THE Ladies Eight from Milton Keynes Rowing Club took on some tough competition at the Women’s Henley Regatta, proving they could hold their own at the most prestigious event of the year.
With a squalling 40 mile per hour head wind and strong current along the famous Henley course on the Upper Thames, the crews battled to hold their pace and speed, with MK’s Double and Lightweight Double crews also in action.
Conditions made it particularly difficult for the Lightweight pair, Jenny Searle and Helen Marshall, who struggled with every stroke against the force of the wind. But still made it to the quarter finals.
Also racing in a double were Liz Tatman and Andi Grossey who put in an impressive performance in their quarter final against a very slick looking crew from Maidenhead.
The Ladies Eight crew, who have been gaining notoriety for their improvement since last year, didn’t disappoint the club as they beat a London crew from Parr’s Priory Club by five boat lengths.
The second round however, saw them defeated by Thames Rowing Club after a less than perfect start in the adverse weather conditions. The MK ladies gained on them in the first 250 metres – much to the surprise of the Thames crew – but it wasn’t enough to reach the semi finals.
The club were complemented for the improved level of performance of the city crews at this year’s regatta given the small size and extremely limited facilities of the club, especially in contrast to the Thames club who have recently had a multi million pound refurbishment of their boathouse.
MK captain Tim Grossey said: “This is a very exciting time for us and I’m extremely proud of the ladies crews.
“They will be having a well earned rest now and the focus for the club will turn to the novice and development crews for the remainder of the season.”