The Bank Holiday Weekend saw a flurry of rowing activity with big events being held at both Marlow and Wallingford. Henley Rowing Club (HRC) – as usual – was there in force and once again fielded crews of all ages and experience.
First up were Henley’s junior boys’s squad, who produced a strong set of results at Marlow Spring with 4 wins and 3 other finals reached. The squad were not put off by the turbulent river conditions caused by wind and pleasure boat cruisers that were out in force over the bank holiday.
It was the first Regatta for the J13 boys. The boys double with Ollie Deacon at bow and Jaimie McLellan at stroke won their event, racing against two Falcon doubles who were part of the quad which beat them at the Abingdon Head. They were neck and neck over the first five hundred metres of the race, but pulled away to win convincingly over the second half of the course. The two boys then joined up with Cameron Smith and Elio Del Largo with cox James Oldham, to deliver another convincing win, that saw them pull away over the second half.
In IM3 1x Henley’s J17 sculler, Bruce Turnell dominated both his races from the off, winning his final comfortably from two scullers from Latymer Upper School. Fellow squad members, Oliver Taylor and Balthasar Issa, fresh from their silver medal scull at the Junior Inter Regional Regatta, also dominated their J16 2x races, coming home well ahead of the second place boat from Star and Arrow rowing club.
In J15 1x Henley had a 1st/2nd result, with Grant Taylor, a bronze medal winner at the Junior Inter Regional Regatta, winning strongly with his team mate Tom McLellan sculling with great technique in second place. In J14 1x Dan Crick sculled well through the usual choppy conditions, to take the event with something in hand – beating a fellow sculler who had previously won the Junior Inter Regional Regatta. The A and B J15 4x+ J15 2x all made their finals. As did both of the J14 doubles, but neither could fill the top slot in a three-boat race despite some determined rowing over the tricky course.
Henley’s junior girls were also out in force with wins in the WIM3 8+, and WJ15A 2x. But the club’s victories were not confined to our junior squads at Marlow. This year HRC fielded some very strong performances amongst its women’s Master Squad with 3 wins, and 4 crews making finals. The squad had its first win of the day in the W.MasC.Nov.4x- event when Louisa Clarke, Emma Alvey, Karen Wade and Jan Watson cox Charles Washbourn put on a brilliant performance, beating crews from Walbrook and Staines. This was followed swiftly by Helen Turnell and Niki Orr winning convincingly in the W.MasD 2x final, against strong opposition from Eton Excelsior and Falcon RC. Then, in the last race of the day, following an almighty downpour in the heats of W.MasE.4x-, it was an all Henley final. The winning crew was Helen Turnell, Niki Orr, Linda Thomas and Valerie Bennett.
Across the full Marlow Spring Regatta, HRC had no less than 12 wins. One would have thought this enough, but the Senior Men’s squad were were not to be outdone. Michael Nagi and his sculling partner Dave Lambourn won the Chairman’s Challenge Cup in the club double sculls at Wallingford. The race was shortened to 1500m due to a strong headwind but this did not dampen what turned out to be an epic race. They we pitted against a strong crew from Broxborne who started with a lead. Inch by inch it was drawn back in by HRC, who then proceeded to edge ahead. Broxborne made a push for the line but by then Michael and Dave had victory in their sites. This was a great result for such a recently formed pairing.