By Tony Lorrimer
It was a near-perfect week for Henley Royal Regatta on the Thames. The sun shine and there was a gentle breeze most days. The crowds came and the rowing was of an exceptional standard.
Nottingham Rowing Club’s Matt Haywood was successful in the Prince of Wales Challenge Cup – sweet revenge for last year’s defeat in the final.
His quadruple scull crew contained three of last year’s Under-23 World Championship quadruple scull and their opponents in the final contained two of last year’s victorious quadruple scull.
Matt’s crew established an early lead which they maintained over the whole course. They equalled the course record of six minutes 21 seconds and were faster than the Great Britain national squad, who won the Queen Mother Cup in six minutes 30 seconds. Matt’s crew should now be selected for the World Under-23 Championships.
Annie Campbell-Orde got through the qualifying races and drew Gillian Cooper from Upper Thames Rowing Club. Annie led off the start.
The two scullers were overlapping the whole way down the course but by Fawley, which is the halfway marker, the Upper Thames sculler had inched ahead, setting a new record for that marker in the process.
At the line, she won by one length but knew she had been in a race as Annie doggedly chased her down the course.
The coxed four entered the Britannia Cup and drew a crew from Hanover in the first round. They showed the fine form that had enabled them to win at the Metropolitan Regatta earlier in the season, but the German crew were just a bit stronger, although the Nottingham Crew stayed in touch all the way down the course.
The Thames Cup eight had the misfortune to draw the very strong crew from Ireland who made it through to the semi-finals. The crew had a tough row but were beaten by three-and-half lengths.
The Wyfold Challenge Cup attracted an entry of over 60 crews. The event only takes 32 entries. The coxless four, despite beating over 20 crews in the qualifying races, failed to make into the main regatta. They were only a few seconds off the required standard. However, it will be useful experience for them.