Henley Women’s Regatta boasts a superb range of trophies, from the the West End Amateur Rowing Association Trophy to the specially commissioned Chairman’s Trophy, Read about their history and the winning crews.

The Ron Needs Challenge Cup

C8+ | Championship Eights

Supported by: St George’s Ladies Rowing Club

This trophy was originally given to the regatta in 1988 by the Sports Council and named the Sports Council Cup.

In 2015 the Cup was renamed the Ron Needs Trophy to mark the huge input into women’s rowing made by Ron. Ron attended the regatta to present it. Sadly Ron passed away in April 2016.

Annamarie Phelps said: “Ron never stopped thinking about how he could better support his athletes and his immense generosity with his expertise, time and resources made him a key part of the success of women’s rowing at a time when support for women’s rowing was very limited. He was a coach and mentor 24/7, always willing to listen and gently guide. I will always remember him taking great delight in contrasting my (poor) sculling technique to that of Thomas Lange, the great German sculler, in between outings at Longridge.”

Paul Thompson, formerly GB Rowing chief coach for women and lightweights, said: “He never lost his drive, steely determination or sense of humour that helped him coach medal-winning crews through decades of coaching. Rowing was in his blood, even the week before last he was giving me advice on the crews preparing for Rio. Ron has been a significant figure in GB Rowing’s success in lightweights and women’s crews over many decades. He will be immensely missed by many in the rowing fraternity.”

Until 2018 the event was named Elite Eights

The Avril Vellacott Cup

C4- | Championship Coxless Fours

Supported by: Bvalco Ltd


Avril was a well-known sculptor. She did not row in her youth as her father disapproved of women rowing, so she did not become actively interested until after his death. She was a member of Twickenham RC and regularly attended HWR and other regattas. Avril presented the trophy in 1996.

The event was known as Elite Coxless Fours until 2018.

The Borne Cup

C4x | Championship Quadruple Sculls

The Borne Cup was presented in 1999 by Nina Padwick and Borne Regatta which is run by Mortlake Anglian and Alpha BC.

In 1932, a young woman called Daisy Borne was rowing for a recently formed club called Alpha Women’s Amateur RC. Her father, keen to encourage her, presented the club with a silver trophy for best eights. During those pre-war years, races to compete for this cup were organised by Alpha Women’s ARC. This was a great advance as there were few races for women at that time. The only other regular events for women’s eights were one run by Women’s ARA, one at Weybridge Ladies Regatta, and the Lady Fletcher Cup organised by St George’s Ladies RC. Since the event no longer exists it was felt appropriate that the cup be presented at HWR.

The event was known as the Elite Quadruple Sculls event until 2018

The Redgrave Challenge Vase

C2- | Championship Coxless Pairs

Supported by: Sir Steve and Lady Ann Redgrave

The Redgrave Challenge Vase was presented by Sir Steve and Lady Anne Redgrave in 1997. Winners also receive a small replica vase.. The event was known as the Elite Coxless Pairs event until 2018

The W. Peer Cup

C2x | Championship Double Sculls

Supported by: Rosie Maygothling

The W Peer Cup was presented by Bill Peer. Both he and his wife Barbara were great supporters of women’s rowing in general and HWR in particular, hence Bill presenting this trophy.

Bill was a coach at Cygnet RC and St George’s Ladies RC and also coached the 1966 GB women’s eight.

The event was known as the Elite Double Sculls event until 2018

The George Innes Cup

C1x | Championship Single Sculls

Supported by: Elise Cope

George Innes was the father of Barbara Peer of St George’s Ladies RC.

Barbara presented the trophy in 1994 in his memory. Barbara and her husband Bill were regular visitors to the Chairman’s Enclosure, and both very generously left legacies to HWR in their wills. Barbara was one of four sisters who rowed with St George’s LRC and cox of the four which toured Australia in 1938 and the 1966 GB women’s eight. Her sister Thirza won the Championship Sculls several times.

The event was known as the Elite Single Sculls event until 2018

The Haslam Trophy

CLwt 2x | Championship Lightweight Double Sculls

Sponsored by: Wentworth House Partnership

Wentworth House Partnership logo

The Haslam Trophy was presented by Penny Haslam (née Palfrey) in 1999. Penny began her rowing career at Thames RC in 1974. Sculling became her passion and she was well rewarded with wins in quads, doubles and singles, as well as eights and fours, in domestic regattas, head of the river races, masters and world masters regattas.

As a lightweight most of these events were raced against heavyweight athletes. Lightweight events did not exist for women until 1985 and not until 1996 in the Olympics.

Penny’s trophy is therefore given in support of lightweight women’s double sculling.

The event was known as the Elite Lightweight Double Sculls event until 2018

The Parkside Trophy

CLwt 2- | Championship Lightweight Coxless Pairs

The Parkside Trophy was presented by George Walls in 1996. George was a member of Parkside RC before its demise.

Parkside was part of the National Amateur Rowing Association and when all clubs were taken under the wing of the ARA, its numbers fell until it was no longer viable, and it closed in 1962. George was one of the first Subscribers (now Friends) to HWR.

The event was known as the Elite Lightweight Coxless Pairs event until 2018

The Godfrey Rowsports Trophy

CLwt 1x | Championship Lightweight Single Sculls

The trophy was donated to the regatta by Godfrey Rowsports to support British lightweight women’s sculling in 1997. Sue Appelboom of Mortlake Anglian and Alpha BC won the trophy a record 10 times!

The event was known as the Elite Lightweight Single Sculls event until 2018

The Copas Cup

AC8+ | Aspirational Club Eights

Supported by: the Copas Partnership

The Copas Cup was originally awarded for the Elite Coxed Four event which was discontinued in 2010, after which it was awarded to the winner of the Senior Lightweight Double Sculls. Unfortunately, the number of entries in the elite event fell and the two events were combined in 2016..

The event was known as the Intermediate Club Eights prior to 2018.

The Colgan Foundation Cup

AA8+ | Aspirational Academic Eights

Sponsored by: the Colgan Foundation

Colgan Foundation logo with text "Proud Partner of Henley Women's Regatta"

Initially sponsored by PricewaterhouseCoopers for many years, the trophy was renamed in 2016 as the Sharp Trophy.
In 2017 it was renamed the Colgan Foundation Cup to recognise the support by the Colgan Foundation.

The Event was known as the Intermediate Academic Eights prior to 2018.

The Lester Trophy

AC4- | Aspirational Club Coxless Fours

The Lester Trophy was donated to the regatta in 1996 by the Lester family to recognise the many achievements of their mother Eleanor (Toby) Lester.

The event was known as the Intermediate Club Coxed Fours prior to 2018.

The Cathy Cruickshank Trophy

AA4- | Aspirational Academic Coxless Fours

The Cathy Cruickshank Trophy was presented to the regatta in 2009 by the Cruickshank family in remembrance of Cathy, who was entries secretary to the regatta between 2000 and 2006. Cathy gave unstintingly of her time to the regatta, always welcoming crews with a smile and went out of her way to help them. She particularly supported university rowing. Prior to 2018 this trophy was presented for Intermediate Academic Coxed Fours.

The Chairman’s Trophy

A4x | Aspirational Quadruple Sculls

The Chairman’s Trophy was given to the regatta by Diane Graham for the first Senior Quadruple Sculls event.

The trophy was designed by former HWR treasurer Elizabeth Finch and made by Frances Lester (daughter-in-law of the famous pioneering oarswoman Toby Lester). The trophy depicts the “puddles” of water carved out by the eight sculling blades.

Diane started rowing at Nottingham University before moving to the London area where she is a member of Walbrook RC, winning medals at the Scullers Head, Pairs Head and National Championships. She still rows and competes regularly.  Diane was chairman of HWR for 15 years having also taken on the role of secretary prior to that. After standing down as chairman, Diane was awarded the British Rowing Medal of Honour.

The Rosie Mayglothling Trophy

A2x | Aspirational Double Sculls

Supported by: Tim and Sarah Lohmann

The Rosie Mayglothling trophy was donated to the regatta by friends of Rosie and “UK Gold” to mark her contribution to rowing, as the first British winner of the Invitation Women’s Double Sculls at Henley Royal regatta in 1982 (with Astrid Ayling), as Olympic finalist and as the leading founder member of Henley Women’s Regatta.

During her time at British Rowing she has overseen research and innovation within the GB Rowing Team and contributed significantly to the review process for the team. Rosie has developed the curriculum content for coach education in British Rowing and produced a strategy for coaching and coach education which defines the coaching pathway from grass roots to high performance.

At the end of 2019 Rosie was awarded the OBE for services to rowing and to gender equality in sport and the British Rowing Medal of Honour

Until 2018 the trophy was presented for Senior Double Sculls.

The Bernard & Pauline Churcher Cup

A1x | Aspirational Single Sculls

Given by Pauline Churcher in 2005 in remembrance of her husband, Bernard, it was renamed in memory of Pauline in 2024. Pauline and Bernard were secretary and treasurer of the Head of the River Race for 25 years until 1997. Pauline was a founding member of HWR and chief umpire at the regatta for many years.

Prior to 2018 this Cup was presented for the Senior Single Sculls Event.

The Fiona Dennis Trophy

ALwt1x | Aspirational Lightweight Single Sculls

Donated by Richard Dennis to mark the achievements of his wife, Fiona.

Fiona started rowing in 1973 as a junior at Derby RC and is a Steward of Henley Royal Regatta and now a FISA umpire. She umpired at the 2012 London Paralympics, is a past member of both the British Rowing Council, the British Rowing Executive Board and was, for many years, chairman of the HWR race committee.

Prior to 2018 this trophy was awarded for the Senior Lightweight Single Sculls event

The Frank V Harry Cup

D4+ | Development Coxed Fours

The Frank V Harry Cup was first presented to Brent Regatta in 1965 by United Universities Women’s BC in recognition of ‘Mr Harry’s’ years of sterling work as their coach. Crews from the club represented GB at the Women’s European Rowing Championships from 1960-1965. At that time Brent (previously Willesden) was the only multi-lane event in Britain, and took place on Whit Monday on the Welsh Harp Reservoir where four lanes were marked with buoys. After that regatta perished, UUWBC rescued the cup and gave it to the National Championships to be presented for Women’s Elite Fours. The National Championships then decided to abolish presenting trophies altogether so it was rescued again by Pauline Churcher and presented to HWR in 1996 as it was felt its future would be safe in the hands of HWR.

Up to 2016 this was awarded for Senior Coxed Fours. In 2017 this cup was awarded for Senior Coxless Fours. From 2018 it has been for Development Coxed Fours.

The Peabody Cup

J8+ | Junior Eights

Presented to the regatta in 1996.

The Groton School Challenge Cup

J4+ | Junior Coxed Fours

Donated by Groton School USA in support of the regatta in 1996.

The Bea Langridge Trophy

J4x | Junior Quadruple Sculls

Supported by: Perfectly Picked

The Bea Langridge Trophy was presented by the Head of the River Fours Committee in memory of Bea in 1999. Bea was a founder member of HWR and was the first entries secretary and secretary.

The Rayner Cup

J2x | Junior Double Sculls

Supportedby: The Rayner Family

The Rayner Cup was donated to the regatta in 1999 by Pauline Rayner, the first female captain of Thames RC.

Pauline introduced rowing at Putney High School in 1992. Having started rowing herself at the age of 13 Pauline wanted to encourage juniors to race at HWR.

The Di Ellis Trophy

J1x | Junior Single Sculls

Supported by: St George’s Ladies Rowing Club

This trophy was presented by Di Ellis in 1999. Dame Di Ellis was appointed chairman of British Rowing in 1989 and executive chairman in 1992, and oversaw its growth from a staff of 10 to 116 in 2012. Di was a founder member of Henley Women’s Regatta and chairman of the Women’s Rowing Commission.

Having rowed internationally, Di subsequently became a team manager and umpire before moving to the administrative side of the sport where she was recognised as Sunday Times Sports Woman Administrator of the Year, and by the IOC for services to women’s sport. In 2004, Di received a CBE for services to rowing and in 2013 was awarded a DBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, recognising a lifetime’s commitment to sport. In addition she became the first female Steward of Henley Royal Regatta.

Among other roles, Dame Di was a trustee of the British Olympic Foundation and the Torch Trophy Trust, a member of the BOA remuneration committee and a life vice-president of the British Olympic Association, president of British Rowing and a vice-president of the Sport & Recreation Alliance. A driving force behind her involvement was not only a passion for sport but also the desire to create opportunities for all which has included encouragement of women and past work with World Rowing on the development of disability rowing.

The West End Amateur Rowing Association Trophy

J16 4+ | Junior 16 Coxed Fours

The trophy was donated by Auriol Kensington Rowing Club in 2010.

The Nina Padwick Trophy

J16 4x | Junior 16 Quadruple Sculls

Presented to the regatta by Nina Padwick in 2010, this trophy was originally donated by Tom Green – Waterman to the Queen. In its later years, it belonged to a member of the now defunct Bedford Park Rowing Club.

The Vesta Cup

Para Rowing PR2 1x | Single Sculls

Originally a pair of goblets, presented by Vesta Rowing Club.

From 1999 the event was named the Elite Lightweight Coxless Fours event until it received few entries and was discontinued in 2010.

The Grosvenor Cup

Para-Rowing PR3 1x | Single Sculls

Presented by Grosvenor Rowing Club, Chester, in 2015 to celebrate 40 years of women members at the club and the launch of their adaptive rowing programme.

The club wished to celebrate the successes the club had enjoyed in a long-standing relationship with HWR. This included Grosvenor RC life member, Juliet Machan, and past member Mick Howe serving on the HWR committee. Grosvenor was one of the first clubs to appoint a woman as captain.

In 2019 competitors competed over the full HWR course where as prior to that the event was held over 1000m.

The Invesco Challenge Cup

AC8+ | Aspirational Club Eights

Invesco was a long standing supporter of the regatta, and the naming of a trophy thanked them for their continued support. The trophy was presented from 2009 until 2017 for Intermediate Club Eights.
In 2018 the Trophy was presented for Aspirational Club Eights.

Following the 2018 Regatta Invesco discontinued their sponsorship and this trophy is no longer presented.

The Rankine Trophy

ELwt4x | Elite Lightweight Quadruple Sculls

Jean Rankine was the first deputy captain of Thames Rowing Club. She won a gold medal at the National Championships in the double sculls with Liz Lorrimer of Nottingham Boat Club and a silver with Penny Haslam in 1977. She presented the trophy in 1999. This event was discontinued after the 2017 regatta.

The G P Jeffries Cup

S8+ | Senior Eights

G.P. Jefferies was Captain of Cygnet RC between 1935 and 1957. The club presented the trophy in his memory in 1996. The event was discontinued after the 2017 regatta.

Other Discontinued Events – Record Holders

Under 23 Double Sculls

Course record holder: NCRA/Dame Alice Harpur, 2004 – 5:37.

Under 23 Single Sculls

Course record holder: University of London (Eddie), 2004 – 6:25

Under 23 Lightweight Single Sculls

Course record holder: Wallingford Rowing Club (Dingley), 2004 – 6:10

Junior Under 16 Eights

Course record holder: Headington School, 2008 – 6:05

Junior Under 16 Single Sculls

Course record holder: Walbrook Rowing Club (Waltham-Hier), 2008 – 7:18