Prince Out Pink
In one of the shocks of the morning session, Leander Club’s ‘A’ quad were knocked out of the Prince of Wales Challenge Cup by a very impressive unit from A.A.S.R Skoll. Leander, who have won this event on five of the last six occasions, simply could not live with the pace and power of the Dutch, who led from the off and sculled away to set up a Sunday meeting with Edinburgh University and Nottingham Rowing Club. The last time Leander didn’t make the final of the Prince of Wales was in 2005.
Thames in for the Thames
Thames Rowing Club will be attempting to make it two in a row when they face N.S.R. Oslo on Sunday in the final of the Thames Challenge Cup. Under Ben Lewis, the club has been transformed into one of the leading domestic programs with a clear aim in mind – to dominate in club events at Henley Royal Regatta. Tomorrow, they face N.S.R. Oslo, the Norwegians who last made the final in 2016. This could be sensational.
The Best Junior Crew – Ever?
Much has been said about the power, precision and all-round poise of St Paul’s School. Bobby Thatcher’s unit have matured after a challenging exit on the Friday of Henley Royal Regatta last year but now the superlatives run free. To watch them in their semi-final this afternoon was a genuine honour – they dismantled a Radley College crew who have got faster since their silver medal at the National Schools’ Regatta. To be rating 25 through the enclosures on the Saturday takes something remarkable – and that’s exactly what St Paul’s have become.
Trouble for Thornley
Vicky Thornley’s troubled relationship with Henley Royal Regatta continued as the Olympic silver medallist was knocked out of the Princess Royal Challenge Cup by former HRR winner Madeleine Edmunds. Thornley, who lost out in the final of this competition last year to Thiele of Germany, never looked comfortable on the course and, despite grabbing an early lead, was overhauled by Australian sculler Edmunds in the middle of the course.
The Australians had a superb afternoon session on the Saturday of Henley Royal Regatta, beating strong opposition in the Grand and Remenham Challenge Cups. The men, with a world championship-winning coxless four on board, beat Leander and Molesey Boat Club on their own turf, whilst their women’s eight dispatched the mighty Yale University. Both crews will now fancy their chances in Henley finals tomorrow.
Brookes for the Ladies
The strength of Oxford Brookes’ rowing program was emphasised once again, as both of their crews progressed through to the final of the Ladies Challenge Plate for Intermediate Eights. Their top-ranked crew, beat a development boat from Germany before a composite Brookes/Edinburgh outfit defeated Leander’s Plate entry. Henry Bailhache-Webb is guaranteed to have his hands on some silverware tomorrow.
The big names in the smaller boats all made it safely through to set up some mouth-watering finals. Mahe Drysdale, gunning for a record-equalling sixth win in the Diamond Challenge Sculls, comfortably beat Tom Graves of the USA, whilst Kjetil Borch saw off the advances of former Team GB athlete Charlie Cousins. The Sinkovic brothers will face Watts and Widdicombe of Australia as they bid to win a Henley medal whilst one of the contests of the day will see the lightweights from Ireland take on the heavyweight GB pairing. If the Irish are in touch at the enclosures, we could be set for a cracking finish.