MOLINE, Illinois - After clinching the Diamond Jubilee Challenge Cup at the Henley Royal Regatta in England, the four young women from the Y Quad Cities rowing team were greeted with claps and cake as they arrived back in the states Tuesday.
"Watching it was nerve-racking not sure if it was actually going to happen," said head coach Peter Sharis.
"It was really amazing to see all the support we had along the way," said Delaney Evans. "We had lots of people reaching out to us saying that they watched all of our videos when we were over there and lots of support saying good luck and congratulations," she said.
The girls have been training all year for the international title.
"We've definitely been training really hard these past couple months and we just had such great coaching and support from our parents and all of our teammates," said Caroline Sharis. "It was great to see that everything paid off the way that we wanted it to on such a big international stage," Sharis said.
Paying homage to the town where it all started.
"I personally was really nervous the first time around because it had been our first time on that sort of a course where it's just two people instead of six which is what we're used to," said Emma Mask. "It was really nerve-racking for the first time but once we got our first race under our belt we felt pretty confident going through on the next races," said Mask.
"It was a goal of ours to win Henley for awhile but it was always a really big goal so to go and actually do it, we're really proud of what we've done and all the work paid off," said Taylor English. "It's a really great feeling," she said.
But the title wasn't easy to grasp.
"For every race that we had, we started the race out behind," English said. "The other boat got ahead of us but we knew we had a strong base and a strong finish so we just tried to keep our composure and our confidence and just race our race and by the end of each race we ended ahead so it worked out," she said.
"They stuck to a really consistent pace and believed that even though they got behind they kept on the pace and didn't fade and had a good sprint at the end they came through."
Head coach Peter Sharis said it's a title that can go town in history.
"No oversees boat had ever won the event before so we had to go up against the British national champions and second place boats in the quarter finals and semi finals so we had a tough draw but we were able to get it all the way through," Sharis said.
It's one they'll be able to re live for years to come.
"When they crossed the finish line you could see the excitement so it was really satisfying to see how happy they were," said Sharis.
There were 16 boats in the competition.
The girls will now take some time off before training for other regattas in the fall.
One of the girls will attend Harvard next year.
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