8 July 2022
By Tim Koch
Tim Koch reports on the Henley finalists who could not enjoy a three-martini lunch.
Yesterday’s post looked at the morning races on the Henley 2022 final’s day, today’s words and pictures will cover the afternoon contests up to what would have been the tea break (which does not take place on finals day). The official race summaries are reproduced below in italics and are matched with my photographs.
St Paul’s will have their name on The Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup again after holding off the comeback kings from Radley College.
The two outsiders have grown in confidence during the week, but Radley College had produced one of the shocks of the Regatta after rowing through Eton in Saturday’s semi-final.
Radley’s small army of supporters kept waiting for the same to happen but St Paul’s have also been faster in the second half of the course during this regatta and held Radley off.
The much higher rating St Paul’s, the finalists last year and record-breaking winners in 2018, led by ½ length at Barrier in 1:49 – the fastest time of the week and were a length up just past the halfway mark.
Radley looked calm and executed their plan. They pulled back to a canvas behind as they approached the Grandstand, but St Paul’s responded and won by ⅓ length.
USA’s Kara Kohler (Texas Rowing Center) beat Imogen Grant (Cambridge University) in The Princess Royal Challenge Cup. Kohler was 1 ¼ lengths up at Barrier (2:23), 2 ½ at Fawley and then controlled from the front, keeping an eye on Grant’s trademark fast finish and responding.
Three finals won, one to go for Thames Rowing Club after they beat N.S.R Oslo in The Wyfold Challenge Cup. Given their similar times during the week, it was surprisingly comfortable for Thames as they led by 1 ¼ lengths (1:56) and kept extending and kept pushing and they won easily.
Great Britain’s new women’s eight struck a blow back for earlier defeats in the day and week in beating an experienced Australia boat including two Tokyo gold medallists in The Remenham Challenge Cup. Great Britain, racing as Imperial College & Leander Club, a combination that won in 2014 and were runners-up in 2015 and 2019, were a length down at Barrier (1:55). But GB put in a huge push just before Remenham and continued it through the second part of the race as they left Australia behind to win by 1 ⅓ length.
The 6ft 8in German World Champion, Oliver Zeidler, won The Diamond Challenge Sculls for the second time, dominating Australia’s David Bartholot from start to finish. He was ¾ length up at Barrier (2:09) and two lengths up just past halfway. But Bartholot forced Zeidler to keep racing much deeper into the course and the German was nearly a minute faster than in the semi-final.
Two international lightweight crews and a great contest in The Stonor Challenge Trophy. The Australia double led by ½ length at Barrier (2:14) but the Americans, racing for Sarasota Crew and Cambridge Boat Club, attacked repeatedly and eventually broke their rivals, drawing level at Fawley and then pulling away in the second part of the race.
Great Britain’s eights have struck back in the afternoon against Australian domination earlier in the day, as the men’s eight backed up the win by the women in the Remenham. It was much less of a surprise, with the British crew starting the week as favourites.
The Great Britain eight, racing as Oxford Brookes University & Leander Club were matched off the start but led by ¾ length at Barrier (1:43) and were two lengths up by the Mile as they rowed away with The Grand Challenge Cup, the oldest Cup in the Regatta, first raced for in 1839.
A first victory for New Zealand at the regatta this year. The Danes, a new crew who were second at World Cup I in May, were ½ length up at Barrier (2:06), but the more experienced NZ four, racing for Waiariki Rowing Club, started a push at Fawley, were a canvas ahead at ¾ Mile and gradually pulled away to the finish.
The next post will cover the late afternoon racing and the prize giving. Times, verdicts etc for the finals are my recent post, “A Sustained Wish to Excel“.