NORTHWICH RC contested Henley Women's Regatta for the first time in 10 years at the weekend, while a few miles up the Thames a men's quad notched up a notable first for the club.
Both women crews bowed out in their respective first rounds, but only after producing creditable performances against notable opposition.
The Northwich Eight of Deepika Reddy, Clare Briegal, Sophie Mottram, Kerry Briggs, Lyndzi Evans, Laura Hind, Karen Airey, Mel Wakefield and cox Jonty Moore were pitched against a USA boat from Villanova University, which enters Henley only every four years and then takes it seriously indeed.
The American boat oozed power from the start and pulled away over the first half of the race, but the Northwich crew redoubled their efforts and kept the gap to three lengths at the finish line over the 1,500m course.
A coxless quad of Leanne Ratcliffe, Shelley Alder, Sarah Patrick and Nicola Plant were a match for Durham University until 250m from the line, when a steering error and a clash of blades gave their opposition an advantage. Northwich recovered but there was not enough time to reduce the arrears.
Both crews were coached by Matt Lord and spokesman Shelley Alder said: 'Regardless of the result, the eight had a fantastic row, while the quad only lost through bad luck to a crew that contested the final.
'Northwich fitted right back into rowing of top quality and the experience will set us for next year.
'All the girls trained hard for the past two months, but we'll be even better prepared.'
Meanwhile, a Northwich quad had their final run-out before next week's Henley Regatta at Marlow.
They performed so well they were asked straight into the regatta rather than having to contest the qualifiers first.
It is the first time a Northwich crew have been invited into the regatta in an event where there are preliminaries.
Tom John McDonald, Matthew Jump and Jamie Leighton entered the Marlow Regatta to get a gauge of the standard required at Henley and clearly impressed.
In the first heat Northwich finished third, comfortably in front of a York City crew and also clocking a time of 6:28, beating five other crews from the other heats.
This placed them in the repêchage where they came fourth, but edging North West rivals Agecroft who had beaten them in the previous heats.
The race was eventually won by a composite crew from Newcastle and Durham University, which included former Northwich rower George Laughton.
The Northwich Four of Phil Carroll, John Cowan, Sam Cooper, Geoff Sims and cox Lizzie Bone opted to continue their training and will have to enter the Henley Britannia Cup qualifiers on Friday, with a junior quad also bidding for a place in the main event.