Sunday, 17 December 2017

Quality entry for 175th regatta

GREAT BRITAIN'S victorious European Championship crews will appear at next month's Henley Royal Regatta.

The British team was the most successful nation at the championships in Belgrade earlier this month, winning eight medals, and will be looking to carry that form into the regatta, which is celebrating its 175th anniversary this year.

European champions Alex Gregory, Mo Sbihi, George Nash and Andy Triggs Hodge comprise the new four which stormed to gold and they will be competing against crews from Germany, France and China in the Stewards’ Cup.

The British eight, racing as Leander Club and Molesey Boat Club, took European bronze and will be up against the French national eight, racing as Club France, in the Grand as they look to defend their title.

In the Queen Mother Cup for men’s quads, Britain’s world and European bronze medallists, racing as Leander Club and Agecroft Rowing Club, will compete against crews from Australia, France and the Netherlands.

A total of 494 crews have entered this year’s regatta, up on last year’s total of 470.

There will also be 107 crews from 20 overseas countries including Australia, South Africa and the United States.

A varsity crew from Yale University has made the journey to compete in the Remenham Cup for women’s eights, where they will go head-to-head with the British eight, racing as Leander Club and Imperial College London.

Single sculls Olympic champions Mahe Drysdale and Mirka Knapkova will also return to the regatta, with Drysdale looking to win back the title he surrendered last year.

The New Zealander, who has won the Diamond Sculls three times, will be up against countryman George Bridgewater and Great Britain Olympic bronze medallist Alan Campbell.

Knapkova, of the Czech Republic, will be looking to retain her title in the Princess Royal Cup. She will face British competition in the shape of Leander Club’s Margery Pepper.

Regatta chairman Mike Sweeney said: “This year is the 175th anniversary of the regatta and I am delighted to welcome so many top crews from all around the world to help us to celebrate this special occasion.”

The five day regatta runs from July 2 to July 6 with qualifying heats taking place next Friday (June 27).

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