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Henley schoolgirls celebrate on Regatta finals day
Monday, July 2, 2012
Caroline Searle
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The schoolgirls of Henley Rowing Club won the inaugural Junior Women’s Quadruple Sculls at Henley Royal Regatta and there were two more new names in the record books on a thrilling final morning.

On their home water, Henley RC beat Canford School by two and a half lengths, and 17-year-old Joanna Unsworth in the three seat said: “I think we're the first people to scream at that pitch on the finish line”.

“It feels great. It's good to be the first people to do it and be the first names on the records”.

“Now we want to win it again; go for the double.”

Star Club of Bedford won at Henley for the first time in their 52 year history. Having led by over a length at one point in the final of the Britannia Challenge Cup for coxed fours, they held on for a verdict of three feet as rivals Taurus BC put in a huge late surge.

Having seen his Star eight lose in a final last year their coach, Olympian Pete Mulkerrins said: “It means the world to us.”

Nottingham rowers recorded their first win at Henley since three of the city’s clubs merged six years ago to form Nottingham RC.

Beaten finalists in last year’s Wyfold Challenge Cup, the coxless four rowed down Australian club ANA over the second half of the course having trailed by a length.

“We’ve had some close races this week already and I thought maybe we had had too many close races but they were brilliant,” said Nottingham’s director of rowing Dez Atkins

“We’ve strengthened them by a long way. Two guys from last year didn’t even make it into this boat, which just shows how much depth we’re starting to get.”

In a similarly dramatic race, University of London ‘A’ overturned Newcastle’s early lead to triumph by ¾ of a length for their first Prince Albert Challenge Cup victory since 2007.

Molesey BC’s eight won the Thames Challenge Cup for the second time in four years, beating Thames RC by two lengths.

Two of Leander Club’s quad, Nick Middleton and Jack Hockley, won their third successive Prince of Wales Challenge Cup, the Henley club beating the potential Great Britain under-23 crew from University of London and Durham University.

The day began with a row-past by a group of British Olympic medallists in the royal barge Gloriana, which has been moored at the Regatta all week.

Among them, Elise Sherwell (nee Laverick) was rowing with Sarah Winckless for the first time since they won Olympic bronze in the double scull in Athens eight years ago.

“It was amazing to be rowing behind Sarah again,” said Sherwell.

“I don't think we will have broken any records but it's certainly one of the most fun trips up the course I've done.”

“We were cheered and clapped all the way. I thought it might be quiet but a lot of people were there early.”


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