Henley Finals Part 3, Student and Junior Events: Thatcher defeats Westminster opposition, Huskies bite back, Flying Dutchmen impress

Pic 1
This year the prizes were presented by Mike Sweeney, C.B.E. who was Chairman of the Committee of Management for twenty-one years and who is now the Regatta’s President, only the fourth person to be given such an honour.

Here is Tim Koch’s final report about the finals at 2015 Henley Royal Regatta:

Men’s Student Events.

The Temple Challenge Cup (M8+): Amsterdamsche Studenten Roeivereeniging Nereus, Holland beat Université de Lyon, France by 4 3/4 lengths.

Pic 2. Nereus: Young Dutch Masters.
Nereus: Young Dutch Masters.
Pic 3. Both crews at the finish, Lyon proving no threat to the Amsterdam Students.
Both crews at the finish, Lyon proving no threat to the Amsterdam Students.
Pic 4. Some naked or semi-naked Nereus supporters swam out to their winning crew to congratulate them. While it was fun, I have to be boring and say that this was potentially dangerous and disruptive – even though it is a tradition at the Varsity, the most important Dutch student rowing event. If you want pictorial proof of this and are not offended by pictures of naked young men, click here http://pepijnvandenbroeke.photoshelter.com/image/I0000_b7rthydQW0 (to be fair to the boys, the Varsity is held in the chilly month of April, so you do not see them at their best).
Some naked or semi-naked Nereus supporters swam out to their winning crew to congratulate them. While it was fun, I have to be boring and say that this was potentially dangerous and disruptive – even though it is a tradition at the Varsity, the most important Dutch student rowing event. If you want pictorial proof of this and are not offended by pictures of naked young men, click here  (to be fair to the boys, the Varsity is held in the chilly month of April, so you do not see them at their best).
Pic 5. Nereus in Friday’s heat – which was the real final. Journalist and Olympic Gold Medalist, Martin Cross (amongst many others) holds that Nereus produced the best race of the Regatta when they beat the defending champions Oxford Brookes on the Friday. The Dutch equalled the Barrier and Fawley records but the Brookes boys would not give up and spurred Nereus to take nine seconds off the event record in the distance between the half-way point and the finish, finishing in 6 minutes and 3 seconds. Brookes also broke the old record, thus confirming what an amazing race it was.
Nereus in Friday’s heat – which was the real final. Journalist and Olympic Gold Medalist, Martin Cross (amongst many others) holds that Nereus produced the best race of the Regatta when they beat the defending champions Oxford Brookes on the Friday. The Dutch equalled the Barrier and Fawley records but the Brookes boys would not give up and spurred Nereus to take nine seconds off the event record in the distance between the half-way point and the finish, finishing in 6 minutes and 3 seconds. Brookes also broke the old record, thus confirming what an amazing race it was.
Pic 6. In another Dutch tradition, Nereus treated the audience at the prize-giving to a student rowing song.
In another Dutch tradition, Nereus treated the audience at the prize-giving to a student rowing song.

The Prince Albert Challenge Cup (M4+): University of Washington, U.S.A. beat Yale University, U.S.A. by 1 length.

Pic 7. UW were 3/4 length up on Yale at the Mile and 1/8.
UW were 3/4 length up on Yale at the Mile and 1/8.
Pic 8. The Washington four took revenge for the shock Yale defeat of their eight in the Ladies’ Plate a few hours previously.
The Washington four took revenge for the shock Yale defeat of their eight in the Ladies’ Plate a few hours previously.
Pic 9. Hot Dawgs!
Hot Dawgs!

Junior Events.

The Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup (JM8+): St. Paul’s School beat Westminster School by 1 2/3 lengths.

St Paul’s, coached by Robert ‘Bobby’ Thatcher, dashed Westminster’s hope of completing schoolboy rowing’s ‘Triple Crown’ of National Schools, Schools’ Head and Henley titles and did it in fine style. Thatcher’s boys were on top form while Westminster seemed never to find their rhythm.

Pic 10. St Paul’s was well clear of Westminster at the Mile.
St Paul’s was well clear of Westminster at the Mile.
Pic 11. No doubt as to the result ten strokes from the finish.
No doubt as to the result ten strokes from the finish.
Pic 12. The bowmen react differently to the result.
The bowmen react differently to the result.
Pic 13. Coming second to Westminster in Championship Eights at the National Schools Regatta at the end of May probably seemed a long time ago.
Coming second to Westminster in Championship Eights at the National Schools Regatta at the end of May probably seemed a long time ago.

The Fawley Challenge Cup (JM4x): Sir William Borlase’s Grammar School beat Nottingham Rowing Club by 1 1/4 lengths.

Pic 14. Borlase in control at the finish.
Borlase in control at the finish.
Pic 15. Would they drop the trophy?
Would they drop the trophy?

The Diamond Jubilee Challenge Cup (JW4x): Gloucester Rowing Club beat Marlow Rowing Club by 1 3/4 lengths.

Pic 16. Marlow were leading at Fawley.
Marlow were leading at Fawley.
Pic 17. The four also won at Women’s Henley.
The four also won at Women’s Henley.

I’ll talk about the two junior quads together and say what a fantastic future British rowing has if it is producing young scullers of this quality, not just the winners but so many of the runners up. If proof were needed of Borlase’s class, remember how they recovered from a momentarily lost scull in the semi-final. As to Gloucester, it took a special crew to beat the Marlow quad and real maturity to deal with MRC’s early lead.

Pic 18. After the prize-giving the trophies are put back into their flight cases, presumably on their way to a silver specialist to be cleaned of fingerprints, lip marks, Champagne, sweat and tears, all to be ready for the 2016 Henley Royal Regatta.
After the prize-giving the trophies are put back into their flight cases, presumably on their way to a silver specialist to be cleaned of fingerprints, lip marks, Champagne, sweat and tears, all to be ready for the 2016 Henley Royal Regatta.

One comment

  1. You might like to know, Tim, that three of the girls in the winning Gloucester (Hartpury) quad now have two Henley medals by the age of 18, as three of them won the same event last year.
    Good summary, thanks.
    Paul Lukas

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