Video Of The Week: Rowing Blazers at the 175th Henley Royal Regatta
The first day of the 2014 Henley Royal Regatta is history, and what better time to celebrate the release of Jack Carlson's new book on rowing blazers? Our friends at Hear the Boat Sing recently reviewed Carlson's work, and it's well worth a read. Everyone lining the banks in Henley-on-Thames is donning their colors and supporting their schools and clubs, but as is always the case, the field has already been reduced by half. Let's take a look at how things played out today, shall we?
There weren't many surprises in the club events today, though the race between Union Boat Club and Lea Rowing Club was predictably hard fought—the Boston (US) club did manage to best their UK rivals this time, however, and are on to the next round after winning by a verdict of 3/4 of the length. The strongest club overall looks to be Thames, who had no fewer than three entries in the Thames Challenge Cup, as well as two strong crews in the Wyfold. Thames are among the favorites in the Thames, on the Thames... er, yes, and their 'A' crew posted a wire-to-wire victory over a gutsy Agecroft crew today. Daniel Spring (aka Fatsculler) is expecting to see them in the final against Mercantile (AUS), and has the Aussies for the win—Mercantile certainly showed class at Marlow, but 'the men in black' from Molesey often have a way of getting better every day of the regatta. It should be, as usual, a very interesting finish in the big boats. In the Wyfold, City of Oxford did pull off a comeback today against Molesey, as did the Upper Thames 'B' crew on home water against Riverside (US)—that extra 112 meters can make or break your Henley experience.
While it's no surprise that the Dutch crew from Amsterdamsche Studenten Roeivereeniging Nereus (say that three times fast) was quite quick, it's always a surprise to see a crew from California go out on Day One of the Temple Challenge Cup. The Dutch led throughout the race, holding off the Golden Bears for a 3/4 length margin of victory. Another surprising early exit came from Cornell's 'B' entry, who fell to Hitotsubashi University, Japan by 1/2 of a length. The deepest squad at the regatta has come from Oxford Brookes, who had three crews in the Temple—the Brookes 'B' crew fell to a very strong Michigan crew by one length, but both their 'A' and 'C' entries have advanced to the second round. With Cal out of the mix, this could be a very interesting bottom half of the bracket—we like Brookes to make the final, but the mix of last year's winners, Laga, as well as Brown's frosh, Michigan, and the University of Western Ontario should make for fantastic racing throughout the week.
While Spring's favorites are Eton, the College had a bit of a tough race today against Canford, while rivals Abingdon enjoyed a 3-length margin of victory over Sir William Borlase's Grammar School—with four races still to do, an easy run can make a huge difference should these two meet in the semifinal. However, Abingdon could face selected Shawnigan Lake School (CAN) on Friday, which would be a very formidable matchup to say the least.
You can keep up with all the results as they happen via the official Henley Regatta Twitter feed, as well as the live results stream and results page on their website. Thursday's timetable can be found here.
So much more racing gets started tomorrow that we're going to have trouble sleeping, but in the meantime, you can entertain yourself by catching up on the Twitter hashtag #HenleyRoyalRegattaFacts, courtesy of Nathaniel Reilly O'Donnell. Here are a few reasons why you owe it to yourself to take a look.