Henley Women’s Regatta took over the Royal Regatta course over the weekend on what would have been the Henley Royal Regatta 2021 original dates. Crews from UK and Ireland competed over a shortened course for 2021. Shiplake College were the only local winners beating Marlow RC in Junior Quads for the first time by 1 3/4 lengths.
Upper Thames Rowing Club were losing finalists in Aspirational 4x against the Tideway Scullers School. Headington School defeated Henley Rowing Club in the final of Junior 8+, earning their fifth trophy in this event. Headington’s last HWR win was in the same event in 2017.
Oxford Brookes University produced a dominant row against Tideway Scullers School (TSS) to win the Ron Needs Challenge Cup for Championship 8 at Henley Women’s Regatta (HWR) 2021. Oxford Brookes’ time of 4 minutes, 11.7 seconds was the fastest of the day on a course that was slightly shortened for safety reasons, with the start moved from one end of Temple Island to the other.
However, Brookes were not able to defend the Aspirational Academic 8+ title they won in 2019, with the University of London’s (UL) A crew victorious in that event. UL also won Championship 2- and Championship 4-, but lost to local rivals Imperial College in Aspirational Academic 4-.
TSS picked up wins in Aspirational Club 8+, Aspirational Club 4-, Aspirational 4x and junior 1x and also reached the junior 4+ final, where they were beaten by Glasgow Academy.
The regatta was held under Covid-secure rules, with changes this year including no medals ceremonies and no passengers in the umpires’ launches.
The 2021 regatta also marked the final year in charge for chairman Miriam Luke, who is stepping down after nine years and handing over to Paralympic gold medallist Naomi Riches.
Miriam said, “It has been a privilege to be Chairman of Henley Women’s Regatta since 2012/13. The event is incredibly special to all women rowers in the UK and has evolved since its inception to provide high-quality racing on our iconic stretch of river here in Henley. The committee has worked incredibly hard over the last 10 years to run a regatta that is professional yet at the same time fun, friendly and still all about the rowing. I hand over the baton to Naomi who will lead an amazing team of volunteers to take the regatta forwards into the future.”