Thames reach Thames Cup final
The Thames Cup A crew reached the club’s third Thames Cup final in three years at Henley Royal Regatta 2019, losing to RSVU Okeanos by one length.
The loss followed several days of exciting racing and strong performances by the 66 Thames athletes competing at HRR across club, intermediate and open events.
Thames Challenge Cup
Thames A: Connie Pidoux (cox), Simon Moss, Mike Trevena, Ryan Beeler, Max Robinson, Jake Brown, Conor Walsh, Tom Portsmouth, Tom Foad
Thames B: Alexandra Wenyon (cox), John Davies, Max Deering, Will Downey, Robert Hodgson, Dylan Wing, Fintan O'Driscoll, Lewis Sloan, Alex Morris
Thames C: Hannah Taylor (cox), Alex Woolley, Toby Seely, Luke Kelly, Tom Walton, James Waller, Harry Beedell, Oliver Lumley, Matthew Turner
All three of the Thames crews qualified for the regatta, with only the C crew having to go through qualifiers.
The C crew faced eventual semi-finalists Bonner Rudergesellschaft on the first day, losing by 1 3/4 lengths but rowing well. Thames B beat Quintin BC on Wednesday, and then pushed local rivals Kingston A hard on Thursday, going out by 2 1/3 lengths.
Thames A controlled all three of their first races, beating Tyne A, Molesey and Muenchener all by half a length. On Saturday they had their first true test against Commercial RC, Ireland, securing another half-length victory to take the club through to the third Thames Cup final in a row.
The final was a thrilling race. Thames took it to their opponents, RSVU Okeanos of the Netherlands, and led by almost a length early on. But the Dutch clung on and their push at Remenham saw them draw level and then away. Thames kept sprinting, but the final verdict was to Okeanos as our crew collapsed exhausted, having given the race everything they had.
Wyfold Challenge Cup
Thames A: Simon Woodfine, Andy Gordon, Huw Jones, Simon Williamson
Thames B: Tom Symons, Will ABrassard, Callum Stayton, Ralph Ellison
Both Wyfold crews pre-qualified for the regatta and both won their first-round races. Wyfold B fended off Molesey in a tight battle that went all down the course, while Wyfold A beat Quintin (who had been faster at Marlow) by 3/4 length.
Wyfold B lost to German crew Dresdner on Thursday, but looked good doing it, while the A crew were smooth in beating Maidenhead. On Friday they faced NSR Oslo, who as an unselected crew were the surprise of the event and rowed strongly to dispatch the Thames men in a 1 3/4 length victory. Oslo went on to make the final.
Britannia Challenge Cup
Emily Buxo-Burge (cox), Robert O’Callaghan, Mathijs Deetman, James Reeder, Flynn Traeger
Our development boat failed to qualify, leaving Thames with one entry to defend the 2018 title. They had a tough first-round draw against Royal Chester but a mature row took them through with a 1/3 length verdict. On Friday the opponents were Mercantile, Australia, a strong unit who proved too fast for Thames - the Australians then reached the final, eventually losing to Molesey.
Remenham Challenge Cup
Natalie Kernan (cox), Ruth Taylor, Hannah Laird, Christina Schneider, Caterina Buizza, Katrine Eskander, Lucy Nee, Sarah Fabes, Josie Phillipps
Thames had not raced in the Remenham Challenge Cup since 2013, so qualification was the main aim and the women duly achieved this. That gave them a first-round draw against a Dutch development crew. Although the Thames women lost, their appearance in the regatta was a significant step for the squad and sets us up well for the next year.
Double Sculls Challenge Cup
Zack Youell, Matt Cummings
Zack and Matt followed up a good summer’s racing with a place in the main draw at HRR. They drew a development boat from Queen’s University Belfast and Leander in the first round, going out by 3 1/3 lengths, but it was great to see an entry in this event for the second year in a row.
Princess Royal Challenge Cup
Jordan came through qualifying to secure her spot in the Princess Royal and proved she had earned it with a dominant ‘easily’ verdict against her first-round opponent, Skibbereen’s Orla Hayes. That set up a quarter-final against 2016 winner, Dutch international Lisa Scheenaard. The 1 3/4 length verdict was the closest of the round and it was great to see Jordan mixing it up with the best in the business in this tough event.
Ladies’ Challenge Plate
Lesley Vowles (cox), Anthony Lester, William Moorhouse, Bradley Jowitt, Skye Landon, Christopher Morahan, Jamie Palmer, Alexander Cawthorne (London RC), William Hardy
With a rower from London on board, this composite largely comprised recent HRR winners including several members of the 2015 Thames Cup crew. It was the first entry in the Ladies from the club for some time. They faced a fast French composite on Thursday and went out by 2 1/2 lengths.
Thames member Henry Jones, who won the Britannia Challenge Cup in 2018 and is now at Harvard, was racing in TRC colours as part of the GB U23 crew which raced as Newcastle University & Cambridge University - coxed by 2017 Thames Cup cox Vlad Saigau. The composite won their quarter-final against Frankfurt, but lost to event winners Oxford Brookes A on Saturday by a length.
Visitors’ Challenge Cup
Thames: Nicholas Pusinelli, Luke Wertheim, Sam Thornton, Ian Hurley
Thames Rowing Club & Leander Club: Thomas Phelps
The all-Thames Visitors’ crew was formed of three members of the 2018 Thames Cup crew and 2016 Visitors’ winner Nick. They had a tough first-round draw against the outstanding GB U23 crew who eventually won the event in a course record, and lost by just 1 1/4 lengths after the U23s set a new Barrier record in the process.
Meanwhile 2017 Thames Cup stroke Tom raced in a composite with three fellow US university students. They also lost in the first round, in a tight contest with a German composite.