Rowers make splash at Henley

Bexhill Rowing Club at Henley
Bexhill Rowing Club at Henley
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Two Bexhill Rowing Club talents pulled off a feat never previously achieved by a coastal club.

Kieran Cahill and Mark Mitchell won a first round race at the Henley Royal Regatta - the most prestigious international rowing regatta in the world.

What makes the Henley Royal Regatta so special is that it allows international and club rowers a chance to race each other in a one-on-one knockout competition.

Qualifying for the event is an achievement in itself and although Bexhill crews have done so in the past, this year the crew went one better in the Prince of Wales intermediate quad sculls.

The crew was very lucky in the build-up to the regatta to borrow a boat from Leander Rowing Club - the most elite club in the country - and be allowed to use their facilities, rubbing shoulders with the best British rowers.

Cahill and Mitchell teamed up with two GB juniors from Eastbourne and Shoreham after they had returned from Munich to train for the event.

The quartet were well beaten off the start in their first race against Hamburg and Germania with the German crew leading by more than a boat’s length after the first 500m.

A very solid middle 1,000m, however, enabled the Bexhill composite crew to slowly edge their way back before taking the lead in the last 500m.

The local crew had a much tougher challenge the following day against Leander, but the start was much better and they were just three-quarters of a length behind as their rivals equalled the course record at the first marker.

This good start from the Bexhill boat took its toll in the middle of the race, though, and the powerful Leander crew pulled away, breaking the mid-marker record to boot. They would eventually win the final and break the overall course record.