Nine students from the Liverpool University Boat Club (LUBC) ladies team travelled down to Henley on Thames to compete at the world famous Henley Women’s Regatta to compete against some the best university crews in the country.
HWR is one of the leading women’s rowing events in the world with competitors travelling from as far away as New Zealand and North America and from across the UK and Ireland making this a truly international event.
For the LUBC ladies proceedings started on Friday morning with a time trial over the course distance of 1,400m. This was to reduce the field in the Copas Cup Academic 8+s from 30 to 16 crews who would then go forward to race in the knock-out rounds over the weekend. The Liverpool ladies gave it all they had in the time trial and finished fourth fastest overall and so qualified for the next round on Saturday morning with a first round race against Dublin University Ladies BC.
Saturday started well for the Liverpool ladies who managed to get in front early on and then maintain their lead all the way down the course for a decisive win over the crew from Dublin. Victory meant they would meet Reading University Ladies B in the quarter final. This was a tight race until just over half way down the course when the LUBC ladies increased their rating and pulled ahead of their opposition from Reading ending up comfortable winners. This was a particularly pleasing win as in the umpires launch following the race was Professor Fiona Beveridge, Executive Pro-Vice chancellor Humanities and Social Sciences at Liverpool, who had come along to lend her support to the ladies crew.
The semi-final on Sunday morning was against the very strong Durham University crew and despite pushing them all the way LUBC were unfortunately unable to get in front and lost out to the eventual winners of the Copas Cup for Academic 8+s.
Liverpool University can be very proud of the fantastic efforts of the ladies and their coach at Henley Womens as this achievement and others throughout the 2014/15 season have raised the profile of the University in the rowing world.
Another keen supporter of the ladies over the weekend was Dr Nigel Geary who was LUBC Club Captain in the 1970s. Dr Geary was instrumental in the development of women’s rowing at the University and was responsible for building their boathouse on the Knowsley Estate Lake where they used to row.