University Of Nottingham Boat Club, Nottingham, NG2 5FA

Henley Royal Regatta

Henley Royal Regatta

On Friday the 28th Nottingham past and present made their way to Henley for the qualifiers, a time trial over the course for crews that haven’t prequalified, fighting to earn a spot at the regatta the following week. Already prequalified was men’s eight in the Temple Challenge Cup (university eights), and alumni Adam Giambrone (class of ’18) and Oliver Daly (class of ’18) with Molesey Boat Club in the Thames Challenge Cup (club eights). Racing for their place in the event; the lightweight men’s quad from BUCS regatta, the men’s BUCS coxless four teaming up with cox Ashton Harris, women’s BUCS double of Lucy Gillbanks and Imogen North, and women’s pair of Grace Johnson and Lucy Stokes. Current UoNSport scholar Hannah Hornby was also racing in an alumni eight for her school boat club, Headington, in the Remenham Challenge Cup (open women’s eights).

A host of alumni were also racing at the qualifiers for new clubs, of these alumni and current club members progressing through were; the lightweight men’s quad of Matthew Thoumine, George Crouchley, Harrison Rowe, and Lewis Howlett, with her old school club Hannah Hornby, Ashley Pain (class of ’11) with Worcester Rowing Club, Anna Terry (class of ’15) with Tideway Scullers’ School, and James Budenberg (class of ’16) and Nick Norgate (class of ’07) also with Tideway Scullers’ School. Joined by the prequalified Temple eight, this is the largest qualifying contingent from UoNBC in recent years. 
Qualifiers over, and the draw released on Saturday, the crews above would spend the next few days training in Henley, familiarising themselves with the course and making the final touches to their preparation.

Racing began on Wednesday the 3rd with rounds of the Temple Challenge Cup (UoNBC eight), Thames Challenge Cup (Adam and Ollie), and the Wyfolds (James, Nick, and Ashley). The men’s eight faced a hard race, with one of the best rows they’ve had since coming together, they were beaten by a strong crew from Michigan University, USA. In the Wyfolds (club coxless fours), James and Nick made up half of their Tideway Scullers’ crew, and went head to head with RTHC Bayer Leverkusen of Germany, another tough international crew with a wealth of experience at Henley and on the international stage, that would give them the edge in this race on the first day. Successful in the first round of the Wyfolds, Ashley in the Worcester crew would knock out local favourites Upper Thames and make it through to the next stage. Also progressing was the Molesey eight, winning comfortably against alumni of Cardiff University and heading into a tough next day of racing.

On Thursday, another round of the Thames Challenge Cup for Adam and Ollie and in the Wyfolds for Ashley, and the first round for the Prince of Wales (UoNBC quad) and Remenham (Anna and Hannah). It was a hard day of racing across the draw, with each of these drawn against quality competition. In the Thames Cup, Molesey met eventual finalists Thames Rowing Club and fought all the way down the course against their rivals in a wall of noise for the two local clubs, Ashley’s crew from Worcester fell to eventual semifinalists Mercantile from Australia, a class crew travelling over for the event. As lightweights against a larger crew in the intermediate event, the quad from Nottingham University had a tough time on their hands against the German composite of Ruder-Club Potsdam E.V and Ruderverein Munster, the crew put in a credible effort against their opposition with a good display of their sculling ability, just unable to match the speed of the international composite. In the Remenham, alumna Anna Terry with Tideway Scullers’ School faced off against current member Hannah Hornby as some of the only club crews in an open event filled with international competition. Both crews put on a fantastic display of rowing down the course, with the Tideway and Imperial crew coming out on top and progressing through.

Friday, the last remaining was Anna Terry in the Tideway Scullers’ School composite with Imperial College, meeting Hollandia Roeiclub, the national squad from the Netherlands. A notable effort for the club crew against an international quality event, unfortunately Anna’s crew couldn’t match the speed to make it to the next round of a heavily stacked international event, drawing to a close the campaigns of current members and alumni of Nottingham University at Henley. This left the weekend to watch some of the greatest clubs and athletes from around the world competing for the coveted Henley trophies and red box.

This year Henley Royal Regatta saw a record year, with over 100 more entries across the event, and a huge number of international crews travelling to compete on the famous course in front of the crowds. It was also a step on for the club entry of current students, performing again at an increasing level. It has been great to see so many athletes continue to row after leaving the university, many of these going on to perform at an even higher level, the club program acting as a stepping stone to high level rowing.