The girls squad hit Henley in force, competing in all three divisions. The women’s novice 4+ (Maria-Elena Nilsback, Sarah Head, Sian Withers, Pernille Sahl & Laura Forsyth (cox)), kicked off the racing and despite unfortunately catching a crab, they finished fourth in their division (out of 10) with a time of 14mins 52. The development squad also entered an IM3 4+ (Deborah Crowshaw, Janet Kidner, Emily Hartley, Charlotte Lamping & Victoria Taylor (cox)) , which finished in 14mins 15, putting them in third place in their division. These two crews then joined forces to compete in an IM3 8+ (Sophie Hanson, Sybille Schorm, Sabine Schloesser, Sarah Head, Anna Vandenberg, Pernille Sahl, Sian Withers, Thea Hudson & Victoria Taylor (cox)) which finished the course in 12mins 42, beating Reading, UL, Trinity College Oxford and the University of Surrey.
The girls IM2 4x put in a strong performance, winning their division easily, 22 seconds ahead of the next crew, with a time of 12mins 21. The crew from stroke to bow consisted of Liz Crighton, Ailsa Tremayne, Lara Brock, and Kat Hedges.
The IM1 8+ crew, from stroke to bow; Liz Crighton, Lara Brock, Ailsa Tremayne, Vicky Brock, Kat Hedges, Kitty Lowings, Hilary Blandy, Helen Edwards and Rachel Dixon (cox) finished in 11mins 45, putting them in third place in their division.
The IM2 8+ crew, from stroke to bow; Tammy Bernard, Liane Higgins, Caroline Newbury, Aga Siemiginowska, Sarah Gutsell, Vanessa Harvey, Kim Ledger, Holly de Gay and Ro Thompson (Cox), finished with a time of 11mins 44, putting them in second place in their division, just 6 seconds behind the Oxford Women’s blue boat.
The following day, the girls squad were invited to race against the Oxford blue boat, their second boat and the light weight 8+, in Henley; home to the women’s’ Oxford vs Cambridge boat race. The crews were pretty evenly matched, which made for some great raced pieces. While Oxford had some very fast starts under their belts, the Vesta crews held their own with strong rhythm and power through the water. The day was topped off with a little star spotting as Steve Redgrave turned up to offer some words of wisdom to the Oxford blue boat, as his daughter was sat at 6 in the crew.
– By Tammy Bernard
(Photos copyright Sliders)