Elite title win at Henley for Todmorden’s Jess

The George Innes Cup was presented to Jess Leyden by 2012 Olympic Gold medallist Anna Watkins
The George Innes Cup was presented to Jess Leyden by 2012 Olympic Gold medallist Anna Watkins

Todmorden girl Jess Leyden won at the prestigious Henley Women’s Regatta for Hollingworth Lake RC on Sunday.

Jess joined more 1600 women and girls competing on the famous regatta course.

She competed in the women’s elite single scull event and after a slow start she overpowered a member of Wallingford Rowing Club in the semi final, winning by five lengths.

After a two hour rest in glorious sunshine and baking temperatures, Jess faced an opponent from DSRV Laga RC in the Netherlands.

This time she led from the start and won comfortably, finishing three lengths ahead.

She received the George Innes Cup from 2012 Olympic gold medallist Anna Watkins.

Medals were given to Jess and her coach Ian John by Helen Grant, the Minister for Sport and Leisure, who had flown in from Rio to attend the event. Sir Steve Redgrave was also in attendance.

Jess, 19, tweeted: “Another brill Henley women’s regatta, really enjoyed the weekend.”

Jess flies to Amsterdam today for the weekend’s Holland Becker Regatta and will compete at the Henley Royal Regatta the week after.