Images of Henley 2019: Getting Up To Speed In The Heats
23 July 2019
By Tim Koch
Tim Koch is late on the start.
It is said that there is an ‘immeasurable distance’ between ‘late’ and ‘too late’. The posts of my picture diaries of the 170th Henley (Royal) Regatta are certainly overdue, but I think that images of such a delightful occasion can never be ‘too late’. This post covers the heats run on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The next three will focus on Saturday’s semi-finals, followed by Sunday’s finals, and finally, the King’s Cup events. As usual, I have made no attempt at some sort of comprehensive coverage, in pictures or in text. My aim is simply to capture the on and off water atmosphere of something that is half modern sporting event and half Edwardian Garden Party, an occasion that attracts bobs both wet and dry, one that is a private party and an open house, an event that is a British national treasure with an international appeal.
Thursday’s biggest shock came when Henley favourite, two-time Olympic champion and six-time winner of the Diamond Challenge Sculls, Mahe Drysdale, was defeated in the opening day of the Diamond Challenge Sculls by student Matt Brigham of Leeds University.
Friday saw four races to decide the semi-finalists in The King’s Cup. France, Germany, Australia and the United States of America all won their heats, putting out Britain, Canada, New Zealand and the Netherlands.
“… London Rowing club won ‘by the narrowest of margins’, but the official verdict, delivered an hour after the race, was one inch.”
Wasn’t there a time when very narrow margins (more than just an inch) were judged to be a dead heat, because ithe bows were alternating with each stroke, it just chance which one crossed the finish line first?