Images of Henley 2019: The Deciding Day (Open Events)

New Zealand’s Emma Twigg, winner of the Princess Royal, with Germany’s Oliver Zeidler, winner of the Diamond Sculls.

26 July 2019

By Tim Koch

Henley Royal Regatta may be a catholic event, but Tim Koch finds that Henley Sunday is not a day of rest.

Waitangi Day, 6th February, is supposed to be New Zealand’s national day, but 7th July at Henley 2019 perhaps came close in the Kiwi celebration calendar with five victories for the country with a population of under five million. Some Kiwis even made the news when they lost; Drysdale’s dramatic defeat to an unknown in the first round of the Diamonds and the very eccentric ‘one-inch’ verdict against Aramoho Whanganui on Wednesday were the cause of much comment.

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Rachel Quarrell noted mixed results for the British crews:

There is work to be done in the British national team ahead of next weekend’s Rotterdam World Cup and the Olympic qualifying World Championships next month, after the men’s and women’s eights lost to New Zealand by worryingly large margins…. Britain’s under-23 team is yet to be announced, but the likely men’s four and quad put on stunning displays, both beating Dutch crews using power and beautiful technique…. For the second time in three years, Oxford Brookes University carried off the Ladies’ Plate and Temple eights trophies, and the Ladies’ Plate crew were also the quickest of finals day, beating the Dutch under-23s in a time several seconds quicker than the British national eight. 

While this year’s regatta had a record-breaking entry of 660 crews entered for 340 places, pundit Daniel ‘Fatsculler’ Spring wrote ‘behind the headlines the entries in some events (particularly The Grand, Stewards and Queen Mother) are disappointingly small’. This is true but ’twas ever thus at Henley, it is the nature of the beast that international events are offered in a regatta that is not on everyone’s international calendar in the same year. This is reflected in some of the wide winning margins in the Open events. However, in the case of the Grand particularly, there have, at times, been some thrilling races involving only two entrants. Conversely, the Queen Mother has not produced much excitement in recent years and should perhaps be renamed the ‘Give Leander More Henley Medals Cup’.

WOMEN’S OPEN EVENTS


THE REMENHAM CHALLENGE CUP W8+

WAIARIKI ROWING CLUB, NEW ZEALAND
beat
LEANDER CLUB AND IMPERIAL COLLEGE LONDON
1 2/3 lengths

On paper, the British eight were the favourites, but, on the water, the New Zealanders dominated this race (I thought that Kiwis were only supposed to win in small boats).

THE TOWN CHALLENGE CUP W4-
HOLLANDIA ROEICLUB, NETHERLANDS
beat
CHINESE NATIONAL ROWING TEAM, CHINA
4 1/2 lengths

The official press release held that: The Dutch took advantage of poor steering from the Chinese and were able to assert their dominance throughout the contest. Hollandia set new records at every timing point, including a four-second course record which broke their own time from Saturday.

THE PRINCESS GRACE CHALLENGE CUP W4x
CHINESE NATIONAL ROWING TEAM, CHINA
beat
HOLLANDIA ROEICLUB, NETHERLANDS
1 3/4 lengths

The winners of the Princess Grace with the president of Chinese Rowing Association, Dr Liu Aijie. It was a hard-won victory against a very strong Dutch crew. This was not only China’s first Henley trophy but the first HRR win for any Asian country. This is clearly a crew to watch.
A dignified pose from the Chinese quad.
Hollandia on the way to the start.

THE HAMBLEDEN PAIRS CHALLENGE CUP W2-
G.E. PRENDERGAST & K.L. GOWLER, NEW ZEALAND
beat
X. LIN & R. JU, CHINA
Easily

After winning the Remenham Challenge Cup, Grace Prendergast and Kerri Gowler, beaten only once since 2017, moved into the smaller boat and had an easy victory over the Chinese pair.

THE STONOR CHALLENGE TROPHY W2x
B.C. DONOGHUE & O.K. LOE, NEW ZEALAND
beat
S. LU & Y. WANG, CHINA
3 3/4 lengths

Returning after winning this event two years ago, the Kiwi double again showed their dominance. The Chinese fought hard in the opening stages but could not keep contact.

THE PRINCESS ROYAL CHALLENGE CUP W1x
E.K. TWIGG, NEW ZEALAND
beat
L.I. SCHEENAARD, NETHERLANDS
2 1/2 lengths

Emma Twigg has time to check out the photographer’s stand as she approaches the finish line.
Twigg was favourite for this race and at one stage was four lengths up. She last won this event ten years ago and is returning to international competition for the first time since the Rio Olympics.

MEN’S OPEN EVENTS

THE GRAND CHALLENGE CUP M8+
WAIARIKI ROWING CLUB, NEW ZEALAND
beat
LEANDER CLUB AND OXFORD BROOKES UNIVERSITY
1 length

The Leander and Brookes entry was the GB first boat, built to form the basis of the Tokyo crew, while the New Zealand eight included two of the biggest names in world rowing, Hamish Bond and Mahe Drysdale. In the end, it turned out to be a repeat of the women’s open eights, the Remenham.
The official press release wrote: After a quick start for the Brits, the (New Zealanders) began to inch back, culminating in a much-celebrated victory for the Kiwis, who although the underdogs for this race, came out on top… This was Professor Boris Rankov’s last race as an umpire.

THE STEWARDS’ CHALLENGE CUP M4-
LEANDER CLUB AND OXFORD BROOKES UNIVERSITY
beat
LEANDER CLUB
2 1/2 lengths

Two very experienced crews fought this one out but it was the current GB Four that was ultimately victorious over the second GB boat containing an injury recovering Will Satch.

THE QUEEN MOTHER CHALLENGE CUP M4x
LEANDER CLUB
beat
A.RUDERGESELLSCHAFT GERMANIA 1869 E.V., GERMANY
Easily

 

The Leander boat was made up of some very experienced Olympians while the Frankfurt crew were all lightweights. Also, Leander did their best to break the event course record, so the final verdict was not unexpected.

THE SILVER GOBLETS & NICKALLS’ CHALLENGE CUP M2-
A. DIAZ & A. HAACK, ARGENTINA
beat
M.C. OYEN & M. STEENMAN, NETHERLANDS
4 3/4 lengths

The pair from Argentina surprised many of us when, after coming from behind in the latter stages of the race, they finished with a substantial lead over the Dutch favourites. They are the first Argentines to win at Henley in 39 years.

THE DOUBLE SCULLS CHALLENGE CUP M2x
J.E. COLLINS & G.E. THOMAS
beat
J.W. STOREY & C.W. HARRIS, NEW ZEALAND

Four very experienced athletes fought this one out but Collins and Thomas, racing as Leander and Agecroft, lead all the way and knocked two-seconds off the event record.

THE DIAMOND CHALLENGE SCULLS M1x
O. ZEIDLER, GERMANY
beat
G.G. KROMMENHOEK, NETHERLANDS
5 lengths

Many were expecting a Diamond’s final between Kjetil Borch (Horten Roklubb, Norway) and Mahe Drysdale (West End Rowing Club, New Zealand) but it was the 21-year-old Oliver Zeidler (Donau-Ruder-Club Ingolstadt e.V., Germany) who takes home one of the famous Pineapple Cups, the first German Diamonds winner since Marcel Hacker 20 years ago. The European Champion has only been rowing for a few years but comfortably beat Dutchman, Guillaume Krommenhoek.

Reports on the Intermediate and Club events, then on the Junior and Student events will follow over the next few days.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.