Imogen Mackie and Hannah Traylen won gold in the Elite Lightweight Pair.

Exeter’s ladies in charge at Henley

The University of Exeter’s female rowers continued their scintillating run of form this season with gold medals at Henley Women’s Regatta from 20-22 June 2014.

Largely regarded as the most prestigious event on the UK Rowing Calendar, Henley Women’s Regatta sees crews from all over the world compete across a 1500meter course on the River Thames. Exeter entered just two crews into the event; the Academic Coxed four (Alex Flynn, Kathryn Bevan, Seun Olusanya, Amie Barber and Camilla Edgerton (cox)), and the Elite Lightweight Pair (Hannah Traylen and Imogen Mackie) who reached the finals and took gold respectively.

Exeter’s Pippa Burnham also flew the Exeter flag, rowing for the Great Britain Development Squad, reaching the finals in the Elite Fours and taking gold in the Elite Eights.

Rowing Club Captain George Butcher Commented: “It was a fairly new squad who went in as defending champions in the Academic coxed four, however the crew put in a brilliant effort in the time trial and rowed some great races, including a quarterfinal victory by only a quarter of a length against Bath, to make the final.

“Despite coming out brilliantly in the final and leading the race for the first half they were ultimately fairly beaten by a strong University of London crew. However, to make the final was a brilliant result for this crew, one of which they deserve to be very proud of.

“[In the pair] Hannah and Imogen enjoyed a great run up to this regatta in the pair winning IM1 pairs at Met regatta and posting some fast times. They went into the final against a relatively unknown German crew, but weren’t fazed at all. Their usual lightning fast start gave them an early lead which they maintained down the whole course to record an awesome win.

“The entire club would like to say thank you to the University of Exeter Annual Fund, and a massive thank you to all the alumni who donated to the fund. The fund provided 100% of the money which was used to purchase the boat which the pair used to win women's Henley.”

The University of Exeter has become a tour de force in the ladies rowing scene, winning Gold at the European Universities Championships in September 2013 and taking gold in the IM2 Pennant at Women’s Head of the River in March 2014.

Director of Rowing Richard Tinkler was delighted with the continuing additions to the medal tally He commented: “It’s been another brilliant result and I couldn’t be happier. Hannah and Imogen are a fantastic pairing and worked very hard to earn a well-deserved gold against an international level crew.

“I’m particularly impressed, however, with the performance of the fours. Three of the crew have been rowing for less a year, so to reach the finals at Henley is a remarkable achievement.”

The club are now looking forward to the men’s Henley Regatta from 2-6 July, where they plan to build on last year’s result which saw them qualify four boats, including a men’s quad and women’s eight for the first time.

George added: “The ladies have laid down an impressive benchmark this weekend but it’s not over yet with our male crews hoping to continue Exeter’s run of success. We’re entering four crews this year, so hopefully there will be more medals on the way.”

Date: 26 June 2014