2009 - Women's Henley Regatta

On Saturday 20th June girls from ASRA took part for the first time ever in the Women's Henley Regatta and 21 crews from England, Scotland, Wales, Canada and the USA lined up to compete for the the Groton Challenge Cup. Our girls - fresh from their victories in coxed and coxless fours at the Scottish Championships - rowed comfortably enough through the time trials stage, despite a blustery head wind, to qualify for the competition proper, unofficially in 8th equal position out of 21. Too comfortably as it turned out, since they ended up in the bottom half of the draw where it was their misfortune to be pitched against top seeds and fastest qualifiers, the American girls from Peddie School, New Jersey, in the first knock-out round of the competition.

2009 results 4

The self-styled Falcons had in fact been crowned North American Champions in Coxed Fours the previous week at the US Rowing Youth National Championships on Harsha Lake in Batavia, Ohio and now demonstrated in no mean fashion that their emphatic victory stateside by a full 10 seconds over the runners-up from Mercer Junior Rowing Club had been no accident. Our girls put up their usual blistering start - 47 strokes a minute - and by the end of Temple Island were still showing a slight lead over the American girls. From then on however the the Falcons put on a show of incredible power and disciplined rowing that left us floundering in their wake. Our girls did not give up easily and lifted the rating again and again to try to claw back some of the increasing lead being established by the Americans. By the last five hundred however it was clear that for the now perfect windless rowing conditions on the course we were chronically undergeared and that increased rating alone was not going to make up for our lack of leverage.

A great deal was learned however and the girls and accompanying coaches felt the experience to be extremely worthwhile. We now know the course and the challenges involved in competition on the Henley course and on a future occasion, amongst other things, would insist on hotel accommodation for our athletes and allow ourselves at least 2 days acclimatisation and fine tuning on the course prior to the regatta. One half hour outing the evening before was plainly not enough!

2009 - National Rowing Championships of Great Brit...
2009 -Scottish Rowing Championships

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