THERE was mixed fortunes for local crews on the first day of Henley Royal Regatta on Wednesday.
In soaring temperatures there was success for Leander Club, Upper Thames and Shiplake College while defeat for Henley Rowing Club and Reading Blue Coat School. Upper Thames also tasted defeat.
Shiplake College made progress in the Princess Elizabeth Cup for the first time in five years after beating Bedford Modern School.
The crew rowed in a boat named after Olympic medalist and former pupil Will Satch, who will be competing in the GB eight in the Grand on Saturday in the Leander Club and Molesey Boat Club composite crew.
Headmaster Gregg Davies was delighted with their efforts. He said: ?They rowed very smoothly and they started very well.
?Once they got in front they relaxed and I?m delighted with the way they kept going?
Harry Berkley, 18, from Playhatch, rowed in seat three with his twin brother Tom in front of him at two.
He said: ?We got off to a great start. It was good to see them drift away as we got further ahead and then watch them try to catch us up.
?You only get to race here so many times and we?ve had an excellent year so hopefully we will keep the momentum going.?
Last month, the college?s first eight won the Child Beale Cup at the National Schools Regatta in Nottingham, for the first time since 1986.
Phil Green, 18, from Sonning Common, who rowed in seat seven, said: ?We were very clean off the start and then just kept going.
?We were still going very strong through the middle and kept pushing away. We know the river really well so racing this course is an advantage for us.?
Elsewhere in Sonning?s Reading Blue Coat School lost to Salisbury School, USA, by four lengths.
The final race of the first day was Leander?s ?B? crew in the Fawley Cup who comfortably beat Reading Rowing Club by three-and-a-quarter lengths.
Golanski Piotr, 17, who lives in Leaver Road, Henley, was in the second seat for the race. He said: ?We know there are no easy races at Henley but we had the best possible start to get ahead of them.
?I think the race was exhausting but it?s good to take part. This is my first Henley Regatta. I hope we can keep going throughout the weekend. We?re the second crew so there?s less pressure on us.? Leander Club?s coxed eight came through a tough heat in the Thames Cup as they were pushed all the way by City of Oxford Rowing Club.
They won by two-and-a-half lengths in a time of seven minutes.
Australian Louis Hugh-Jones, 19, racing for Leander Club and who lives in Bell Street, Henley, said: ?It was harder than we expected I?ve only been over here for five months and this is the big event everyone talks about so it?s good to progress.
?It was harder than expected because of the heat, even for me and I?m an Aussie who is used to this weather.?
The start of the 176th royal regatta was mixed for Upper Thames with two of their crews losing their races in the morning session and the two afternoon crews winning.
Last year the club won their first ever titles in the Wyfold Cup and the Brittania Cup. The men?s coxed eight comfortably beat Reading Rowing Club in the Thames Cup by one-and-three-quarter lengths.
Jack Thompson, 25, who rowed at seven in the race, said: ?We?re very happy with how the race went.
?I think the two crews were actually similar speeds but we got more out of each stroke which builds up across the race. Once you get a mile in you can see that we got further ahead.
?The start was very clean and we implemented our pushes that we had planned very well.?
Meanwhile the Upper Thames ?A? coxless four won their Wyfold Cup heat, beating Royal Chester Rowing Club by three-quarters of a length.
The ?B? crew were knocked out of the same cup by Tyne Amateur Rowing Club even though they led at the Barrier and Fawley. They lost by two feet.
Speaking after the race Conor Walsh, 25, of King?s Road, Henley, who rowed out of seat two, said: ?It?s really disappointing. We had high hopes for the whole event so to get knocked out early is quite hard to take.?
Seat three?s Oliver Kolodseikh, 27, also of King?s Road, added: ?We just got a bit too comfortable and then couldn?t catch back up.?
The coxed four were knocked out in the Britannia Cup by Lady Rohesia Boat Club, made up of old boys from Bedford Modern School.
Despite leading at the Barrier and Fawley the crew lost by a length. Justin Sutherland, captain and director of rowing at Upper Thames, said: ?The A crew did really well. We?ve had two crews in the Wyfold and the first was knocked out this morning.
?The A crew did what the B crew didn?t and stayed ahead rather than getting rowed past. In the end it was quite comfortable for them. They started well and they?re a little bit stronger than the B crew so they managed to stay ahead and they kept the technique with their rowing.?
Meanwhile Henley Rowing Club were knocked out of the Wyfold Cup by NSR Oslo, from Norway.
The coxless four lost by three-and-a-half lengths in a race that was re-started and saw both crews warned for their steering in the race before the Norwegians came through victorious.