Success for CUWBC at Henley Women’s Regatta

Holly Hill and Melissa Wilson took their U23 composite four to compete at HWR, joined by a Development Squad eight competing in the Copas Cup (Academic Eights) and by winning 2015 Lightweight Sarah Lucas racing for the Fiona Dennis Trophy (Senior lightweight single sculls).

The coxless four combination with Emily Ford (University of Newcastle) and Sam Courty (University of Bath) contested the Avril Vellacott Cup (elite coxless fours). Racing a Dutch composite crew on Sunday morning in the semi-final, they were never troubled and stretched out to a 5 length victory by the finish line. A few hours later they took to the water again to race in the final against Brown University from the USA. Another strong start gave them an early lead. Despite Brown suffering some steering difficulties early on, Holly and Melissa’s crew extended their lead over the entire course to cross the line with an easily verdict and another win to add to their collection.

The Academic Eight was made up of girls who have just started with CUWBC’s Development Squad to make the move from college to university rowing. On the Friday morning they took part in the qualifying races to reduce the number of entrants from 28 to 16. Despite having only had a limited number of outings together, the eight performed well and finished in the top 16 and earned a place in the regatta. A somewhat unlucky draw against Nottingham University, who had been the fastest crew in the time trial, suggested a tough race ahead. The Cambridge crew fought well and managed to cut the deficit from time trial by 11 seconds, but Nottingham who eventually lost in the final to Durham, were too strong. The attitude and progress of the girls over the week was really encouraging, and shows great potential for even stronger performances by the end of the Summer Development Squad.

Sarah Lucas traded one oar for two this term she stepped into the single scull to train for HWR this term. She qualified in the top 16 through the time trial. The first race on Friday afternoon was against a sculler form the University of Bristol, a previous opponent from BUCS regatta. A less than perfect start saw Sarah drop behind by nearly 3 lengths by the end of the island, before her composure and strong pace saw her move steadily back and through into the lead by the time they reached halfway. With a very strong second half to the race, she finished 3 lengths to the good, securing her place in the quarter finals whilst also equalling the course record in a time of 6 minutes and 3 seconds! Saturday morning and the quarter finals brought strong international opposition in the form of Ellyce Stehlin from Auckland Rowing Club, New Zealand.. Despite a strong row, she couldn’t counter the kiwi sculler who eventually went on to the final; however, with a slight headwind on Saturday, the course record remained intact.

Full results can be found here.