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.

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 July

It'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.

Rachel Quarrell
The Rowing Service