Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Video Of The Week: Training with the U.S. Men's Quad at Craftsbury Sculling Center



This week's video comes to us via the U.S. men's quad, who are coming off a great performance at Henley last week. The new-look combo fell just short of knocking off the home team (Sam Townsend, Pete Lambert, Charlie Cousins, and Graeme Thomas—the same lineup that took gold ahead of Germany at the second World Rowing Cup in Aiguebelette) in the Queen Mother Challenge Cup, leading through Fawley but eventually losing to the Brits by half a length. It was one of many great races at this year's Henley Regatta, which, as usual, featured more than its fair share of nail-biters, as well as a number of memorable storylines.

Game of Inches
There are races that come down to the line every year at Henley, but this year it felt like every other race was determined as the crews entered the enclosures. In addition to an incredible dead heat on Thursday in the Visitors' between Molesey and Seeclub Zurich, the semis and finals of the Ladies' Challenge Plate were remarkable—Leander earned their way into the final by defeating a gutsy Brown crew by a canvas, only to fall to Cal the following day by a verdict of '3 feet.'

International Talent
Julien Bahain is a household name in international rowing circles, and he just pulled off one of the most remarkable performances of the 175th Henley Regatta in the Silver Goblets and Nickalls' Challenge Cup—jumping into the boat with his girlfriend's brother, Mitchel Steenman, Bahain won his third Henley, and his first as a sweeper. Steenman's pair partner, Rogier Blink, was ill immediately prior to the regatta, so Steenman reached out to Bahain on Tuesday to see if Bahain might be willing to give it a go. And, the rest is history. (You can read the full story on Bahain's blog.)
The regatta also saw both defending Olympic champion single scullers win back Henley titles—Mahé Drysdale came from behind against the very strong Dutchman Roel Braas to take the Diamond Challenge Sculls, while Mirka Knapkova won the Princess Royal with relative ease, cruising to a four and a half length victory over Krisztina Gyimes of Hungary. Another highlight of the regatta was the victory of the GB men's four—a crew that is certainly looking like the favorites at this point to win the world title in that most British of rowing events.

There were also more than a few legends on hand to take it all in, report on the action, and to do a bit of messing about in boats themselves.

We Don't Need No Education
It was also a banner year for British students and clubs. Not only did Newcastle take the Prince Albert Challenge Cup over Harvard, but also, for the first time since 2006, a British university team won the Temple—the team to end the drought? Who else but Oxford Brookes. Needless to say, they were a little excited about it.

And, while we're on the subject of British crews, we'd be remiss not to mention the first-ever victories for Upper Thames Rowing Club at Henley, winning both the Wyfold (by decision) and the Britannia Challenge Cup, defeating both Rudern, Tennis und Hockey Club Bayer Leverkusen (GER) and Sydney Rowing Club (AUS) in the latter event along the way. Oh, and some team called 'Eton' won the Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup (again).

For complete results, please visit the official website of Henley Royal Regatta, and to relive it all in (somewhat) real time, scroll through the Henley Regatta Twitter feed—it's like a walk down memory lane, 140 characters at a time. And, for daily video recaps from the 2014 regatta, visit the HRR YoutTube Channel.

-RR

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