LUCY Burgess continued her preparation for the World Under 23s Championships by becoming the first Northwich Rowing Club woman to race on the Henley Royal Regatta finals day.

The 20-year-old was part of a composite crew hoping to be selected for the championships in Italy later this month.

They eventually lost to the current Great Britain senior boat in the Princess Grace Challenge Cup final on Sunday.

Northwich Rowing Club captain Rachel Hooper witnessed Burgess’ route to the final, beating a composite from Leander Club and Reading University in the quarters on Friday.

“I spoke to her when she came off the water and she was pleased,” said Hooper.

“It’s all part of preparing for the World Championships.

“The senior women are obviously older and more experienced, but they were really up for giving them a good race.

"They had nothing to lose so that’s what they did.”

A Northwich crew of Alex Bain, Leon Langmead, Zak Trigg and Finn Lawton, coached by Jed Barlow, were among the favourites in the junior men’s quad scull Fawley Challenge Cup, but were beaten in the second round by eventual finalists Windsor Boys' School.

“It wasn’t the way we had planned it,” added Hooper.

“But they will move on from the disappointment, which is part of being great athletes.

“They’re now looking forward to the British Championships in two weeks and are looking to win.”

Windsor also beat Grange School Rowing Club en route to the final, but head coach Graham Jump could not fault his crew of Scott and Luke Ozsanlav-Harris, Ben Holt and Conor Gay.

“We were a little bit disappointed but we didn’t row badly,” said Jump.

“Windsor Boys’ found some speed but we were very, very proud to get selected and seeded and then to get to the Friday.”

The town’s strength in the sport was further showcased by the success of several former members at Henley.

Ex-Northwich Rowing Club and Sir John Deane's College student Ed Grisedale was part of an Oxford Brookes University Boat Club men's eight that won the Temple Challenge Cup final against an American crew from Brown University.

Former Grange members Tom Ford and cox Calum McRoberts competed for the Newcastle University Boat Club coxed quad scull that beat Harvard University in the Prince Albert Challenge Cup final.

Jump said: “That is the message, for a town club and a school club to be competing in this world class event is a great achievement.

“It was brilliant from the school’s perspective.

“It was great they (Ford and McRoberts) are staying in the sport and wonderful they won it.”

Hooper added: “For the town it was great and for the whole club it has been a fantastic five days.”