Images of Henley 2019: Getting Up To Speed In The Heats

Old Father Thames looks out from the Grand Challenge Cup, Henley’s premier men’s eights event.

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.

On the opening day, Wednesday, a little bit of Henley history was made in a heat of the Wyfold Challenge Cup when London RC raced Aramoho Whanganui from New Zealand. The result from the announcer was that London Rowing club won ‘by the narrowest of margins’, but the official verdict, delivered an hour after the race, was one inch.
Wednesday: Monmouth School in the first round of the Princess Elizabeth.
Monmouth School leading Kent School (USA). They won by 3/4 length.
The cox of Auriol Kensington’s Thames Cup Crew apparently in pre-race mediation.
A screenshot showing The Scots College, Sydney, Australia, approaching a sunshade that had blown onto the course during their race against Claires Court School in a heat of the Princess Elizabeth. Most of the bow side oars were briefly caught up in the umbrella, but Scots were unfazed and went onto win by 1 2/3 lengths.
Abingdon School’s distinctive blazers; they are rarely spotted singularly.
Junior Boys’ Quads racing in the Fawley. Walton beat Tideway Scullers ‘B’ by 1/2 length.
Checking the results the old fashioned way – on paper.
Scotch College, Melbourne, Australia, lead Bedford School in the Princess Elizabeth. They went onto win by 2 1/3 lengths.
A dapper chap sporting the blazer and cap of the Cambridge University Lightweight Rowing Club.

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.

A view of a Thursday heat of the Temple Challenge Cup (Student Eights) with Northeastern University, USA, on the Berks or regatta side and AGSR Gyas, Netherlands, on the Bucks or town side. The Americans won by 2 1/4 lengths.
The Remenham Challenge Cup (Women’s Open Eights) crew of Krefeld and Kettwig, Germany, do not seem embarrassed that they all chose the same dress.

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.

The University of London and Molesey Boat Club defeated Okeanos and William III, Netherlands, by 1 3/4 lengths in a heat of the Remenham.
A member of Molesey’s Ladies Plate Crew (Men’s Intermediate Eights) contemplates their Friday defeat by Hollandia Roeiclub, Netherlands, by 1 length.
Zeidler of Donau-Ruder-Club Ingolstadt, Germany (104 kg) winning a Friday heat of the Diamonds against Schmid of See-Club Luzern, Switzerland (81 kg).
The blazers of the Green Lake Crew, USA.
Usually, the Stewards require national teams to maintain the fiction that they are club crews. However, the crews from the People’s Republic rowed as the Chinese National Team. Lin (bow) and Ju (stroke) won their Friday heat of the Hambledon (Women’s Open Pairs) ‘easily’ against King and King of Cambridge University Women’s BC. To make the Chinese entrants feel at home, Britain has decided that its next leader will be chosen by a few elderly Party members.
Not all the boats at Henley are plastic.
Agecroft RC passing the progress board, 10 strokes from the finish. They lost by 3 lengths to RTHC Bayer Leverkusen, Germany, in a Thursday heat of the Prince of Wales, the Men’s Intermediate Quad Sculls event.
Umpire Richard Phelps sports Cambridge blazer, Thames RC cap and Remenham Club  tie. All the umpires are Henley Stewards.
Friday: Lea RC after they crossed the finish line beating Team Keane Sculling School by 2 lengths in the Wyfolds (Club Coxless Fours).
An elegant and relaxed way to cover the Henley course.
Baer and Richter of Germany, entrants in the Stonor (Women’s Open Doubles) do something verboten.
Colin Barrett who, with Ian Wilson, Stuart Wilson, and Nick Howe, rowed past during the Friday tea interval, marking 40 years since they won Lightweight Men’s Fours at the 1979 World Rowing Championships.
Luik of Molesey BC on her way to meet Twigg of New Zealand in a Friday heat of the Princess Royal (Women’s Open Sculls). She lost by 2 3/4 lengths. Phyllis Court is a members’ country club.
Canadian style.
A very Henley scene. Scheenaard of Hollandia Roeiclub, Netherlands, attempts to get to the start of her heat of the Princess Royal.

One comment

  1. “… 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?

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