A record number of 133 overseas crews have entered this year’s event, easily breaking the previous record of 126 overseas crews set in the 150th Anniversary year back in 1989. Twenty one overseas nations are represented, the second highest number ever. There are 499 crews entered in total.
In the absence of the top Olympic crews – all in training camps in preparation for the London Olympic Games – the open events at Henley have attracted a wide variety of entries. The Australians, Canadians, Germans and New Zealanders have entered crews from their Teams preparing for the World Under 23 Championships in Lithuania in mid July. The Americans, Danes, Norwegians and South Africans have entered crews that missed out on Olympic Qualification. The Italians and Dutch have entered some of their national lightweight crews preparing for the World Championships in Bulgaria in August. The outcome of the top events looks set to be fascinatingly unpredictable.
The seven crews that have entered The Grand Challenge Cup, the top event for men’s eights, reflect perfectly the diversity of backgrounds. The two eights from NRCE, Australia and the eight from Ratzeburg Training Center, Germany are World Under 23 crews. The eights from The Netherlands and Italy are the national lightweight crews. The eight from California Rowing Club is made up from rowers who missed out on Olympic selection in the USA and Brown University is the fastest University crew on the east coast of America.
The number and quality of the crews entered in The Remenham Challenge Cup, the top event for women’s eights, has prompted the Committee to increase the number of crews racing in the Regatta from eight to ten.
The Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup for schoolboy eights has attracted a massive entry of 46 crews, including 11 crews from overseas. There will be some tremendous racing as the UK schools attempt to repel the invaders.
Fifteen clubs have entered The Junior Women’s Quadruple Sculls, three from overseas, an excellent first entry for this brand new event.
The Chairman of the Committee of Management, Mike Sweeney, said "I am absolutely delighted that we have been able to attract such an interesting and high quality entry for this year’s Regatta. This augurs well, despite the absence of the Olympic crews, for some close and exciting racing."
Any further information required can be obtained from Caroline Searle, the Regatta Press Officer, + 44 7831 755 351