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Cambridge crews have semi-final agony at Henley Women's Regatta

By CambridgeIndependent Reporter

Cantabrigian Rowing Club womens eights at Henley Womens Regatta. Picture: Isabel Nimmo
Cantabrigian Rowing Club womens eights at Henley Womens Regatta. Picture: Isabel Nimmo

Near misses for boats from Cantabrigian Rowing Club and Cambridge University Women's Boat Club

Semi-final heartache was the theme of Henley Women’s Regatta for Cambridge-based crews.

The narrowest defeat was suffered by Cantabrigian in the Aspirational 8.

The boat of Georgia Vann, Jessie Spivey, Bailee Stratton, Ann Laube, Valentina Sassow, Anna Suchankova, Ellie Darlington, Andrea de Bruin and cox Esther Momcilovic faced Thames A in the semi-final, and were beaten by a foot.

Laube said: “This was my first time racing at Henley Women’s and it was a fantastic experience.

“While losing out on making the final by such a small margin was gutting, it still showed that Cantabs are amongst the ‘big guns’ in women’s rowing, and it is a privilege to train and compete with such a dedicated squad.

“Our captain Ellie [Darlington] and our volunteer coaches put their hearts and souls into the club to make such successes possible.”

In the Championship lightweight women’s pairs, Cambridge University Women’s Boat Club’s Jessica Godden and Lou Brett were beaten by two-and-a-half lengths by a pair also from Thames in their semi-final.

Light Blue Imogen Grant, a recent call-up to the Great Britain senior squad, was in the Championship single sculls and also made the semi-finals.

She was beaten by three lengths by Sydney University’s Carina Simpson, but Grant has pre-qualified for Henley Royal Regatta.

Cantabrigian junior girls entered a crew at the event for the first time.

Coached by Oli Frazer, the quartet were Hills Road Sixth Form College students Izzy Ritchie and Eva Hill, and Bex Hawthorne and Ellen Goode.

Ritchie said: “With a category of 28, the J4x- wanted to see how close they could get to qualification this year.

“The conditions were almost perfect and the girls managed to put in a strong row, ending up as the third fastest non-qualifier.

“Despite the disappointment of being so close to qualifying (under two seconds), the girls put out an average split 10 seconds below that of National Schools from May, so it was a very encouraging performance.

Cantabs’ Hannah Stewart and Helen Fishwick were beaten in the first round of the Aspirational double sculls by a composite Ipswich/Sudbury crew, while Harriet Cross, Georgie Plunkett, Alice Brownjohn and Cecilia Collins-Taylor were beaten in the first round of the Aspirational quad by Hartpury.

Cantabs’ men’s eight have pre-qualified for Henley Royal Regatta.

The eight of Nick Rice, Guy Fiddian, Sam Philpott, Andrew Marsden, Tom Wordsworth, Hugo Ventham, Tom Roe, George Hawkswell and cox Sara Russo took part in the Thames Cup at the Marlow Regatta, finishing 17th out of 35 in the time trial and fifth in the club eights.

They were fifth in the C final, in a club best 5min 55.7sec, and the performance combined with that at the Met Regatta earned a Henley spot.

Cantabs’ coxed four of Jon McCree-Grey, James Wood, Harvey Dinkele, Tom Hetherington and Leanne Fiddian narrowly missed out on the Tier 2 A final.

They will now attend qualifiers for the Britannia Cup at Henley, and the coxless four of Eddie Crampton, Jack Goode, James Lindsay, Sean Collins will do likewise in the Wyfold Cup.


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