Henley Royal reports 1997
Henley Royal reports1997
For Saturday's results see here on the official site.
It is now Sunday and I will try to feed results onto this page as the races happen.
- Semifinal Temple: UPenn vs Goldie. Won by Goldie in 6:26 with a lead of 2 lengths, cruising at the end.
- Semifinal Temple: IC/King's versus Cherwell. Won by IC/King's in a time of 6:26 with an end lead of 3/4 length, but cruising easily.
- Final Brit: Hamburg vs UL. Won by UL (after three years losing in the final) in a time of 7:03 by 1.5 lengths.
- Final Visitors: IC/West/Ch vs Ox Brookes. Won by Oxford Brookes in a time of 6:51 by 3.25 lengths.
- Final Thames: Nottingham vs Neptune. A very exciting race. Neptune took an early lead after the quarter-mile, and were 1 length up at the three-quarter mile, which Nottingham reduced to half a length from the Mile to the Enclosures. There they started their charge, and reeled Neptune in with an enormously effective charge, finally snatching victory from the Irish boys on the line by 2 feet. Time 6:16.
- LUNCHTIME INTERVAL. Racing restarts at 2:30. The wind is cross on the course, varying from slightly head to slightly tail.
- Final Double Sculls: Klein & Weaver vs Tweed Heads. A win for Free & Free in 6:58, the verdict Easily. The US lightweights never had a chance against the heavyweight Australians, who took an early lead and looked majestic along the Enclosures, sculling beautifully.
- Final Stewards: NCRA vs Leander & Oxford. Leander were clearly aiming to break the Barrier or Fawley records, but the cross-tail conditions kept them just outside the times, and halfway along the course they dropped to a rate of 26, letting County come back from several lengths to merely one. The GB four, looking well in control, maintained their steady pace far into the Enclosures, finally picking up opposite the upstream end of the Grandstand. Geoffrey Page of the Telegraph clocked them burning to 50 as they wound up the rate on a racing restart, finishing in a time of 6:47, 2.5 lengths ahead of the lightweights.
- Final Diamonds: Searle vs Haining. The real final of this event was yesterday, when Searle snipped a close victory over Jamie Koven of the US. Today he had an easier job, moving an early lead to five lengths by Remenham. Haining kept at it all the way, but was defeated in 7:38 with Searle "easily" ahead. Peter Haining has had a tradition of pulling in and kissing all his Diamonds opponents, over the line, but Searle immediately sculled off down the booms to avoid him. Peter's comment, baulked of his embrace, was "he was too big and too ugly" - or was he talking about the rowing? The race was good for both scullers - Haining has been dogged by illness and asthma attacks, yet stayed at pace, and Searle is beginning to look like an international contender. Hugh Matheson, last GB single sculler to make his mark, regards Greg as his successor and we are all impressed by his improvement in recent months, under Harry Mahon's coaching.
- Final Grand: AIS vs Berliner & Tegel. A clear win for the Aussies here, although the Germans, boasting almost an entire crew of previous Henley winners and world medallists, drew ahead initially, leading by 3/4 length at the Barrier. At the half-mile AIS stuffed in a big push, and took a canvas lead around Fawley. They extended this through the rest of the course, rowing absolutely beautifully, and won in 6:03 (5 seconds outside the record), by a clear three lengths, never easing up.
- Final Queen Mother: Augusta vs QT/Poplar. Almost a foregone conclusion, the verdict easily, time 6:23. The Augusta crew (US squad) with Cyrus Beasley at bow, drew progressively ahead on the Bucks station, watching their U-23 GB opponents weave about, even swapping stations at one point, heavily down. The Americans put on a fine display of power sculling up the Enclosures, finishing in great style.
- Final PE: Canford vs St. Paul's. Canford have been giant-killing all week, but were in no condition to match St. Paul's, who contained the 15 stone 6 lbs Daniel Snow, son of broadcaster Peter, in the 5-position. St. Paul's took and never lost the lead, winning by 2.5 lengths in 6:32. It was Canford's first finals appearance at the Royal Regatta, and their inexperience showed, being unable to raise their rate above 34 during the bulk of the race.
- Final Princess Royal: Batten vs Brandin. A strange race. Brandin, three times previous winner and heavy favourite even though Batten has beaten her once this year, had nearly a length by the end of the island, and two at the quarter-mile. Although the Barrier time was a little outside record times, Mike Rosewell, who followed in the launch, claims that the two girls' time to the Milepost was close to international records, and that Guin was rowed out against the large Swede by then. At any rate, Batten dropped to a paddle, several lengths down, and was given a verdict of Not Rowed Out, Brandin winning in 8:24. If the "inside story" is correct, it is to be hoped that the papers do not pick up on an apparent failure which does not reflect well on women's sculling in Britain.
- Final Ladies': UWash vs NCRA/Brookes. Storming race. UWash the undefeated Varsity champions, the composite crew the current GB lightweight eight, still under selection. At the end of the island the crews were level, the lightweights taking a lead at the Barrier which they stretched to 2/3 L by Fawley. Here the Huskies pushed, and with the crosswind gusting, reeled the lightweights (nearly 3 stone lighter) back to gain a canvas lead by Remenham. Level again at the start of the Enclosures, it was neck and neck all the way up, until a final desperate sprint gave the British boys the win in the tightest finish of the Plate since the dead heat of 1989. Superb racing from both, and the GB cox, Johnny Deakin, clambered down the boat to congratulate each one of his young crew personallyl, before going off to warm down. Verdict 1 foot in 6:11.
- Final Wyfold: Molesey vs London. The Molesey stroke, Richard Stanhope, already has a clutch of Henley medals (mostly in GB crews) and, we think, four decades in the bank, but he has to have been their secret weapon. Although the London lightweights took an early lead, Fawley saw Molesey drawing this back to sneak ahead, and they then sat up and drew away over the last third of the course. The final time was 6:58, the verdict 2.25 lengths, and Greg Searle came out to the Press box to congratulate his club victors as they rowed in.
- TEA INTERVAL, racing continuing at 5 pm. I will not be staying for the last two races and will get a report up later.
- Final Prince Philip: Eton Vikings/Leander vs NCRA/Newcastle. This four, scrambled together in the last few weeks out of the Goblets Eton pair and a Leander coxed pair who have been stomping up and down the Henley reach with an assortment of coxes, is essentially now the British coxed four. They beat the Notts/Newcastle composite, their national squad rivals, cleanly in a time of 6:49, 1.25 lengths. Of much more interest is the fact that their time, in (by now) decidedly non-record-breaking conditions, was only five seconds off Redgrave's 1995 record, and equals the second fastest in history, also a Leander mark. This four could show a lot of promise. They were coached by Adam Clift, who with Redgrave holds the oldest record in the book, to the Barrier in the Double Sculls. Clift and the boys will be ready to move on and challenge internationally now.
- Final Goblets: Thatcher & Hunt-Davis vs Fischer & Franke. This one was easy for the new British pair, totally in control, in a time of 7:30, verdict Easily. They finished rating 27 and almost central in the course, heads up and time to look round and acknowledge the crowd.
- Final Fawley: Windsor Boys/Claires Court vs MAA/QEH. I will let the Windsor Boys mentor, Ian, explain this one:
"The final was exciting, the MA/QEH crew were avge. 2 stone EACH up on ourlads, and contained two more GB lads plus James Di-Luzio, a goodfriend/enemy, and semingly uncatchable in a single scull.
The race was painfull for a lot of our fans, but I (perhaps showing a bittoo much confidence) saw it as a re-run of last year.We were down a canvas, and stroking one less, then a third down, still oneless, then a half, still one less, then almost a length, they were up at 41,we were still down arround 36.
By the Remenham club we were back up to within a canvas, and the boys in thestand started shouting. Mid grandstand we were level, more cheers from thelads, and, anxiously craning forward, we saw our crews victory salute andknew we had it (half a length!).
Thanks go to Bob Janousek for the loan of last years winning Stampfli, andfull marks to Chris Morrell, our master in charge for his excellentcoaching."
- Final Temple. Imperial/Kings versus Goldie. Goldie had to work for this, taking it by 3/4 length in a time of 6:17 eventually, only one second outside the Thames Cup time earlier. This is the first time since 1993 that Imperial have walked away empty-handed from Henley - expect revenge next year.
Henley Royal report Friday July 4th.
Not the most awesome Fourth for some of the Americans here, as Koven beat Tucker into the proverbial cocked hat, setting up a GB/US hwt singles match in the semifinals of the Diamonds tomorrow. In the mean time the Augusta SC, with Koven's erstwhile rival Beasley in the bow, raised the odd eyebrow in the Floating Grandstand (for members only, over the finish line). A mutter was heard "do you think the Stewards know that the tick logo on their t-shirts is the Nike emblem?" from one of the younger members. The Stewards, of course, didn't know (bit behind the times) but they were told pretty quickly. Competing in sponsored kit is not "the done thing" at the Royal Regatta, and we can expect the Americans to revert to their stated kit colours tomorrow in the quarter-finals.
Ditto the NCRA/Oxford Brookes composite, racing today in their nationallightweight colours as they walked all over Stanford RC. Tomorrow they have an epic clash with a crew listed as Oxford Brookes/NCRA, where we can expect both boats to know each other's race plans. A tailwind will favour the national lwt eight, but the Brookes boys are out for blood and have never yet been known to give up.
UWash are progressing steadily in the Temple and Ladies' Cups. In the latter the varsity Huskies meet the cream of the Oxford Blue Boat tomorrow, while their juniors meet Goldie BC in the Temple Cup, allegedly the core of next year's Cambridge Blue Boat. The Enclosures will be out in force for both these events.
The stands will be packed tomorrow afternoon for the Grand semifinal between IC/UL, aka the GB squad crew, and the Australian Institute of Sport's offering. It has been rumoured that there is an illness in the GB boat. Now the most eminent GB oarsman, Monsieur Redgrave, has never won the Grand (mostly due to timewasting in the Goblets for a decade), so perhaps there is a ready-made sub sitting willing in Leander right now. His international 4- is due to compete for the Steward's Cup on Sunday in a straight final against the Notts County lightweights, so it would be possible....
Well, enough wittering. I could go on about Batten's easy win over Sarah Winckless in the Royal Cup, the superb-looking semifinals set up in the double sculls here tomorrow, or the clear dominance of UL in the Brit so farand the removal of selected St. Edward's by Shrewsbury from the PE. But nomore time - I have to grab some supper and see if the IT department has sortedout their life for the results and order of racing. Here's to Pimms in the Bridge Bar and mud on the towpath.
Report 3rd JulyIt's been a day of wind, fire and fury at the Royal Regatta - a frisky head-cross set the tone in the morning, and then quietened sporadically, throwing times and pundits' expectations to the wind. Fewer surprises in the first half of racing, compared with yesterday's crabs galore, then two re-rows and two postponed races in the afternoon kept the rowing hacks in the Press Tent late into the evening, dragging on cigarettes and knocking back the whiskies as they tried to sort out their jumbled, rain-drenched copy.
Getting the jump on them, I can reveal that they will be speculating on Sarah Winckless's assault on Guin Batten, coming up on Friday, in the Princess Royal Sculls, talking about a Smith and Briscoe re-row in the Diamonds and ditto Rollins and Abingdon in the Visitors. We also had extremely tight races between St. Catherine's and Upper Thames in the Thames Cup, between Hampton and Canford in the Princess Elizabeth, and the UL Tyrian four crashed into Reedy and Antonie in warmup, forcing postponement of the former's race against Sydney and the latter's against Pim and Ball of Cambridge. Pim and Ball took the honours by a foot, the closest race of the day at 7:30 pm while the rain-sodden spectators hung on in the muddy Enclosures. So far every crew which has crashed in practice has also crashed out of the competition, but as I write (about to upload this report) UL are busy reversing this with a clear win over Sydney. The biggest news of the day was the loss of the Berliner Viking crew from the Thames Cup, following a "Stewards' enquiry" which discovered (after information given) that the crew contained three world championship lightweight competitors from Roudnice '93 and Indianapolis '94. A disqualification resulted and their opponents, Tideway Scullers, rowed over. The real embarrassment for someone is that the German rowing federationhave to sign all entries from their country to HRR, confirming not only thatthe entry is serious but also that the competitors are eligible for the eventin which they are entered.
Tomorrow the big guns come out with the first round (quarterfinals) of the Ladies' Plate, a chance to see the Oxford Brookes and the University of Washington crews in action, the Goblets get properly into gear, and we shouldsee some battles Royal in the women's sculls.
Well you heard it here first - if you read this before the morning British papers.....
The aim tonight is for me to get a copy of the results and tomorrow's draw by email when they are sent to the webmaster. If I log on at 10 pm and they are not online, then I'll put them up here.
The Rowing Service