Report of Hollingworth Lake Rowing Club Women's Intermediate Eight's performance at Henley Womens Regatta 2009.
The Hollingworth Lake Rowing Club's Women's 8 entered Henley Women's Regatta for the first time in the Club's history over the weekend. The crew was made up of 5 experienced members and three juniors who only took up rowing as opposed to sculling three months ago when the crew was formed.
The crew is : Bow-Julie Miller, 2-Ann Edmondson, 3-Abbie Dixon, 4-Jade Dixon, 5-Rachel Flanders, 6-Sally Booth, 7-Nikola Butler, Stoke-Julie Cragg and Cox-Callum Boardman.
The crew travelled down to Henley on the Thursday and had a gentle outing on the water to acclimatize themselves and prepare for the time trials to be held on Friday morning. This was the equivalent of a local football team playing on the pitch at Wembley, AWESOME. The time trials were to reduce the 26 entries in their event to 16 for the Regatta proper at which time they would be in a head to head knock out competition on the Saturday. The girls were followed by their coach and supporters down the course for the time trial and everyone agreed that they rowed very well. There now came an anxious couple of hours wait for the results to be announced. After a communal session of nail biting the result came over the public address system and a roar went up as their name came out as having made it through. Fingers crossed for a kind draw for the first race on the Saturday. In the event their competition turned out to be York City local neighbours from over the Pennines.
Saturday race time duly arrived and the crew boated for the warm up and race. Everyone was aflutter with pre-race nerves and sitting on the start it dawned upon all that this was what they had been working up to with the hard training over the last three months. The Umpire called them to attention â€œGOâ€ and the race was on the crew got off the start cleanly and began to settle at their race pace of 34 strokes per minute. Unfortunately the York crew was very well drilled and were able to set a race pace of 36 spm which enabled them to steadily pull away and eventually beat the Hollingworth girls by 4 lengths. The girls got off the water a little despondent as they felt they had not rowed their best but that is always the case when you lose. As the racing progressed so did York City who eventually turned out the event winners so losing to the eventual winners was not too bad after all.
It was agreed that everyone enjoyed the experience and this is the catalyst to get in some hard winter training sessions both on and off the water.