INTRODUCTION: A group of women are about to make another historic breakthrough in British sport.
SV Ladies at waterside preparing to launch boat
CU English National Ladies rowing team coach Alan Innes giving instructions
CU PULL BACK SV Rowers climb into boat
GV Coach in dinghy and ladies rowing on river (3 shots)
GV Training run continued
SV Women rowing watched by drinkers on riverside bar balcony (2 shots)
SV PULL BACK GV Boat being carried out of water
CU Lin Clarke, team member speaking
SCU Gillian Hodges, team member speaking
GV Sun setting over Thames
SPEECH ON CASS. (TRANSCRIPT)
INNES: "O.K., so this is the start of the build-up to Henley and Lucerne. So let's get out there, do it right first time, come back, go home. O.K.?"
SPEECH ON CASS. (TRANSCRIPT)
SEQ. 8: CLARKE: "I am in two minds really. Although I said I wouldn't row there because I have enjoyed the Pimms and strawberries and Scotch salmon and the rest but, I am honoured really to be the first woman, although I must be mad doing that distance when I could be eating."
LINES: "How do you rate your chances against the Canadians and Americans at Henley?"
SEQ. 9: HODGES: "Well, last year, sort of just basing ourselves on Canadians in the eight we were, on our best days, we were equal with them. But the Americans were sort of a couple of feet, well, a few yards ahead of us. But 1500 metre races, nobody races 1500, so I reckon we are in with a chance."
Background: INTRODUCTION: A group of women are about to make another historic breakthrough in British sport. They are to compete in the Henley Regatta, one of Britain's premier rowing events. It will be the first time in the regatta's 142-year history that women crews will be seen competing.
SYNOPSIS: Henley had always been a bastion for the British sporting male, with women there only as interested spectators. But the British national team, and others from the U.S. and Canada will change all that.
After that pep-talk from the English national ladies rowing team coach, Alan Innes, the crew prepared themselves for yet another training stint on the Thames. When the real competition begins, these women will take to the water in two invitation races. Against them will be the best women crews from the United States and Canada, hoping to prove to the traditionalists of Henley that they have to be taken seriously.
The decision to let the crews take part in the regatta is the second breakthrough in the world of rowing this year. In April, Oxford University student Sue Brown became the first woman to take part in the 152-year-old boat race against the eight from Cambridge University. No one has really been surprised by these developments. Women have been competing at Olympic level for some years. Visnews reporter Phil Lines asked team members Lin Clarke and Gillian Hodges how they felt about breaking new ground for women, and their chances.
That chance comes when Henley opens on Thursday (2 July).