Thursday morning saw some of the most intense racing of the Regatta in the Britannia Challenge Cup, as crews jostled all the way down the course. RTHC Bayer Leverkusen, Germany came out on top of a photo finish in the Britannia Challenge Cup, whilst Stratford- upon-Avon triumphed over Riverside Boat Club, USA by a canvas.
Disaster in the Diamonds
It is a truth universally acknowledged that rowing is generally easier when a sculler remains in their boat before the race has even begun. Evidently, no-one told Matthew O’Leary of Oxford University Boat Club this, as he ended up capsizing whilst attempting to attach to the stake-boats. The former Blue recovered to race, but ended up losing out to Graves of the USA.
American Entry Slimmed
The US presence at Henley Royal Regatta was significantly lowered during the afternoon session, as no less than 8 crews exited their respective events. The biggest shocks saw Montclair High School, National Champions in the USA, fall to rivals St. Albans School, USA whilst Latymer Upper School upset the odds to defeat selected crew San Diego Rowing Club, USA.
Christiania The Redeemer
For nearly all competitors, the booms are an unwanted companion during a Henley race and Christiania Roklub, Norway found this out the hard way at last year’s Regatta. This year, they were winners on the Thursday whilst their opponents Bath University & Minerva Bath Rowing Club hit the booms.
Trond Johannessen, the 3-man, said: “They had a crab around the Barrier but it didn't really affect our plan so we just continued, got a pretty comfortable lead and basically took it down. It's too bad for Bath. We hit the booms last year so we know the feeling they must have now.”
Ladies Enter the Fray
Thursday sees the first of the female competitors race down the course, in a particularly important year for women’s rowing at Henley Royal Regatta. In December, the Committee opted to introduce three new events for women in fours, pairs and double sculls. Although these events get underway tomorrow, the Princess Royal and Diamond Jubilee Challenge Cups began in earnest – Headington School looked impressive in their heat of the latter.
Selected crews in the smaller boats will open their Henley account for 2017. Olympic Champions in the lightweight double, Jeremie Azou and Pierre Houin will race Varley and Coussens of Newcastle and Durham Universities, whilst Anna Thiele of Germany and Victoria Thornley of Great Britain will hope to add the Princess Royal Challenge Cup to medal cabinets which include Olympic gold and silver medals respectively.