|Aoife & Orla at Henley Women’s Regatta|
Aoife and Orla Holohan competed in the Junior Double Sculls last weekend at Henley Women’s Regatta. The format requires that in events that are oversubscribed, crews have to complete a time trial to find the quickest crews. Crews that qualify, then go on to compete in a side-by-side knockout format. In the Junior Doubles, only 16 can race in the regatta, and as 28 had entered, competition in the time trial was going to be tough.
Aoife and Orla had a very competent time trial and qualified in the top 16. The times for the crews that qualify are not announced at the regatta, the crews are just listed in alphabetical order.
They were drawn against a crew from Llandaff in the first round. The tactics were to get a good start and then if appropriate, put in a push off the end of the island to try and break clear. Both crews went off hard, and there was little in it for the first 200m. Then, little by little, our double just started to edge ahead. When they were about a canvas up, they decided to go for it. 20 strokes latter they had clear water and were moving further ahead. Another 20 strokes and Llandaff had decided that they weren’t going to win that one and Aoife and Orla paddled over the rest of the course at about 30, keeping three to four lengths clear.
The next round saw them up against a fast Nottingham and Union crew, which had beaten them fairly comprehensively at out regatta. We had to be forceful and attack, to take the fight to them. The girls were slightly nervous, but really ready for a fight. Both crews had good starts, and Notts and Union showed slightly ahead by the end of the island. Aoife and Orla counterattacked and for the next 300 metres, it was stroke for stroke, really competitive. Then, we just started to get our bow ball in front, little by little we were getting ahead. Through the enclosures they fought, inch by inch, to get maybe half a length. Still Notts And Union wouldn’t let it go, they started to counter attack, we put in some really powerful strokes, but the Union crew were starting to come back. Just 250 to go, and they were now level. Aoife and Orla fought magnificently over the race, to try to get away from the Union crew, but they just managed to sneak ahead and win. A fantastic race and so close.