9 July 2022
By Tim Koch
Tim Koch finally reaches the Henley finish line.
Recent posts on this year’s Henley finals day have covered both the morning and the early afternoon races. Today’s piece will cover the late afternoon contests and the prize-giving. The official race summaries are reproduced below in italics and are matched with my photographs.
Twenty minutes after the Grand, Leander Club put their name on the next fastest eight event, The Ladies’ Challenge Plate for the first time since 2016 by beating many people’s favourites, University of California, Berkeley. Leander led the Golden Bears from start to finish. They were ½ length up at Barrier (1:45) and steadily extended through the course to win by a length. The relatively comfortable win was a surprise because Cal started the week as hot favourites after a dominant season and emphatic win at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association National Championships at the beginning of June.
Claires Court backed up their incredible win over holder Shiplake College in their semi-final on Saturday by beating the unbeaten USA quad, the Redwood Scullers, to win The Diamond Jubilee Challenge Cup for the first time.
Redwood led by ½ length at Barrier (2:12) and a length past Fawley, but like on Saturday, Claires put in a huge push and were just a canvas behind at The Mile. They were roared home through the Enclosures to win by ⅔ of length and their astonished joy after crossing the line told the story of the miraculous week.
Oxford Brookes University ‘A’ won The Prince Albert Challenge Cup inflicting a second defeat on University of California, Berkeley, USA, in the space of twenty minutes. Cal led by a length at Barrier (1:59) but Brookes started remorselessly reeling them in from before Fawley, had taken the lead by Remenham and were ¾ length ahead at the Mile. They held Cal over the last quarter and were cheered through the Grandstand as they won by a length.
Matt Macdonald and Tom Mackintosh, racing as Waiariki Rowing Club, won New Zealand’s second event of the day. Britain’s top pair, Ollie Wynne-Griffith and Tom George, racing for Cambridge University, were part of the Cambridge eight in the Boat Race this year and the Olympic bronze medal-winning boat in Tokyo. Macdonald and Mackintosh were part of NZ’s Olympic gold medal-winning eight from Tokyo.
Molesey Boat Club gained revenge for defeat in the final of The Thames Challenge Cup last year to Thames Rowing Club in a tight race to close Finals Day. It was a first win for Molesey since 2016 and the first defeat for Thames in four finals. Thames led along Temple Island, but Molesey had drawn level by Barrier (1:46) and were ½ length by Fawley. Thames kept attacking but Molesey held them at bay.
The Prize-giving: Going for Silver
Times, verdicts etc for the finals are my recent post, “A Sustained Wish to Excel“. The final day’s official 20-minute compilation video is on YouTube. Rachel Quarrell’s words and Benedict Tufnell’s pictures for finals day are on Row360.