Harriet Housam makes Boston Rowing Club history

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HARRIET Housam has made history as the first woman to wear a Boston Rowing Club vest on the River Thames’ Henley course.

She made history for the club by representing them at the Henley Womens Regatta on Sunday, and even received a helping hand from Olympic rowing legend Sir Matthew Pinsent.

The event was first introduced in 1988 to offer the chance for women to compete on the stage of the Henley Royal Regatta, which takes place in a fortnight’s time.

Although a handful of Boston rowers have previously gone on to row for their universities at Henley, teenager Harriet is the first time since the 1930s that the Boston Rowing Club Vest has been worn on the River Thames Henley course and the first female in club history to do so.

The 15-year-old, who attends Boston High School, had intended to compete in the junior double sculls with her regional doubles partner Bethan Lloyd, 17, from Derby.

However, due to an administrative error, the pair were thrust into the senior womens’ race, which is only one division down from the Elite rowers.

With a sculling display of competence beyond their years, the girls qualified through the time trials stage of the 1.5k, course making the top 16 crews out of the 24 entries.

In the next stage of the regatta, Harriet and Bethan were beaten by the ladies from Vesta Rowing Club.

Harriet said: “It has been an amazing opportunity for me and my family and coach, I feel really proud about how well we have tried.

“There have been top coaches from Great Britain and abroad, as well as international athletes on hand to speak to as well.

“Sir Matthew Pinsent was umpiring and I couldn’t believe my eyes when he actually helped us out of our boat at the finish”.

Harriet will now be competing at Nottingham National Watersports Centre on Saturday, when she will be having trials for the Great Britain junior team to face France on July 10.