Morning Briefing with Sarah Winckless - Saturday

 All the things you need to know about the racing today at Henley Royal Regatta with Sarah Winckless, Race Umpire, Steward and Olympic medallist.


We’re at semi-final stage so I really could have picked you every crew on the one to watch. It’s really tightening up. It’s fantastic to have the international presence we’ve got this year to test the best of the British. It’s what we dream this Regatta can be. It’s fantastic that some of these athletes have self-funded and managed to get themselves over here to compete. 

My daily weather watch; we’ve got the wind back again this morning. Looking at the flag on Henley Church you can see it’s a cross-head. 

I’ve pulled out a few big-little races - the heavyweights against the lightweights that might be interesting in these conditions. 

By the end of today we’ll have started all our 26 events except the Stewards’. 

Today we start with the Grand and the Queen Mother, it's the first time we’ll see those athletes.


Race 4 10.30 P. Wales 404 D.S.R. Copenhagen, DEN vs 413 Reading University 'A'

Will Rand’s crew, son of Sid Rand, who was an Upper Thames member and I think a Henley winner as well. I’m not sure that Reading University have ever won this event*. The Danes have U23 World Championship athletes, but they did similar times yesterday, but would be an upset if that Reading crew is able to turn them over. 

*RUBC won the Visitors in 1986 on their own. They've also been in composite wins in the Queen Mother in 2010, 2011, 2013; Princess Grace in 2008; Stewards’ in 2009.

Race 7 11.00 PP 293 Surbiton High School vs 288 St. Catherine's Sch., AUS

I’ve picked both semi-final for the Prince Philip. That event has been extraordinary, the schoolgirls eights. Surbiton High School rowed really maturely earlier on in the week to row through their opposition. 

Race 12 11.50 Hambleden 625 M. Musnicki & J. Morrison, USA  vs 624 J.L.D. Mitchell & G.L. Gleeson, AUS

We’ve got a Tokyo gold medallist from Australia in Morrison (Musnicki won gold in London and Rio) coming up against other Australians who have come out of their sweep squad. 

Race 15 12.20 PP 282 Henley R.C. vs 300 Winter Park Crew, USA

Henley Rowing Club come up against our qualifiers Winter Park Crew, who I think set a record in the PP by 16 seconds earlier on in the week. Henley came into this event as favourites. 

Luncheon Interval 

Race 16 2.00 Stonor 659 Buriak & Kobus-Zawojska, UKR/POL vs  671 A.L.C. Reardon & L.J. Coleman, AUS

This is one of my big meets little. The Ukrainian athlete is famous for her strength and scores on the ergo, some phenomenal times that woman has achieved. We not only have an athlete who is 198cm tall, she’s extremely good and the Polish athlete is an Olympic medallist. They are coming up against the Australian lightweights, who managed the conditions really well yesterday.

Race 19 2.30 QM 383 Leander Club & The Tideway Scullers  vs  382 Chinese National Rowing Team, CHN

We start the Queen Mother; Leander and Tideway Scullers are the GB quad; we’ve got Leask and Barras, Olympic silver medallists from Tokyo. The Chinese national squad have a bronze medallist from Tokyo in the double in that crew. The GB outfit were probably disappointed  in their first outing in the World Cup, so it will be interesting to see how they have progressed since then. 

Race 20 2.40 PRCC 718 D. Dymchenko, AZE vs 726 K.M. Kohler, USA

You don’t want to leave your seat for Race 20, 21 & 23 - I had to pick them all. We’ve Diana Dymchenko racing for Azerbaijan, huge experience - coming across Olympic bronze medallist for USA, Kara Kohler. 

Race 21 2.50 PE 247 King's College School vs 258 St. Paul's School

St Paul’s beat King’s School Parramatta (Australia)  yesterday after their really fast start and got into a fantastic rhythm. They have another King’s School - Wimbledon - today. 

Race 23 3.10 Grand 2 Chinese National Rowing Team, CHN vs 4 Rowing Australia, AUS

The start of the Grand! The Chinese national team against the Australians. 

Race 26 3.40 PRCC 736 L.J. Spoors, NZL vs 721 I.D. Grant

Olympic silver medallist from Tokyo in the eights, Spoors, comes up against Imogen Grant. So, again a heavyweight against lightweight. Imogen Grant was fourth by the smallest of margins in the Tokyo Olympics in her lightweight double. 

Race 29 4.10 PE 254 Radley College vs  243 Eton College

We talked about Radley earlier in the week, a crew that’s getting faster. Eton, we know are a very, very good outfit. 

Tea Interval 

Race 31 5.30 Goblets 603 H.L.O. Glenister & J.G. Bugajski  vs 614 O.H. Wynne-Griffith & T.J.E. George

Glenister and Bugajski  have raced in different pairs in World Cup I and have been put together for this event. They come across Ollie Wynne-Griffith and Tom George, who came from the Boat Race, they won World Cup I and are vying to be the GB pair. So, it’s almost a trial race that we’re watching here at Henley Royal Regatta, wheels within wheels that people use our event for. 

Race 39 6.50 Island 210 Oxford Brookes University 'A' vs 192 Brown University, USA

Brown university, winners at Henley, have come through the Regatta as impressively as Oxford Brookes. 

Race 42 7.20 Remenham 10 Rowing Australia AUS vs 5 Chinese National Rowing Team, CHN

The Australia and China national team. Looking forward to seeing that, I umpired the Chinese yesterday and there was a discipline and rhythm that the Chinese seem to have got, looking forward to seeing that.