Henley Sunday: Divine Service 

Lightweight Imogen Grant is often successful when punching above her weight – but not at this year’s Henley where she lost in the final of the Princess Royal (Open W1x).

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.

Race 14, Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup (Junior M8+): Radley College vs St. Paul’s School.
Last ten strokes.
In this J18 event, the Radley eight was young but the St Paul’s boat was even younger. The official race report stated that, “Both crews could be dominant for the next few years”.
It is difficult to tell who is the cox in this picture. Remarkably, St Paul’s had two J16s and a world-record holding J15 – thought to be the first ever J15 in the school’s first eight. 

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  length. 

Race 15, Princess Royal Challenge Cup (Open W1x): K.M. Kohler, USA, vs I.D. Grant. Kohler (pictured here) had just won bronze in the Women’s Double Sculls at World Cup II, was an Olympic bronze medallist in the quad at London 2012.
Grant stroked the women’s Blue Boat to victory this year, along with winning the LW1x at National Trials and placing 2nd overall. She is a Tokyo 2020 Olympian and won the LW2x at World Cup I in Belgrade in May.
The top openweight beating the top lightweight.

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. 

Race 16, The Wyfold Challenge Cup (Club M4-): Thames R.C. vs N.S.R. Oslo, NOR. The Norwegian students go afloat.
Thames were not under pressure at the finish.
Thames starts celebrating while NSR Oslo has yet to finish.

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. 

Race 17, The Remenham Challenge Cup (Open W8+): Rowing Australia, AUS vs Imperial College & Leander. Rowing Australia were considered marginal favourites.
Imperial College & Leander can taste victory. Henley was GB’s debut as an eight.

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  length. 

Race 18, The Diamond Challenge Sculls (Open M1x): D.A. Bartholot, AUS vs O. Zeidler, GER.
Zeidler in control.
A second Diamonds win for Zeidler.
Zeidler with the trophy case containing one of the original diamond pin prizes and the silver gilt Pineapple Cup that is his to keep.

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.

Race 19,  The Stonor Challenge Trophy (Open W2x): M.M. Reckford & M.A. Sechser, USA vs A.L.C. Reardon & L.J. Coleman, AUS. Reckford and Sechser in action.
Reardon and Coleman led to Fawley.
A win for the Americans.

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.

Race 20, The Grand Challenge Cup (Open M8+): Oxford Brookes University & Leander Club vs Rowing Australia, AUS. The GB eight here is racing as Brookes and Leander.
GB had form, experience and local knowledge. At World Cup I in Belgrade at the end of May, they had a commanding win by more than 10 seconds over the Netherlands and China.
This is the first win by the Great Britain eight at Henley since 2015.

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.

Race 21, The Town Challenge Cup (open W4-): Danmarks Rocenter, DEN vs Waiariki RC, NZL. Waiariki on the way to the start.
Waiariki collects the Town Cup.

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.

A panoramic view of the world’s most famous regatta course, a picture taken from the combined progress board and photographers’ stand.

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“.

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