Going For Silver: Henley Finals, Part II

Henley’s glittering prizes. From left to right: The Thames, The Wyfolds, The Brit, and The Temple.

9 July 2017

Tim Koch is still in Henley mode.

In Part I, I covered the results of the events for Club Men, Junior Men, Open Women and Junior Women. Here in Part II, it’s Men Only – Open, Intermediate and Student.

New Zealand won the women’s eight, pair, and double, and the men’s single and double. Next stop, Lucerne.

Except for captions, the comments in italics are from the press office – unless otherwise credited.

Open Men: Grand Challenge Cup (M8+), Passau & Treviris Trier, Germany, beat Leander Club and Newcastle University by 1 length.

The German Eight may have come second to the British in Rio, but they are currently the world’s fastest.

The German eight, who recently set a world best time, faced the British eight in the final of Henley’s oldest event. The British tried to keep contact for as long as they could, but the Germans had clear water by The Barrier, ultimately winning by one length.

Open Men: Stewards’ Challenge Cup (M4-), Leander Club and Molesey BC beat Team Italia, Italy, by 3/4/ length.

Leander and Molesey on the way to the start.

In a rematch of the European Championships GB, racing as Leander Club and Molesey Boat Club, went head to head with Team, Italia, Italy. The British quartet got off to a fantastic start and were able to hold off the high-rating Italians all the way down the course. It was the first Stewards Challenge Cup win for Matt Rossiter and Will Satch and a second for Mo Sbihi and Matthew Tarrant.

Satch, Tarrant, Sbihi and Rossiter – their next big goal is the World Championships in Florida.

Open Men: Queen Mother Challenge Cup (M4x), Leander Club beat Waiariki RC, New Zealand, by 3/4 length.

Leander – record breakers.

It was a strong performance from the British national quadruple scull, racing as Leander Club. The crew led from the start and fended off New Zealand all the way down the course to win in a new record time, smashing a mark which had stood since 1989 by two seconds.

Open Men: Silver Goblets and Nickalls’ Challenge Cup (M2-), VO Onfroy & TO Onfroy, France (Club France), beat JJ Dunkley-Smith & JW Booth, Australia (Mercantile Rowing Club & Melbourne University), by 2 lengths.

Valentin and Théophile Onfroy beat Olympic medallists Joshua Dunkley-Smith and Joshua Booth. It was the first time since 1998 that a pair of brothers have won the Goblets.

The Henley Standard:

The French brothers took a half length lead in the first few hundred metres, before either crew had found their rhythm. The Onfroys were on the receiving end of an umpire’s flag for steering, being told to move back to their station. They adjusted, but didn’t let it affect their sprint, riding the tail wind and staying flat out for the entirety of the course. The Aussies kept up admirably, but the French crew did not take their foot off the gas, finishing at 42 strokes a minute. They didn’t stray below 40 the entire way down the course.

Rating high – the French pair win.
Valentin Onfroy receives the Nickalls’ Challenge Cup from Heather Stanning. Regatta Chairman, Sir Steve Redgrave, hands Helen Glover the Silver Goblets (which the pair may keep) for her to present.

Open Men: Double Sculls Challenge Cup (M2x), JW Storey & CW Harris, New Zealand (Waiariki RC), beat PH Houin & JA Azou, France (Club France), by 1 1/4 lengths.

The heavyweight double from Waiariki Rowing Club, Chris Harris and John Storey, who beat the lightweight Olympic Champions, Jeremy Azou and Pierre Houin from Club France, in the Double Sculls.

The New Zealanders were 15kg a man bigger so the French relied on great technique and careful synchronisation but, in the end, it was not enough.

Open Men: The Diamond Challenge Sculls (M1x), MRG Dunham, New Zealand (Waiariki RC), beat JH Graves, USA (Craftsbury Sculling Center), by 1 3/4 lengths.

Dunham wins the Diamonds – to his surprise. He is first lightweight to win the event for 26 years, coming from several lengths back to finish nearly two boat lengths ahead, a performance that delighted the crowd.

When New Zealander, Robbie Manson, currently the fastest man in a single, withdrew a week before the race with a rib injury, the Diamonds suddenly became open. Even so, few would have predicted that his countryman, lightweight Matthew Dunham, would despatch two heavyweights to claim one of the famous Pineapple Cups.

Dunham failed to appear when his name was announced at the prize giving, causing Redgrave to quip, ‘If he doesn’t turn up, I get to keep it’. With comedic timing, the Kiwi then surprised everyone by rushing in from stage left, not from the right where all the other winners were waiting. Apparently, showering and changing had taken longer than expected and he had to sprint the last few hundred metres.
Dunham: ‘I knew Graves would come out blazing and that I would have to rely on my fitness to try to wear him down. I had to really chip in a big wind-up at the end though, and luckily I came through.’

Intermediate Men: Ladies’ Challenge Plate (M8+), Oxford Brookes University and Taurus BC beat Molesey BC and London RC by 3/4 length.

Brookes on their way to the start.

The Molesey/London crew was the future GB Under-23 Eight. The Henley Standard reported:

Both crews took off furiously fast – Brookes clocked 43 strokes a minute to the Molesey and London crew 44 strokes a minute. Brookes put in an assured performance, hitting their rhythm and then extending their lead. Their opponents put in a push shortly before the enclosures but there just wasn’t enough water for them to make up the gap.

Brookes won both the Ladies’ and the Temple.
The Brookes stroke, James Stanhope.

Intermediate Men: The Visitors’ Challenge Cup (M4-), Leander Club beat Cambridge University by 3/4 length.

Leander lead Cambridge at the finish.

Rachel Quarrell in the Daily Telegraph:

Cambridge University added another finish-line appeal to the long list seen over the years in the Visitors’ Cup coxless fours after winners Leander had been warned repeatedly for steering during the race and the two crews converged near the line… ‘Leander were out of their water frequently and persistently down the course, and I warned them,’ (Umpire) Phelps said. ‘We have a new rule which requires crews to stay on their station but, on reviewing and discussing the video with other umpires, my conclusion was that until Cambridge came off their station, there was no impediment to them so the result stands, Leander won.’

‘Please Sir…’ Cambridge appeal.
Another Henley win for Leander.

Intermediate Men: The Prince of Wales Challenge Cup (M4x), Leander Club ‘A’ beat Leander Club ‘B’ by 1 1/4 lengths.

Leander ‘A’: Joel, Glenister, Law and Leask.

This was the ninth win for Leander in this event since it was established in 2007. The ‘3’ man in the ‘A’ crew, Harry Glenister, is now the first person to win all three quad events at Henley.

Student Men: The Temple Challenge Cup (M8+), Oxford Brookes University ‘A’ beat University of London ‘A’ by 3/4 length.

Remarkably, Brooks won this highly contested event with their Second Eight, the First Boat being busy securing the Ladies’ Plate.

The Henley Standard:

By the first 500m defending champions Oxford Brookes had pushed past the pain to break away by a length or so. The set a smooth and calm rhythm while University of London looked slightly more frenetic as they fought to remain in contention. At the enclosures UL upped the rate and began to pull back the lead but in the final stages of the race they were still three quarters of a length down with Brookes holding their nerve to take the win…

The boys in purple were the first all-UL crew to make a final in 25 years.
Brookes again demonstrate their remarkable strength and depth.

Student Men: The Prince Albert Challenge Cup (M4+), Newcastle University ‘A’ beat Imperial College ‘A’ by 2/3 length.

We won!

In The Prince Albert Challenge Cup, Newcastle University timed their race to perfection to beat Imperial College London in a record breaking race. Imperial College took an early lead, equalling the record to The Barrier and breaking the record to Fawley by one second. Newcastle then rowed through Imperial College, setting a new record of 6:48; six seconds faster than the previous record.

The Newcastle rowers show their appreciation to cox Turner.
Everyone else soon follows.

Rachel Quarrell has written a splendid summary of Henley 2017 for Row2k. Her introductory paragraph is so good that I am going to use it as my conclusion:

Henley Royal Regatta 2017 went out in a blaze of July sunshine, broken course records, rising gender equality and an air of having the time of its life. Sir Steve Redgrave is now firmly established in his chairmanship, and the regatta has embraced the 21st century with nonstop video coverage, gender-balanced umpiring and an equal number of men’s and women’s open events. These would have been considered major upheavals in past decades, but the current Stewards have cracked on fearlessly with the revolution, and rumour has it even fresher ideas are in the pipeline, that will keep HRR at the forefront of rowing as both a competitive and spectator event.

That’s it until 4th July 2018…

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