East Devon lady rowers part of Exeter crew that does well at Henley

12:38 25 June 2014

There are two types of pain you have to deal with as a rower, the relentless pain that strikes your body as you power down the course, and the brutal, unforgiving pain that follows the loss of a race when everything you have been working towards comes to an abrupt end. At Henley Women’s Regatta (HWR) the Exeter women’s eight-plus crew experienced both, writes Kerri-Ann Upham.

The girls arrived at Henley on Wednesday afternoon. Travelling up to the event a couple of days before allowed the crew to take in the scenery and become familiar with this famous stretch of the river Thames.

The crew practiced starting from the stake boats, refined technique and watched in awe as elite crews passed completing their final preparations on the same stretch of water. After some relaxation time in the hotel and a crew meal at the local pub the girls were ready to race.

Mirror-like water conditions greeted the crew on Friday morning and temperatures were rising. The first race for Exeter was against Worcester Rowing Club at 5.40pm so it was important to stay out of the sun and conserve energy throughout the day.

With just a few hours to go the girls found a shady spot under the boats to relax, and wait. At 5pm it was hands on. Cox Dani Wall guided the boat to the launching pontoon and the Exeter crew looked very professional as they rowed past the hundreds of people lining the enclosure area. In the marshalling area there was more waiting, the afternoon sun was hot and the water was glistening as the girls gradually tapped up to the stake boat. Dani was in control throughout and kept the crew calm and relaxed as they attached the stake boat with ease. At 5.40pm exactly the start umpire called ‘attention’ on the final crew race of the day. Drama unfolded from the first stroke, Exeter didn’t have their strongest start and within a few seconds Worcestor were warned by the umpire for coming dangerously close to Exeter. Despite this cox Dani Wall remained in control and held her line. Off the start the crews were level, but as Exeter lengthened their strokes they began to edge ahead. 40 seconds into the race the Exeter crew relied on the power of their middle 4 rowers: Rebecca Kelly, Ellie Dodd, Susie Howells and Jane Stack, who had to push through the pain plagued in their legs to get the boat into a comfortable lead. Passing the enclosure area Exeter had a convincing lead and with the immense cheers from the bank this lead was only set to increase. The stern pair Kirsty Barker and Kerri-Ann Upham set up a strong, sustainable rhythm while the bow pair Lisa Cocks and Nadine Levin rowed with precision and finesse, drawing upon their years of experience to support the boat. Crossing the line the girls let out cheers of joy and relief, they had won the race and earned their place at this regatta. The final verdict was a win for Exeter Rowing Club by three lengths. Upon landing the girls were greeted with beaming smiles and words of congratulations from their coach Pete Cork and loyal supporter Nic Walker, when the crew lifted the boat onto their shoulders the national anthem began to play signalling the end of racing, the magic of Henley had inspired everyone.

Saturday was due to bring greater challenges as the girls were up against Thames Rowing Club. Thames is one of the biggest rowing clubs in the country, they entered 10 crews into this years HWR and the eight-plus was one of their top crews. The Exeter girls had one race strategy; to get ahead off the start and hold onto this lead for as long as possible. Rowing up to the start the girls maintained their confidence and professionalism rowing like an experienced crew and not being phased by the other boats practicing around them. Once attached to the stake boat each crew member had their eyes fixated forwards with determination to make this race as uncomfortable as possible for Thames. Exeter Rowing Club had a fantastic start, the hours and frustrations of practicing had paid off as the first few strokes were powerful and precise. The expression on the Thames coxs’ face changed from confidence to concern and panic, Thames were not expecting this. Passing Temple Island 250m into the race Exeter Rowing Club had a quarter-length lead. However, as the race unfolded the experience and strength of the Thames crew shone through as they took the lead and edged further ahead. At the enclosure area Exeter were a length down and the Thames lead was increasing. Despite this the girls rowed their own race and chased after a good time. Crossing the line the girls were exhausted, they had given everything, heads bowed as the overwhelming pain of losing a race that you have invested so much time in preparing for set in. This pain is much more brutal than anything experienced in the race

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Midweek Herald visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Midweek Herald staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Midweek Herald account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Other Sport Stories

Yesterday, 14:42
Parade des Figaros lors de l inauguration de la Solitaire du Figaro Eric Bompard cachemire 2015 - Bordeaux le 22/05/2015

The Bank Holiday weekend marked a spectacular opening to the 46th edition of the Solitaire du Figaro – Eric Bompard Cachemire in Bordeaux.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:41

Visitors to this year’s popular Nunney International Horse Trials, which take place from June 19 to June 21, will be able to buy reduced priced tickets if they purchase them in advance via the website, writes Lucy Johnson.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:40
Point to point generic picture

Darren Edwards has been runner up for the Devon and Cornwall jockeys’ championship twice in recent years but looks all set to lift that title for the first time this season, writes Granville Taylor.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:38
Ottery batsman Billy Ruldolph fell short of a hundred by just three runs against Uplyme on Saturday. Ref shsp 7241-22-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife

Excellent innings from burgeoning young talent, Billy Rudolph and former Premier League batsman, Mickey Wilkinson, coupled with a well-controlled bowling display, saw Ottery St Mary 1st XI claim a comfortable win over visiting Uplyme & Lyme Regis, writes Ian Townsend.

Read more
Tue, 20:07
Speedway. Somerset Rebels versus Berwick.

On Friday it took until the last third of the meeting before the ‘Cases’ Somerset Rebels eventually broke free of the Scunthorpe Scorpions, before finally going on to record what appeared to be a relatively comfortable victory, writes Dave Thompson.

Read more
Tue, 16:14
Kite surfing competition in Exmouth on Saturday. Photo by Simon Horn. Rerf exsp 5377-26-12SH To order your copy of this photograph visit www.exmouthjournal.co.uk and click on myphotos24

Exmouth is going to be awash with some of the world’s top kit surfers heading to the Town to take part in an annual kitesurfing competition organised by Edge Watersports.

Read more
Tue, 16:12
East Devon Hunt's Point to Point event. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref shsp 10 1192-10-11SH

The stunning location of Bratton Down is the location for this weekends Point-to-Point horse racing, where the Exmoor hold their fixture this Sunday (May 31), writes Donna Harris.

Read more
Tue, 16:11

Budleigh’s new overseas player Cephas Zhuwao took to his new surroundings at Ottermouth like the proverbial duck to water with an eye-catching innings with the bat followed by a four wicket haul with the ball.

Read more
Tue, 12:11
Golf generic picture

When the draw takes place to decide playing partners for the monthly Chivers Goblets competition, there is plenty of interest in ‘who plays with who’, writes Liz Rogers.

Read more
Tue, 09:35
Golf generic picture

A PGA Professional from Devon has played a key role in helping a local project that develops grass roots golf via schools win a national award.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 7°C

Most Read Sport

Great British Life


Great British Life
Family notices
Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Submit a Story
Buy Photos
Competitions
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Midweek Herald e-edition today E-edition



Honiton's trusted business finder