Fatsculler’s Henley Preview part 4: The Student Events

Image result for henley regatta

Photo: Henley Royal Regatta

Time now for the Student events….



The Temple Challenge Cup

The Temple Challenge Cup

Holders: University of Washington, USA

Entries: 64 (2018: 55)

Reduced to 32 by Qualifying races


8 crews have been selected, two from the Netherlands, two from Great Britain and four from the USA.. The rule change a couple of year ago has really opened this event up. The big US programmes are now able to enter their Varsity 8’s, with only U23 medallists or senior internationals excluded. As a result its now become even more fiercely competitive than it already was.

The first of the Selected crews are Imperial College London ‘A’ crew.  At the BUCS Regatta at the beginning of May they finished 4thin Championship 8’s. At Marlow Regatta they finished 4thin Championship 8’s. The crew includes Junior World Champion Casper Woods who was also in the crew that won the Prince Albert in 2018. They face a tantalising first round contest against Newcastle University ‘A’ .Newcastle have qualified three crews for this event. The ‘A’ crew were sixth in Championship Eights at Marlow Regatta. Bronze medallists in Championship Eights at BUCS Regattaa and Boat Race of the North winners against Durham. Will Stewart and Cormac Molloy were the fastest U23 pair at GB Final Trials. Alex Haynes – five seat – has previously won the Thames Challenge Cup and Prince Albert. Semi-finalists in this event last year. They will be a very severe test for the Selected Imperial crew.


The 2ndof the Selected crews are Brown University of the USA. This crew contains most of the Varsity 8 that won the Petite Final at the IRA Championships. They finished 3rdat the Eastern Sprints and also had regular season wins against Northeastern, Boston and Dartmouth.  Brown raced in the Temple Cup last year reaching Friday’s quarterfinals. The crew includes former Tideway Scullers rower Alex Kelly. Their first round race is against Caius Boat Club, Cambridge. Caius were winners of University 8’s at Marlow Regatta.


3rdof the Selected crews are Northeastern University USA. They have come to Henley with their 8 out of 9 of their 1stVarsity crew. There is a distinctly Germanic tinge to their crew, with four Germans on-board, all of whom have won medals at World Junior level (Jasper Angl, Jan Hennecke, Elias Kun and Jan Berend). Also in the crew are two Kiwis, Reuben Houghton and Braeden Camp and three Americans (Cormac Purcell, will Lerwick and coxswain George Doty). The Northeastern Huskies had one of their best seasons for many years, losing only to Washington, Brown and Harvard. At the IRA Championships they made the Grand Final finishing 5th, recording their best result since 2013. With that sort of pedigree it will make them one of the favourites for this event. They face a relatively straightforward opening of their campaign against the University of London ‘B’crew.


The final Selected crew in the top half of the draw are Algemene Groningen Studenten Roeivereeniging Gyas, The Netherlands. The first of the two Selected Dutch crews, this crew raced at both the Bosbaan and the RaceRoei Regatta’s finishing 4thand 3rdrespectively (but crucially being beaten by the Nereus Temple Cup crew – more on them below). Gyas face the Oxford University Lightweight Boat Club. The Oxford crew is 8 of the 9 that won the Lightweight Boat Race in March.

In the lower half of the draw the first Selected crew are the 2ndDutch crew, Amsterdamsche Studenten Roeivereeniging Nereus. Nereus were winners of this event in 2004 and 2015 and were losing finalists in 2010 and 2011. They have been the top Dutch student programme for many years, competing with Oxford Brookes as the top University programme in Europe. They raced at the RaceRoei Regatta finishing 2ndin Open M8 and also 2ndat the Bosbaan Regatta. They are drawn against King’s College Queensland of Australia. They have raced several times at the Regatta in the last few years, losing in Round 1 in 2015 and day 2 in 2017. Whilst they’ve been in the UK they raced at Marlow Regatta finishing 5thin the B-Final of University 8’s.

Harvard University, USA are the next Selected crew in the lower half of the draw. This is the Harvard 2ndVarsity 8, winners of the Harvard v Yale Boat Race. They also won the 2V division at the Eastern Sprints and then 4that the IRA Championships. As with a lot of US Collegiate crews there is a strong international flavour to Harvard’s crew, with four British, three American, a German and an Aussie. They face Imperial College ‘B’(2ndin the ‘B’-Final of University 8’s at Marlow Regatta).

The 3rdSelected crew in the lower half of the draw are another American University crew, this time it’s Boston University. Their crew for Henley is a mix of the 1stand 2ndVarsity. Boston had a strong season this year, finishing 2ndin the Petite Final of the IRA Championships. They have a couple of Brits on-board (Luke Towers and Jonathan Cameron – who won the Fawley Challenge Cup with Claire’s Court School). Boston take on Exeter University in the 1st Round. They were Second in the ‘B’ final of Intermediate Eights at BUCS Regatta. Fifth in the final of University Eights at Marlow Regatta and Bronze medallists in Championship Coxed Fours at BUCS Head.


The final Selected crew in the draw are Oxford Brookes University ‘A’. Brookes have won this event in three of the last five years and were losing finalists last year. Like Newcastle they have qualified three crews for this event. Their ‘A’ crew finished 3rdin the Championship 8’s at Marlow Regatta and winners of Academic 8’s at the Metropolitan Regatta. They also raced at the Wedau Regatta in Duisberg finishing 3rd(behind their Ladies Plate crew in 2ndand the senior German national squad in 1st). They are definitely one of the favourites for this event and will be relishing an opportunity to race against some of the US and Dutch crews. Brookes start their campaign against Newcastle University’s ‘C’ crew.


Among the crews that haven’t been selected, one of the strongest will be the University of London ‘A’ crew. They were second in the ‘B’ final of Championship Eights at Marlow Regatta. Third in the ‘B’ final of Open Eights at the Metropolitan Regatta. UL face Oxford Brookes ‘C’ crew on Wednesday. Brookes are strong throughout their squad, this crew finished third in University Eights at Marlow Regatta. Fourth in the ‘C’ final of Open Eights at the Metropolitan Regatta and won the ‘C’ final of Intermediate Eights at BUCS Regatta. But, UL will be confident of progressing where they will most likely meet the Oxford Brookes ‘A’ crew!


Among the non-Selected overseas crews are the University of Michigan, USA. They finished 9that the Dad Vail Championships and took silver at the American Collegiate Rowing Association Championships. They race Nottingham University on day one, who were winners of the ‘B’-Final of University 8’s at Marlow Regatta.


Finishing one place behind Michigan at the ACRA’s was Purdue University. They are one of Michigan’s main rivals and defeated them in a head-to-head match in April. They also defeated Michigan at the Dad Vails where they won bronze. They race Bath University in their first race. For their part, Bath finished 7thin the ‘B’-Final of Tier 2 8’s at Marlow.


The University of Pennsylvania, USA are, perhaps, unfortunate not to be Selected. This is the Lightweight Varsity crew which finished third at the IRA State Championships. Coach Colin Farrell was named Ivy League Coach of the Year. Won the Lightweight Eight title at the Eastern Sprints for the first time since 1976.Their first race is against the University of the West of England who were fourth in University 8’s at Marlow.


My picks…..Looking at the draw, the top half would suggest that Northeastern should reach the final if they can get passed Brown. In the lower half, the potential showdown between Nereus and Harvard, the winner of which will most likely face Brookes ‘A’ will generate some fireworks. But, when it comes down to it I’m going to plump for a Northeastern win.




The Prince Albert Challenge Cup

The Prince Albert Challenge Cup

Holders: Imperial College London ’A’

Entries: 49 (2018: 35)

Reduced to 16 through Qualifying races.

At the top of the draw the first Selected crew are Boston University, USA.  This is a mix of the Terriers  2ndand 3rdVarsity eights. Dane Esben Kok and Americans Nick Robertson and Andrew Marsh were in the 2ndVarsity that won the petite final at the IRA Championships. Coxswain Chloe Jacobs and New Zealander Luke Brady were in the 3rdVarsity that took 2ndin the Petite Final of the 3V event at the IRA’s.

They face a very tricky first round race against The University of London, they were sixth in Championship Coxed Fours at Marlow Regatta. At the Metropolitan Regatta they finished just outside of the medals in Open Championship Coxed Fours and at the British University Championships they won the bronze medal in Championship Coxed Fours. This could well be the best race of the first round of this event.

The 2ndSelected crew in the top half of the draw are Durham University. Stroked by old-Etonian, and winner of the Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup, Oscar Lindsay, Durham had a slow start to the season. They missed qualification for the final of Champ 4- at the British University Championships. But they have had more success as the season progressed. At the Metropolitan Regatta they won Academic coxed fours and placed 4thin the Championship 4+ event. At Marlow they raced in the Championship 4+ event finishing 4th. Durham face The University of Michigan, USA  in the first round. The Wolverines won the Collegiate 8’s division at the Head of The Charles and swept the board at the Mid-America Collegiate Rowing Association Championships.

The 3rdSelected crew are another American Lightweight crew, this time from the University of Pennsylvania. Their crew of Vincent Armetta, James Gaffney, Nick Hutchins, Andrew Kelly and Larissa Klufas, raced in both the Lightweight coxed and (minus Klufas) the Lightweight coxless Fours at the IRA Championships, finishing 4thin both events. They race a crew from Exeter University who were second in University Coxed Fours at Marlow Regatta and also second in Open Academic Coxed Fours at the Metropolitan Regatta. This could be a tough battle for the US lightweights.

The final selected crew in the top half of the draw are the defending champions from Imperial College London. Last year Imperial prioritised this event and put their strongest crew into the M4+. This year they are focussing on the Temple Challenge Cup, meaning the crew to defend their Prince Albert title is not the strongest they could have fielded. This crew raced at Marlow Regatta finishing 3rdin the Academic coxed four’s category (losing to Exeter University by over 5 seconds). They are drawn against the University of St Andrews in the first round.  They won bronze in the Intermediate 4+ at the British University Championships and then went on to finish 4thin the ‘B’-Final of Championship 4+ at Marlow. At the Scottish Championships, Henry Marles and Oscar Von Hannover won gold in the Senior M2-. This could be another tough battle for the Selected crew.

In the bottom half of the draw Cambridge University  are the first of the four Selected crews. They have a full crew from this year’s winning Goldie crew, Hugo Durward, Tom Strudwick, Rob Harris, Jonty Page and Charlie Marcus. They raced in Championship 4+ at Marlow Regatta finishing 3rd(but only being beaten by one Prince Albert competitor). They face a crew from Purdue University, USAin round 1. Purdue finished in 3rdin the Varsity 4 at the Dad Vail Regatta in May.

There is an all-American contest in the 1stround between Harvard University and Cornell University. Harvard are the selected crew. They have a mix of their 2ndand 3rdVarsity 8 with Lucas Clarke, Ethan Seder, Harrison Burke and coxswain Ed Bracey (an old-Etonian) from the 2V and Sam Monkley from the 3V. The Crimson 2V won their race against Yale and also won the 2V Division at Eastern Sprints. Cornell probably feel a little hard done by not to be Selected. Their crew of Evan Krum, Andrew Hickey, Cameron Bertossa, Luke Small and Rori Henderson all raced at the IRA Championships. Small won bronze in the Lightweight Varsity 4 and the rest of the crew were in the Lightweight Varsity 8 that won the Grand Final. This should be another great battle between lightweights and heavyweights.

The third Selected crew in the bottom half of the draw are Oxford Brookes University. As mentioned earlier, Brookes dominate University rowing in this country. At the British University Championships they won gold in all but one of the Men’s heavyweight sweep events. This crew were part of the Brookes 3rd8 that finished 5that the Wedau Regatta in Duisburg. As a four they raced at Marlow Regatta winning the Championship coxed four category (4.5 seconds ahead of their nearest Prince Albert competition). Facing Brookes are a Lightweight crew from Georgetown University, USA. This is half of the Georgetown Lightweight Varsity 8 that finished 7that the IRA’s.

The final Selected crew in the draw are another US crew, this time representing the United States Naval Academy. Navy are in Henley primarily to compete in the King’s Cup, but they have also entered the Prince Albert and the Silver Goblets. The crew has three of the Lightweight Varsity four that won the IRA Championships. They raced at Marlow Regatta winning the Tier 2 4+ They take on Bath University, stroked by Will England, a former junior international. Second in the ‘B’ final of Championship Coxed Fours at Marlow Regatta. Fourth in the final of Championship Coxed Fours at BUCS Regatta.

So those are the crews….its going to be a great contest, but the form guide would suggest a win for Oxford Brookes.


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