Royal Regatta Finals – Leander Rowers Win Four Trophies

Leander Club were involved in 7 finals on Sunday, winning in the Prince of Wales (M4x) beating Reading University ‘A’ easily and the Ladies (Intermediate M8+) winning against Univ. of California by 1 length.

Leander rowers also were part of the GB teams rowing in the both the Open Women’s and Men’s eights. In the Remenham Cup, racing as Leander Club & Imperial College,  a combination that won in 2014 and were runner’s 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. In the Grand Challenge Cup (Open M8+),  racing as Leander Club &  Oxford Brookes University they were matched off the start with Australia Rowing Club 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.

The Leander pair of Annie Campbell-Orde and Sophia Heath were beaten by Morrison & Musnicki, California RC USA easily.  In Wargrave Challenge (Club W8+) Leander were beaten by Thames RC A by 1 3/4 lengths.  Thames blasted off the start and smashed every event record all the way down the course. In one of the closest races of Finals history, in the Stewards’ (M4-) in a close race with Rowing Australia, a composite Leander & Oxford Brookes crew were beaten by just 1 foot in a new record of 6:26.

Henley Royal Regatta has never been more international in its 183-year history and in years to come the 2022 Finals Day may be remembered for establishing a new world-class pathway.

“This Regatta has been record-breaking from start to finish; from the number of entries from home and overseas, to new standards being set in the women’s eights events,”  Sir Steve Redgrave, Chairman of the Committee of Management, said. We hoped when we created the Prince Philip (Junior Women’s Eights), the Island (Student Women’s Eights) and the Wargrave (Club Women’s Eights) that it would help establish the pathway to the elite squad, but our athletes and the rowing community have responded beyond our hopes. The depth and quality of these events already has been astounding and the winners can call themselves the best in the world. We had a record overseas entry this year, but the best thing for the event is to have new names from the USA, Australia, China and New  Zealand, and all winning races – this is part of what makes Henley so special. This is the first six-day Regatta and we have not staged anything this size since 2019, so I would like to thank all our athletes, our Members and Volunteers for making it possible.”

After a week in which the records for The Prince Philip Challenge Trophy were repeatedly broken, St Catherine’s School from Victoria, Australia beat Winter Park Crew, Florida and can call themselves the best schoolgirl crew in the world. Winter Park have been flying since they came through the Qualifying Races on Friday and beat the British holders (Headington School) and the favourites (Henley Rowing Club) in a hard route to the final. But St Catherine’s held off their trademark late charge in impressive fashion.

“Obviously, it’s a lot of pressure but throughout the week we’ve tried to relax as much as possible and trust the process, but today has just been amazing,” Bronte Cullen, the stroke for St Catherine’s, said. “We’re just the best group of nine girls you could get. Everyone loves each other so much and it’s just amazing to have been with them. I think I owe it to them for all this. I just want to say to all our parents, all our family and everyone back in Australia, thank you for all of your support, it just means the world.”