The Northern Lights
In The Prince Albert Challenge Cup, Newcastle University timed their race to perfection to beat Imperial College London in a record breaking race. Imperial College took an early lead, equalling the record to The Barrier and breaking the record to Fawley by one second. Newcastle then rowed through Imperial College, setting a new record of 6:48; six seconds faster than the previous record.
The Windsor Boys’ School rowed an immaculate race, beating the record by four seconds and beating Claires Court School by half a length. Windsor were three seconds behind the record at Barrier and Fawley, they then upped the pace and powered through to finish with a record time of 6:34.
Stroke Bryn Ellery said, “It’s the kind of thing you go to bed thinking about”.
Sport Imperial won the Wyfold Challenge Cup with a classy row which saw them smoothly take back the lead established by Tideway Scullers’ School in the early part of the race. The win was especially sweet for brothers Sam and Josh Butler, who were rowing for their father Rob who has cancer.
“We put this together this time last year,” Josh Butler said. “I was sitting with my father in New Zealand and we put the crew together, me and my brother and my dad.”
The Princess Grace Challenge Cup saw the crew from Hollandia Roeiclub, Netherlands, continue their fine form they established at both the European Championships and the first World Cup Regatta. They comfortably beat the British U23 quad.
Two In A Row For Brookes
Oxford Brookes University has cemented itself as one of the leading university rowing programmes in the world. They have repeated their win in the Temple Challenge Cup, made even more impressive as this is the university’s second eight.
Sam Nunn described the crew as “simply ecstatic.”
Two Goblets For Two Onfroys
For the first time since 1998 a pair of brothers have won the Silver Goblets and Nickalls’ Challenge Cup. Valentin and Théophile Onfroy beat Olympic medallists Joshua Dunkley-Smith and Joshua Booth.
Théophile said, “It was neck and neck for a long time. We have lots of respect for those who have gone before us.”
Wonderful Waiariki Women
It was the New Zealand national double scull that won the inaugural Women’s Double Sculls event. The crew were “excited to win in the first year of the event. We hope to encourage other crews to race.” This win gives confidence to the crew as they continue their international campaign.
An All Leander Affair
Going into The Prince of Wales Challenge Cup, Leander Club was guaranteed to come away with the trophy. Their ‘A’ crew and ‘B’ crew went head to head with each other. Ultimately it was the ‘A’ crew, the boat who won the Queen Mother Challenge Cup last year, who were victorious.
Sundays Are For The Ladies
Just 40 minutes after Oxford Brookes had retained the Temple Challenge Cup, a composite crew mainly featuring Brookes rowers stormed home in the Ladies’ Challenge Plate ahead of the Great Britain under 23 crew, racing as Molesey Boat Club & Leander Club. The win was greeted with enthusiastic celebrations at the boat tents, as hundreds of supporters thronged to cheer their men in, singing loudly enough to be heard in Stewards.
Cox Harry Brightmore was delighted: "We had a brilliant start and took a couple of seats and just kept pushing through. They came back but we responded. I'll celebrate in 20mins after it's sunk in by having a drink."
Home Water Revenge
In a rematch of the European Championships GB, racing as Leander Club and Molesey Boat Club, went head to head with Team, Italia, Italy. The British quartet got off to a fantastic start and were able to hold off the high-rating Italians all the way down the course. It was the first Stewards Challenge Cup win for Matt Rossiter and Will Satch and a second for Mo Sbihi and Matthew Tarrant.
Despite the win Mo Sbihi, was not complacent, “The only way to rectify the Europeans is to win the event next year, you never forget your losses.”
Kings of the Queen Mother
It was a strong performance from the British national quadruple scull, racing as Leander Club. The crew led from the start and fended off New Zealand all the way down the course to win in a new record time, smashing a mark which had stood since 1989.
All Conquering Scotch
Scotch College, Melbourne, Australia became the first foreign crew to win the Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup since 2008. Scotch beat Radley College by just under two lengths and is the first Australian crew to win the event since 2001.
Cox Harry Gill described the whole event as “a fantastic experience,” adding that winning for the first time in the school’s history was “absolutely amazing”.
German Olympic Champion in the women’s quadruple sculls, Annekatrin Thiele overturned this year’s form book to beat Victoria Thornley of Great Britain for her first Henley trophy.
“Beating Vicky was really good, I was able to enjoy the crowd in the last 300 metres,” Thiele said.
The Remenham Goes Down Under
The New Zealand women's eight, rowing as Waiariki Rowing Club, had to row through the British women's eight in order to become the first Kiwis to take the Remenham Challenge Cup. Cox Sam Bosworth is the first male cox to cox an international women's crew.
He said: "We had a really solid race where all the girls put their 100% in. Credit to the GB girls for making it a really solid race to go against."
Kiwis Beat French
It was the heavyweight crew from Waiariki Rowing Club, Chris Harris and John Storey, who beat the lightweight Olympic Champions Jeremy Azou and Pierre Houin from Club France in the Double Sculls Challenge Cup.
Their coach Calvin Ferguson was pleased with the row. “They executed the plan to the letter, however they could have been technically sharper throughout the race.”
Four Happy Dutch Ladies
The first-ever winners of the Women's Fours at Henley Royal Regatta was Hollandia Roeiclub, the current Dutch under-23 crew. Stroke Veronique Meester said the crew surprised themselves by despatching an experienced American crew of Olympians, racing as New York Athletic Club, by three lengths in the final.
"We didn't expect it at all because there are quite a lot of names we had to race against, some Olympic champions, and we're just an under-23 crew.”
The German eight, who recently set a world best time, faced the British eight in the final of Henley’s oldest event. The British tried to keep contact for as long as they could, but the Germans had clear water by The Barrier, ultimately winning by one length.
Cox Martin Sauer said: “We’re really happy to win, our rhythm was much better than the British so that was where the race was won.”
A Pair Of Oarsome Kiwis
New Zealanders Kerri Gower and Grace Prendergast secured victory in the first-ever Women’s Pairs by beating Megan Kalmoe and Tracey Eisser of the New York Athletic Club. Gowler and Prendergast were presented with their trophy by London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympic Games Champions Helen Glover and Heather Stanning, whose world best time they recently broke.
Thames Beats Thames In The Thames
The normally emotion-free on-course commentary turned red, white and black as Thames “A” raced Thames “B” in the final of the Thames Challenge Cup. The “B” crew, which is the club’s third eight, gave it their all but the “A” crew dominated to win by five lengths.
Club Head Coach Ben Lewis said the secret of getting two crews to the final was simple. “We asked them to turn up, train hard and have fun, and we teach them to race.”
Four In A Row For Gloucester
Gloucester Rowing Club first won the Diamond Jubilee Challenge Cup for junior girls’ quadruple sculls in 2014, before winning it again in 2015 and 2016. This year’s victory over Isle of Ely made it four in a row. The two clubs had last met in the final of Henley Women’s Regatta a fortnight ago where Gloucester also triumphed.
Coach Will King noted that the streak of success “doesn’t just happen here”, attributing it to a large team - including the club’s Henley hosts, the Bush family.
New Zealander Matthew Dunham said he had not expected to even qualify for the Diamond Challenge Sculls, but today he holds the coveted trophy after sculling through American John Graves.
Dunham said he thought he had been lucky with his draw. “I was given a good hand, but I had to make sure I didn’t stuff it up,” he admitted.
Oslo Rules Britannia
A group of friends from Oslo were the winners of the final event of Henley Royal Regatta 2017 as N.S.R. Oslo beat Scotland’s St Andrew Boat Club by one length.
The Norwegian crew came to Henley to “have some fun” according to stroke Ole Henrik Bang-Andreasen - now they go home with the trophy for men’s club coxed fours. The consolation for St Andrew was that 2017 was the first time the club had entered the Regatta.