Leander, Oxford Brookes and Thames dominate at Henley Royal Regatta
Of the 26 events at Henley Royal, an astonishing 21 finals included representatives from at least one of Leander Club, Oxford Brookes University BC or Thames RC, and crews or athletes from this top triad lifted 17 trophies
Leander crews or athletes enjoyed eight wins including six of the open level events.
The GB men’s eight won the Grand in Leander/Oxford Brookes University/Plymouth ARC/Newcastle University colours; the GB women’s four racing as Leander/Imperial College/Marlow won the Town; the GB men’s quad from Leander/Nottingham/Twickenham won the Queen Mother by just half a length after a thrilling race, which saw the Polish quad leading at Fawley and the GB women’s quad representing Leicester/Leander/Bann won the Princess Grace. Both GB pairs won their events in Leander colours – Ollie Wynne-Griffith and Tom George taking the Goblets and Rebecca Edwards and Chloe Brew the Hambleden. Leander’s other two wins were in the Prince of Wales and the Fawley – the latter after an extraordinarily impressive display of crew sculling in the semi-final against Windsor Boys’ School, which saw the crews side by side the whole way and separated by only three feet on the line.
As well as representation in the Grand-winning GB eight, Brookes crews won six events outright including both student eights events – the Temple and the Island, as well as the Ladies’, the Stewards’, the Visitors’ and the Prince Albert. Despite being an intermediate-level event, the winning time in the final of the Visitors’ was 10 seconds faster than that clocked by the GB four in the higher-level Stewards’ final, although the GB crew had led to the Barrier and Fawley before settling to a solid cruise that still enabled them to secure an easily verdict.
Thames dominated the club events winning both Club eights – the Thames and the Wargrave – as well as the Britannia. This is the fifth time that the club has won the Thames Cup since 2015.
Three other British clubs joined the ranks of those who took home the famous red boxes containing a Henley medal: London RC won the Wyfold; Tideway Scullers were thrilled to take the Diamond Jubilee; and St Edward’s the Princess Elizabeth. Earlier in the week, Llandaff RC had become the first open club crew to compete in the PE, underlining their place in rowing history by winning their first round too. Llandaff’s coach, Ole Schlottmann, whose son was in the seven seat, said, “I’m really proud of what we did today. It’s not just for the boys. I think we achieved something for Britain here to actually make rowing more accessible. It will do wonders for the British Junior Rowing Team.”
Six events went abroad: the Canadians beat the GB women’s eight in the final of the Remenham; World silver medalists Aleix Garcia Pujolar and Rodrigo Conde Romero became the first ever Spanish crew to win at Henley Royal, also defeating the GB crew in the final of the Double Sculls; German World Champion Olli Zeidler retained the Diamonds; Ukrainian Daina Dymchenko, now representing Azerbaijan, won the Princess Royal; the Canadian lightweight double scull of Jill Moffat and Jen Casson won the Stonor; and Greenwich Crew, USA won the Prince Philip.
Conditions were reasonable throughout the week, apart from some bothersome showers on Friday, but a brisk headwind most days meant that this was not really a year for records – although in heats on Thursday Brookes lowered the records to both the Barrier and Fawley for the Island, while Winter Park Crew, USA knocked two seconds off the record to the Barrier and eight seconds off the record to the finish for the Prince Philip shortly before St Catherine’s School, Australia took another second off that Barrier record.