Last weekend the current Senior Women’s squad achieved the best result the club has ever seen at Henley Women’s Regatta by winning the Academic eights category in a truly nerve racking final!
The UCL women had two eights entered into this category making this the second year in a row the club has had two eights in Henley Women’s Regatta. Unfortunately, the second eight did not qualify leaving it to the first eight to stamp UCL’s mark on the regatta.
Saturday morning saw the first eight beat Warwick by 1-¼ lengths and in the afternoon the rocket start allowed the girls to relax into the race and win over Reading’s second boat by 2-½ lengths. This took them through to the semi-finals on Sunday.
The next morning the eight faced an opponent they were yet to beat in a race this season. With nerves running high on the start line, the extra adrenaline paid off with the girls crossing the finish line 1-½ lengths ahead of the Nottingham boat. This meant they were in the final, making them the most successful women’s crew that club has ever had!
The final was a race to watch and the support that UCLBC had was amazing! The crowds cheered as at the enclosures the girls were up by a length, but Reading didn’t give up that easily coming back to take the lead with less than 400m to go. Having lost to the same crew only a week earlier, at Reading Amateur Regatta, raw determination gave the girls the boost they needed to take the pace up a notch to the line, gaining on Reading all the way. As the boats crossed the finish line it was too close to call but after an agonisingly long 30min wait the announcement came over the tannoy that University College London beat Reading University by 1 foot!
Emotions at that moment were running high to say the least: “Winning Henley was the perfect end to an incredible year at UCLBC. I’m really proud of all we have achieved this year and it is a testament to the hard work of the girls and our coaches (Jamie Smith and Alan Sinclair)” said Helena Tidey, Senior Women’s Captain.
A massive congratulations to the crew: Eloisa Cackett, Jess Turner, Jess Rankine, Claire Garnett, Issy Powell, Helena Tidey, Freya Bronwin, Louise Blair and Chris Au!