Issue 101 - August/September 1997
Women's Henley, June 21-22.
Women's Henley celebrated its tenth birthday with some of the worst weather since the event began, a lot of fine racing and a crew who refused to race.
Both days saw strong head winds and heavy rain. On the Saturday, coaches feverishly changed gearing as the early races were dogged by the combination of wind and racing against the stream. The invitation eights events was organised as part of the birthday celebrations. Universities from Australia, the US and Britain were invited to compete in a round robin contest with points awarded for a win. However, Oxford and Cambridge were unable to form crews and Melbourne did not turn up.
Purdue University, from the US, refused to row on the Saturday claiming they should be given a bye through to the final and race the fastest of the British universities. Durham and Imperial were asked to agree to this as Purdue had come a long way. The Brits reluctantly agreed and Imperial duly beat Durham with friends and supporters of Purdue, by now nicknamed 'The Poo', watching closely with videos and stop watches in hand. In the final, Imperial, determined to teach the Americans a lesson, beat Purdue by 1 1/2l in 4:55, the fastest time of the day.
Imperial had a busy Henley, competing in the college eights as well. However, the final against Osler House, the only Oxford crew to make an impression, was an easy race with Osler losing a blade at the end of the island. It's hard enough beating Imperial with eight, for seven it was mission impossible.
The open eights saw a straight final and the best race of the day between Tideway Scullers and the combination of Queen's Tower and Thames. TSS led off the start and were warned for their steering. By the Barrier, TSS led by 1/2l and were again warned for their steering. Both crews were at 36 with Thames pushing hard to decrease the deficit and TSS keeping them at bay. As Thames reduced the lead to a few feet, TSS wobbled and Thames got their noses in front. Thames won by 1/2l in 4:56. Thames second crew won the club eights in another fine race. University College, Galway were quicker out of the blocks at a blistering 46 to Thames's 43. At the Barrier, Galway led by a foot, which they doubled to two feet at the Enclosures with both crews at 38. With 300 metres to go, Thames drew level, then Galway inched ahead to a canvas, then Thames, at 43, drew level. With both crews at 43 for the last 150 metres Thames squeezed ahead to finish 1/3l up in 5:01.
The journey across the Atlantic was a fruitful one for St. Andrew's School. The US college beat Lady Eleanor Holles by three feet in 5:04. St. Andrew's, rowing perilously close to the booms, led throughout with LEH pushing hard, both crews rarely dropping below 37. LEH managed to draw level at one stage, but were unable to build on this.
Sue Appelboom has made a habit of winning the lightweight singles at Henley and the tenth birthday year was no exception. She won easily her eighth consecutive victory against Calvert of Agecroft. Carroll of Notts and Union beat Sanders, City of Sheffield in a close final of the open singles. The distance was 1 1/2l in a nippy 5:54.
Another crew making a successful trip across the pond was Brockville, Canada who won the school/junior coxed fours. They beat Bryanston easily in 5:40.
Selected finals results:
Open Doubles: Kingston (5:26, 1 1/2 l) beat Molesey;
Lightweight Doubles: Hereford (5:34, 1 1/3l) beat Upper Thames;
Junior Doubles: George Watson's College (5:41, 3l) beat Christchurch;
School/Junior Coxed Fours: Brockville, Canada (5:40, easily) beat Bryanston School;
Open Coxless Fours: Thames (5:18, 4l) beat Queen's Tower BC;
Open Coxed Fours: University of London (5:24, 1l) beat Notts and Union/ Bedford/Army;
College Eights: Imperial College (5:23, easily) beat Osler House/Green College;
Open Eights: Queen's Tower/Thames (4:56, 1/2l) beat Tideway Scullers School;
Invitation Eights: Imperial College (4:55, 1 1/2l) beat Purdue University, USA;
Club Eights: Thames (5:07, 1/3l) beat University College, Galway;
School/Junior Eights: St. Andrew's School, USA (5:04, 3 feet) beat Lady Eleanor Holles;
Open Quads: Derby (5:02, canvas) beat Thames;
Lightweight Quads: Thames (5:05, 3/4l) beat Kingston/Evesham;
Junior Quads: Pengwern/Marlow/Furnivall/William Borlase (5:16, easily) beat Marlow;
Club Fours: Tideway Scullers School (5:36, 1 foot) beat University, London;
College Fours: Edinburgh University (5:30, 1 1/2l) beat Dublin University;
Open Coxless Pairs:Edinburgh/Cambridge University (5:40, easily) beat Clyde/ Strathclyde;
Lightweight Coxless Pairs: Thames (no time recorded, 1 1/4l) beat Avon;
County Open Singles: C Carroll, Notts and Union (5:54, 1 1/2l) beat A Sanders, City of Sheffield;
Lightweight Singles: Sue Appelboom, Mortlake, Anglian Alpha (5:57, easily) beat A. Calvert, Agecroft
© Copyright Philip Halliday, 1997.
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