Henley women's 2015 was set to be an exciting event when course records began to be broken as early as Friday, when the Molesey senior double scull of Gabby Rodriguez and Helen Roberts beat Tideway Scullers School in a time of 5:27; knocking one second off the previous record.
That same afternoon, the Molesey Club 8+, a mixture of Junior and senior athletes, beat Nottingham RC by a canvas to progress to the quarter final.
Saturday saw the Elite pair and the senior quad get their first runs down the course; and both emerging victorious. The pair overhauled Cantabrigian RC to win by two lengths, and the senior quad cruised over the course having dropped the Doncaster/Sheffield Uni composite by the end of the island.
The senior double then faced Leicester RC, winning convincingly once again and recording a verdict of 'easily'.
The senior quad then faced a strong Welsh rowing composite of Cardiff Uni and Cardiff Met athletes, and were unfortunately beaten by four lengths, ending their 2015 regatta. Shortly after, there was also disappointment for the club 8+, who lost out to an Auriol Kensington RC crew in the quarter-final.
Finals day looked bright for Molesey, with both the senior double and the elite pair still very much in the running for finals qualification. The double once again outclassed their rivals of Nottingham RC, a crew which contained one of the winners of the same event in 2014, winning by a significant 3 lengths.
The elite pair then faced tough competition in the form of a Norwegian composite, tipped to represent Norway at this year's u23 world championships. They battled down the course, staying in touch with the international crew, but unfortunately lost out by just two lengths.
Lightweight sculler Orla Hayes then raced her first round, the semi-final of the elite lightweight single. After a good tussle with Agecroft's Ellie Lewis, she was defeated by one and a half lengths.
By Sunday lunchtime, the hopes of a Molesey victory rested on the shoulders of the senior double, who were set to face Upper Thames in the final, a strong combination who had set one of the fastest heat times in their semi-final. The two boats were level at the end of the island, at which point the Molesey boat took control of the race, pulling away to put five lengths of clear water on the rival crew by the finish line. The result was a landmark victory for both girls - relief for Gabby Rodriguez after having narrowly lost out in the final last year, and for Helen, a fourth consecutive victory at Women's Henley.
Our thanks go to ISPS Handa for their continued support and sponsorship.