Regatta in flying start but umbrella hits eights crew
Wayward umbrellas and the smallest winning verdict in history marked the first day of Henley Royal Regatta, as the sun and a rising wind made for great racing conditions.
Scots College, Australia’s under-16 schoolboy eight, outdid many crews in maturity when impeded by a sun umbrella which blew on to the course in front of them at the Barrier.
Despite most of the bow side oars being briefly caught up in the object, Scots recovered to beat Claires Court School and posted competitive times to the course markers, while the Thames Rowing Club coach dived in to remove the umbrella after the crews had passed by. Later on three more umbrellas had to be removed by safety boats before races could continue. Scots College now face National Schools champions St Paul’s, who beat Latymer Upper in their first heat.
Until this year the smallest recorded verdict had been one foot, but when London’s Wyfold coxless four beat New Zealand club Aramoho Whanganui by about a centimetre on a photo-finish, it was announced as “by the narrowest possible margin”, a new superlative for the Royal Regatta’s records.
Local school Reading Blue Coat made a new piece of their rowing history with the club’s first win at Henley, against selected US entrants Boston College High School, one of the stronger junior men’s rowing programmes in New England.
In the junior women’s quads, Latymer Upper School’s B crew overturned Kinross Wolaroi, an Australian school previously undefeated in domestic competition, accelerating past the visitors by Remenham Club for a comfortable win.