First-time success for UEL rowers

The UEL Womens Boat Club rowers and their trophy

The UEL Womens Boat Club rowers and their trophy - Credit: Archant

Women win prestigious Henley event

The University of East London’s remarkable rowing team have won the most prestigious rowing event for women in the country – the Women’s Henley – after competing in it for the first time.

The sports scholars, who are all studying Masters at UEL, won the senior coxed-four title on Sunday.

The rowers, Laurel McCaig and Jennifer Vandermaarel, studying human resource management, international business management student Felicia Werner and Meg George, who is studying international human resource management, competed against rowing clubs and universities from across the world.

In its most notable victory, UEL beat the USA’s Yale University, in the third round, equalling the course record time in the process.


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The final saw them win against Riverside from the USA by six lengths, where they won gold medals and recorded a time of five minutes 23 seconds.

Felicia Izaguirre said: “Racing at Women’s Henley has become the pinnacle of most of our careers. We have raced on national teams and have seen great success on an international level, however, racing at Women’s Henley is something that’s in a league of its own.

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“We are so thankful for the support the university has given us over the last year as we pursue our Masters degrees and we are so excited to bring home the first ever Henley gold to UEL Boat Club.”

UEL’s Women’s Boat Club head coach, Cyril Cornet, said: “I still can’t believe our achievement. We fought off, and ended up smashing, competition from some of the biggest and most established rowing clubs, not only in the UK but, in the world.

“The University of East London has loudly, proudly and clearly put its mark down on the Women’s Henley.”

Three of the four women are now part of a project aiming at qualifying a composite 8+ for the Royal Henley.

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