Leander and Henley Rowing Club Win 3 Trophies at Women’s Regatta

Three local crews won trophies at Henley Women’s Regatta this weekend’s biggest ever event with 2300 entries.

Leander won the Championship Coxless Pairs with the crew of Amelia Standing and Juliette Perry winning against Thames Rowing Club by 1 3/4 length and they won the Championship Coxless Fours for the third year in a row with a crew of Philippa Emery, Sophie Houston, Abigail Topp and Isobel Powell beating Molesey RC easily by 4 3/4 lengths.

Henley Rowing Club won The Nina Padwick Trophy for the Junior 16 Quadruple Sculls.  The crew were Evelyn Meeks, Charlotte Tong, Jemima Butterworth and Molly Hall.  They beat A B Severn RC/ Stratford Avon ‘B’ by 1 length in the final.  Molly said, “It was a really hard race.  We really had to push it off the start to get our bow ahead.  From there we just carried ahead and just grew our gap more and more throughout the race.  It was tough race and we held them off.  We were really happy at the end and were all screaming, you could hear me on the live stream.”

Olympic medallist and former Chairman of HWR, Miriam Luke presented the prizes.  She said, “Everyone knows how hard it is to win at this Regatta.  If you go to National Schools or other Regattas, they give you a bronze, silver or gold medal.  But here is only the winners that get to hold the trophy and get a little red box with your medal in it.  So it’s really tough to win here.  Well done to all of you who have won.  It’s not an easy course to race at, we did see a few people take out the booms.  In fact one of the posts is missing and we’ll have to get that fixed in time for next week.  As it has been said it is a record-breaking Regatta, when I took over as Chair in 2013, we had a record entry of 1,300 women rowers, this year it is 2300.  In 10 years it has gone up 1,000, nearly doubled.  That’s a real a reflection on what you guys are doing out there; taking up rowing, training, listening to your coaches that has raised the standard of women’s rowing means that this Regatta gets better and better.  One of questions I’m always asked is what is going to happen as Henley Royal is introducing more women’s events, which is fantastic and that’s why this Regatta was set up in the first place.  What place does this Regatta have if Henley Royal is adding more women’s events?  Ironically, the more women’s events Henley Royal adds, the more of you enter here.  If you get a chance to race here, the very best go on to row at Henley Royal.  I thank Henley Royal for making this event even more successful.”

Almost 300 athletes travelled from overseas to compete in the Regatta. The Chairman’s Trophy for aspirational quadruple sculls stayed in the Netherlands, with ARSR Skadi from Rotterdam defeating 2023 champions USR Triton by just over 1.5 seconds. Skadi delighted prizegiving attendees with a rousing rendition of their club song, before hurrying off to catch a plane home.
Both championship single sculls races – the George Innes Cup and the Godfrey Rowsports Trophy – also went overseas. Sophie Egnot-Johnson of Waikato Rowing Club, New Zealand, won the openweight event while Riona McCormick of Schuylkill Navy High Performance Collaborative won the lightweight trophy.

HWR Chairman Naomi Ashcroft said: “HWR’s objective is to showcase the best of women’s rowing and I believe we certainly achieved that this weekend, demonstrated not only across the hotly contested races for each trophy but also by an increasing number of clubs and schools entering and succeeding at the regatta. It is testimony to all the hard work of our huge number of volunteers and supporters.”

Ann Southey one of the founding members of HWR passed away last week.  At the Chair’s Breakfast on Sunday, HWR Chairman, Naomi Ashcroft said, “Without her, Di, Jackie and Chris this Regatta wouldn’t be here today and we wouldn’t be giving our women the opportunity to race and row on this iconic course.  (Looking out over the course from Remenham Club) Take a moment to look at what has been created and what we want to sustain into the future.  The current Exec Committee met Ann in January when we had one of our strategic workshops and right until the end, she was telling us (different to advising!) and giving us ideas on how we can raise money so that the Regatta goes from strength to strength.” Afterwards Naomi thanked Naomi Riches for her chairmanship for the last 2 years and Henley Committee Member Kate Russell who was standing down this year for her amazing work over many years and presented them with framed Regatta posters and a bouquet of flowers.  The Committee were delighted that 7 of their new HWR Ambassadors were able to join the breakfast – Dame Katharine Grainger, Ellen Buttrick MBE, Jess Leyden, Erin Kennedy MBE, Miriam Luke MBE, Grace Prendergast and Naomi Riches MBE.

 

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