Bexhill Rowing Club was represented in the quarter-finals of the Henley Royal Regatta for the first time in its history.
The Bexhill senior A crew of Kieran Cahill, Matt Hellier, Doug Holdaway and Mark Mitchell reached the last eight of the coxless fours at the largest and most prestigious rowing event outside of the Olympics and World Championships.
No less than 380 crews from as far away as New Zealand, including many of the 2012 Olympic crews, descended upon Henley-on-Thames last week for an event where each race involved two boats going head-to-head with the winner advancing to the next round.
Representing both Bexhill and the coastal rowing community, Bexhill were drawn against one of the seeded crews, Union Boat Club from USA, in the first round. Bexhill powered into the lead and the Union crew buckled under the pressure being exerted on them.
Bexhill were drawn against Maidenhead in the next round. Bexhill again took the early lead, and by half way the Maidenhead crew had veered off course and hit the dividing boom to mark the outside of the course. The Bexhill quartet needed no further encouragement and pushed on for an easy win.
Their quarter-final opponents, Rob Roy, were tipped as one of the favourites for the event. Unfazed, the Bexhill crew produced their customary fast start and hit the front.
With Bexhill slightly ahead a minute into the race, the Rob Roy crew then produced their big push and squeezed in front. Bexhill were unable to claw back the deficit and finished their amazing run at this prestigious event with their heads held high.