The women’s squad had a successful weekend’s racing at the International Ghent May Regatta, qualifying for six finals against stiff international and domestic competition. The weekend was topped off by a win for the quad of Charlie Dempster, Kitty Lowings, Anna Barkensjo and Gaby Turner.
The senior women’s squad chunnelled and ferried over to sunny Ghent at the weekend for the 32nd International Belgian Championships for Seniors. Hopes were high after the wins at Wallingford, however the competition would be tougher since races at Ghent are open.
Saturday started well with the eight, quad, pair and double making it to their finals. Unfortunately with most people doubling up and all the finals being close together there were no medals to be had.
However everyone went into Sunday with renewed energy after the hotel’s great breakfast spread. The decision for Sunday was that no one would double up so it was just an eight, a quad and a coxless four racing. Both the quad and the coxless four made it into their finals with the coxless four putting in a strong performance unfortunately being pipped to the post for fourth place.
The final race of the day was the quad of Charlie Dempster, Kitty Lowings, Anna Barkensjo and Gaby Turner (pictured above) pitted against strong competition from Kingston and Imperial College (who had beaten them the day before). The commentator kept announcing that it was between Kingston and Vesta all the way down the course with Vesta having a half length lead the whole way. The supporters’ club were on the edge of their seats willing them on to stay in the lead. As they came into view they looked strong and maintained their position pushing through to win by a length to Kingston with Imperial College coming in third.
At Ghent the awards ceremony is accompanied by a regal fanfare of trumpets over the sound system, and the winning quad received, along with their medals, an impressive trophy of a blade painted in Sport Ghent colours. It’s now onwards and upwards to Metropolitan Regatta and Women’s Henley.