Rowing: Four titles and record swept away by Thames

Alison Gill and her Thames crew in the open coxless four shattered the course record at the Henley Women's Regatta as they took the trophy in 5min 2sec yesterday.

Gill, Alison Brownliss and Anna-Marie Stapleton rowed magnificently to beat the record by 11sec in their defeat of Queen's Tower. "We were amazed," Gill said. "We knew that we were rowing well but to do it in that kind of time was incredible."

"That was immense fun," Stapleton said. "We really felt good throughout the race and by the half-way stage I knew it was going to be our day."

The four then linked up with the beaten finalists to overpower Tideway Scullers in the final of the open eights.

Tideway, containing the Olympian Jo Turvey, took an early lead but the composite crew came back strongly despite the early punishing row to win by a third of a length.

Thames Rowing Club took four titles on the day but none were as gripping as the club eights race, which saw the Putney-based club go past Galway in the dying seconds to win by a third of a length.

In the new event sponsored by Steve Redgrave, the Redgrave open pairs, a composite pair from Edinburgh and Cambridge Universities took the honours in 5min 40sec. Katherine Granger and Francesca Zino led from the start to beat Nicole Scott and Scottish international Claire McIntosh.

Results, Digest, page 23

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