Months of training and proving merit, qualifying, and five days of racing and it all comes down to today at Henley Royal Regatta #HRR2018. You can see it all live from the banks and from the sky thanks to heaps of cameras on land, boats, and drones over the length of the course. Here is a rundown of Finals Day highlights - all times are local.
Remember, Henley-on-Thames is five hours ahead of EDT in the US.
12:40pm, Remenham Challenge Cup: Leander Club and University of London vs Georgina Hop Rinehart National Training Centre, Australia
In this ashes match up, the national crews of Australia and Great Britain line up to contest the Remenham Challenge Cup. In an unnerving race today, the British were led by the University of Washington before moving through their American opponents and winning by a length. The Australian crew also dispatched US opposition today, when they saw off a challenge from Yale University in the latter of the two heats.
12:50pm, Diamond Jubilee Challenge Cup: Y Quad Cities vs Marlow
The Americans are looking to become the first overseas crew to win the Diamond Jubilee Challenge Cup, and they look a good bet to do so. A powerful, well-drilled outfit with serious pedigree in the USA, they’ve already dispatched with home favourites Henley and Latymer in previous rounds. When they face Marlow on Sunday, their performances on UK soil have to stand them as favourites.
1pm, Double Sculls Challenge Cup: Leander Club vs Skibbereen Rowing Club, Ireland
Tomorrow’s final will see the winners of the previous World Rowing Cup going up against the Lightweight Olympic Champions. Angus Groom and Jack Beaumont were in full control of their heat against the crew from Norway. The O’Donovan brothers, from Ireland, dismantled their opposition from Norway and proved why they are one of the best in the world after a dominant semi-final performance. Tomorrow’s final will be another classic clash between lightweights and heavyweights.
2:40pm, Ladies Challenge Plate: Oxford Brookes vs Oxford Brookes & Edinburgh University.
What we already know is that Oxford Brookes will win the Fawley Challenge Cup. We can also hazard a pretty good guess as to which of these crews will prevail on Sunday. This is a phenomenal achievement from Brookes, as they continue to establish themselves as the leading student rowing program in Europe.
3:10pm, Princess Royal Challenge Cup: M.C. Edmunds (Georgina Hop Rinehart National Training Centre, Australia) vs J.R. Gmelin (Ruderclub Uster, Switzerland)
The current World Champion will look to add another title to her collection as she lines up against Australia’s Madeleine Edmunds. The Australian took a shock win over Britain’s Victoria Thornley and easily took apart the Leander sculler on her home water. Coached by Brit, Robin Dowell, Jeannine Gmelin is looking to improve even more when she races tomorrow.
3:30pm, Grand Challenge Cup: Georgina Hop Rinehart National Training Centre, Australia vs C.S. Dinamo & C.S.A. Steaua, Romania
A stunned crowd in the Enclosures looked on as home favourites Leander Club and Molesey Boat Club fell to Georgina Hop Rinehart National Training Centre, Australia. Having moved their top four athletes into the bigger boat, the Aussies led the British from start to finish in a race where they also set a new Barrier record – 1:42 – and also equaled the record to Fawley. The Romanian national crew await in the final tomorrow. That boat is a combination of athletes who have raced at the World Cups this year.
3:40pm, Hambleden Pairs Challenge Cup: R.G. McKellar & H.A.E. Taylor vs H.C. Long & H.E. Scott
Rivals across the Irish Sea during the summer and on US waters during the year (Leander's McKellar and Taylor are recent Cal and Syracuse grads respectively, and the Irish pair of Long and Scott are undergrads at Virginia and Princeton, respectively) face off in this new event for women’s pairs that was introduced at the Regatta last year.
4:20pm, Temple Challenge Cup: University of Washington vs Oxford Brookes
A repeat of the Windermere Cup classic, where Washington’s Varsity Eight edged out Brookes’ top crew. This time, both of these crews are the equivalent of junior varsities and this race is set to be the most exciting Temple Challenge Cup final in several years. Washington beat Yale with ease in an East to West grudge match, whilst Brookes defeated Newcastle as the sun set on Saturday evening.
4:30pm, Fawley Challenge Cup: Windsor Boys vs Maidenhead
A repeat of a contest that has cropped up time and time again already this year, as two stalwarts of the junior sculling scene lock horns for the final time this season on the biggest stage of all. Maidenhead are favourites, having won both the Schools’ Head and the National Schools’ Regatta, but the Windsor Boys have gained a bit of speed in the past couple of weeks. Can Maidenhead finally claim a long overdue Henley title?