It’s time for the best regatta in the World….Henley Royal Regatta – the event that every rower in the world should race at least once in their careers.
This year sees entries from 577 crews from 15 different nations, the 2nd highest in the regatta’s history.
So, as always I’ll do a rundown of the key crews to watch in all the events, and there are three new ones to look at this tear, the Women’s pair, Women’s Double Sculls and Women’s coxless four meaning that for the first time in the Regatta’s history there is an equal number of men’s and women’s open events.
So, to kick off…
The Grand Challenge Cup
Holders: Hollandia Roeiclub, Holland
3 crews (7 in 2016)
4 fewer entries this year, but they are three of the best men’s 8’s in the World
Passauer Ruderverein von 1874 e.V. and Ruderverein “Trevis” Trier von 1821, Germany
Whilst the crew name maybe a bit of a mouthful this crew is, in reality, the German national eight, the Deutschlandachter. This crew contains four of the crew that won a silver medal behind the British at the Rio Olympics (Malte Jackschik, Richard Schmidt, Hannes Ocik & Martin Sauer) along with half of the Olympic M4- (Felix Wimberger and Max Planer). The other members of the crew are Johannes Weissenfeld & Torben Johannesen who raced the M2- at the Poznan World Cup in 2016 and 2015 M2+ silver medallist Jakob Schneider. Together this crew dominated at the European Championships winning their first title of the Tokyo Olympiad. This weekend they also won at the 2017 Poznan World cup posting a frankly astonishing time of 5:18.6 setting a new World Best Time, breaking the mark set by the Canadians at the Lucerne World Cup in 2012.
Leander Club and Newcastle University
This is the British national eight. They’ve some mighty shoes to fill, Olympic Champions, three-time World Champions and winners of the Grand in 2013, 2014 and 2015. But, this crew is new and very much in development. Plus they suffered a number of illnesses in the last couple of weeks with Olympic Champion Tom Ransley out with an appendicitis. At Poznan this weekend the British had a good race battling with the New Zealanders through to the 1500m mark before losing out in the sprint ending up with a bronze medal. There’s just one change from the crew that rowed in Poznan, with Oxford Blue Ollie Cook replacing Tom Jeffrey, Cook joins Leander Clubmates Tom Ford, Cam Buchan, Callum McBrierty, Jacob Daswon and Adam Neill along with Newcastle’s James Rudkin and Cambridge’s Lance Tredell.
Wairiki Rowing Club, New Zealand
The New Zealand national eight. Another fabulous crew, possibly the best New Zealand M8 since the awesome Kiwi crews of the late 1970’s. Built around the crew that won the U23 World Championships in 2014 that went on to take 6th at the Rio Olympics. The crew for Henley has Issac Grainger, Shaun Kirkham, Stephen Jones, Brook Robertson and cox Caleb Shepherd from the Olympic M8 along with lightweight Olympian James Lassche in bow along with Anthony Allen and Pat McInnes who raced in the M4- that just missed qualification for the Olympics. At Poznan this weekend Kiwis and the British had a great race with the Kiwis taking the silver.
My picks…I hope the Stewards arrange it that the British race the Kiwis in the Semi, as a head to head between these two boats could be a classic. But, no-one will beat the German’s. Given the likely good conditions at Henley we could see the Grand record under threat. The Germans were the first crew to break the magic 6 minute barrier at Henley back in 1989. GB set the course record of 5:54 in 2014 and the Germans will be gunning for that record.
The Queen Mother Challenge Cup
Holders: Leander Club
A straight final between Leander Club and Wairiki Rowing Club, New Zealand.
The British, Jack Beaumont, John Collins, Jonny Walton and Pete Lambert will be expecting to take the victory. At Poznan this weekend they laid down an impressive marker taking the gold in a very quick time of 5:36. For Jack Beaumont a win in the Queen Mother will give him the full set of quad medals at Henley with a win in the Fawley Challenge Cup in 2012 and a hat-trick of wins in the Prince Of Wales Challenge Cup from 2013-15. If they take the win in the QM he will become the first man to win all three quad events (and with a win in the Double Sculls in 2016 it would give him his 6th Henley Medal). Although Harry Glenister could also achieve that feat if his Leander crew win the Prince of Wales Challenge Cup.
Racing the final against the British are the New Zealanders of Wairiki rowing club. The crew of Giacomo Thomas, Nathan Flannery, Cameron Crompton and Lewis Hollows are a young crew, three of whom won a silver medal at the U23 World Championships in 2015. Just Nathan Flannery remains from the Olympic quad that finished 10th. At the Poznan World Cup this weekend the young Kiwi crew finished 1st in the B-final to take 7th overall.
My pick….the British look too strong for the Kiwis at this point. I would expect a comfortable home win. What will be fun is to see whether the British can get near the record of 6:15 set by the Italians of S.C. Eridanea & S.C Firenze back in 1989 – the oldest record in the books.
The Silver Goblets & Nickall’s Challenge Cup
Holders: R. Braas & M Steenman, Holland
A small entry this year, it’s been a while since there hasn’t been the need to run qualifying for this event.
Despite the relatively small entry it is quite a high class field:
S.H Arnot & T.R.Jeffery (Leander Club) Members of the GB squad, both were in the M8 that raced at the European Championships. Jeffrey also raced in the crew that won bronze in Poznan.
J.J Dunkley-Smith & J.W.Booth (Mercantile Rowing Club & Melbourne University, Australia). Two of Australia’s finest. They were both part of the M4- that won silver at the Rio Olympics behind the British. Neither have been named as part of the Australian national squad for 2017 but will be very strong contenders at Henley.
A.C.H Lester & J.J Padmore (Thames Rowing Club). A strong club combination, both already have Henley medals to their credit from the Thames Cup winning boat of 2015. Lester followed that up with a win in the Visitors Challenge Cup last year.
M. Lodo & G. Vicino (Team Italia, Italy). Matteo Lodo and Guiseppe Vicino are the top Italian boat. They were both members of the Italian M4- that won the World Championships in 2015 and then took bronze at the Rio Olympics. They’ve raced internationally once so far this season taking the Gold medal at the European Championships. Depending on the draw it could well be an Italy v Australia final.
S.P.S Meijer & S.J Devereux (Elizabethan Boat Club and Leander Club). Sam Meijer and Seb Devereux are two outstanding young British oarsmen. Although entered as Elizabethan and Leander it could so easily be a Harvard University and Washington University composite. Both are part of a plethora of talented British oarsmen and women who are choosing to study in the USA. Meijer was world junior champion in 2015 and raced in Harvard’s 2V crew that finished 5th at the IRA Championships in 2016. Devereux, a losing Henley finalist in the Prince of Wales last year, raced in the Washington Huskies varsity 8 in 2015. This has the makings of a potential GB U23 crew.
V.O. Onfroy & T.O.Onfroy (Club France, France). The current French national team coxless pair. The Onfroy brothers, Valentin and Theo, were both in the M4- that finished 11th at the Olympics. In 2017 they switched to the M2- and have made an outstanding start to their season, taking silver at the European Championships and gold at the 2nd World Cup in Poznan. The “form” crew on the circuit, a head-to- head with either the Italians or the Australians could be very tasty.
B. Simon & A. Juhàsz (Pénzügyôr Sportegy Egylet, Hungary). The Hungarian national team. Simon and Juhàsz were 9th in the M2- at the Rio Olympics and so far in 2017 have a 10th place at the 1st World Cup and a 9th place at the European Championships.
P.C Tortora & L.N. Jenkins (Yale University, USA). Pete Tortora from Fairfield Connecticut and Leonard Jenkins from Whakatane, New Zealand, were members of the Yale University 2V this season, finishing 4th at the IRA Championships and taking the win in the 2V Yale v Harvard race.
C.O. Webster & A.P.Kennedy (Waiariki Rowing Club, New Zealand). Cameron Webster is an U23 World Champion in the BM4+ from 2015 and Alex Kennedy raced for New Zealand in the M8 at the Rio Olympics. This season they are the spare pair for the New Zealand squad and raced at the Poznan World Cup (when the no.1 pair of James Hunter and Tom Murray withdrew through injury) and finished 8th.
My picks…should be a great race in the final which I reckon will be between Australia and Italy, with the Italian European Champions coming out on top.
The Stewards Challenge Cup
Holders: Hollandia Roeiclub, Holland
This is the French national squad M4- with Benoit Demey, Benoit Brunet, Julien Montet and Edouard Jonville. This is the same line-up that raced at the European Championships finishing just out of the medals in 4th. Montet was a member of the M4X that finished 16th at the 2015 World Championships and Demey and Brunet raced in the M2+ at Rotterdam last year finishing 9th.
Leander Club and Griffen Boat Club
I’m a little surprised to see this boat in the Stewards. They are eligible for the Visitors Challenge Cup so why the Stewards bumped them up (or why they entered the higher event) I don’t know.
This is a boat of some of the best young GB oarsmen currently studying in the USA and is the likely GB U23 M4- for this year’s World Championships in Plovdiv in mid-July.
This crew is made up of Matt Benstead at bow, an U23 silver medallist from last year’s BM8+ and a Senior at Princeton. He was a member of the Tigers 2V crew that finished 3rd at the IRA Championships.
In the 2 seat is Tom Digby, a freshman at Yale and 3 seat of the outstanding 1st Varsity crew that won the IRA Championships and also the Yale v Harvard Boat Race. Formerly of Abingdon School, Digby is one of the most outstanding young oarsmen in the country.
At 3 is Charlie Elwes, another of the Yale 1st Varsity crew, a Sophmore from Radley College he raced for the GB junior team for two years winning a silver medal in the JM4- in 2015.
Stroking the boat is the third Yale athlete, Sholto Carnegie. He was also a member of the Yale 1st Varsity crew that won the IRA’s and was also in the crew that won the Ladies Plate at Henley last year. After Henley last year he rowed in the British U23 M8 with Matt Benstead that won silver at the World Championships.
Leander Club & Molesey Boat Club
Great Britain’s flagship men’s crew with Olympic champions Moe Sbihi and Will Satch. Big Moe is rated as possibly the best rower in the world at the moment, certainly one of the most powerful. He was in the crew that won the M4- at the Rio Olympics. Satch was the strokeman of the British M8 that took a spectacular gold in Rio. At bow is the newest member of the crew, Leander Club’s Matt Rossiter. He raced in the M2- at the first World Cup and took a superb gold. Sitting at three is world champion Matt Tarrant. He won gold in the M2+ in 2015 and narrowly lost out on selection for the M2- for Rio.
This new look British four haven’t had the easiest of starts to their 2017, an edgy win in Belgrade at the first World Cup was followed by a pretty disastrous 5th place at the European Championships. Rossiter was brought into the crew for the 2nd World Cup and they had a much better performance even though it resulted in “only” a silver medal behind the Australians. The British will be expecting a big performance at Henley, their home water – only a win will do.
Team Italia (Italy)
The reigning European Champions, Marco Di Costanzo, Giovanni Abagnale, Matteo Castaldo & Domineco Montrone. This crew is unchanged from the crew that won a bronze medal at the Rio Olympics and have three of the boat that won the World Championships in 2015.
Abagnale and Di Costanzo won the U23 BM4- in 2014 and also raced at the senior World Championships later that year, finishing 9th in the M8. Castaldo is a former Lightweight international, winning silver in the U23 BLM4- back in 2004. He then switched to heavyweight, winning silver in the BM2- in 2007. He won his first senior medal at the Lucerne World Cup in 2013 taking silver in the M2- and in 2015 was in the World Championship winning boat in 2015.
They will see the British as vulnerable, they’ve already beaten them once this year, and will like nothing better than beating them in their own back yard.
University of Pretoria, South Africa
This is the new look South African M4-. The orginal plan for this season was for the South Africans to find a fast M2- and build on their silver medal performance at Rio. But during pre-season testing it became apparent that there was a fast 4 in the making. In the crew is Olympic silver medallist Lawrence Brittain. His silver in the M2- at Rio was one of the stories of the regatta given his battles over the last few years with cancer. It was fantastic to see him get the reward after the torrid time he’s had. He’s joined in the crew by three fellow Rio Olympians. At stroke is Jake Green and bow is David Hunt, both of these guys were in the M4- that finished 4th at the Olympics. The 4th member of the crew is former lightweight Olympian John Smith. He was in the LM2X with John Thompson that finished 4th in Rio. He and Thompson are the current holders of the LM2X World Best Time – an astonishing 6:05.3 set at the Amsterdam World Championships in 2014. With the changes to the lightweight events at the Olympics Smith chose to bulk up and race as a heavyweight.
My picks…this could be too close to call. The British are masters at match racing and will have the support of the home crowd. The Italians are the form crew of the season and the South Africans have an awesome pedigree. The advantage for the British is that they will be in a more positive mood following their stronger showing in Poznan – I’m going to go for a Home win for Leander/Molesey.
The Double Sculls Challenge Cup
Holders: N.C Middleton & J.R.A Beaumont Leander Club
18 crews – to be reduced to 12 by qualifying races
A mouth-watering contest in prospect bringing together the some of the best lightweight and heavyweight doubles in the world.
Hans Gruhne & Karl Schulze – Berliner Ruderclub and Ruder-Club Potsdam e.V, Germany
Two of Germany’s most outstanding men’s scullers in this boat. Both were part of the M4X that won a gold medal at the World Championships in 2015 and followed that up with gold at the Rio Olympics. Schulze is a double Olympic gold medallist having won in the quad in London as well as Rio and Gruhne raced in the quad in Beijing that finished 6th.
Pierre Houin & Jeremie Azou – Club France, France
Jeremie Azou is no stranger to this event having won in 2014 with Stany Delayre, in an epic race against the GB heavyweights John Collins and Jonny Walton. He and new partner Pierre Houin have established themselves as the most outstanding lightweight double in the world. They won the gold medal at the Rio Olympics and so far in 2017 they’ve picked up where they left off with commanding wins at both the European Championships and the Poznan World Cup. One of the joys of Henley is the opportunity to pit the top lightweights and heavyweights against each other, and as Azou has shown, the heavy’s don’t always come out on top. They will be delighted if they can claim a few heavyweight scalps during the regatta.
Vincent Klaassens and Gerard Van der Velden – Deltsche studenten Roeivereeniging Proteus-eretes and Maastrichtse Studenten Roeivereniging Saurus, Netherlands
This young Dutch double raced as the Netherlands number 2 boat at the 2nd World Cup in Poznan finishing 11th – their first senior international appearance. Klaassens raced for the Dutch U23 team in 2013 finishing 11th in the BM8.
Filippo Mondelli and Luca Rambaldi – Team Italia, Italy
The new Italian double have made a great start to the 2017 season taking the win at the European Championships. Mondelli, from Como in Northern Italy raced in the M8 at the 1st world Cup in 2016 finishing 6th and then switched to the M2- for the 2nd World Cup finishing 14th. He ended the season on a high note with a silver medal in the U23 BM4+ at the World Championships in Rotterdam.
Rambaldi, a member of the police Fiamme Gialle Club, is another U23 medallist from 2016 winning bronze in the BM4X. He raced as part of the senior Italian quad in 2013 that finished 7th. In 2015 re represented Italy in the M1X at the Aiguebelette World Championships finishing 25th.
Stefano Oppo & Pietro Ruta – Team Italia – Italy
The top Italian lightweight men’s double, they picked up a bronze medal at the European Championships in Racice. Oppo finished the 2016 season with a gold medal in the U23 BLM4- at the World Championships. Both he and Ruta raced in the LM4- at the Rio Olympics, just missing out on the medals in 4th place. For Ruta (a member of the Marina Miitaire Sabaudia Club), Rio was his 2nd Olympics as he raced in the LM2X with Elia Luini taking 1st place in the B-Final to finish 7th overall.
Konstantin Steinhuebel & Jonathan Rommelmann – Crefelder Ruderclub 1883 e.V. and Akademischer Ruderclub Wurzburg, Germany
Another talented lightweight double (although not the German no.1 LM2X). Steinhuebel raced in the LM1X in 2015 and 2016 finishing 4th in Aiguebelette and 5th in Rotterdam. In 2014 he was a member of the silver medal winning LM4X crew and raced in the Olympic Class LM2X in 2013 finishing 5th. His partner, Jonathan Rommelmann raced in the LM1x at the Poznan World Cup finishing 13th. He’s spent the last four years racing mainly for the German U23 squad winning bronze in the BLM4X in 2013 and gold in the BLM2X in 2015. He followed that win with a silver medal in the LM4X at the Senior World Championships, and in 2016 won his 3rd U23 medal with a silver in the BLM1X.
John Storey and Chris Harris – Waiariki Rowing Club, New Zealand
New Zealand had an outstanding regatta at the Poznan World Cup last weekend and the M2X of Storey and Harris were just one of six crews that won gold. Both of these guys are two-time Olympians, John Storey was in the M4X that finished 10th in Rio and 7th at the London Olympics. Chris Harris raced the double sculls to 11th in Rio and also finished 11th at the London Olympics in the M4-. They were both in the M4X in 2014 that raced at the World Championships in Amsterdam and finished towards the back of the B-Final in 11th. In 2015 Harris formed a double scull partnership with Robbie Manson that won a bronze medal at the World Championships. They will start as favourites in Henley wand will take some beating.
So those are the pre-qualified crews, it’s a little surprising not to see an entry from the GB Rowing Team but there has been some illness and injuries so they will be focussing on the Lucerne World Cup.
At the qualifying races it’ll be eleven crews racing for the five remaining spots.
Jacob Bryning & Ollie Gibbons – Cardiff City Rowing Club and Cardiff Metropolitan University
A welsh pairing, this duo raced at Marlow Regatta finishing 4th in the Champ M2X category.
Ryan Cheale & Matt Day – Broxbourne Rowing Club
This pairing won IM1 2X at Nottingham City Regatta and followed that up with 2nd place in the Club doubles at Wallingford Regatta. 18 year old Matt Day won silver at the British Junior Championships in 2016 and represented England at the Home International Regatta winning gold in the Junior Quad. At the National Schools Regatta this season he took bronze in the J18 1X. He and Cheale finished in the top 25 of the Pairs Head earlier in the season.
John Harris & Henk-Jaap Wagenaar – Cambridge 99 Rowing Club and Peterhouse College, Cambridge
A strong lightweight double, they finished 8th in the Champ M2X at Marlow with Wagenaar also took a silver medal in the LM1X at Marlow.
Peter King & Daniel Harvey – Wallingford Rowing Club.
Former Oxford Blue, Dan Harvey and partner Pete King are two of the more mature competitors attempting to qualify. At the Veterans Head of the River earlier this season they were part of the Masters “C” crew that won their age-group and finished 3rd overall.
Dogus Koker and Daan Klomp – Tilburgse Studenten Roeivereniging and Algemene Utrechtse Studenten Roeivereniging Orca, Netherlands
One of the favourites to claim one of the five available qualifying spots. Dogus Koker raced for Turkey at the U23 World Championships in 2015 and 2016 with a best place finish of 4th in the BM4+. His partner, Daan Klomp has raced for the Netherlands at both U23 and senior level. In his first appearance in 2013 he won a bronze medal in the BLM2X, in 2014 he raced in the senior LM4X at the Amsterdam World Championships finishing 6th. At the U23 World Championships he won a silver medal in the BLM2X.
Jin Long & Yunlong Cai – Shanghai Jiao Tong University
This pairing raced for their University in the M8 at the International University Rowing Regatta in 2016 finishing 35 seconds behind Otago in their heat.
Hugh Mackworth-Praed & Elliot Barton – Auriol Kensington and Torquay Rowing Club
Another of the “old-Stagers” – 45 year-old Mackworth-Praed has been racing (or trying to qualify to race) for over 25 years and raced for Great Britain from 2002 to 2004, ending his international career with a 7th place finish in the LM4X at the World Championships in Banyoles.
His partner, Elliot Barton, raced for England at the Commonwealth Rowing Championships in Canada in 2010 winning a gold medal.
Pierre Thomas & Tom Fielder – Fulham Reach Rowing Club and Elizabethan Boat Club
Westminster old boys Thomas and Fielder raced at Marlow finishing 6th in the Champ 2X.
Dominic Tope & Vincent DeLuca – Reading University Rowing Club
Dominic Tope raced for England at the Home International Regatta in 2015 picking up a bronze medal. They were due to race the Champ 2X event at Marlow but scratched. At the BUCS Regatta in May they raced to a silver medal in the Intermediate Doubles category
Oliver Varley and Hugo Coussens – Newcastle University Boat Club & Durham University Boat Club
This crew looks to be the prospective Great Britain U23 BLM2X for the World Championships in July. Both were member of the U23 BLM4x that won gold at the World Championships in Rotterdam. At Last year’s regatta they made the semi-finals of the Prince of Wales Challenge Cup losing to the eventual winners from the USA. They will be expecting to qualify comfortably for the main draw.
Simon Woodfine & Harry Bond – Vesta Rowing Club
Winners of the Champ 2X at Marlow Regatta and regulars at the Regatta, they were both members of the Britannia Challenge Cup crew that made the semi-finals in 2014.
My picks…this could turn into a classic lightweight v heavyweight dual. Hopefully the draw will pit the French Lightweight World Champions against the new Kiwi double in what could be another epic race.
The Diamond Challenge Sculls
Holder: H. Obreno, Belgium
23 scullers – to be reduced to 12 by qualifying races
Tom Barras – Leander Club
The current incumbent of the Great Britain M1X spot, Barras raced for GB at the 2nd World Cup finishing an excellent 5th in the A-Final. Earlier in the season he subbed into the M4X that won bronze at the 1st World Cup and 4th at the European Championships – not bad for your first season on the senior team. At last year’s regatta he raced in the Diamonds losing to Stefan Broenink of the Netherlands in the first round.
Matt Dunham – Waiariki Rowing Club, New Zealand
New Zealand’s representative in the LM1X this season, Dunham started his 2017 campaign with a 7th place at the 2nd World Cup in Poznan. Last season he subbed into the LM4- for both the 2nd and 3rd World Cups taking gold on both occasions. Still only 22 years old he’s definitely one to watch for the future.
Cameron Girdlestone – Sydney University, Australia
A member of the Olympic silver medal winning M4X from Rio, Girdlestone is an outstanding sculler. Although not part of the Australian team for this season he may return later in the Olympiad. In the meantime a sculler with his pedigree will definitely be among the favourites.
John Graves – Craftsbury Sculling Centre, USA
Graves was the sole heavyweight men’s representative at the 2nd World cup earlier this month when he competed in the M1X event where he finished 8th. Last season he raced in the M4X with his brother Pete that missed qualification for the Olympics by 8/10th of a second at the Final Olympic Qualification Regatta. In 2015 he raced the M2X that finished 16th at the World Championships.
Adam Ling – Leander Club
The 2015 LM1X World Champion for New Zealand is now qualified to represent Great Britain although he’s yet to gain a spot on the team having struggled in the trials earlier this year. However a talent such as his could well be a major asset to the British team, and as a lightweight he’ll be keen to take down a few of the heavyweight competition.
Robbie Manson – Waiariki Rowing Club, New Zealand
The overwhelming favourite to win the title. Manson raced in the M4X that finished 7th at the London Olympics and then switched to the M2X for the Rio Olympiad. He raced with Michael Arms in 2013 and then his brother Karl in 2014 before settling on a combination with Chris Harris that brought a World bronze medal in 2015. Medals at the 2nd and 3rd World Cups in 2016 were followed by a somewhat disappointing 11th in Rio. Now, for 2017 he’s taken over from 5-times Diamond Challenge sculls winner Mahe Drysdale as the NZ M1X. Just before the Poznan World Cup Drysdale tweeted:
“Robbie Manson will carry on the Kiwi tradition and start his campaign on top of the podium! looking forward to watching him dominate!”
I’m not sure even Mahe realised just how dominant Manson would be. He won comfortably in Poznan, but not only that he smashed Drysdale’s World Best Time by a massive 3 seconds.
Matt O’Leary – Oxford University Boat Club
A member of this year’s winning Oxford Blue Boat and graduate of Harvard, O’Leary raced for the USA and the 2014 and 2015 World championships finishing with 5th on both occasions in the LM8 and LM4x respectively. At Henley he made the finals of the Visitors Challenge Cup in 2013. So far this season he has wins at both the Metropolitan Regatta and Elite 1x at Marlow.
Jon Stimpson – Nottingham Rowing Club
7th at the Final GB Trials in April, Stimpson is a product of the GB Start initiative he won Elite 1X at Nottingham City Regatta earlier in the season.
Those are the pre-qualified scullers, the remaining 11 will compete for the 4 remaining spots
Dan Boddington – Griffen Boat Club
A member of the Leander B crew that lost in the first round of the Prince of Wales Challenge Cup last year. He raced in the Tier 2 Sculls at the Metropolitan Regatta finishing 2nd.
- Byrford – Birmingham Rowing Club
Raced in the Champ 1X at Marlow finishing 6th in the B-Final.
Tom Carter – Upper Thames Rowing Club
A stalwart of the M1X club scene, although perhaps more successful in Masters events. He raced at Marlow finishing 3rd in the C-Final.
Matt Jenner – Agecroft Rowing Club
5th in the Championship single at Marlow
Niall Kenny – The Tideway Scullers School.
3rd in the Champ singles at Marlow, Kenny is a former Irish lightweight international. He last raced for his country at the 2014 world Championships finishing 10th in the LM2-. An U23 medallist from 2010, his best result at a senior international level was 4th in the LM4X in 2011.
Jamie Kirkwood – Leander Club
Jamie’s probably a bit miffed to find himself having to qualify. He’s been one of the top lightweight scullers in the British squad for the last few years. In 2016 he raced in the LM4x at the world Championships that finished 6th and was GB’s LM1X representative in 2015 just missing a medal at the 2016 European Championships. Now retired from international competition and assistant coach at the Oxford University Women’s Boat Club he will be one of the favourites to qualify.
J.P Scott – Leander Club
3rd in the B-final at Marlow
H.W. Shepherd – Exeter Rowing Club
5th in the B-final at Marlow and winner of IM1 1X at Notts City
Harry Uglow – Imperial College
6th in the championship M1X at Marlow
My picks…It’s difficult to see anyone getting the better of Robbie Manson, but it should be a good battle for the other final spot. If conditions are right could we see Manson have a crack at Vaclav Chalupa’s course record from 28 years ago?