Thursday, 23 November 2017

Henley Royal Regatta 2017 - Semi-finals day as it happened

Henley Royal Regatta 2017 - Semi-finals day 2017

Welcome to semi-finals day, Saturday 1st July 2017, at Henley Royal Regatta.

We bring you all the the highs and lows of the 43 races today, as Shiplake College go up against Radley College at 6:30pm in the Princess Elizabeth, Henley Rowing Club race Isle of Ely at 6:10pm in the Diamond Jubilee, Leander race Edinburgh Univerity in the Prince of Wales at 11:40, California R.C. at 12:00pm in the Visitors, and Thames at 7:00pm in the Thames cup, and Leander athletes race in composite crews throughout the day.

43 7:30 Britannia ............... St. Andrew B.C. v. U.T.S. Haberfield R.C., Australia

Last race of the day and quiet determination from these men’s coxed fours.

A big draw from the St Andrew’s crew as the Australians power down with a more controlled consistent technique.

St Andrew’s are trying to grab the initiative off the start as it might get jumpy down the course, whilst the Australians settle into a consistent rhythm.

The UTS crew are quieter than St Andrews at Remenham Church and though they are quarter length behind will this steady performance hold off?

This is a real one on one race late on this Saturday evening and a real difference between the crews in the facial expressions. Is this giving away the mental side of the race?

At the 1000m mark St Andrews are hanging on with a quarter length lead. UTS make a move at Upper Thames and have drawn level with St Andrews. This is a real flag to the St Andrews who start to build and react. They moved again against UTS and it will be a race to the line.

Coming into the enclosure St Andrews have their bow ball in front. What will UTS do to keep the push on.

Through Stewards they are level. St Andrews hold back a canvas UTS take it up Both crews are going to sprint to the line. What a finish to the last race of the Saturday of 2017. St Andrews need to build and drive – it’s going to be last surge that decides. The last five strokes. St Andrews need to hold their nerve. A photograph. A really brave race from St Andrews over UTS as they went for it.

St Andrews beat U.T.S. Haberfield Australia by three feet. A stunning race to conclude racing this Saturday.

42 7:20 Diamonds................ J. H. Graves v. J. B. Stimpson

Second to last race as Stimpson who was 7th in GB trials against Graves a strong American.

Stimpson is giving Graves a race, as he uses his weight advantage to stay in touch.

At Remenham Chruch they are still side by side as Graves can’t shake Stimpson.

A real dynasty behind the American sculler against the less experienced Stimpson. Graves is sculling well and through the 1000m mark is just putting in a big front end push. The water looks a little bit quieter at this time in the evening. Graves starts to scull away from Stimpson. In front of Upper Thames the efficiency of Graves is giving him clear water.

Graves is lifting the water with a great catch and into the enclosures he looks really comfortable with a big lead over Stimpson.

The American takes the applause in front of the grandstand as Stimpson builds for the finish.  Graves calmly sculls over the line to take the win.

41 7:10 Diamond Jubilee .... Gloucester R.C. v. Headington Sch. ‘A’

The second semi-final of the girls quads. This is going to be a tough race, as Gloucester had to come through qualifiers. Matthew Pinsent umpiring.

A clean start with Headington having a slight advantage. Headington is a smaller crew. But at the start of the booms and Gloucester have small advantage, this crew being a heavier crew into the head wind. Both crews are proving to be quiet and efficient through the stroke and the Headington girls are really racing this against Gloucester. At Remenham they put in a push and take a canvas lead. A slightly higher rate from Headington.

This is a real tussle in front of the Barn Bar enclosure as the Gloucester crew relentlessly move on the Headington . Gloucester almost touch the booms and the rudder comes on swinging them back into the course. They need to make sure they stay off the right scull.

At the 1000m mark they are staying in touch with Headington and really pushing them down the course.

Headington build a lead in front of Upper Thames and really take an advantage over Gloucester into the quiet patch of the course before the roar of enclosures. There could be a big upset at that point.

Will Gloucester claw back the distance Headington has. Headington desperately hanging on as Gloucester move. This is going to be a race to the line. It’s going to be decided in the last 25 strokes of the race. The Headington crew are hanging on to the lead. Gloucester are really taking this to the wire can Headington hang on? It looks like Gloucester but this is a photo finish. An amazing race from these two quads.

Gloucester R.C. beat Headington Sch. ‘A’

40 7:00 Thames ................... Leander Club v. Thames R.C. ‘A’

Thames looking focused as their B crew is already in the final. Will Leander stand in their way?

Both coxes have their hands up. As soon as they put their hands down the umpire calls the start. A great start from Thames who move out from the first stroke. This is going to be a tough race as they come into the booms. Thames have a slight advantage but Leander are not letting them go. The Leander crew is a slightly heavier crew, leaning into the headwind.

At Remenham Church Leander are still attacking the Thames crew., though a little bit of pitch in the Leander boat. Thames are warned by the umpire to move back to their station. Thames have the advantage at the half way mark. They are looking to make a decisive mark on the race here.

At Upper Thames Thames make a big move to gain half a length and they are really pushing up to Remenham where the noise of the club will lift them. Thames coming down a little bit sharper, with a slightly higher rate, more focus and a length lead.

Thames look unshakeable.

There is pain on the Leander faces as the Thames crew move into the public enclosures. Thames are quiet and smooth, creating better cover. Into the last 100m and Thames are taking this race despite the weight advantage in Leander. It won’t feel easy but it will feel great as Thames beat Leander.

Thames A will race Thames B in the Thames Cup final tomorrow.

39 6:50 Women’s Pairs ........ Kalmoe & Eisser v. Lanz & Rustenburg

The Dutch against the Americans. Slightly different styles from these two international crews, with some pedigree at world championships.

The Dutch are rowing very upright compared to the Americans. Can they not lose any more ground as the water is not very comfortable. The Americans are starting to drift off their station, but looking very strong, with a dynamic stroke.

The Dutch are keeping the rhythm high looking to stay in the race.

This is a strong American crew and they open their lead at the 1000m mark. This pair has opened a gap having held their poise and composure.

Through Remenham the Americans are rating 31 and are quiet around the finish which helps deal with the rough water. They open up the distance away from the Dutch and are efficiently sculling into the enclosures.

A very experienced campaign from the Americans as the Dutch hit some geese.

The Dutch take it up but won’t be able to catch the NYAC crew.

Kalmoe & Eisser beat Lanz & Rustenburg

38 6:40 Diamonds................ C. N. Girdlestone v. M. R. G. Dunham

A Rio silver medallist from Australia against the lightweight New Zealander Dunham. Friendly rivalry between these two countries and weights.

Girdlestone leads at the end of the Island as the lightweight rates quite high still.  The head wind will affect Dunham more than Girdlestone.

Girdlestone has a little more distance per stoke than Dunham and work his lead to clear water in front of the Barn Bar.

The Australian leads in front of the New Zealander at the 1000m as he continues to be quiet around the front.

Girdlestone has stopped in front of Upper Thames as Dunham pushes through to take the lead. Has Girdlestone had an issue with wash that has resulted in injury? The Australian is making heavy weather of this.

Richard Stanhope is umpiring and is  watching the sculler intently as Dunham races to the finish taking the applause from the Stewards. 7th two weeks ago in Poznan and he maintains a steady rate to find out what has happened his opposition.

37 6:30 Princess Elizabeth.... Shiplake Coll. v. Radley Coll.

Another race that will receive a large amount of local support. This under 18’s school boys eights.  Both coxes have their arms in the air on the start. Big first strokes from both crews.

Shiplake seem to have the better start as Radley are warned for their steering.

Radley are sill wandering off their station into the booms as Shiplake find their pace and ease up to a canvas lead.

Shiplake like to keep their rate up as Radley keep their cool.

Shiplake have a length lead through Remenham and past the Barn Bar. They need to keep their flow and rhythm and power through to the 1000m mark.

Can the Radley boat claw back man for man? Shiplake won the school’s head earlier in the year and aren’t fazed by the rough water. Radley have gained half a length. Shiplake need to react as Radley gain another man in front of Upper Thames. IN front of Remenham they are still moving and they take the bow ball of Shiplake.

Can Shiplake stop the rot and power back?

This is a real tit for tat race and this is about focus and determination. Radley bow moves through Shiplake. Shiplake can sprint – can they do this here? Radley move again but Shiplake respond into the last 100m but this is a race to the line. Radley are holding off the Shiplake challenge Radley delivered where it mattered and it looks like they will take this semi-final over Shiplake. This is going to be a great final in the Princess Elizabeth.

Radley Coll beat Shiplake Coll.

About 100 people gathered to cheer the Shiplake eight from the riverbank following their defeat in the Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup.

Headmaster Gregg Davies said: "I think the race was tremendous. I think Radley were really good.

"I think our legs were tired after Wednesday and yesterday.

"When questions were asked of us we couldn't do it, and all credit to Radley.

"I had a word with my boys after the race and I'm so proud of them. I said to them 'if you had asked me at the beginning of the regatta, where do you want us to be, I would have said Friday would be great, Saturday would be amazing'.

"They have done Shiplake and their parents proud. If there's a better word than pride, I'd say it.

"Of course we're disappointed. That will last with them for a couple of hours but what they have done is tremendous for a small school."

Mr Davies paid tribute to the Shiplake's director of rowing Dave Currie and first eight coach Hugh Mackworth-Praed and their work over the last two years.

"We went out on the Thursday three years ago," he explained.

"As a team they have worked so hard - they couldn't have done any better, they raced as hard as they possibly could. No-one in that boat could have pulled any harder, and that's a fantastic thing to know."

 

36 6:20 Britannia ............... Thames R.C. v. N.S.R. Oslo, Norway

A fascinating race, with the crew from Oslo only having one week of holiday and are using it to race this event. A coxed four Thames get a good squeeze on and god steering from both crews.

It will be interesting to see who comes out of the Island first. Thames have the advantage as they move into the booms, as the group from Oslo settle into a strong rhythm. The rate is a lot higher in the Thames crew and they are still holding the length lead, but at the 500m mark the Norwegians rhythm seems to have paid off as they claw back overlap.

The Thames crew are wandering on their station, trying to hold off the Oslo opposition. At the 1000m mark Thames are still in front but the Norwegians have used their quiet efficiency to keep the overlap on Thames.

The coxes are working hard in this race as Thames are hanging on to the lead as they move through Upper Thames. There will be a load shout from Remenham as the Oslo crew inch back on the lead. The Oslo crew are eating the distance back and draw level at Remenham.

This next minute is really important for the Thames crew.

Thames need to lift as the Oslo crew move up and through to move their bow in front.

Coming to competitors enclosure and this is going to be head to head into Stewards. Thames need to lift again.

The Oslo crew are a canvas in front at the hole in the wall – about 2m inutes left. The noise from the grandstand is huge. Oslo increase the lead in the last 25 strokes. They have the advantage. Have they cracked Thames?

Oslo are upping the rate to the line winning by half a length ahead of Thames rowing club.

35 6:10 Diamond .... Henley R.C. ‘A’ v. Isle of Ely R.C.

The semi-final of the women’s junior quads and local crew Henley Rowing Club will be receiving a lot of local support. Both crews get away cleanly and want to have an impact on the race. This is Henley’s water but they had a little wobble and veered off to stroke side. They had an issue with the blade depth at the start.

Isle of Ely are trying to break Henley and push to clear water at the 500m mark – have they blown early or can they maintain this distance up the course.

The Henley crew need to hang in as they come up to the 1000m . Ely lost to Gloucester in the final of women’s Henley and are aiming for a rematch. Can they execute the plan and get to that final?

The Isle of Ely are still inching the distance each stroke despite a steering wobble. The Henley crew have remained straight through out. Coming past Fawley and the gap is being maintained. Ely need to keep the rhythm and power.

Henley lose contact with the race at Upper Thames as Ely put in a big push. This is too big a distance to make up, up the enclosures in the last two minutes of the race. Henley are still fighting however, but this is an impossible ask, given the efficiency of the Isle of Ely. A strong delivery from Ely has put paid to the Henley dream.

A win for the Isle of Ely over Henley Rowing Club

34 6:00 Women’s Pairs ........ Goodger & Gowler v. Prendergast & Gowler

This is a race of sisters as the two New Zealand crews both have a sibling in the stroke seat of the boat. The crews are neck and neck at the top of the Island as the sisters look across at each other.

At the 500m mark the Bucks pair, the more experienced pair ease out to a length lead. The Berks crew are still pushing but the Bucks crew have settled in to their rhythm. Could the Bucks pair be the pair that dominates through to the next Olympics? This pair move out to two lengths clear water at the 1000m mark.

The Berks crew put in a push at Remenham but haven’t dented the Bucks lead as this crew under-rates the other. Coming in front of Stewards the crowds applaud the quiet strong row from the Bucks crew. The Berks crew race to the line, off their station, but at the end it was bit of a procession so no umpire call required.

Prendergast & Gowler beat Goodger & Gowler

33 5:50 Thames ................... Thames R.C. ‘B’ v. Agecroft R.C.

Two club eights and this is a big race for these athletes. The Agecroft crew make a steering correction and at the end of the Island the crews are level. Into the booms and Tames are pushing the nose of their boat in front.

At the barrier Thames get into their rhythm and ease away , though Agecroft hang in. Thames are working very hard coming up to the 1000m mark Thames are having to make a positive push. Can this be Thames in the final of the Thames cup?

Agecroft are going to have to work very hard to make a dent in the Thames lead who raise their game as the crowsds shout from Remenham. They move to two lengths clear from Agecroft, rating 35.

At the public enclosures they lift the rate and push Agecroft away again, rating 37. Agecroft are really building for the line but that’s a lot of distance to make up as Thames take the shouts from the crowds.

Thames are ecstatic they’ve made the final.

Thames ‘B’ beat Agecroft R.C.

32 5:40 Princess Royal ...... A. K. Thiele v. I. Janssen

A heat of the women’s single scull and who will race Vicky Thornley tomorrow?

This is Germany versus Holland, both athletes competing in the Rio Olympics, both in quad sculls. Richard Phelps umpiring.

A little wait and then the roll over. The German gets a better first stroke. Along the Island Thiele gets a small lead. At the start of the booms the German has a boat length lead over the Dutch sculler.

Janssen is still in contact with the Thiele at the 500m mark. They are both rating quite high still – will Thiele carry on going and maintain control of the race. This is definitely a marathon not a sprint race.

Thiele doesn’t move further maintaining the distance and her rate. This is composed strong sculling. Will the Dutch girl come back at the 1000m mark?

Thiele has a higher stroke rate and despite sculling close to the booms she has a long strong explosive stroke. At the marker she puts in a leg push and looks over to Janssen to check the distance.

Janssen has kept in contact and at Upper Thames it’s bow ball to stern between the scullers. She makes another move at Remenham and is still in contact with Thiele but hasn’t meant a real dent with overlap. Thiele takes it up at the public enclosures maintaining her closeness to the booms. Can Janssen claw back the distance?

Janssen seems to have more of the course width.

In to the last 100m and Janssen is really going for the line. Is Thiele going to need to respond, given her consistency through the middle of the race?

Thiele beats Janssen

31 5:30 Double Sculls ....... Steinhübel & Rommelmann v. Storey & Harris

New Zealand against the German team. This looks to be a fast race as we enter the Saturday evening at Henley Royal Regatta 2017. The calm before the storm as they line up in the shelter of the Island. Two very close doubles.

A long hold on the start and the Germans get a very good start where the Kiwis seem a little distracted – the Kiwis wander off their station and are warned by the Umpire.

At the start of the boom the Germans have an advantage but the New Zealanders pull it back and push through at the 500m mark.

This is all about composure and the Kiwis are starting ot move to clear water at Remenham Church. This is tricky racing because of the distractions and the river wash. The New Zealanders are warned again by John Hedger umpiring.

The stroke of the New Zealand is a double Olympian and is keeping his cool. Two weeks ago this crew raced at Poznan and are world class.

The New Zeland crew are showing the dynamic and well drilled sculling stroke moving away again from the Germans at Upper Thames to a very comfortable lead, despite wandering back to the middle of the course. At the start of the public enclosures the race has become a bit of a procession as the Germans are outclassed by the New Zealanders, the stroke of the German crew also racing at Poznan as a lightweight.

Tomorrow the New Zealanders will race the lightweight French double. That will be an interesting race.

Storey & Harris beat Steinhübel & Rommelmann

30 4:20 Ladies’ .................... RTHC Bayer Leverkusen, Germany v. Oxf. Brookes Un. & Taurus B.C.

Final race of the afternoon and Oxford Brookes have gone out like an absolute bullet the Brookes boys have a canvas lead over the German crew. The fastest University crew of the regatta (5:30), against the best club crew. This is a real fight.

The Brookes boat is not letting go of the rate as they pass Remenham Church and they are powering it down the Barn Bar enclosures as Bayer make a move to stay in touch.

The Germans are still in this race and are moving at the 1000m mark, being three quarters of a length down. In front of Upper Thames Brookes make another push and move back to a length up. If they can get clear water they really take control.

Coming into the public enclosures and the Brookes experience level is showing as they move to stamp on this race. They move to two lengths clear and are being lifted by the noise from the enclosures.

An aggressive finish for the Brookes crew who feel the pressure from Bayer and are not letting them take an centimetre. A class act from Brookes as they take the line. They'll race the Under 23's tomorrow.

Oxf. Brookes Un. & Taurus B.C. RTHC Bayer Leverkusen, Germany

29 4:10 Women’s Fours ....... Hollandia Roeiclub, Netherlands v. Vesper B.C. & Princeton N.R.A., USA

The Dutch crew are warned by the umpire Matthew Pinsent, as they move towards the Americans. Very difficult steering s they come back on track. The Americans move to a half length lead as  the Dutch meander unsettling the balance of the boat. The Dutch have to hang on to the Americans.

At Remenham Church the Dutch are still only half a length down from the Americans having settled into their race rhythm. The American crew has a crew member from the gold from Rio, in the eight, and a member of the US Rio quad scull.

The Dutch are still in touch and are settling into a rhythm and have been stalking the American down the course with the boats level. The Americans put in a push coming through Upper Thames and they need to build on that.

The Dutch crew are not afraid of the Americans and make a move on the Americans to take back the lead as they come up to the public enclosures. They move the nose of the boat in front of the Americans.  The Under 23 Dutch crew are really putting down a marker againstthe Americans moving back and racing to the finish line after the initial steering issues. The Americans race for the line but the technique of the Dutch has taken them over the line first.

Hollandia Roeiclub, Netherlands beat Vesper B.C. & Princeton N.R.A., USA

28 4:00 Princess Elizabeth Eton Coll. v. Scotch Coll., Melbourne, Australia

Can Eton upset the huge boys from Australia? Both crews have high ambitions. Richard Phelps umpiring. Coxes have their hands up for a long time. A very quick call over and a very aggressive start from Australia.

At the end of the Island and the crews are level as both crew3s have gone flat out. A lot of pride at stake.

The crews are rating the same and are rowing stroke for stroke at the 500m mark. Eton are aiming to break that rhythm of the Australians.

Eton College are very smooth in front of Remenham Church and are a bow ball ahead. The Australians have had a harder route to this race- will it count against them? This is going to go all the way and the fitness is going to be tested in these crews.

At the 1000m the Australians make a push and have an advantage. They just upped it as the power comes off the Eton crew. The advantage moves to half a length at Upper Thames. Very fluid, locked and powerful in the Australians, this is a psychological test for Eton. How will they respond to the push?

This is going to take a very big sprint finish from Eton. Eton keep coming back and move back to half a length and then start taking the three man. They are really throwing everything at the finish. There is a massive roar from the enclosures. Can they find that extra gear – they’ve got to go again. They don’t have that big lift in the las ten strokes. A great effort but Scotch College beat Eton College.

27 3:50 Stewards’ ............... Un. of Pretoria, South Africa v. Leander Club & Molesey B.C.

Will Satch at stroke in the Leander/Molesey/Brookes boat, with a significant beard, and a tandem rig in the middle of the boat.

This is a terrible start from the British crew who clash in the first 250 m, a heart in the mouth moment as the umpire waves his flag. They really went out and were a canvas up but lost it and need to move back on the South Africans.

The British start to move but this is still an advantage to South Africa. This is going to be a claw back from the GB crew, who don’t seem to settle or get the cohesion they are should have had off of the start.

The GB crew are still fighting to get the rhythm as they approach the 1000m mark but despite that the South Africans are slowly rowed through by the GB crew.

This is a very close race as the South Africans race like terriers and hang on to the British crew. They are not letting them have this race on a plate.

At Upper Thames the GB crew make their move and the South Africans can’t react and come back.

The GB crew move to two lengths clear water at the start of the public enclosures with the Olympic gold medallist steering the crew from the two seat. The GB crew are taking the applause from Stewards as they finish fully in control of the race. They will face Italy tomorrow in the final.

Leander Club & Molesey B.C. beat Un. of Pretoria, South Africa

Will Satch said: "it's nice to come back to your own patch, being at Caversham is a bit samey every day. 

"There's all sorts of stuff to deal with on the river though, as Caversham is locked off to pleasure boats. 

"It's still early days but I think there's a lot of potential in the boat. We can go fast, we just need consistency and we're not quite there yet. 

"I've been in the eight for four years on the trot so it's a challenge but sometimes that's good."

26 3:40 Princess Royal ...... H. R. Osborne v. V. L. Thornley

Vicky Thornley current European Champion and Leander Club member races the New Zealander Hannah Osborne. Umpired by Sarah Winckless, this is Thornley’s home ground.

A very dominant start from Thornley, who moves close to her opponent along the island, but isn’t warned for her steering. She starts to move away from the New Zealander showing her ability in the single scull, in the first 250m, settling into a strong rhythm. The New Zealander is still in contact with only a half length lead by Thornley. The New Zealander is really pushing the Leander athlete down her home water.

Osborne is not letting Thornley pull away, still with overlap at the 1000m mark and is over-rating Thornley. This is a real head to head race for Thornley.

At the start of the Upper Thames enclosures Osborne is level with Thornley. Thornley reacts  with a big push and takes the rate up with a big, big push that the New Zealander can’t respond to, taking a length out of Osborne. She builds on that to move to clear water and really starts to command the second half of the race.

She takes the rate up again at the start of the public enclosures as Osborne moves to challenge her. 300m to go and Thornley keeps her composure as Osborne takes it up again.

Osborne didn’t have that extra gear and Thornley takes the race comfortably with efficient sculling from Osborne.

V. L. Thornley beat H. R. Osborne

25 3:30 Women’s Fours ....... Oxf. Brookes & Melbourne, Australia v. New York Athletic Club, USA

World class athletes in both boats with Olympic Champions in both crews. A very impressive line-up.

From nothing to everything at the start as they explode into the first 250m The Umpire has to warn NYAC off of the start. These crews are stroke for stroke into the booms with the NYAAC crew pulling a canvas ahead. Very powerful strokes from both crews as they press these boats into the 500m mark. This is proving to be a real tussle with the Oxford Brookes boat rating slightly higher and putting in a big push at the Remenham Church.

This is a really exciting race as both crews are having to cope with the bouncy conditions and use their skill and power to race the middle the thousand, not shaking their opponent. There is nothing in it – it is completely toe to toe.

Past Remenham the NYAC crew make a push and take the lead, stealing a length from the Brookes crew. How can they react?

Brookes take it up a pop and move back in contact. NYAC react and both crews are pushing it all the way to the finish. This is a text book race on the steering after the initial wobble and NYAC maintain their lead. Into the Stewards enclosure there’s a burst from the Brookes crew who have overlap and are racing for the line. Can NYAC hang on? Fifteen strokes left and NYAC take it up. NYAC win over Brookes.

New York Athletic Club beat Oxf. Brookes & Melbourne, Australia

24 3:20 Ladies’ .................... Molesey B.C. & London R.C. v. Brown Univ., USA

The British Under 23 eight versus Brown University from Providence Island. The latter have been together all season, whilst the U23’s have come together for this race.

These eights are fast and furious and Brown are over-rating as they come into the track. The U23 crew are more rhythmical against the aggressive front end drive of the American crew at the 500m mark they are still side by side and Brown are making some interesting pushes to stay level through Remenham. This is a real head to head race.

The under 23’s creep out ahead again as Brown rate slightly higher, coming into the 1000m mark. The Brown boat is very close to the booms which can be a little unsettling. Brown have thrown their all at the race early on, as the GB crew gain half a length at Upper Thames. Brown push again at Remenham and are pulling back alongside.

This is still half a length to the GB eight at the public enclosures, having been unable to break clear of Brown. They need to hold together under pressure. This is set up for a grandstand finish. The voices rise from the enclosures.

The GB eight take it up and pull out a length as Brown scrabble to match it.

Molesey B.C. & London R.C. beat Brown Univ., USA

23 3:10 Fawley .................... Claires Court Sch. v. Maidenhead R.C. ‘A’

A local derby as two Maidenhead clubs race each other in this school boys quad race. These are both class crews so it should be an impressive race.

They get away cleanly and both are getting pushing like steam trains, despite a contrast in styles.

Maidenhead have an advantage into the booms by half a length, with an aggressive style compared to the Claires Court rhythmically style. At the 500m mark Claires Court move back on the Maidenhead crew into Remenham. They pull back to a level position.

Claires Court are not letting the Maidenhead quad have it their way and they are still side by side at the 1000m mark.

Claires Crew put in a push and take a small lead on the Maidenhead crew. The fluid efficient style is letting them dominate the race and they move to clear water at Upper Thames despite Maidenhead putting in a push.

Claires Court have the advantage as they push past Remenham up to the public enclosures with Maidenhead struggling to respond. Claires Court push again and are a length clear water as the crowds start yelling and they move into the Stewards enclosure.

Claires court start the build for the finish as they power it up two pips and move to three lengths over Maidenhead. A commanding advantage. They look really good for tomorrow. They cruise over the line as Maidenhead drive for it.

Claires Court Sch. beat Maidenhead R.C. ‘A’

22 3:00 Grand ..................... Waiariki R.C., New Zealand v. Passau & Treviris Trier, Germany

The fastest eight the world has ever seen with a 5.18 for 2000meters at Poznan from Germany against the New Zealand eight.

A very deliberate first stroke as they power into the first 250m. The crews are stroke for stroke as Germany is warned for its steering into the middle of the course. That was a big correction from Germany.

The Germans move away at the 500m marker but the New Zealanders are struggling to keep alongside. The Germans are rowing as a machine – smooth and well drilled – moving away through to the 1000m marker. There is more to come in the second half of the race.

The New Zealanders put in an Upper Thames push but aren’t making a dent on the Germans advantage. No wasted effort  from that crew.

Everyone on their feet in the Stewards enclosure as the Germans take the line with great style and power. The New Zealanders did themselves great credit staying on terms with this phenomenal German crew.

Passau & Treviris Trier, Germany beat Waiariki R.C., New Zealand 

21 2.50 Stewards’ ............... Team Italia, Italy v. Leander Club & Griffen B.C.

All Olympic medallists in the Italian team racing the crew from Leander and Yale. A big match.

The Italians are really intense off the start with a very high rate contrasting to the heavier longer Leander crew. Both crews are level at the end of the Island.

These crews are truly stroke for stroke even catching and finishing identically. Two very contrasting styles but both moving the boat.

At Remenham Church the Italians put in a big push and take a quarter of a length. They are really trying to go early and make a move with the rate.

At the 100m mark the Leander crew are warned to steer away from the middle by Boris Rankov. The Italians are making headway and are also moving to the middle of the track, getting a warning from Boris Rankov.

The flag is still up and the Italians are warned again. The Italians have a length over the British at Upper Thames and are moving again.

The British crew need to get back on terms with a big push now.

Into the public enclosures the British aren’t losing contact and are taking the rate up but the Italian team has the advantage of seeing what’s going on. The British team haven’t been thrown off. Who has the better sprint finish?

The Italians haven’t managed to break into clear water as the noise rises from the Stewards enclosure. They need to really go for it if they are to catch the Italians.

The Italians win over Leander by two thirds of a length. That was a hard race for the Italians and solid performance from the Leander crew.

Team Italia, Italy beat Leander Club & Griffen B.C.

20 2:40 Princess Grace ...... Nottingham R.C. & Warrington R.C. v. Reading Univ.

A family affair in these senior women’s quads being umpired by Richard Phelps, with some well know rowing parents watching their off spring race.

Reading really fought to get here beating Calgary yesterday. A very aggressive start from Reading who veer slightly into the middle of the course. They are racing the GB under 23’s.

At the start of the booms the U23’s are a length ahead and are cruising though to the 500m mark. The U23 are showing their class as they walk away from Reading who aren’t slouching or giving up but are just being out-powered.

The under 23’s are cruising through the 1000m and are showing class sculling with a very smooth finish.

The stroke of the U23’s is one year out of juniors and looks set to be a name of the future, as her crew pulls away from the Reading girls. This is very efficient sculling as they lower the rate into the public enclosures.

Hanging on to the finish they are letting the Reading girls race their races as they lever it over the line.

Nottingham R.C. & Warrington R.C. beat Reading Univ.

19 2:30 Visitors’ ................. Edinburgh Univ. v. Cambridge Univ.

Two very strong crews with lots of competition and lots of drama. Two big universities with a strong training base in coxless fours.

Cambridge have a very small veer off the first stroke but straighten up quickly. This is a very aggressive start. Both crews rowing stroke for stroke into the booms. Edinburgh are not letting the Cambridge crew go. A little bit of stiffness in the Edinburgh crew as Cambridge get into their rhythm and getting into the middle part of the race with ¾ of a length advantage. In front of the Barn Bar the crews are still rating high with some explosive power.

The Cambridge crew have clear water advantage at the half way mark, with some meandering as they are warned by the Umpire. The Cambridge boat is tandem rigged with heavier guys than in the Edinburgh boat. Edinburgh still attacking and start to push at the 1000m mark. That was a big attack from Edinburgh and Cambridge reacted and went again to gain back the clear water.

Cambridge have really put themselves out there as both crews are racing hard. Cambridge are warned again to get straight having to steer against their bow siders.

Edinburgh still in touch and still in contact. Do Edinburgh have the skill to race it to the line? Cambridge catch a crab and recover but that cost them a quarter of a length. Cambridge panic a little and Edinburgh are coming back. The noise from the crowds is deafening Can Cambridge hang on to the line. Half a length to Cambridge. That was a real miss-step at the Phyllis Court flag,

Edinburgh are protesting impediment, having been washed down by the Cambridge crew after that crab, but the Umpire does not accept the protest and the result was not affected.

Cambridge Univ. beat Edinburgh Univ.

18 2:20 Remenham .............. Hollandia Roeiclub, Netherlands v. Waiariki R.C., New Zealand

A composed but slower start from the Kiwis as the Dutch crew create noise straight away. Side by side at the end of the Island, but the Kiwi eight moves to a half length lead as they move into the booms. The Kiwi eight won at Poznan, beating the Americans and have a lot of class.

Another push at the 500m and the Kiwis push to a length lead over the Dutch squad.

The Dutch crew have suffered a tough blow early on in the race and will have to make some big pushes to stay in touch with the Kiwis. Both crews showing the quality of their rowing as the waves hit at the cross over point on the course.

The Kiwis are not taking the rate down and are really powering down the course. At the 1000m mark they sit up and stretch out to increase the distance away from the Dutch crew, to two lengths.

The Dutch are losing contact with the Kiwis into the public enclosures, despite racing a strong race and not letting the rate drop. The Kiwis are keeping the movement in the boat with no momentum loss.

The Kiwis take the Stewards applause and the cruise into the finish line, having dominated this race.

Waiariki R.C., New Zealand beat Hollandia Roeiclub, Netherlands im 6min 46.

17 2:10 Fawley .................... Leander Club v. The Windsor Boys’ Sch.

Boys quads and Matthew Pinsent is umpiring. Both crews away cleanly.

Windsor have a gold at National Schools whilst this is Leanders home water. Leander are a little close to the booms at the start but have an advantage over Windsor on the first 250m. Windsor aren’t rolling over and at the 500m Leander have only managed to get a canvas in front. Leander are slightly heavier than Windsor, both crews showing high standards of sculling.

At Remenham Windsor are a length down under rating Leander about a pip. This could be a power battle between the two crews later in the race.

At the 1000m Leander retain the advantage, pumping the boat along with the slightly higher rate, but very disciplined.

Windsor pull back the advantage at Upper Thames encroaching on Leanders lead and taking on the 2 man – can they take the bow of Leander?

Leander react and put in a push just before public enclosures but aren’t shaking the Windsor Boys.

Can Windsor keep the confidence and power through? Really close racing as they come to Stewards and both crews are taking the rate up. Windsor clawing back the distance but then Leander push, with about 200m to go. Leander lift as the noise rises and so do Windsor.

A little look across and Windsor go Massive determination this is going to be called on the line. A race that depended on the last surge of the boat. No immediate announcement.

Windsor Boys School beat Leander by two feet. An amazing race.

16 2:00 Double Sculls ....... Oppo & Ruta v. Houin & Azou

France take on Italy in the first race of the afternoon. Some of the best Scullers in the world here with the French Olympic champions from Rio 2016.

The French seem slightly more explosive than the Italians, both crews out cleanly but the French move into the middle of the course and are warned, then Italy are warned. All before the 500m mark.

France dropped a fraction on the Italians but the French claw it back – two top lightweight international boats.

Theses lightweights have beaten have heavyweight crews, with the Italians beating their own heavyweight team mates earlier in the regatta.

The French lightweights are pulling back and still very much stroke for stroke. The Italians have three Olympic experiences under their belt and as they look across at the French they put in a big push, gritting their teeth. At Upper Thames the French are going and take half a length.

Both crews trying to break the other, they are still overlapping at the public enclosures. The French go again but the Italians respond. This is a real all-star race.

The French look like they are rowing through the Italians, moving to a length advantage. Real power and aggression in these crews.

Coming through the last 250m and they are both taking the rate up and are coming back under pressure. Can the finish line come in time?

The Italians took it all the way to the line but the French win. That looks like a very fast race and very fierce.

Houin & Azou beat Oppo & Ruta

A very good morning of racing boding well for tomorrow's finals.

15 12:20 Temple .................... Un. of California, Berkeley, USA v. Oxford Brookes Un. ‘A’

Last race before lunch. Two men’s eights and the favoured Brookes boat against California. Brookes have the better start and pull away immediately with a slightly sharper start.

Brookes are a bow ball ahead but California respond. Both crews are making a lot of noise and are really charging down the first 500m, not letting the rate drop and neither conceding the advantage.

Brookes push through at the 500m mark and take the rate down to a good solid rate at Remenham church.

Through the Barn Bar California are a length down. What will the Californians be able to pull back?

Brookes settle at 1000m to as they react to any pushes California put in. At Upper Thames they have clear water on California and have put together a solid middle part of the race. This crew have beaten both Oxford and Cambridge this year so they are not afraid on taking on challengers. At the public enclosures the clear water advantage is maintained, as the Brookes cox checks to see the distance between the boats. Brookes will face Yale in the final if they don’t have a disaster in the last 250m California take it up but Brookes can comfortably hold this off as they put in a good technical finish.

Oxford Brookes Un. ‘A’ beat Un. of California, Berkeley, USA

14 12:10 Goblets .................. Dunkley-Smith & Booth v. Juhàsz & Simon

The Hungarians in distinctive red and green against Mercantile, Australia. The Hungarians won the Euro champs last year but came 9th this year.

This is going to be an interesting race as both pairs move together off the start. The Hungarians have rowed together for 8 years but the Australians have an early lead.

The Australians have two stone weight advantage over the Hungarians and are using that to push to a commanding lead at the 500m mark.

Mercantile move to two lengths lead over the Hungarians and drift a little on their steering at the 1000m mark despite the umpire not raising the flag.

The Australians have along fluid stroke, using the weight advantage to power through the middle of the course. A smooth stroke from some big guys.

The Hungarians make a big push abut don’t dent the Australians distance lead. The Hungarians don’t cause any discomfort. They never stop racing hard but the power difference and four Olympic silver medals shows couldn’t be rowed down.

Dunkley-Smith & Booth beat Juhàsz & Simon

13 12:00 Visitors’ ................. Leander Club v. California R.C., USA

The umpire starts to call and then says as you were as there’s a timing issue. They start cleanly despite that. This is going to be a big race for Leander, as the Californian crew has three Henley medals.  

Leander have one of the best starts of the regatta as they push out to a length lead over the Californian crew. This might unsettle the race plan of the Californians.

The Leander crew are into a solid rhythm and push to two lengths lead at Fawley.  

The Leander crew have a lot of local experience on this stretch and are powering it down past Upper Thames as California put in a big push and veer to the centre of the course a little. Leander have been as straight as an arrow down the course and it looks like, bar any issues, that this will be a solid win for Leander.

Leander stretch ahead to three lengths at Remenham. This is an extremely solid row.

California take it up at the enclosures as Leander remain error free, in command of the race. In front of the grandstands Leander take the applause having been in total control of this race from the first stroke. A brilliant row.

Leander Club beat California R.C., USA

F Stevenson said “ I think we had a good race we had a decent start. The last of couple days we haven’t really been happy with our start and it’s been a bit messy but today we showed what we could do.”

“We’re excited for tomorrow” he went on to say.

“We tried to stay loose and not let the wash push us around. We’re used to this water.”

“Obviously the win feels good but the job is no-way near done and it’s just on to tomorrow. We’re looking forward to the final. We have a good atmosphere in the boat. We’re having fun and want to go out and enjoy ourselves.”

12 11:50 Remenham .............. Un. of Lon. & Imp. Coll. v. Leander Club & Un. of Lon.

A heat of the women’s eights and Guin Batten umpiring.  A long pause in the start but they are away cleanly.

The Leander composite veer a little off the Island and are really using all of the width of their station. The Leander/UL eight is the current British eight who raced in Poznan, Poland and recently beat the Americans.

The Leander/UL composite push to a length lead at the 500m over the Imperial/UL boat who are effectively the GB under 23 eight. The Imperial boat is staying in the race as the GB boat have a rhythm change at the 1000m mark.

This is a good row from the U23 who are still chasing the senior GB boat at the public enclosures. Coming through Stewards, the GB women’s eight have this race under control but the Imperial boat is sitting on their tail just in case there’s an error. The GB boat take the the line as the U23 race to the line, with only half a length in it at the finish. A competitive race but experience won out.

Leander Club & Un. of Lon. beat Un. of Lon. & Imp. Coll

Fiona Gammon, from the Leander/UL composite said: “It was a good race.  We were happy with it.  We are just taking steps and improvements every race, ready for the final tomorrow. We stuck to our race plan.“

"We stuck to our race plan. “

11 11:40 Prince of Wales ..... Edinburgh Univ. v. Leander Club ‘B’

Both boats predictably work very hard off the start. Leander Club B just nose ahead with a much higher rate from them. As they go into the booms it’s stroke for stroke. Edinburgh are not letting them have this race and it looks like a very even contest. Edinburgh are really pushing Leander in this race. Leander still overrating Edinburgh at the 500m mark. Who is going to make the mark at Remenham?

This is stroke for stroke through to the Barn Bar and Edinburgh put in a push to move in front.  Leander will have to react in the middle of the race. Both crews stay focused with very straight steering. Edinburgh push again at the 1000m with a canvas lead over Leander

Leander build at Upper Thames. No crew can relax in this race as Edinburgh grind it out maintaining the advantage at Remenham. The Edinburgh crew are 2 pips higher in the rate and are lightweights chipping it along but Leander are using the weight advantage and power through at the start of the public enclosures. Leander know this course and have hung on to the last section knowing where the finish line is. This last 250 m and 2 minutes are going to be a big tussle.

A marginal lead from Leander as Edinburgh take it up. Leander take it to the line and are powering the last 20 strokes, in a race that could have gone either way. It’s going to be an all Leander Club final tomorrow in the Prince of Wales.

Leander Club ‘B’ beat Edinburgh University

Charles Waite-Roberts, stroke of the Leander crew who lives in West Street, Henley, said: "In our heads we stuck to our plan, they went out really hard but we stuck with them and had a big push in the second half. That's our strength.

"They stopped moving and we turned the screw. With 750m to go that's when we started to put the nails in the coffin.

"Rowing on a course like this you have to have the confidence, fitness, crewmates and a plan for the whole season."

10 11:30 Princess Grace ...... Wallingford & Agecroft v. Hollandia Roeiclub, Netherlands

Women’s quads with local women from Wallingford against the Dutch crew. Matthew Pinsent umpiring. Both crews away cleanly with a slightly more powerful start from the Dutch crew who seize an early initiative and settle into their rhythm early to have a very fluid start, resulting in clear water at the 500m mark. Two lengths at the Barrier and the Dutch crew have walked away as the weight advantage shows, the Wallingford crew being a lot lighter than the Dutch crew.

The Dutch crew contains three Rio Olympians so this will be a real challenge for the Wallingford crew.

The Dutch reduce their rate of striking at the 1000m mark as they command the race. Wallingford power on through their race plan and put in a push at Upper Thames, possibly being lifted by the shouts from the crowd.

In front of Remenham, the Dutch have a very smooth rhythm as the Wallingford crew put the closing race tactics in place. Wallingford take it up as they push through the public enclosures.

The Dutch crew take the applause past the grandstands as they drop the rate of and paddle to the finish line.

Wallingford continue to race their race taking it to the line and closing the gap.

A great performance, having come through qualification, for Wallingford but they were up against Olympians.  

Hollandia Roeiclub, Netherlands beat Wallingford & Agecroft

9 11:20 Goblets .................. Lodo & Vicino v. Onfroy & Onfroy

Italy’s top boat against the French brothers. The French have to work to make their mark on the Italians because of previous race pedigree. This should be a great match up – with silver for the French in the European Championships.

Through the Barn Bar they are stroke for stroke though the Italians are warned for their steering. The umpire is getting busy and the Italians are not responding. Another wave of the flag and the Italians finally move over as they come to the 1000m mark as the French are warned to move away from the middle of the track.

This is stroke for stroke as the Italians edge ahead at Upper Thames. Absolutely nothing in it. Steering costs the Italians some speed as the French take the advantage and respond to a quarter length lead in front of Remenham. The French put on another surge to move to a three quarter length lead.

The French move away to clear water and the Italians have a problem at the start of the public enclosures as they seized the initiative and out psyching the Italians. The older brother is in the stroke seat of the French pair and coming into the enclosures and the Italians are running out of time in this race. The French stretch their lead and in the last 100m they have this race. They put together a very good race.

Onfroy & Onfroy (France) beat Lodo & Vicino (Italy)

8 11:10 Women’s Double Sculls .........Francis & Carmichael v. Donoghue & Loe

The second semi-final between New Zealand on the Bucks station against the British double, made up of Leander and Imperial College athletes.

The British crew are out off the first stroke but the New Zealanders are punching out and are showing why they were the world cup champions two weeks ago. The Kiwis have a slight lead at the end of the island showing the mechanical advantage in their stroke. The British crew are not letting them walk away. At the 500m mark the kiwis put in another push and move to clear water, with comfortable sculling.

The pedigree of the New Zealand crew shows past the Barn Bar as they comfortably lead from the British double, who are racing still but are not denting the distance between the boats.

The water is quite tricky this morning with the wash coming down, but this is very smooth sculling from the Kiwis, who have a commanding lead at Upper Thames. Richard Phelps is umpiring with yet another blazer and a Cambridge cap.

The British double are still powering down considering they are a new combination.

The crowd in Stewards applaud the New Zealand as they comfortably cross the finish line, rating 26.

 

Donoghue & Loe (New Zealand) beat Francis & Carmichael (Leander and Imperial College) 7min 46 sec

Fastest time to Fawley in this new event.

7 11:00 Wyfold ................... Sport Imperial B.C. v. Thames R.C.

Both crews have a wobble with the steering off the start to the Berks station as Thames are warned by the umpire, having made too big a correction away from the Island. Steering in these coxless fours is dominating the early part of the race and Sport Imperial are using that to their advantage to take an early lead.

At the 500m mark Imperial are a length up despite Thames calling for a second start push. Thames are staying in contact but do seem to wander back to the middle of the track.

Imperial react at Remenham Church and push to clear water. Two brothers in the Imperial crew so a good cohesion there.

Imperial are committing to the middle of the course putting in another length of clear water as Thames are meandering a little, sitting in the wash of Sport Imperial. Imperial don’t need to over think this and can put the power down as they cruise past Upper Thames.

Thames put in a Remenham push but are denting the Imperial lead as they come up to the public enclosure. Thames still steering to the middle a little, not helping sitting in the wash.

Through in front of the Grandstand and Sport Imperial are looking very relaxed as Thames paid for that early correction and veer over to the Berks station on the finish line.

 

Sport Imperial B.C. beat Thames R.C.

6 10:50 Temple .................... Yale Univ., USA v. Univ. of London ‘A’

This is an awesome start from these very well matched eights. Yale move out at the 500m mark to a canvas over UL, as Yale are trying to stamp their mark on the race.

Yale are here to show Brookes A they are here to win so they are hoping to break the UL boat early. Yale are still half a length up on UL through the Barn Bar. Both eights are racing every stroke.

At the 100m mark UL are hanging on to Yale and fighting. Yale are rating 36 as UL rate 37. Which team will hang on?

UL put in a big push at Upper Thames as Yale have to respond by taking the pip up. Ul move through Yale with a defining move  and some confidence in the UL crew as they push to a canvas in front a the start of the public enclosures. Can they take it man for man to a length?

UL are really taking this to the line early and has the momentum. It doesn’t look like Yale can turn the lead over depite going for it. UL took this race by the scruff of the neck. Yale are really pushing for the line but they lose by half a length to UL. This was a brilliant run around by UL.

5 10:40 Prince Albert ........ Imperial Coll. London v. Durham Univ. ‘A’

The winner of this race will race the crew from the second race of the day.

Matthew Pinset umpiring and a very nice start with an explosive start from Durham. Imperial will have to work hard to claw back the canvas lead Durham have created at the end of the Island. Durham are punching it away on the Bucks station whilst the Imperial boat with a slightly longer rhythm are keeping in contact. There is still overlap at the 500m mark and through to the Barn Bar.

Through to the mid-race and Durham have settled into a powerful rhythm but they only have a very small margin over Imperial. At the 1000m mark Imperial make a move and push the nose of the boat in front of Durham. They dug deep for that one. This is quite a psychological race.

At Upper Thames Imperial are still a canvas in front. Durham are not giving this away. This could change again – have Imperial got another gear to hold off Durham

At the public enclosures Imperial take the rate up and are powering it down.

The noise is really loud from the enclosures and Imperial have a length. Imperial kept their nerve as they take it up in the last 250m, pushing to clear water and on course for the final tomorrow. Durham race for the line but Imperial have the ine.

Imperial Coll. London beat Durham Univ. ‘A’ and will race Newcastle tomorrow.

4 10:30 Prince of Wales ..... Nottingham R.C. & Agecroft R.C. v. Leander Club ‘A’

Richard Phelps is umpiring this race, a well known face on the regatta circuit. In the call over you can feel the nerves.

Leander put in a BIG start and blast out of the blocks, with some really big strokes. Nottingham are not letting them get away though.

At the end of the Island Leander put in another big push but Nottingham keep in touch and are not getting fazed by the Leander blast.

Nottingham are in a settled rhythm with a little look over to their opposition. How will they react to the length lead that Leander have created?

Nottingham put in a push at the Barn Bar, and are clearly competitive, giving Leander a good run for their money.

Leander are focusing are on the under 23’s and are showing they are well drilled crew. Can Nottingham react to the big push at Upper Thames which seems a race defining move, from Leander?

Leander put in another push coming up to the public enclosures and pen up the clear water gap they’ve developed. They are now in control of the race. Nottingham are pushing back but this looks like Leander have this race. Nottingham take it up but it’s Leander who are taking the applause past the grandstands.

Leander don’t have to race to the line as they maintain the rate in the last 20 strokes.

Leander Club ‘A’ beat Nottingham R.C. & Agecroft R.C

Harry Lesk from Leander said: "We have the plan set out that we wanted to do and I think we executed it well. We had a good start and got them where we a wanted them.We got in control of the race."

"There was some big wash coming through in the middle of the race. But we dealt with that pretty well. We're really looking forward to the final."

"We'll execute the same plan we've had all year and hopefully get the job done!"

3 10:20 Women’s Double Sculls....... Oldenburg & de Jong v. Tarantola & Bove

France versus Holland in this race with the Dutch closest to the bank. A very young French double, the stroke being 19 years old.

A good start and both show an aggressive start from the French compared to the Dutch composure. They are side by side at the end of the Island and the French have a slight lead on the Dutch but the Dutch are not letting them walk away. The French crew are showing a dynamic lightweight stroke punching away down the course and at the 500m mark the French are in front by two third s of a length. The Dutch are showing a solid composed stroke and surge back into the lead developed by the French through the Barn Bar. This is a real tussle of a race as both team are reacting to the race tactics of the other.

In the middle of the course the Dutch use their weight advantage to get the edge on the French and at the 1000m mark the Dutch crew take the rate again with a big leg push. The French don’t break and react with a press finish ten and it’s still side by side.

At Upper Thames the French put in a big build and take the lead again from the Dutch, stepping up to almost a length lead. This is a critical part of their race plan as both crews power up to the start of the public enclosures. This is going to be a real race to the line between these two crews.

It is a race to the line – more rate out of the French crew with both crews level. At the start of Stewards as the crowd gets excited the Dutch start to move for the line. The French react but have they got the power the Dutch crew has?

The rhythm of the Dutch has given them the sneak on the French who take it up again. This is a race decided in the last 250m of the race

 

Oldenburg & de Jong (Netherlands) beat Tarantola & Bove (France)

2 10:10 Prince Albert ........ Durham Univ. ‘B’ v. Newcastle Univ.

An aggressive start and Durham are really going for Newcastle, after the cox was warned which hand to put up at the start by the Umpire. Newcastle are pushing to half a length lead at the 500m mark.

Coxed fours are tough races and the momentum in the boat is important. Newcastle have kept the momentum up to move to a length and clear water at the Barn Bar.

Newcastle have a slightly higher rate than Durham as Durham veer to the middle slightly. Newcastle move out to a comfortable lead but are still powering it down, not letting it up as they pass the 1000m marker. A strong rhythm, doing the job to keep Durham at bay.

At Upper Thames they are really stamping their mark and have a big lead over Durham who seem to have slightly lost the power and length they had at the start. The pain is showing on the Durham faces, in their tandem rigged boat. Have they had one too many hard races over the last three days?

Newcastle have a comfortable strong rhythm coming through to the public enclosures and are keeping the rate steady. They look very relaxed as they take the applause from Stewards. This is going to be a big show down tomorrow in the final – a north south match perhaps?

Newcastle take the line.

Newcastle University beat Durham University ‘B’

Race 1 - 10:00 Wyfold ................... U.T.S. Haberfield R.C., Australia v. The Tideway Sc.Sch.

The first race of the morning is coxless men’s fours at club level and there has been some interesting steering from these boats earlier in the week, with a couple of boom crashes, notably coming out of the Island, as the buoys change to booms. Those solid bits of wood are unforgiving.

Rain overnight but still not a great deal of stream on the river, though the wind is getting up – great as it’s clearing the clouds away but with the addition of wash from river traffic the course will be bumpy later in the morning.

Scullers are on the Bucks station with the Austrlians closes to the bank on the Berks station. The Australian crew is bucket rigged, with two tandem rowers in the centre of the boat.

The Australians are warned for yelling from the boat as the Umpire starts the call over. A good squeeze on the first stroke from both crews but Scullers swing to the middle of the river and are warned by the umpire. They straighten easily and are stroke for stroke with the Australians into the booms. A cracking start for the first race.

Tideway drop half a length at the 500m mark as Australia try to stamp on the race but they put a push and claw the distance back. The Australian crew are lightweights and have a very springy rhythm. Scullers are not letting them have it all their way and are fighting all the way down the course. Both crews are steering well and keeping to their stations.

A push at Upper Thames and pulling back always staying in touch with the Australians, clawing cm’s off of the  lead they’ve developed. Scullers move through UTS at Remenham and are really putting in a big push to draw level. That was a good move.

Another step in the rating in the ’quiet’ patch of the course just before the public enclosures. A really fatal blow despite scullers getting a warning from Boris Rankov umpiring. Scullers have had some shockers in the past with disqualification. There is everything to play for.

This is a cracking first race – do the lightweights have a gear change. Both are sprinting for the line at the start off Stewards and the Scullers crew are really piling the pressure on as UTS are hanging in. It ooks like scullers have the better sprint as they power it to the finish. UTS drift off their station just before the line but it doesn’t affect Scullers. Scullers take the winas UTS hit the commentary box. They seem to be attached to commentary box but are OK

Maybe the yoga on Tuesday night was just what the Scullers crew needed?

Tideway Scullers beat U.T.S. Haberfield R.C., Australia

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