Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Henley Royal Regatta Day 4 - as it happened

LIVE: Henley Royal Regatta Day 4 - results and reaction

7.30pm update: Latymer Upper School A beat Henley Rowing Club in the Diamond Jubilee Challenge Cup.

The crew will take on Headington in the final after they beat Shrewsbury School earlier on.

That's our last local race completed for tonight, so join us tomorrow when we do it all again for Finals Day!

7.10pm update: Leander Club and Agecroft Rowing Club beat Georgetown University in the Double Sculls Challenge Cup

The experienced British duo of John Collins and Graeme Thomas will be taking part in tomorrow's final against the New Zealand Waiariki Rowing Club. The winning margin in this race was one length.

Georgetown fought hard all the way to the finish line and there was not much separating the crews at the end. Collins and Thomas maintained a steady pace and retained their early lead.

6.40pm update: Chinese National Rowing Team beat Leander Club in the Town Challenge Cup

A formidable Chinese crew made light work of the persistent Leander outfit, achieving a record-breaking time to the barrier.

This result was expected, particularly after the National Rowing Team achieved such a comfortable win in the quarter-final.

They had the early advantage again on Saturday, with superior steering control and the lead gradually extended throughout.

This allowed the team to drop the stroke rate from a very early stage. The final margin of victory was two and three quarter lengths.

Juliette Perry, 22, who was sat in the Number 2 seat, said: "They were just a much faster crew.

"They are the Chinese national team and they came second in the World Championship. We always knew that there would probably have to be some kind of miracle or terrible disaster for them.

"But we really enjoyed it and had a really strong race. Our crew is all under 23 years old. We are really pleased with our performance.

"It has been a really good regatta for us. I have loved every minute of it. It is my first regatta and it has been absolutely amazing. I could not have asked to do it with a better crew, coach or club."

5.00pm update: The next local race after the tea break is at 6.40pm and this will see Leander Club take on the Chinese National Rowing Team in the Town Challenge Cup.

4.00pm update: Eton College beat Shiplake College in the Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup

Heartbreak for Shiplake College, but the crew can feel very proud with that effort against a strong Eton outfit. In the end, there was only one length and the time was six minutes and 16 seconds.

It started off as a really tight race, but the margin increased to about a length at the halfway stage through minimal effort on Eton's part.

Shiplake were hoping to reach the final, while Eton have won this event previously on 13 occasions. Their most recent successes came in 2016 and 2014.

Gregg Davies, headmaster of Shiplake College, said: "My immediate thought is that we're on a journey we started eight years ago.

"In the past three years we've made a Friday and two Saturdays at Henley, as well as winning Head of the River twice and coming second once.

"We're not exactly where we want to be yet but we will win this within the next five years. Of course we're disappointed today, but every year we inch closer and closer.

"We've also lost to a school of 1,300 boys, whereas we've got only 450 and while we aren't making excuses they clearly have a larger pool to choose from.

"Our training programme now is great at all levels, the boys are wonderful and we have a fantastic coaching staff - it's all about the people and we've invested in that."

We also caught up with Hugh Macworth-Praed, the coach of the Shiplake, after the crew achieved their second semi-final in 30 years.

He added: "Eton had the push in the middle and they just could not make it unfortunately.

"They came off the water saying they could not have done anymore, so you can't really complain about that.

"We are getting closer, so it will happen at some point. They just came up against a fast and strong crew.

"I don't think they have underperformed. You just can't win every race unfortunately.

"There are seven of them coming back next year. That makes life a little easier. It is not going to be a one-year crew. It is a project."

3.50pm update: Cambridge University & Leander Club beat University College Dublin in the Visitors Challenge Cup

The races are coming thick and fast now and this was another comfortable victory.

The final margin of victory was one and three quarter lengths and the time was six minutes and 34 seconds.

Our reporter caught up with Number 2 Tom Digby, 20, after the race.

He said: "It is Saturday so the water was bouncing around quite a lot. It was nice to get off the line quickly.

"We had them in our sights. The best water is before the island. At that point we had three quarters of a length on them and we kept stepping it up."

The victory means that Cambridge University & Leander Club will take on A.S.R Nereus and D.S.R Laga in the final tomorrow, despite the crew only being formed on Monday.

Digby added: "It will be quiet challenging, but it is the final of Henley, so it was going to be."

3.40pm update: Leander Club A beat Leander Club B in the Fawley Challenge Club

There was a long delay in the start of this race after a Swan Support crew had to go onto the water to rescue an animal.

But once the race got started it was clear who was going to win this one. The A crew won by a comfortable margin and did not have to sprint towards the end of the race. The final margin of victory was one of the biggest we have seen this year at five lengths.

They will meet Henley Rowing Club A in tomorrow's final after their earlier victory over Claires Court School. 

Due to that earlier delay, the breaks between races are being cut to catch up on time.

Tim Eilers, 18, from Fairmile, Henley, said: "We had a really flat start. The second boat kept up with us really well.

"Then we got into a really good rhythm and pushed on from there and basically managed the race from there.

"We made a decision to drop the rate a little and bring it home."

3.20pm update: Oliver Zeidler beat Harry Leask in the Diamond Challenge Sculls

The German rower and European Championship gold medal winner made an aggressive start to this race and won comfortably.

Leask has enjoyed previous successes at Henley Royal Regatta in the Prince of Wales and Queen Mother challenge cups.

But he was unable to keep pace with Zeidler. The visitor beat the Leander rower in a time of seven minutes and 26 seconds and the difference was one and a half lengths.

2.50pm update: Henley Rowing Club A beat Claires Court School in the Fawley Challenge Cup

Henley will take part in tomorrow's final after a strong start was maintained throughout. The final margin was three quarters of a length and the time was six minutes and 35 seconds.

Both crews were warned about straying into the centre of the water and Claires Court managed to keep pace with Henley for much of the race.

The lead was cut to half a length in the closing stages as Claires Court threatened to make a late comeback.

Henley A beat Henley B yesterday and at 3.40 we will find out who will be facing them in the final out of Leander A and Leander B.

2.30pm update: Hollandia Roeiclub beat Leander Club in the Ladies' Challenge Plate

We are all set for a busy afternoon of racing and the first local event did not let us down for excitement.

Unfortunately, Leander Club's more experienced crew lost by half a length to the Dutch U23's.

Leander made a fierce start to the race, but the younger outfit seemed to be much more controlled with their strokes.

The race remained tight throughout, but the distance of half a length heading into the closing stages was maintained by Hollandia. The winning time was five minutes and 57 seconds.

Leander won the plate in 2016, following the disqualification of ASR Nereus. But it will be Hollandia Roeiclub facing off against Oxford Brookes A in the final tomorrow.

They beat Newcastle University & Cambridge University in their midday meeting by one length.

Cox Rory Copus, 28, who lives in Oxford, said: "It was the best race of my life to be in.

"Sometimes you still get this phenomenal rush from being in a really close and fast face and being part of that experience is why we do this sport and why we race.

"It was just a really good race to be a part of."

He had good reason to be in a joyous mood, as this time was in fact a record. The previous best time was set by a composite crew of Molesey and Leander in 2015 and was equalled last year by Oxford Brookes.

11.50am update: Hollandia Roeiclub beat Leander Club in the Silver Goblets & Nickalls' Challenge Cup

Disappointment for the Leander duo of Alex Ball and Tom Ballinger, as they are beaten by a big margin in the semi-final.

The Dutch pair secured a commanding lead and this remained the case throughout. The win was recorded at a distance of three and a half lengths. The time was seven minutes and 36 seconds.

In the winning boat was Mitchel Steenman, who has taken part in all three of the last Olympics. He and his partner Michiel Oyen displayed a stronger rhythm in the early stages of the race.

Twenty-one-year-old Tom Ballinger, who lives on Gossmore Walk, Marlow, said after the race: "It was hard. At the start by the island the water was nice and flat. 

"We settled into a good rhythm. As soon as we came out from the island, we got hit by wash and we struggled to get through it."

When he got out of the water, Tom was hugged by his girlfriend Amelia Crick, 18, of Brampton Chase, Shiplake.

11am update: Leander Club and Imperial College London beat University of London and Molesey Boat Club in the Remenham Challenge Cup

As a few people may have predicted, it was the more senior crew of Leander and Imperial College which will be taking part in tomorrow's final.

The women's eight race - the first of the day to feature a crew from Leander - was an even contest between the GB squad and the U23's.

The victory was not comfortable and a hard-fought push from both crews made for an interesting final sprint for spectators. The result was victory by just two thirds of a length and the time was six minutes and 43 seconds.

Members of the victorious boat have a busy schedule ahead of them, as they will be heading to Rotterdam soon. But before that, they have the joy of taking part in tomorrow's final for a chance to lift the Remenham Challenge Cup.

Leander Club and Imperial College London won the challenge cup in 2014, in a time of seven minutes and 11 seconds.

Josephine Wratten, 27, of Upton Close in Henley, was delighted with the win.

She said: "We knew it was going to be tight off the start. I think we got off to a good start and rhythm.

"We knew we had to get ahead and keep moving out. They are a really strong crew. We got ahead by the barrier.

"It was just a case of staying ahead. They pushed back on us, which was awesome. It pushed us on again. 

"I think we were confident in our race plan."

10am update: Henley Rowing Club A beat Latymer Upper School B in the Diamond Jubilee Challenge Cup

It was a tense start to the day, but Henley RC prevailed in their 10am heat by three quarters of a length! The time was seven minutes and 40 seconds.

For most of the race, the crews looked to be side by side, but Henley gradually increased their stroke rate and an impressive final sprint ensured a comfortable win.

That victory means Henley will face Latymer Upper School A in the semi-final at 7.30pm, following their earlier win over Marlow Rowing Club by two and a quarter lengths.

The Henley quad of Georgia Brown, Daisy Bellamy, Sophia Hahn and Hannah Hills are current National Schools’ champions. Hahn went to last year’s junior world championships as part of the American national squad, while Bellamy represented Great Britain at Coupe de Jeunesse.

8am update: Welcome to Saturday of Henley Royal Regatta 2019!

Well it's another glorious day in Henley and the entire town is gearing up for regatta semi-finals day.

We've got a lot of local crews taking to the water today and, as ever, will be giving you all the results, reaction and photos direct from the water as it happens, so keep this page open or keep an eye on our Twitter and Facebook feeds for all the latest updates.

Our first race will start at 10am, when Henley Rowing Club A take on Latymer Upper School B in the Diamond Jubilee Challenge Cup. Henley Rowing Club, Leander Club and Shiplake College are all in action in a host of races with Leander Club A and Leander Club B taking on each other in the Fawley at 3.40pm, and Shiplake College having to wait until 4pm for their appearance in the Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup against Eton College.

Have you missed the action from the water on previous days? Catch up with our coverage from yesterday (Friday)Thursday and Wednesday

And if you haven't seen our regatta supplement in this week's paper yet let us whet your appetite with these articles about some of the rowers involved in this week's events who epitomise our hashtag of #localpride: Leander's Karen Bennett on the moment she was chosen for the Olympics and former regatta winner Katherine Douglas on what it's like to win on the Henley stage.

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