Bucknell Women's Rowing Concludes England Trip with Terrific Performance at Henley Women's Regatta
June 18, 2012
LEWISBURG, Pa. - The Bucknell women's rowing team competed at this past weekend's Henley Women's Regatta in Henley-on-Thames, England. The varsity eight, lightweight eight, varsity four and Sarah Small in a single scull were in action at the 25th annual regatta.
Small and the varsity four were in action on Friday with Small being the first Bison boat in action. The second Bucknell rower to compete at the Henley Regatta in a single scull following Anna Johnson in 2008, Small raced in a time trial, but was unable to advance.
The varsity four then took to the water and finished ninth in its time trial. The top eight finishers in the time trial advanced to the final and the Bison were less than five seconds shy of eighth place. They were able to finish ahead of Rhode Island, the only other U.S. crew in the event.
The varsity eight then raced on Saturday against Vesta Rowing Club, an opponent that had defeated the Bison one week earlier at the Reading Amateur Regatta. Battling steady 10-to-15 mile per hour winds, the varsity eight defeated Vesta by three-quarters of a length and led wire-to-wire.
The win over Vesta moved the varsity eight to Sunday's competition in the Elite Eight division, where it faced the Great Britain U-23 National Team. According to Bison head coach Stephen Kish, it was a David vs. Goliath matchup and while Bucknell competed very well, it lost by three lengths to conclude its racing schedule.
The lightweight eight was also in action over the weekend and had a pair of strong races. The boat rowed on Saturday afternoon against the City of Bristol and posted a victory by 3.5 lengths in the Senior Eight division. The winds grew throughout the day on Saturday and the race took place in winds that were a steady 25-to-30 miles per hour with gusts up to 50.
"Our lightweight eight was looking to conquer the conditions and they manhandled them," commented Kish, who also noted the City of Bristol was not a lightweight crew, meaning the wind did not hamper its boat as much as Bucknell's. "When I asked them about the wind after the race they said they didn't even notice it. It was the toughest conditions they have ever faced and they handled it like champions."
The win over City of Bristol advanced the lightweight eight to Sunday, where it raced University College Dublin, a team the Bison practiced with during their stay in England. Kish knew it was going to take the Bison's best possible race to win, and while the lightweight eight was ahead for the first third of the race, Bucknell lost by one length.
All events at the Henley Women's Regatta are head-to-head competitions, but Friday's races were adjusted to time trials due to weather conditions and a fast river.
The Henley Women's Regatta will conclude another banner year for the Bison women's rowing program. Bucknell captured its seventh consecutive Patriot League title, won its first-ever team trophy at the Dad Vail Regatta and the lightweight eight earned its first-ever medal at the Eastern Sprints when it brought home silver. The lightweight eight followed that performance with another second-place showing at the IRA National Championship Regatta, equaling the second-best finish in program history.
Bucknell Women's Rowing in England Videos