Video Guide: Get to Know the Henley Royal Regatta Course, with Robert Treharne Jones
The 2012 running of Henley Women's Regatta is in the books, with Radcliffe (Harvard) taking second overall in the Elite 8+ category, following up on their strong 2011-2012 domestic season (which saw the Black and White take ninth overall at the NCAA Championships in the varsity eight, and 12th in the team standings). After a solid victory over a very talented crew from Thames/Henley by 1 and 1/2 lengths, Radcliffe battled well in the final, but fell to University College Dublin by half a length in the last race of the regatta. Radcliffe will be sticking around the Henley course for a second go-round, however, this time at the Henley Royal Regatta (in the Remenham Challenge Cup), which begins on 27 June.
The course is unique, and knowing where you are can make a huge difference when it comes time to race, helping you to manage your physiology as well as to plan and execute your moves at the right time. To that end, the above video is a guide to the course, courtesy of The Henley Standard, narrated by none other than FISA's voice of rowing, and Regatta Radio (HRR) announcer, Robert Treharne Jones. For American crews, less familiar with the course, this video is a solid introduction regarding what to look (and listen) for/how to orient yourself while racing down the 1 mile and 550 yard (2,112 meter) course (I mean, not that any of you will be looking out of the boat...).
The list of entries for the 2012 HRR has been released, and features a number of standout U.S. crews, not least of which are Brown's varsity eight (2012 IRA silver medalists, racing in the Grand Challenge Cup), Michigan's varsity eight (ACRA bronze medalists and Dad Vail champs, racing the Temple Challenge Cup), the undefeated Washington Husky frosh eight (Temple), and two crews from Harvard: the undefeated lightweight varsity eight (Temple), and the Crimson heavyweight eight (racing in the Ladies' Challenge Plate event). Potomac Boat Club also has a large number of crews entered in several events. A complete list of entries can be found on the official website of Henley Royal Regatta, and a full list of American entries has been posted to the Rowing News website.
You can follow Robert Treharne Jones on Twitter, via @voiceofrowing, as well as @RegattaRadio, and for live updates from the course be sure to follow the @henleyregatta Twitter feed. As you might have guessed, we'll be releasing our own set of picks and predictions for HRR 2012 as we draw closer to the event.
And (while I'm sure that many of you are already familiar with this little Ali G segment), should you be interested in a less-than-regatta-approved look at the event, you can also check out one of the earliest 'Borat' episodes ever recorded by Sasha Baron Cohen, in which he visits the Henley Royal in 2000, and meets with the Dartmouth men's lightweight eight in the Boat Tents following their race. WARNING: It's Borat. Proceed at own risk. (To view Borat's Guide to Henley, follow the link.)