Finals Day Racing Sessions (Sunday)

RACE 1 - 11.00

Prince Albert Challenge Cup
(Men's Student Four)
University of London v Newcastle University ‘A’

University of London won this from the launch. They pulled out ¾ of a length early on. 

Newcastle hung in there and kept UL honest. UL were honest. 

UL had the power and experience - their bow, Isaac Workman, won the Fawley Challenge Cup in 2017 & 2018. 

By Barrier they were a length up, 2 by Fawley. Their lead was pulled back half a length, but a row through by Newcastle never looked likely. UL responded at the mile marker, winning by 2 ¼ lengths.

Interview with Tom Cross
(University of london)

Laura – So may fans and supporters that have come storming over here to celebrate with you, congratulations. 

Tom - It’s a good day to wear purple!

It’s been a tough two years, especially with last year being cancelled, so to do it with everyone here has been amazing. 

RACE 2 - 11.10

Wyfold Challenge Cup
(Men's Club Coxless Four)
Lea Rowing Club v Thames Rowing Club

A strong start by both, Thames on Bucks station corrected course from the Island and settled into a long, powerful rhythm. They steadily pulled clear of Lea. Lea maintained a high rate, but Thames were more efficient and finished 2 ½ lengths clear. 

The first of four finals in the bag for Thames Rowing Club.

Interview with James Reeder
(Thames Rowing Club 'A')

James Reeder – It’s been really good training with these boys, all the lifts and ergs that we’ve had to do in our bedrooms. All for moments like this, it’s been amazing. 

Laura - It makes it all worth it doesn’t it. Talk me through the race and the moment that you knew perhaps you’d won it.

James – We had a feisty start, they gave us a good go but we trusted our rhythm and the length and it was really great race from there.

RACE 3 - 11.20

Ladies' Challenge Plate
(Men's Intermediate Eight)
Oxford Brookes University 'A' v Moseley B.C & Twickenham R.C.

The third race in a row dominated by one crew taking an early lead. Brookes pulled out a ½ length in the blink of any eye. They were 1 ½ lengths up at Barrier, 3 at the mile and nearly 4 at the finish. 

Brookes underlined the power of their eights rowing – this is their second eight, their first will go in the Grand. Four of their boat will go in the the Visitors’ (Men’s Intermediate Quad Sculls) at 2.40pm. 

Interview with Matt Rowe 
(Oxford Brookes University 'A')

Laura – This Regatta may be a bit different, but one thing always stays the same, Oxford Brookes win Ladies’ Plate don’t they? Matt, this is your fifth Henley win, your fourth in the Ladies' Challenge Plate, what is it that makes Oxford Brookes just such a good unit in this event?

Matt – I think it’s the good atmosphere we’ve got. We’re constantly pushing each other on. We’ve got crews in the Grand, crews in the Visitors', crews in the Temple. It’s just having 8, 9 great guys pushing each other on. 

Laura – Molesey took it to you, how tough was it out there? 

Matt – It was tough, no one just rolls over in the Henley final, but we took it out hard, made some great calls. We dominated the rhythm and took it away from there. 

RACE 4 - 11.30

Queen Mother Challenge Cup
(Men's quad sculls)
Leander Club v University College, Cork & Skibbereen Rowing Club (Ireland)

Straight to a final with only two boats entered, but what a final. A huge battle all the way. Leander, with three of Great Britain’s Olympic silver medal winning crew in the Men’s Quad in Tokyo three weeks ago, took an early lead. Jack Beaumont, Harry Leask and Tom Barras were joined by Rory Harris in the bow seat. But the Irish boat was also packed with Olympic and world championship experience - Gary O’Donovan, the stroke, will watch his brother in the Double Sculls Challenge Cup later – and an attack was always coming.

Leander led by a length at Barrier but that was whittled gradually to 2/3 of a length at the Mile. Leander responded and controlled to the finish to hold onto to a cup they have won every year - alone and combined - since 2013.

Interview withwith Rory Harris & Jack Beaumont
(Leander Club)

Laura – You had to wait all Regatta to get to this point, fresh from Tokyo as well, congratulations! Jack, your ninth win here, it’s ridiculous! 

Jack – Laura it never gets any less special, it’s brilliant. I remember the first time I won at Henley it was amazing. 

Laura – Rory, from 9 wins, to your very first. You must have some emotions, especially rowing with two Olympians, Olympic silver medallists at that. 

Rory – Yeah I know, it’s very special and beyond my wildest dreams. I can’t thank these guys enough and Leander, they’ve been so welcoming. It’s been amazing these past two weeks, and especially today has been really something else.  

RACE 5 - 11.40

Diamond Jubilee Challenge Cup
(Women’s Junior Quad Sculls)
Shiplake College 'A' v Marlow R.C.

Shiplake were favourites after sweeping everything before them so Marlow Rowing Club, celebrating their 150th anniversary, did what they had to do and frontloaded the race, hoping to upset Shiplake’s race plans. 

Marlow led by ¾ length at Barrier, but from there Shiplake had a majestic 500m settling into their rhythm and pulling back remorselessly. A foot separated them at halfway, but Marlow had nothing left to give and Shiplake passed and pulled away to a 2 ¾ length win. 

Having only just started the women’s rowing programme at Shiplake College and with such a small pool to choose from this is a high-quality quad and a very mature execution of a race plan. 

Interview with Nicole Dunn
(Shiplake College 'A')

Laura – What a season it has been for you guys!

Nicole – It’s been incredible and an amazing opportunity for all. This is our first Henley Royal, and to win it, it’s what everyone dreams of. It’s a dream come true. It doesn’t quite feel real. 

Laura – What do you put down your great season to? 

Nicole – Our coach Dan Safdari, his training programme’s amazing. We just keep going, keep turning up and that’s all you can really do. We had no idea where we stood against national schools, we were aiming for top 16 as a push. It was a massive shock when we won it.

RACE 6 - 11.50

Thames Challenge Cup
(Men’s Club Eight)
Molesey B.C. 'A' v 41 Thames R.C. 'A'

A close race over the whole course, but Thames took the lead, never lost it and always looked the stronger. They led by a length around halfway at Fawley, but had moved to the centre of the course and were warned several times. 

Molesey, winners in 2016, kept pushing and attacked powerfully at the end, but they ran out of race track and were still accelerating as they finished half a length behind. 

Molesey appealed at the finish, but the umpire ruled quickly that there had been no interference.

Two out of two finals for Thames, two more to go. The Dutch influence through their coaches looks to be paying out.

Interview with Michael Trevena, aka Trev
(Thames Rowing Club ‘A’)

Laura – Second win for your club this morning, in the Thames as well. Michael Trevena, Trev, as we’ll call you. How do you feel?

Trev – Over the last two years since our last final in 2019 we’ve just been working on making sure we have our right identity, that is just really long, and making sure no one can get through us. That Molesey crew are incredibly talented, watching them throughout this week they’ve just stepped on and forced everyone else to up their game. Hannah, our cox, just kept saying deliver what we do best, and that’s just long and really strong. And just trust that in the last two years that we’ve been together we’d get the job done, and we did. 

RACE 7 - 12.00

Stonor Challenge Trophy
(women's double sculls)
J.M. Leyden & G.M. Brayshaw (Leander) v E.E. Craig & I.D. Grant

A supreme race by Emily Craig and Imogen Grant (University of London and Cambridge University Women’s Boat Club). Jess Leyden and Georgina Brayshaw, two Great Britain heavyweights, coming back from COVID and injury that kept them from going Tokyo, have metronomically hunted down faster starters in the previous rounds.

But Craig & Grant, who led their lightweight women’s double sculls final at the Tokyo Olympics for 500m before finishing fourth by 0.01 seconds and were only 0.5 seconds off gold, were able to respond. They were half a length up by Barrier, a length up at Fawley around halfway. Leyden & Brayshaw came again and cut it to ½ a length at the mile, but Craig & Grant had more gears when they needed them. 

Both were beaming as they came off the water, admitting that as lightweights they didn’t think they would ever have a chance to win a Regatta title.

Interview with Emily Craig
(University of London) & Imogen Grant (Cambridge University)

Laura – What a race! What was going through your mind in Enclosures’?

Imogen – Sprint, sprint, sprint! We had an amazing experience in Tokyo, but didn’t manage to get away with a medal. This was a bit of fun afterwards. But have to admit, what was going through my mind was that I’d really like a medal! 

RACE 8 - 12.10

Diamond Challenge Sculls
(Men's single sculls)
G.E. Thomas (Agecroft) v S.J. Devereux (Leander)

Another fourth-placed finisher in Tokyo with plenty of motivation at the Regatta, Graeme Thomas was forced to work hard all the way by Seb Devereux, a Great Britain U23 world champion. Both stormed off the start and Devereux led by a foot at the Quarter Mile. But Thomas, a losing finalists in this event in 2012, then asserted himself and, underrating Devereux with longer more efficient strokes, was a length up just past the halfway, nothing in these little boats, but it seemed to be going only one way. He was 2 ½ lengths up by the Mile and won by 2 ¼.

Interview with Graeme Thomas
(Agecroft Rowing Club)

Laura – Finally, you’ve got your name of that Diamond Challenge trophy, how you feeling?

Graeme – Yes that was really, really tough race, it what was I expected. Seb with his injury hasn’t been able to compete domestically too much so I knew he was going to be really hot for that. I saw the times from yesterday and knew he was quicker than me and it was going to take something special. He led me at the start and as you can tell from my state I’ve had to work hard for that one.

Laura – And when you came off the pontoon, I heard you say ‘about time’, you’ve desperately wanted to win this event haven’t you?

Graeme – I mean the opportunities don’t come round very often, last time I had a go it was 2012 and I made the final and then Pete beat me. But I’ve been committed to the crew sculling, so you know Henley in the singles was never really an option but as soon as I saw the schedule for this after Tokyo, I thought yeah I can’t miss these opportunities, I don’t know what’s going to happen in the future, so I had to take it. 

RACE 9 - 12.20

Grand Challenge Cup
(Men's eight)
Oxford Brookes University v Taurus B.C. & Tyrian Club

The Grand, the oldest and most prestigious trophy at Henley Royal Regatta since its beginning in 1839, was moved from its traditional 3pm slot in order to accommodate crews doubling up. 

The event went straight to a final because many international crews, who have come to dominate it in recent decades, could not travel because of COVID. The race was no contest, as Oxford Brookes’ top eight won by a country mile against a crew featuring many of their old boys. It encapsulated the feeling that this was a victory built on the work of generations since Brookes began transforming their programme in the 1990s. 

The Brookes eight, part of Great Britain’s Paris 2024 Olympics programme, were in their own race as they streaked away. Far from a photo finish, there was only one boat in the picture. 

It is the first time Brookes have won the Grand. 

Interview with Harry Brightmore
(Oxford Brookes University)

Harry – It’s taken us a few years to get us to this position where we’ve had an eight that’s good enough to contend for the Grand. For the whole club it just means so much for us to be standing here today.

Laura – It was a supreme performance, but we just can’t overstate how strong Oxford Brookes' rowing is at the moment. What is it about this boat club that makes it so special?

Harry – It’s the atmosphere and the ethos that Richard Spratley (Director of Rowing at Brookes Boat Club) and Henry Bailhache-Webb (Head Coach) have built up over the last few years. Richard’s been there for like 30 years. It’s a testament to him from what he started. It’s taken a lot of hard work to get here, and it’s been amazing. 

Race 10  - 12.30 

Town Challenge Cup
(Women’s Coxless Four)
Leander Club 'B' v Leander Club 'A'

One final Leander could not lose. They have been great at this Regatta and supreme in this event. Leander ‘A’ were stronger and more efficient off the start and were 2 lengths up at the Quarter Mile and 3 ½ up at Barrier. They extended to 4 lengths just past halfway and then relaxed to conserve energy as the whole four jumps into the Remenham eight at 4pm to try and do the double. 

Interview with Heidi Long
(Leander Club ‘A’)

Laura – It’s never easy racing teammates, it must be a relief to get that one over the line. 

Heidi – It was a really exciting opportunity that we had today, but it’s just hard that you win against some of your best friends. We’re just proud that we’ve got to train with each other all year, it’s been a challenging two years. 

Laura – You’re also doubling up in the Remenham Challenge Cup, a word on that?

Heidi – Yeah I think it’s really exciting that we’re able to do both events this year, we’ve worked really hard all together. We’ve got 31 Leander women in the finals today. To be able to race twice is extra special with a cherry on top!

Race 11 - 12.40

Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup
(men's JUNIOR eight)
Eton College v St. Paul's School

Eton repeated their victory over St Paul’s in the last Regatta in 2019 to hold on to the Cup. They have looked like champions all week, especially after St Joseph’s Preparatory School, USA, knocked out by St Paul’s, did not quite manage to deliver on their billing. 

Eton, national schools champions, have been starting magnificently all week, up there with any of the eights in the Regatta. At 1' 52" to Barrier, they were only four seconds slower than Brookes eight in the Grand and a second faster than Nereus in the Temple, 20 minutes later. It was formidable stuff and put them a length clear of St Paul’s. 

Settling into their race rhythm, St. Paul’s were able to staunch their losses, but could not make an impression and were 1 ½ lengths down at at the Mile. They needed a mistake, and Eton did not make one, winning by 1 ¼ lengths.

Interview with Will Ferguson
(Eton College)

Laura – Congratulations, just talk to me how much this means to the crew

Will – Well a Princess Elizabeth win always means a lot for our nine men especially for personal reasons has been a long and hard but so much sweeter coming through it. Speaking for myself, having been lifted down this road by the guys coming around me. My brother’s in the crew, but everyone is like a brother to me now because they’ve helped me through the darkest time and we’ve looked out for each other. It’s beautiful standing here, so thank you. 

Laura – A word on St. Paul’s, your opposition, because it was a pretty dominant win?

Will –  The margin was dominant, our performance was true to what we’d hoped for, and there were conditions that came into play. But as with previous years we’ve leant into the conditions, we’ve leant into the strength of our opposition, fed off it in a good way and we’re just grateful for them to being tough guys we can have a clash with. 

Laura – I know there was a time where you didn’t think you’d be in this boat. Can you sum up what it means to be standing here now?

Will – It’s been a long road, but it’s been sweet because of adversity, not in spite of it. Much sweeter joy to be here with my brothers, so thank you brothers! 

Race 12 - 12.50

Hambleden Pairs Challenge Cup
(women's pair)
S.J. Redgrave & S.L.J. Dear (Leander Club) v L.M. Lindsay & M.V.E. Saunders (The Tideway Scullers’ School)

A tough race in a stiffening headwind, but victory for Samantha Redgrave and Susannah Dear and Leander never looked in doubt. 

The Leander pair took a length lead by the Quarter Mile, two lengths at Fawley, and slowly extended on Liliane Lindsay and Meg Saunders. Redgrave & Dear controlled and conserved as they are doubling up in the Remenham (Women’s Eights) in three hours time at 4pm.

Interview with Susie Dear & Samantha Redgrave
(Leander Club)

Laura – Congratulations on your win, talk me through the race.

Sam – Well conditions weren’t ideal.

Susie – I just think we had a big focus on our boat – trust our rhythm, trust our pace and just kind of get from A to B with no hiccoughs, no crashes, no crabs, no capsizes, so yeah I think we did exactly what we wanted to do. Just stuck to our plan really. 

Laura – And a chance for more glory in the Remenham as well?

Sam – Yeah, quick recovery then getting ready for the next one! 

Race 13 - 1.00

Temple Challenge Cup
(Men’s Student Eight)
A.S.R. Nereus, NED v Imperial College London 'A'

Nereus, winners in 2015, had too much power and precision for Imperial. All week Nereus have somehow managed to combine intensity with length of stroke, efficiency and relaxation. They were quickly half a length up off the start, 1 ½ lengths up just past the halfway mark at Fawley and kept extending. Imperial never stopped pushing but they needed a mistake and that was not forthcoming.

Interview with Douwe Smits
(Amsterdamsche Studenten Roeivereeniging Nereus, Netherlands)

Douwe – It was a tough race for sure. Imperial put on a really good show. Just so happy with how things turned out, we raced really well, not only for today but for the whole week, so did our competitors as well. A beautiful Regatta of racing once again. 

Laura – You’re our first win for an overseas crew. How challenging has it been to even get to this Regatta, and what does it mean to you? 

Douwe – Of course it’s been more challenging than usual, a lot of COVID tests and the anxiety that came from waiting for the results which could cancel the whole trip just made it all the more special. That we can come over here and just see what we’re worth, and show the world we are a crew to be reckoned with is just amazing. 

Race 14 - 2.30

Junior Women’s Eights
(women's junior eight)
Surbiton High School v Headington School

Headington School won the inaugural final of the Junior Women’s Eights and earned the honour of being the first to have their name on the trophy. In 182 years time they will still be first and historians should note the quality of racing in this event. 

Headington were a length up at Barrier in 2' 10" and though Surbiton held that, they were rating higher but not making an inroads. Headington went again and took the race away winning by 3 ¾ lengths.

Surbiton, not one of the selected boats, had celebrated hard after their semi-final win against national schools champions, Lady Eleanor Holles. Tellingly, Headington had not celebrated after their semi-final.

Interview with Phoebe Horan and Jessie Martin
(Headington School) 

Laura - Headington School, our first ever Henley winners of the Women’s Junior Eight, you’ve made history here, girls here at the front, tell me what it means.

Phoebe - It means everything, I think. After such a long time preparing for this, it’s great that it’s payed off. Especially after a whole year of lockdown. It makes everything worth it. 

Laura - Talk me through the race as well, as pre-race favourites, how did you ride through that pressure? 

Phoebe - I think we never wanted to think of ourselves as the favourites, just come in here as the underdogs, and race the best race we can, every race is heads in, eyes in, and just do what we can.

Laura - Did you dare to dream about winning and making history here? 

All - Yeah! 

Race 15 - 2.40

Visitors' Challenge Cup
(men's intermediate Coxless four)
Leander Club v Oxford Brookes University 'A'

A Henley classic and a collector’s item as Michael Glover, Oscar Lindsay, Leonard Jenkins and Matthew Aldridge, the middle four of the Oxford Brookes University eight, who won this morning in the Ladies’, doubled up events and titles. 

Leander Club were a length up at Barrier, and held that to Fawley and it seemed as if the exertions from Brookes in the morning and in their semi-final yesterday evening might have taken too much out of them.

But as they had against the Dutch yesterday, Brookes came through and even more powerfully this time, and Leander could not respond. Brookes had a fantastic second half and broke Leander with a few hundred metres left, steaming past them without response to win by 2 ¾ lengths.

Interview with Oscar Lindsay & Mike Aldridge
(Oxford Brookes)

Laura - Oxford Brookes University, you’re back again, your second win as a foursome, third of the day for Oxford Brookes overall. Oscar, how on earth did you do that?

Oscar - It was one of those just hang in there, see what happens. The race never ends till the finish line, that’s what we did. Just carried on, carried on, felt them weakening about five minutes to go, made our move and just started walking through and moving out. Brilliant from these guys. Matt did a great job with the strokes. Mike steering it verbally. 

Laura – Who was making the calls in the boat, what was being said? 

Mike - I was making the calls. 

Laura - And Mike, Matt says it’s your final race, as well. 

Mike Aldridge - Yeah, last one, that’s it, the last dance. 

Laura - That’s one way to do it, to see it out. Just talk me through the emotions of that, I can see it in your eyes. 

Mike - It’s my last race, I’ve been with these lads for like eight years now. It means quite a lot. And to end it like that.

Laura - Double winner at Henley Royal Regatta. Congratulations guys, well done. 

Race 16 - 2.50 

Island Challenge Cup
(Women’s Student Eight)
University of London 'A' v  103 Oxford Brookes University 'A'

Two consecutive finals with two Oxford Brookes University teams rowing through their opponents. And if the previous race was sweet for those doubling up, this matched it as Oxford Brookes University ‘A’ became the first to write their names on the inaugural Island Challenge Cup. 

University of London led off the start with a faster rate and were looking good and leading by of a length at Barrier, but Brookes set into a lower but cleaner rhythm and reeled them in. Brookes were ½ a length up at the mile. UL pushed to the end but Brookes took a ½ victory. 

Interview with Elise Sanderson
Oxford Brookes University ‘A’

Laura - Oxford Brookes University, you’ve just made history. You’ve  won the Island Challenge Cup. Can you just try to put into words how much this means? 

Elise – Everything, absolutely everything. To be able to come here today and to win is phenomenal as students, and I think as a club this is a huge, huge thing for all of us. 

Laura - And beyond that, you did it in style as well. Because the University of London crew made you work so so hard for it. 

Elise – I just want to say that we wouldn’t have gone that fast if it wasn’t for the 40 other girls that are back at the club pushing us everyday. 

Our coach Rich Chambers has just been absolutely phenomenal throughout, giving us more confidence than you can ever imagine. 

Laura - It was a classy, classy race. And once again you’ve made history. Congratulations. Well done. 

Race 17 - 3.00

Doubles Sculls Challenge Cup
(Men’s Double Sculls)
M.E.C. Haywood & S.P.S. Meijer (The Tideway Scullers’ School and Nottingham Rowing Club) v F. McCarthy & P. O'Donovan, Skibbereen Rowing Club and University College, Cork, IRL)

After tasting defeat here in his first appearance in 2018, Paul O’Donovan said he had not come to lose and he was not joking. Fintan McCarthy and O’Donovan a (Skibbereen Rowing Club and University College, Cork, Ireland), who won gold in the lightweight men’s doubles sculls in Tokyo three weeks ago, showed their class and gave a lesson in sculling. 

Heavyweights Matthew Haywood and Samuel Meijer (The Tideway Scullers’ School and Nottingham Rowing Club), who won gold in the quadruple sculls at the U23 World Championship in July made them work hard, and took a half length lead from the start. 

They held that to Barrier, but the Irish Olympians had gone off harder than in the previous rounds and asserted themselves earlier, rowing through to a length lead by Fawley. Small margins in little boats, but they have so many gears and they took it to over two lengths by the Mile mark and powered to their first Regatta title.

Interview with Fintan McCarthy & Paul O’Donovan
(Skibbereen Rowing Club and University College, Cork, Ireland)

Laura - Fintan and Paul, Olympic champions and now Henley Royal Regatta winners as well, just sum up how it feels. 

Fintan - Superb, yeah. The Olympics is in the past. As we’ve been banging on about all week, this is the highlight of our season. I think we’ve peaked and today we’ve had some tough racing all week, good competition, good standard here in Henley and that’s why we like to come here. 

Laura - You do joke about this being the pinnacle of your season, you know, you are Olympic champions and you’re coming here off the back of a season and surely you’re tired. It must mean a lot for both of you to win your first Henley title.

Fintan - Yeah definitely, I was thinking back this morning the last few weeks have been unreal, we won the Olympics and now to come here and win it’s the cherry on top, it’s been a good few weeks. 

Laura - Will you be back? We will see you again at Henley?

Fintan - Absolutely, we will be here as many times as you’ll have us. 

Laura - I think we’ll definitely have you back. Thank you so much guys, congratulations. 


Race 18  - 3.10 

Wargrave Challenge Cup
(Women’s Club Eight)
Leander Club v Thames R.C. 'A'

Leander Club, the club with the most wins in the history of Henley Royal Regatta, will be the first name on the inaugural Wargrave Challenge Cup, one of three new events gracing Finals Day. 

Thames started with real purpose and led by couple of feet after they came out of Temple Island, but Leander settled into a longer stroke and edged out to clear water at just past the halfway mark, leading by a length at Fawley. 

But Thames were never broken and though never looking like winners, pushed Leander all the way to the line, finishing 1 ½ lengths behind.

Interview with Costi Levy 
(Leander Club)

Laura - Leander Club, third win of the day - most importantly though you’ve made history winning the Wargrave Challenge Cup for the first time ever. First names on the trophy. Costi, talk me through the race. 

Costi - We just got on to a really good start. We were pretty level and as soon as we strode out onto rhythm we just went, and I think the whole crew was just so brave and so strong and from there we just moved and kept moving and it was a really brave race from the whole team. 

Laura - And I can see from all of your faces just how much it means to you, can you try to put it into words?

Costi - It’s been a long time coming hasn’t it?  A hell of a season with COVID and everything, lots of ups and downs as a squad, we’ve done really well to get where we are. 

Laura - A few tears flowing I see, tears of joy, I hope. You can celebrate tonight, thank you so much ladies, congratulations. 

Race 19 - 3.20 

Stewards' Challenge Cup
(Men’s Coxless Four)
Oxford Brookes University v Hollandia Roeiclub, NED

Another double-up victory for Oxford Brookes University.

Brookes moved out into a small lead and were able to defend it throughout at a lower rate and always looking comfortable and in control against a Dutch four who had impressed this week.

The Brookes four were doubling up from the Grand, three hours before, but that was the easiest of victories. They were ¾ of a length up at Barrier and kept a length lead all the way as Hollandia rated at 39 to 35 without making an impression.

Interview with Sam Nunn 
(Oxford Brookes)

Laura - The 5th win for Oxford Brookes University, a win in the Stewards, Sam, just talk me through the regatta that Oxford Brookes and indeed this crew is having.

Sam - Pretty impressive across the whole team, it’s just been a big commitment this season obviously with all the challenges we’ve had with COVID and whatnot, we’ve pulled together really well, it’s a really special event and I think everyone really really gets stuck in when it’s Henley and it’s showing now across the whole squad, men and women, just how much it means and how much commitment’s gone in this year. 

Laura - You had the unique opportunity to double up as well the Grand and the Stewards' in one day.

Sam - Feeling pretty happy at the moment, sense of both achievement and relief, we wanted to have a big challenge.  We definitely got that today, credit to Holland, they really pushed us. We’re really really proud of what we achieved today. 

Laura - Fifth win as well of course the Brookes women’s eight winning before. What’s so special about this Brookes squad at the moment?

Sam - Honestly I think there’s just a commitment to win. Obviously there’s always that drive but you’ve got to make it happen. Exceptional men and women pulling together when it counts like I said already It’s a very special regatta and when we come here we just try and show up.

Laura - Two more chances to win for Brookes as well. Congratulations guys, go and celebrate! 

Race 20 - 3.30 

Princess Grace Challenge Cup
(Women’s Quad Sculls)
Leander Club v Thames R.C. & Neptune R.C., IRL

A competitive start, with Thames and Neptune warned for steering at the top of the Island. They led the race until Remenham, but it was boat-by-boat racing until Leander made their move and Thames and Neptune could not find an answer in the last few hundred metres. Leander won by length.

Interview with Catherine Mahony 
(Leander Club)

Laura - Leander Club, winners of the Princess Grace Challenge Cup and I can see on your faces this is a good feeling right now, that was a very good race, talk me through what was being said in the boat through enclosures. 

Catherine - We saw the opportunity and took it and then Cordi was leading it through the strokes and once you’ve got the cards going it just takes care of it. 

Laura - It was incredibly close, what goes through your mind when you’re Neck and neck, stroke for stroke in such a unique environment as Henley Regatta?

Catherine - I think going into it we’d watch how they’d race through the regatta in my mind if we can sit with them if we can get the opportunity and take it. Our finish is good. We haven’t had a chance to really show off yet. 

Laura - First win for you at Henley Royal Regatta. 

Catherine - I can’t put it into words I think you know it might be my last Henley Regatta, who knows, got some uni to go back to, and all that, but just to do it with these guys, we put this product together in two weeks, got thrown together at the last minute, no one was expecting anything from us but we’ve just taken it by the chin, is that a saying? I don’t know! Gone out there and gone from strength to strength each session and I’m so proud of what these guys have pulled together. 

Laura - You took it by the scruff of the neck. Thank you ladies, congratulations. 

Race 21 - 3.40 

Prince of Wales Challenge Cup
(Men’s Intermediate Quad Sculls)
Leander Club v Twickenham R.C. & Queen's Univ.

Sculling smoothly and steering well, Leander took an early lead and extended to a length at Barrier. They could not get clear water and Twickenham & Queens pulled back half a length by the mile, and were sprinting up the Enclosures, when but they appeared to stall – catching a boatstopper and their chance was gone. Leander came home by 1 ½ lengths.

Interview with James Cartwright 
(Leander Club) 

Laura - Leander Club, congratulations, a win in the prince of Wales challenge sculls and James with the mic it’s your first win as well, just sum up the emotions in the boat right now 

James - It’s absolutely unbelievable, we’re ecstatic for this moment we’ve been working for this all the way through lockdown.

It feels so good to be here right now, and although he’s not stood with us right now, I’d like to shoutout our coach Ali Brown this is also his first win ever. He’s started coming to the regatta ever since he was a baby and this is his first time so it’s equally as big as a moment for him as it is for us and I’m so happy to be rowing underneath him in the Leander Club, it means the world to us. 

Laura - It’s funny in a club that gets so many wins each win still means so much to all of you and to the coaches as well.

James - Definitely, definitely. 

Laura - And they came back at you, didn’t they, during Enclosures, what was being said in the boat?

James - Do it for Ali, very much, now boys, we need to go now, but so happy through the end I’m just overwhelmed with emotion. 

Laura - Congratulations, well done, you can go celebrate with Ali. 

Race 22 - 3.50

Princess Royal Challenge Cup
(Women’s Single Sculls)
L.E.B. Anderson (Leander) v L.R. Henry
(Leicester Rowing Club)

The first British winner of the Princess Royal since Debbie Flood in 2000 was guaranteed – but nothing else was. 

Lola Anderson and Lauren Henry, the 19-year-old from Leicestershire who shocked the Olympic gold medallist on Friday, provided the race of Finals Day with nail-biting finish as Henry surged to the line. 

Anderson, one of many on Finals Day who are part of Great Britain’s “Project Paris” squad, showed her greater experience and strength to hold on. But Henry may reflect that she left her charge too late as she pulled back more than 2 ½ lengths in the last 100 metres. Another couple of strokes and it would have been hers as she finished three feet behind. 

Despite taking five less strokes in the first minute, Anderson had a lead of a length after the Island, 2 ½ lengths at Barrier and 3 ½ lengths around the halfway mark at Fawley. But she knows about Henry’s finish – especially after she rowed through Olympic champion Andrea Proske earlier in the week. 

Henry, part of the Great Britain U23 squad, kept contact and edged back to 2 ½ lengths at the mile mark. The question was whether she have an attack left in her. The answer to that came as the Enclosures roared them on. 

In the end it was Anderson and she gave her old school, Surbiton High, and Newcastle University something to cheer about after both had lost their finals in the morning. 

interview with Lola Anderson

Laura – Congratulations, you’re the winner of the Princess Royal Challenge Cup, and it was the tightest of the day, just talk us through it.

Lola – I know Lauren’s got a really quick second half, and I know that’s not really my forte, so I was hoping if I pace my race well enough I wouldn’t have to put a huge sprint in, but she pushed me for it a lot at the end. 

Laura – We noticed that you had a rather unusual problem during the race, what happened?

Lola – One of my contact lenses blew out. Impractical, couldn’t really get around it but I just steered through it. 

Laura – How much does it mean to you to be standing here at Henley?

Lola – So much for so many reasons. This is the first Henley where I’ve not got knocked out in the first round, so to make it to the final of an open event and to win it is pretty huge for me. On a personal level, I lost my dad in 2019 in December and he was the one that introduced me to the sport, he was the one that always prepped me going to and out of races. He always told me you might surprise yourself, never stop, never give up and you’ll surpass even your own most outrageous beliefs of what you can achieve. So today, I feel so happy, not just for me, but it’s races like this where I know he’ll be proud of me and I can really feel his pride and that makes me feel just amazing. Such a precious gift. I can’t even begin to describe what this means to me. 

Race 23 - 4.00

(Women’s Eight)
Oxford Brookes University & Queen's v Leander Club

Leander’s women matched Brookes’ men for doubling up with an excellently executed race plan to beat Oxford Brookes’ University and take their eighth victory of the Regatta. 

Leander had six of the crew doubling-up, all of them winning their races - four in the Town; Davies, Long, Irwin & Cessford (at 12.30pm) and two in the Hambleden; Redgrave & Dear (at 12.50pm), both had been comfortable victories.

After an even start, Leander with a higher rate had pulled out a ½ length lead at Barrier and steadily built from there. Brookes were always in contact but never going the right way and Leander had a length at the mile mark and finished 1 ¼ lengths ahead.

Interview with Morgan Baynham-Williams 
(Leander Club)

Morgan – We were just very internal all the way down the track, we knew it was going to be very windy. We tried to make sure we just got our blades in, stayed really loose up top and were just pushing our legs and our feet all the way down the track. 

Laura – Looking at the team behind you, there are a fair few tears in their eyes, a fair few crying. Can you tell me what this means to you? 

Morgan – I think Leander have had a women’s squad building in both speed and talent over the last 4/5 years and it means so much to us that so many of us were in that at the very start. We’ve ground away year after year, especially over the last 18 months, a lot of us have been in and out of the team, there’s athletes that have qualified for boats in the Olympics and not been able to go at the last minute. Just being able to go out there today, race our hearts out and demonstrate the strength we have at the Leander Club has been amazing. 

Race 24 - 4.10

Silver Goblets & Nickalls’ Challenge Cup
(Men's pair)
O.P.W. Parish & C.B.A. Sullivan (Cambridge University) v M.J.E.R. Bolding & M.T. Tarrant (Oxford Brookes University)

Morgan Bolding and Matt Tarrant, another Oxford Brookes University powerhouse crew, were always the ones to beat in the event, but no one came close to managing it. They were both Olympic reserves in Tokyo for Great Britain (Tarrant also had to fill that role in Rio 2016), so there was plenty of frustration to let out. 

They just had too much power and acceleration for Parish & Sullivan, two Blues from this year's winning Cambridge University eight. Bolding & Tarrant were ¾ of a length up in the first minute of the race, two lengths up Barrier, four at Fawley, five at the Mile mark and passed the line with much clear water between them.

Interview with Morgan Bolding & Matthew Tarrant
Oxford Brookes University 

Laura – Congratulations, talk me through the race

Matt – We kept it simple really, coming into this regatta we didn’t have much racing experience together. We had no idea what to expect, and used each race to try something new out and today was about keeping it loose and lively and the rest of the race just took care of itself. 

Laura – How much fun have you had, not having had a lot of racing experience together and then thrust into a Henley boat?

Morgan – Actually we’ve really enjoyed the last couple of weeks, it’s a pleasure coming back to our club and integrating with them again. We’ve both been there, Matt before me, but not so long ago we were doing the same thing as them, and it’s lovely to go train with them and see what it’s like. Had a really great race and happy to be there. 

Race 25  - 4.20

Britannia Challenge Cup
(Men’s Club Four)
Frankfurter Germania, GER v Hinksey Sculling School

The international presence at this Regatta was less than a quarter of 2019 for obvious reasons, but those that did come have made their presence felt. 

Frankfurter Germania were pushed very hard to Barrier by Hinksey Sculling School, but their extra power allowed them to pull away in the headwind and they were 1 ¼ lengths clear at Fawley and two at the Mile mark. 

But Hinksey, a community rowing club in Oxford, have been one of the stories of the Regatta. Rowing with an assortment of borrowed oars and borrowed boat from Radley, they have defied the odds. In their first appearance in the Regatta in 2019 they were knocked out in the first round of the Fawley, so they have come back very strong. 

Race 26 - 4.30

Fawley Challenge Cup
(Men’s Junior Quad Sculls)
The Tideway Scullers' School 'A' v  The Windsor Boys' School 'A'

A great finale to the 2021 Regatta. With a faster start and 1 length at Barrier it looked as if Tideway Scullers’ School ‘A’ would slip away. But Windsor Boys rallied, held and harassed them and were in contact all the way. 

Tideway Scullers’ did not panic and held to win by ¾ of a length to make sure the club took home some silverware after a strong showing across the events all week in this Regatta.