Henley Royal Regatta 2014
The largest number of men to row at HRR in over a decade took to the water last week for the 175th Regatta. After a highly successful season where each crew won a pot at one of the main Dorney regattas, the grand finale for the season was, as always, being chased down a set of wooden booms by a large umpire's launch with anything from, depending on the time of day, a handful of spectators to one hundred thousand cheering you on.
Several boats managed to by-pass qualifying, namely the Thames ‘A’, Wyfold ‘A’ and the #realkiwipair in the Goblets. Meanwhile, everyone else on the men’s side qualified while the women found getting into what is essentially an international event, or at the least equivalent to the top level of the Ladies Plate, just a step too far but only missed by a few seconds.
On the Wednesday, the crews in the club events raced- the highlight of the day being the ‘B’ boat in the Thames Cup, essentially our 3rd 8 (2nd 8 split into two fours), which blew Kingston Rowing Club away in the first race of the regatta to win by a surprising 3 lengths! The ‘C’ Boat had a rather tougher time against Mercantile, a seeded crew from Australia who went on to make the semi-finals, however, they were the only ‘C’ crew in the event – in itself a huge achievement!
Wyfold ‘B’ had suffered a last minute injury to the two man but still managed to qualify with a sub and a Pat Lindon on the wrong side. However, LRC’s top boat proved too much to handle and the guys had a disappointing end to an otherwise great season.
Our juniors made club history by qualifying for the Fawley for the first time ever – a great result for coach and athletes alike. However Star and Arrow (Leander!) proved too strong from them in the 1st round. Nevertheless, a great result just to race.
On Thursday, the #realkiwipair entered the fray. They also left it, but not after a very dramatic race which they came back from a length down to lose by just 3 feet! Larry Wells, who did a superb job of qualifying for the Diamonds, led his competitor until the later stages. A superb effort by Larry – the Diamonds is not for the faint hearted! The Hoff and his Tyrian quad dispatched Queens Belfast without much bother. For a last minute crew they continued to dispatch crews with surprising ease and their run was only ended on Saturday when they lost to a German crew who went to push Leander for the first part of the final!
The Thames Cup ‘B’ crew’s run ended on the Thursday, but not before they had pushed seeded Union BC of the USA to a 3/4 length verdict. A great row by a gutsy, if slightly emotionally temperamental crew.
Wyfold A and Thames A continued without any struggle, both through to the semi-finals. Here they both were beaten by, in all fairness, better crews. UTRC in the Wfyolds went on to win the final in a very dramatic fashion while Sport Imperial raced the Berks station superbly and managed to counter our fast start in the Thames Cup. Our crew never managed to break clear and as everyone knows, needed to. Sport Imperial went onto lose the final by a canvas against the Germans in the final.
Winning at Henley is never easy and this year was no exception. However, as a regatta for our men it was a fair reflection of our squad and shows how much the bottom end has increased this year and that the top end is harder than ever.
Well rowed all, and on to next season!
TRC raced in the following events:
Thames Cup: A, B, C
Wyfold: A and B
Prince of Wales:Composite with Tyrian
Fawley Challenge Cup