I HAVE just discovered a new first for Henley Royal Regatta — this year was the first time that a Fijian had competed at the event.
Sam Hamilton-Peach was in the St Edward’s School VIII that reached the final of the Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup, losing to Eton.
His father Julian is British while his mother, Niumai, comes from Rewa, a province of Fiji.
The South Pacific islanders are probably best known for their skill at rugby, especially sevens, but Sam has been rowing since he was 10.
He says: “One of the main differences between rowing and other sports, such as rugby, is that the pain felt during the race is entirely brought on by the athlete themselves and not by a bone-crunching tackle or by a knockout punch.”