Warm, sunny weather enabled another fantastic day of racing in with an entry of 200 crews from local and visiting clubs competing in 124 races over ten hours at the Town & Visitors’ Regatta last weekend. The great weather attracted good crowds, many of whom stayed to enjoy some fine racing.
The Peter Sutherland Challenge Cup for the most successful club at the Regatta was closely contested by three local clubs: Marlow RC won the day on 14 points, with Reading RC second on 12 and Wolfson College on nine. The closest race of the day was a heat of the Open Eight’s, between Vesta RC and Stratford-Upon-Avon Boat Club which resulted in a dead heat. The race was re-rowed over the full course and won by Stratford, eventual winners of this premier event, by just three-quarters of a length.
Once again it was the single and double sculling events which attracted the largest entries to the Regatta. The Open single sculls entry was divided into not less than five bands in order to provide close races between scullers of similar ability. For the first time the British Rowing ranking points index was used to achieve this. The Band 1 single sculls was won by Stephen Byford of Birmingham Rowing Club, fresh from representing England at the Home International and sporting England colours on his sculls.
The fastest race of the day was the final of Alumni eights in which Blue Star Club (Newcastle University) beat Nemesis BC (University of Manchester) by a length-and-a-half in a time of 2:43. This was Blue Star Club’s fourth consecutive win in this event.
Local clubs saw Rob Eyres from Henley RC win in a mixed crew of Durham Uni and Jesus College Oxford in the Band 1 Quads to beat East India Club/Exeter Uni easily and brothers Euan and Bruce Turnell beat another Henley crew to win the Open Double Sculls (Band 1). Upper Thames won four races – the Open F Quads (Steve Dance, Lee Brown, Graham Lloyd and C Howell), the Women’s E Doubles (Helen Mangan and Judith Burne), Mixed Coxed Fours and the Mixed Band 2 Doubles (Ben Weston and Eleanor Cruci). A mixed Shiplake Vikings RC and Upper Thames RC (Bruce Gascoine and Jeremy Dobbin) crew won the Open F Doubles beating Abingdon RC easily.
The Regatta kept very much to time throughout the day, which was thanks to the determined efforts of the officials and organisers. Regatta, President Guin Batten, said, ‘’It has been a fantastic Regatta showcasing the best of Henley both on and off the water.”
Regatta Chairman, Martin Levy, said after the last race “I would like to thank all the committee, volunteers, subscribers, sponsors and spectators who all help to make the regatta a success and help us to keep our entry fees down. In particular, I would like to thank the younger junior members of Henley Rowing Club who man the stakeboats at the start and had to contend with very hot conditions.”
Anyone wishing to become a Subscriber can contact the regatta via its web site, http://www.henleytownregatta.org.uk
The 2019 regatta will be held on Saturday 3 August. The Regatta Committee also organise a number of social events to support the running of the Regatta including the Annual Dinner which is to be held on Friday 30 November at Leander Club.