Next weekend is Henley Women’s Regatta – the premier regatta for women in the United Kingdom. This year’s event has attracted a record entry of 442 crews with entries from Australia, France, Germany, Mexico, Ireland, The Netherlands, New Zealand and the USA.
So, here is a look at the Championship events:
Holder: Lucy Glover Warrington Rowing Club
Scullers from clubs in the UK, Australia and the Netherlands race for the George Innes Cup. The favourite will probably by Imogen Grant of Cambridge University Women’s Boat Club. She rowed in the winning Light Blue Boat at this year’s Boat Race. She also performed extremely well at the GB Final Trials finishing 4th in the LW1X. That performance earned her selection as the LW1X for the GB team racing at the 1st World Cup in Belgrade where she finished just outside of the medals.
Grant is joined in this event by fellow 2018 Cambridge Blue, Tricia Smith. Smith, like Grant is both a lightweight and open-weight Cambridge Blue. She raced at the GB trials in February finishing 10th in the W2-. Up against these two Light Blues is 2018 Oxford University President Katherine Erickson. Erickson learnt to row at Oxford and has shown good speed in the single finishing 6th in Champ singles at the BUCS regatta.
Another Boat Race oarswoman is Elo Luik. The first Estonian to row in the Boat Race in 2016, she will be representing Molesey Boat Club at Henley. At the Metropolitan Regatta last month she finished 5th on Saturday and 3rd on Sunday.
Runner-up on both days of the Metropolitan Regatta was Katy Wilkinson-Feller of Tideway Scullers. She raced in the TSS 1st 8 that finished 10th at the Eight’s Head and has performed well at the GB National Team Assessments finishing 5th at the 1st Assessment in November and then placing 7th overall at the Scullers Head.
Another strong contender is Wallingford Rowing Club’s Christie Duff. The Oxford Brooke’s graduate won a gold medal in the W8 at the European University championships and placed 2nd at the Scullers Head.
A sculler with senior international experience under her belt is Diana Egerton-Warburton. The 41 year old raced for Israel at the 2014 Lucerne World Cup finishing 16th in the W2X. She’s no stranger to the Henley course having raced in the W2X in 2015 for Union Nautique Bruxelles. In 2018 she competes for Thames Rowing Club.
There are four overseas competitors in this event, 3 Australians and 1 Dutch. The Aussies are Cara Grzeskowiak of Capital Lakes Rowing Club and Carina Simpson and Fiona Ewing of Sydney University. Grzeskowiak raced for Australia at the U23 World Championships in 2015 finishing 5th and also took bronze in the W1X at the Australian Interstate Championships that year behind Kim Brennan and Kerry Hoare. Simpson rowed for Sydney at the Australian Boat Race and was in the Australian University 8 that raced in the Trans-Tasman series. Fiona Ewing raced in the U23 W8 that finished 5th at the World Championships in 2016 and was the U23 national champion in 2016.
The Dutch representative is Nienke Van Hoogenhuyze racing for Triton. She represented the Netherlands at the Lucerne World Cup in 2014 where she finished 5th in the LW1X.
Another young sculler to watch is 20 year-old Bryony Lawrence of Gloucester Hartpury. She was 4th in the JW4- at the 2016 World Championships and finished runner-up at this year’s BUCS regatta.
Also racing are Imogen North of Nottingham, a silver medallist at the European University Championships, Jordan Cole-Hossain from Thames, GB Trialist Oluwasen Olusanya of Exeter University, Katinka Hurst of Worcester University who made the semi-final in the W2X last year and finally Thames Tradesmen’s Phoebe Campbell, a silver medallist at the British Championships in 2016.
11 doubles racing for the W. Peer Cup.
Holders: Mackie/Grant CUWBC/Oxford Brookes
Favourites for this event would probably be the University of London/Edinburgh University composite of Charlotte Hodgkins-Byrne and Lucy Glover. However Glover has just been named in the GB W2X for the 2nd World Cup in Linz, Austria, and as this is the same weekend as Henley Women’s it is likely they will have scratched.
In their absence it becomes a very open field. One of the most interesting entries is from Headington School with Rio Olympic silver medallist Katie Greves partnering young Swiss talent, Mattea Wuethrich. The 19 year old raced at the junior World Championships last season finishing 12th in the JW1X. They won Challenge W2X at Wallingford Regatta and are targeting not just Henley Women’s Regatta but also The Stonor Challenge Trophy at Henley Royal.
Reading University are always strong in women’s sculling, and have two boats racing in this event. The first is Lucy Ryan and Chloe Knight. Lucy won bronze at the European Universities Championships and Chloe has trialed for the GB squad, this duo were 3rd on the Sunday at the Metropolitan Regatta. The 2nd Reading Uni boat is Anna Smart and Francesca Bratt. They were both part of the Reading W4X that finished 4th at the Metropolitan Regatta.
Another strong contender will be the Leander pairing of Anna Porteous and Katie Maitland. Both of these athletes are US educated, with Porteous a graduate of the University of Washington (where she stroked the Varsity 4+ to win the PAC-12 championships) and Maitland a graduate of Duke University in North Carolina (where she raced in the Varsity 8). This duo have little domestic form as a double to go on but have a strong pedigree.
Cambridge also have two crews racing with the no.1 boat of Paula Wesselmann and Emma Andrews. Wesselmann was in the winning Blue Boat this year and Andrews was in the victorious Blondie crew. The 2nd Cambridge boat sees Abigail Parker and Sally O’Brien team up. Neither athlete made the Blue Boat or Blondie but they have a strong pedigree, Parker (daughter of the legendary Harvard coach, Harry Parker) was a member of the Harvard Radcliffe Varsity 8 and O’Brien is a former captain of the University of Dublin Women’s crew.
The final crew to mention are Nottingham Rowing Club with Annie Campbell-Orde and Sophie Connolly. This duo were bronze medallists at Ghent Regatta.
The Redgrave Vase
Holders: Banks Rowing Club Australia
An all-British line-up, with the lead boat probably being the Leander crew of Natasha Harris-White and Laura Meridew. They were winners at Ghent both in the W2- and W8. Harris-White raced at the Final GB trials finishing 9th overall and Meridew made the final of Senior Sculls at last year’s Henley Women’s Regatta.
Another strong crew are the composite from the University of London and the Queens University, Belfast – Oonagh Cousins and Fiona Bell. Both have represented Great Britain at the U23 World Championships with Cousins finishing 6th in the BW4- and Bell had the same finish in the BW8.
Imperial are another crew to watch with Alex Stonehill and Joanna Thom. These two were the bow pair of a very strong W8 at the Head of the River that finished 3rd. This season, as a W2- they have a 5th place at the Metropolitan Regatta.
Cambridge University have one crew entered, Sarah Carlotti and Rebecca Dell. Both were members of this year’s Boat Race squad. They were part of the Cambridge crew that won Championship 4+ at the BUCS Regatta.
Finishing one place ahead of the Light Blues at the Metropolitan Regatta was the Newcastle University pairing of Kat Bulmer and Lizzie Fuller.
Worcester Rowing club pairing of Elizabeth Johnston and Caroline Sheppard were members of the Senior W4- that reached the quarter-finals at Henley last year. At the Metropolitan regatta this year they were runners up in the Tier 3 W2-
Winners of the T3 W2- at the Met were the crew from Maidstone Invicta of Windsor and O’Brien.
Tideway Sculler’s Eleanor Peebles and Bethan Walters raced in the Tier 2 pairs and the Metropolitan Regatta finishing 4th.
The final crew racing are the youngsters from Lady Eleanor Holles School, sisters Gemma and Katherine King. They won bronze at the National School’s Regatta and finished 5th in the Tier 2 pairs at the Met.
The Avril Vellacott Cup
Holders: Leander Club
This event has three overseas crew, two from Aviron Grenoblois of France and one from Yale University in the USA.
Leander have a strong combination to defend their title. Bayly Camp, a kiwi and graduate of Oregon State. Chloe Laverack rowed in the 2017 Oxford Blue Boat and is a graduate of Northeastern University. Flo Donald raced at the Junior World’s in 2017 finishing 7th in the JW4-. The final member of the crew is Rachel Heap, who finished 7th in the JW2- at last year’s Junior Worlds. At the Metropolitan Regatta they took 2nd in the Champ W4- by half a second to the University of London.
That win for UL will fill them with confidence for Henley, the crew of Alessandra French, Georgia Statham, Fi Gannon and Izzie Powell. French, Statham and Powell were all in the GB U23 W8 that finished 6th at the World Championships last year and Gannon has two appearances for GB at the Junior World Championships. This crew also won at the BUCS Regatta year.
Yale always have strong, powerful crews and this year’s 4 have a very international line-up with an American, a Canadian, an Australian and a Brit. American Meg Galloway, Aussie Sophie Deans and Brit Katie King-Smith were members of the 2V that finished 6th at the NCAA Championships. The 4th member of the crew is Claire Dirks from Canada who raced in the Varsity 4 that also came 6th at the NCAA’s.
3rd at the Metropolitan Regatta was the crew from Edinburgh University, India Somerside, Lauren Gray, Lydia Currie and Alex Rankin. Somerside & Rankin raced at the Junior World’s finishing 4th in the JW4- in 2016, Gray raced with Edinburgh at the European University Championships in 2016 winning gold.
Molesey will be confident of doing well in this event. They have an experienced crew of Emma Macdonald, Katie Bartlett, Lucy Primmer and Rebecca Edwards. Bartlett was a member of the GB U23 W8 that won silver in 2014 and bronze in 2015, she and Edwards finished 8th at the final GB Trials and as a four they won at Ghent International Regatta (pushing Leander into 2nd). They also recorded a win at Ratzeburg Regatta defeating a German composite crew in 2nd and Oxford Brookes into 3rd.
The two Grenoble crews from France are a bit of an unknown quantity although the “A” crew of Lea Duret, Maraux Segrais, Marlene Mangeolle & Nadia Berger have all won medals at the French National Championships.
Cambridge University’s crew includes Blue Kelsey Barolak and Blondie oarswomen Millie Perrin, Larkin Sayre and Laura Foster. This crew finished 5th at BUCS (with Lucy Pike rowing in place of Larkin Sayre).
The final crew to mention are Oxford Brookes, Ella Morgan, Sophia Heath, Susannah Dear and Zoe Taylor. This boat finished 3rd at BUCS and as mentioned above, finished 3rd behind Molesey at the Ratzeburg Regatta.
The Borne Cup
Holders: no race in 2017 – Leander club won in 2016
Leander have another strong crew to defend the title they won in 2016. Georgia Brayshaw, Zoe Adamson, Sarah Bowyer & Ruth Siddorn. This quartet won in Ghent and have a wealth of experience, Zoe Adamson won the JW2X World title in 2017 and Ruth Siddorn was a member of the Oxford Boat that won the Boat Race in 2016.
The main threat to Leander will most likely come from Newcastle University, Amy Bowman, Nicole Lamb, Lola Anderson & Frances Russell. They are the reigning BUCS champions and finished 3rd at the Metropolitan Regatta. The University of London will also be strong contenders, Robyn Hart-Winks, Hattie Orr, Sheyi Blackett & Kesiah Roe. Hart-Winks raced in the LW4X at the World Championships last season and half of this crew were in the quad that finished 2nd at BUCS.
Runners-up to Leander at Ghent were Oxford Brookes, Imogen Mackie, Mary Wilson, Annabel Stevens & Emily Herridge. Mackie raced in the U23 BLW4X in 2017 finishing 5th, Wilson raced in the same boat the year before and Stevens won a silver medal at the Junior Worlds in 2016. Herridge raced with Brookes at the European University Championships.
There is one foreign entry in this event with the Germans from Bremer Ruderverein, Levke Gill, Katharina Borms, Laura Preiss & Mara Weber. Gill and Borms raced in the W4X at Ratzeburg and finished 6th 22 seconds behind Oxford Brookes. Priess raced in the German U23 W8 in 2016 that finished 6th.
Bremer may be the only fully overseas crew but there is also a Swiss/London composite racing as London RC & Club D’Aviron Vesenaz. This is an exciting-looking crew with a wealth of international talent, Pauline Delacroix has raced internationally for Switzerland for a number of years, she’s an U23 medallist and has a best finish of 4th in the LW2X at the Lucerne World Cup last year. She ended the season with a 14th place at the World Championships. Joining Delacroix in the crew is Cambridge Blue Fanny Belais, London Rowing Club’s Meghann Jackson (winner of the Elite 1x at the Sculler’s Head and 6th in the W1X at the Met) and Catherine Ador who raced for UL at the European University Rowing Championships.
The final crew to mention are Thames, Suzi Perry, Pippa Whittaker, Natalie Hardy and Alex Styles. This crew were winners at Wallingford Regatta and runners-up on the Sunday of the Metropolitan Regatta. They also raced at Ghent finishing 1 place behind Brookes in 3rd.
The Ron Needs Cup
Holders: Ohio State University
An event dominated by US collegiate crews with no fewer than 6 of the 8 entries coming from the US. Both Yale and Iowa Universities have entered two crews. Yale’s “B” crew look the strongest with all but one member of the Varsity 8 racing that finished 2nd at the Ivy League Championships (with Frenchwoman Victoire Lienau replacing Eloise Von Der Schulenburg). The Yale “A” Crew is a mix of athletes who raced in the 1st and 2nd Varsity 4’s and the 2nd Varsity 8. The two Yale boats include a couple of rowers, Kate Horvat and Lily Lindsay, who will be going up to Cambridge next term and will be aiming to make the Blue Boat for the 2019 Boat Race).
Drexel University from Philadelphia have brought their full Varsity 8 line-up and are coming off an impressive domestic season that saw them finish 4th at the Dad Vails and take bronze at the Colonial Athletic Association Championships. They kick off their UK tour by racing at the Reading Amateur Regatta this weekend.
Iowa University, the Hawkeyes, also have their full Varsity crew racing (and like Yale they are racing as the Iowa “B” Crew at Henley). They took bronze at the Big 10 championships (behind Ohio State and Michigan) and they finished their domestic season with 11th place at the NCAA Championships (2 places behind Yale). The Iowa “A” crew is the 2V that won bronze at the Big Ten Championships and then 12th at the NCAA’s.
Rhode Island University – the Rhody’s – are one of the less well-known of the US Collegiate programmes (at least outside of the US). The highlight of their 2018 season was a win at the Atlantic 10 Championships. They went on to race at the NCAA’s finishing 21st overall.
The two British boats racing are both composites with the first being Edinburgh/Molesey/Tideway Scullers and the 2nd Durham/Leander/Marlow/UL/Plymouth/Bristol. This latter boat is the GB U23 W8 and includes U23 silver medallist Chloe Brew and Junior World Champion Holly Dunford.
The Edinburgh/Molesey/TSS composite is a strong club composite including the likes of Gabby Rodriguez and Molly Harding from Molesey who were both GB Trialists this season.
Championship Lightweight 1X
The Godfrey Rowsports Cup
Holder: Maddie Arlett Edinburgh University
An all GB line-up in this event and 6 of the 7 scullers have either competed or trialled for the GB team. The pick of the pack in terms of experience is Flo Pickles from Reading Rowing Club. She has three U23 appearances to her credit with a best place finish of 4th in the BLW4X in 2015, she also has a bronze medal from the 2014 Junior World Championships. So far this season she placed 10th in the final GB Trials and took 2nd at the BUCS Regatta.
Amelia Carlton of Tideway Scullers is having a strong season, the winner of LW1X at the Scullers Head of the River, she finished an excellent 4th at the 1st GB Trials. She already has a Henley win to her credit having won the Senior 4X last year.
Fiona Chestnutt of Newcastle University finished 9th at the final GB Trials and finished 3rd in the LW4X at BUCS.
Camilla Plumb from Peterborough is another GB trialist having finished 18th at the 3rd Assessment and was a semi-finalist in this event last season.
Bethany Meakin from Oxford Brookes won gold in the LW4X at BUCS this season and also finished 8th in the 1st GB Team Assessment and 21st in the 3rd.
Lucy Iball of Grosvenor represented her native Wales at the Home International regatta in 2016 and also trialed for GB finishing 9th at the 1St Assessment. She was part of the Grosvenor quad that reached the semi-finals at Henley in 2016.
The final contender is Ellie Watts, she was President of the Oxford University Women’s Lightweight club and raced in the 4 seat of the losing Blue Boat this year. The Oxford Lightweights raced at BUCS winning the LW8 ahead of Bristol & Exeter.
The Parkside Trophy
Holders: Lowenna Coad & Natalie Hardy Thames RC
The defending champion, Lowenna Coad of Thames Rowing club is back to try and retain her title. This year she is partnered by Ioana Casley who was a member of the 2018 Cambridge Lightweight squad. They raced at the Met regatta this season finishing 5th in Champ W2-.Their main challengers look likely to be Casley’s fellow Cambridge athletes Louise Brett and Jessica Godden. They were members of the reserve Boat Race crew this season and went on to represent Cambridge at the BUCS regatta winning gold in the LW2-.
5th at BUCS were the de Montford University pair of Muskett and Burley. 4th in the LW4X at BUCS were Durham University including athletes Saskia Devereux and Ashleigh Mason. Devereux (sister of U23 World Champion Sebastian) is a former Leander oarswoman and trialed for GB earlier this season finishing 14th at the 3rd Assessment. This duo raced open Tier 3 W2- at the Met and finished 5th.
The final crew racing are the Irish from Commercial Rowing Club, Hazell O’Neill and Ruth Morris. They also raced at the Metropolitan Regatta and finished 2nd in the Championship W2-. The Irish could be the real dark horses for this event.
The Haslam Trophy
Holders: Imogen Mackie & Imogen Grant Cambridge University Women’s Boat Club & Oxford University
Nottingham University were winners of LW2X at BUCS regatta this season, although they have made one change to that crew, with Lucy Gillbanks now being partnered by Nina Giambrone. This duo were part of the gold medal LW4X at the 2017 BUCS Regatta and went on to race at the European University Championships. At the 3rd GB Team Assessment Gillbanks finished 14th .They completed their warm-up for Henley with a win in W2X A at Reading amateur Regatta.
Exeter University’s Susannah Duncan and Danielle Semple were 6th at BUCS but are a very strong combination. Duncan has two Junior World Championship medals and two U23 A-Final appearances to her name so far. 19 year old Semple raced at the Junior World Championships last year finishing 4th in the JW4X. At the 3rd GB Assessment Semple finished 9th and Duncan 12th.
The 3rd crew racing are a club crew from Southampton Coalporters, Fowler & Dorks. They raced at Reading Amateur this weekend making the semi-final for the W2X C category.