Tuesday's Racing Sessions

The Morning Session

Llandaff R.C. - Morning Session 27/06/2023 - The Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup - @ Ben Rodford

Tyne A.R.C. - Morning Session 27/06/2023 - The Wyfold Challenge Cup @ Ben Rodford

conditions: Overcast with light headwinds gradually easing

Llandaff Rowing Club made Henley Regatta history and all their own luck in Race 13 at 10:10 as they became the first club crew to contest The Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup (Junior Men’s Eight). The rule change this year has opened up the PE to clubs as well as schools and all eyes had been on the international entries, but Llandaff stole everyone’s thunder and easily beat The King’s School, Chester. 

Llandaff started strongly, were 1 ½ lengths up by Barrier (1:56) and extended away down the Course. 

In the wake of their victory their coach said what it means to them and what the rule change will mean to future generations by growing the base for British Rowing. 

Quadruple Dutch 

It was a great morning for the Dutch entries with four of their boats going through to the next round, including two in The Prince of Wales Challenge Cup (Intermediate Men's Quad Sculls).

The only defeat came in the double Dutch Race 11 where Triton & Dudok van Heel beat K.S.R. Njord. 

Olympic sightings

Jack Beaumont, Olympic silver medalist in Tokyo in the men’s quadruple sculls bowed out on day one with the crewmates who won the 2013 Prince of Wales at Henley. His Star & Arrow Club quad were a canvas up at Barrier but were well beaten in the end by an efficient London R.C. 

Closest races of the morning: 

Race 8 produced a slight surprise as Tyne A.R.C beat Lea R.C’s top men’s boat here in the Wyfold (Club Men's Coxless Four) after losing against them all season. 

Race 12 saw Bedford’s Star Club held off Durham A.R.C. Their one length lead at Barrier was cut to a canvas by close to halfway at Fawley but Durham’s steering let them down as they were coming through and Star Club held on to win by ⅓ length. 

Race 18 Syracuse University posted the fastest time to Barrier of 1:49 and they needed to in order to hold off the favoured and powerful University of London ‘A’ boat. UL led off the start, Syracuse pulled through to lead by  ¾ of a length at Fawley but UL kept fighting back and were only ⅓ of a length behind at the end.

Race 29 saw Thames R.C. ‘A’ prevail over Marlow R.C. but only by ⅓ of a length at the end, having led by a length at Fawley. They did not ease off, they just could not shake Marlow, who pushed them all the way.

The Afternoon Session

CONDITIONS: Overcast with a blustery headwind and choppy waters

Racing quickly across the pond 

It was a superb afternoon’s racing from the American crews entered in this year’s Regatta. It demonstrated their potential form in the junior and university events for later in the week, with Cornell University and Princeton University ‘B’ both overcoming their British contenders in the Temple. Marin Rowing Association also showed their strength, only having to race Dulwich College to the Island, after which they took the rate down and controlled the race comfortably, winning by over 3 lengths.

Two red flags and two big crabs

Crews had to contend with another foe this afternoon as the weather became more temperamental. Stronger blustery wind and choppier water posed steering and race management problems for multiple crews across the afternoon, resulting in the review of one race and a stoppage and disqualification in another.

The first issue came in the Wyfold Challenge Cup (Club Men's Coxless Four) in which the steering from Thames Rowing Club, who won the race easily, was challenged by Crabtree Boat Club at the finish, and justified a review of the race. The original decision was ultimately maintained but set the tone for a tumultuous afternoon.

It was in the Fawley where the weather really proved testing, wherein Trentham Rowing Club were drawn against Lea Rowing Club in Race 48. After 10 strokes Trentham were warned about their steering, having pushed Lea into the Berks station. Failing to correct their line, they clashed dramatically causing the Trentham stroke to catch a crab. The umpire was forced to wave the red flag and to disqualify Trentham, causing quite a sorry row back for both crews, with Lea unable to test their speed and Trentham ending their Henley campaign disappointingly early.

The second crab came in Race 52, in which Buckingham Rowing Club, Australia, who started brightly, were caught by the devious choppy water and the booms, causing them to catch a crab which stopped them in their tracks. 

Best races of the afternoon:

Race 38 saw a back and forth duel in which Royal Chester R.C. ultimately overcame Vesta. Royal Chester R.C. might have been shaken by Vesta’s one length lead at Fawley but found new speed to launch a final attack and break Vesta entering the enclosures, eventually winning by one length.

Race 41 produced some of the highest quality of sculling on Day One where Bagsværd of Denmark held off a powerful University of Bath crew after repeated attempts by the British boat to reduce the deficit were responded to skillfully by the Danes.

Race 45 Molesey B.C. were beaten by Sir William Borlase‘s Girl School in a race that saw Molesey at the heels of the victor the whole race, without ever quite having the speed to break through.

Race 59 In one of the final races of the afternoon session, Claires Court School ‘A’ were able to draw in Great Marlow School with a confident rhythm while they broke through into the cheers of the enclosure, taking the win by over a length.

Race 60 In a frenetic finish to the session, City of Oxford ‘A’ produced a sensational comeback from over ¾ of a length down to take the win over UK Armed Forces Rowing Club by just short of a length. While they left the overtake late, they looked indomitable coming through enclosures and now progress to tomorrow’s racing.

Umpire disqualifies Trentham B.C. in a race against Lea R.C in The Fawley Challenge Cup © Ben Rudford

Princeton University ‘B’ make way by beating Newcastle University in the first day of The Temple Challenge Cup © Ben Rudford

The Evening Session

Harvard University Crew beat Nottingham University at today’s Henley Royal Regatta © James Finlay

Harvard University Crew beat Nottingham University at today’s Henley Royal Regatta © James Finlay

Nottingham University gave their all in The Temple Challenge Cup (Student Men's Eight) © James Finlay

Nottingham University gave their all in The Temple Challenge Cup (Student Men's Eight) © James Finlay

S.T.S.Alter Teichweg, Germany before racing in the The Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup (Junior Men's Eight) © James Finlay

S.T.S.Alter Teichweg, Germany before racing in the The Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup (Junior Men's Eight) © James Finlay

conditions: Overcast with a blustery headwind, less choppy waters than the afternoon

Lea Double

The vagaries of the Draw pitched Lea Rowing Club and Trentham Rowing Club against each other twice in the quads on Tuesday and there was to be no revenge for Trentham after they had been disqualified in the afternoon session in the Fawley (Junior Men's Quad Sculls). Lea, with a 16-year-old stroke, were 1½ lengths ahead at the Barrier and though Trentham made an effective push at Remenham they could not break Lea. 

Another crab

Swirling conditions caused more heartbreak in Race 70 as the 3 seat in R.G.S High Wycombe caught a crab and broke a rigger at the end of the Island. It may not have affected the result though, as Pangbourne College were already a length ahead. 

Super Teddies

St Edward’s School, the national champions, showed they mean business in the Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup (Junior Men's Eight) beating a good Stadtteilschule Alter Teichweg, Hamburg, Germany with some ease. St Edward’s were 1:51 to the Barrier, a second faster than a hard-pressed Eton earlier in the session and the fastest of the day in the PE. Conditions vary but everyone will have taken note. 

Harvard power

Continuing one theme of the day, Harvard University showed that the big American eights have not come to Henley for a holiday. Harvard comfortably beat Nottingham University in the Temple and were 1:49 to the Barrier, matching Syracuse’s time in the morning and one second better than Oxford Brookes University ‘A’ in the afternoon. 

University of London ‘C’

The first time UL has qualified three boats in the Temple will have ended with mixed feelings after only their ‘C’ made it through a tough draw. UL ‘C’ beat Christ Church, Oxford & Wolfson College in a good contest in the penultimate race of the day. 

Best races of the afternoon

Race 64 Rarely have Eton College had to work so hard on day one of the Regatta as a fancied Greenwich Crew, USA kept them very honest in the PE all the way down the Course. Eton had pulled ¾ of a length clear at the Barrier but rather than pulling away as usual they were held and then Greenwich edged back to half a length by halfway and although Eton won the cost could be seen in the hard breathing after crossing the finish line. 

Race 65 saw Lea beating Trentham. Again. 

Race 69 pitched two Qualifiers against each other but it was a recently configured Great Marlow School - Sir Steve Redgrave’s old school - who prevailed over Monkton Combe from near Bath. 

Race 80 we finished the day with a cracker in the Britannia Challenge Cup (Club Men's Four) as City of Bristol R.C. held off The Tideway Scullers’ School as they roared home through the Enclosures.