Henley Royal Regatta finals day saw fierce competition on the water in tricky blustery headwind conditions with Leander Club rowers competing in 14 of the 26 races.
Many of the Leander crews were composite crews who represent Great Britain. The Club’s rowers were part of the winning crews for eight trophies yesterday. In the Grand the GB crew with Leander rowers Will Stewart, Jacob Dawson, Sholto Carnegie and Tom Ford won against Maple Bay Rowing Club from Canada by 3 lengths. The Men’s Quadruple Sculls GB team with Leander Club rowers George Bourne and Tom Barras beating the Polish World Championship crew after coming back from being behind by 1/2 length to beating them on the line by 1/2 length. The Women’s Quadruple Sculls GB team with Leander Club rowers, Hannah Scott, Lola Anderson and Georgie Brayshaw were also successful defeating Shawnigan Lake School of Canada easily. The Women’s Four with GB Olympian Helen Glover representing Marlow RC competing with Heidi Long and Rowan McKellar from Leander beat an all Leander Club crew by 4 2/3 length.
In the Intermediate M4x, Leander Club (Rory Harris, Miles Devereux, Oliver Costley and Rowan Law) won against Hollandia Roeiclub from the Netherlands by 1½ lengths. Ollie Wynne-Griffith Tom George won the Goblets (Men’s Pair) wining against the Canadian pair of Walkey & Cullen from Canada by 1 1/2 lengths. The Women’s Pair (Rebecca Edwards & Chloe Brew) were also successful beating Lindberg & Witt by 1 3/4 lengths.
In the final race of the day in the Fawley (JM4x) Leander Club (Freddy Foxwell, Nathaniel Gauden, Byron Richards and Guy Hitchins) had a great race beating Hinksey Sculling School ‘A’ by 3¾ lengths.
At the prize-giving ceremony, Henley Royal Regatta, Chairman of the Committee of Management, Sir Steve Redgrave said, “A special warm welcome to our overseas competitors, national teams from Great Britain from Canada, Spain, Poland Netherlands, Germany Azerbaijan, and Bermuda even the London Colours, and also entries from across the world to USA Mexico, Ireland, Denmark, Belgium, China, NZ Australia Ukraine, and Zimbabwe. What fantastic racing that we have had at this year’s regatta with some incredibly close races throughout the week and also here on our finals day. Our biggest ever British entry, our overall entry was only down by 7, so the regatta seems to be getting bigger and bigger. The qualifiers this year were our biggest by a long way and just to get the chance to race at the 6 days of the regatta itself. I would also want to take this opportunity to say a special thanks to all our stewards, volunteers, all our full time staff, all our contractors and a special thankyou to you our loyal members that enable us to put on this incredible event every year. I am honoured to announce that the Right Honorable Theresa May is our guest of honour today. I hope she won’t mind me saying that she was diagnosed with diabetes in 2017 and she has become a great role model for diabetes and showing that you can still achieve your dreams at the highest level with this condition of diabetes”
Theresa May, said, “Steve, it is a great privilege to be here to be handing out the prizes today at Henley Regatta 2023. I have always enjoyed my visits to the Regatta. I think it is absolutely wonderful and I want to add my thanks to everybody who has been involved in putting this regatta on. So much work is necessary in order to ensure that this amazing event can take place year year. I wasn’t going to do this, but Steve has prompted me to because he mentioned the diabetes. Steve, I am not the only person here who has achieved their dreams whilst being diabetic. I will tell you, ladies and gentlemen, that when I was diagnosed I read something that Steve had said and that has been my guiding light, he said “I am not going to live with diabetes, diabetes is going to have to live with me”, so thank you.
“Thank you to all the crews who have participated and obviously our congratulations today go to all the winners but I hope everybody who participated will take a pride in being part of this wonderful not just British sporting event, but this wonderful international sporting event. To me Henley shows the best of sport, it shows the competitive spirit, it shows the athleticism, the dedication, the hard work from all the crews but when you look round and see everyone in their blazers, those who have rowed over many years, those who have rowed in the past but maybe don’t do so still. What you see from this sport is the camaraderie, the friendships that have been made, across rival crews and the long term memories that will be made from this sport. It is a wonderful sport Henley is a fantastic example of this, it is a fantastic sporting event and I am very privileged to be here today and thank you all for being part of this sporting event.”
Afterwards, Leander Club rower, Rowan Law who was part of the winning Prince of Wales (Men’s Quadruple Sculls said, “It’s been something that, obviously for every team, is the pinnacle of the season, particularly for us – this is the end of our little trip. We’ve done quite a lot of work together over the last few years; I’ve joined the squad this year and been part of their winning campaign from the last couple of years. For me it’s my third win, and for the others, their second and third win. We’re really happy and obviously we don’t want to leave it here. We want more to come in the future, but we’re super happy with how it’s gone. I couldn’t be prouder of the guys, of the team, and of the squad as a whole. There are plenty of people in the background who have put in just as much work as we have, but we are the ones that are lucky enough to get the trophy. Without them we wouldn’t be here, so my appreciation goes out to them, the people behind the scenes, as well as the other three in the boat.”