat the composite the day before, their semi-final race against Lea RC was a rather more comfortable affair with a 1 length victory. Before the Elite Pair could race their final, it was the turn of the Elite Lightweight Pair (Cate Lough, Mimi Carlton). They were up against an excellent Exeter University BC pair. Mimi was looking for her second win in a row in this event. However the Exeter pair wouldn’t play ball, and in the end beat the Durham pair easily.
On to the final of the Elite Pairs, where our girls were up against a very impressive French National pair. Sadly the efforts from the previous days racing had taken their toll and the girls were unable to overhaul the French.
All in all a very successful Henley Women’s Regatta for Durham. Here’s hoping we go one better next year!