The final session, after the Tea Interval, saw eight US crews take the course and, long story short, half advanced:
Who Moved On After Tea Time(US crews):
Riverside (Thames M8+); Winter Park (Prince Philip JW8+); Washington (Visitors M4-); California "B" (Prince Albert M4+)
Who Went Out After Tea Time (US crews)
Drexel (Temple M8+); Princeton (Island W8+); Riverside (Wargrave W8+); Bucknell (Prince Albert M4+)
Video Highlights - Wednesday
Evening Race Notes
Riverside Boat Club's "Meat Wagon"--their dedicated sweep men's group--took care of Cambridge '99 to open their Thames Cup campaign and the half of Washington's IRA finalist Varsity racing in the Visitors Straight Four got off to a win as well, against a selected Dutch crew, but the win of the evening, for folks from America at least, was the Henley debut of the Winter Park Junior Women.
Winter Park became the first US crew to win a race in the Prince Phillip, and the fact that they did it as a scholastic program meant a lot to their coaches and the dozen or more parents and friends who made the trip.
As a team from a single school--as opposed to larger club programs they often race and sometimes beat during the spring season--Winter Park takes a lot of pride in punching above their weight and, since the Prince Phillip does mix big club teams with school crews (unlike the PE Cup, which is reserved solely for schoolboys), moving on as a school crew was special for longtime coach Mike Vertullo.
In the chase launch, the supports of the Tideway Scullers crew--who naturally fancied their chances against an American crew that came out of the qualifier--politely inquired just how many schools Winter Park had beaten to win the SRAA Championship. When they were told more than 20, they were a bit taken aback (the actual number, if you look it up, was 27).
At SRAAs, Winter Park trailed off the start, but quickly reeled in the field and, today, it was obvious which part of the race they worked on. Totally locked in even before the umpire's call of "Get Ready, please," Winter Park blasted off the line and never looked back. They lengthened out with a clear verdict in hand, and now meet Headington School on Thursday.
Race--and Re-Race--of the Day
On a day with a number of close races, as mentioned in the morning report, one of the closest--the Visitor's Cup tiff between Oxford Brooks and the French combination from the Vichy and Lyon clubs--was good enough that they had to run it twice, thanks to this epic crash just strokes before the line.
You can see it unfold here:
Drama in the Visitors' ??- Henley Royal Regatta (@HenleyRegatta) June 29, 2022
The two crews clash at the finish line producing the red flag ??
The race will be rerowed at 7:55pm BST, don't miss it on our YouTube channel! https://t.co/QI9btFcvOJ#HRR22 pic.twitter.com/IaraDcokjn
Unable to sort it out since both crews had been warned, umpire Matt Pinsent ordered the crews back to the start, and the crews re-rowed to end the day.
Brookes had led the first race, but kept coming over, with both crews being warned just before the trailing but gaining French clipped the Brooks oar to bring the boats together. The second time around, Brookes led out again and did win, but the French closed hard again--despite the extremity of a second full Henley pull in less than an hour or so--and there were a few long camera shots from the finish that had folks wondering if another clash and third re-row might be in the cards. Wins do not get much more hard-fought or earned than that, even at Henley.
You can keep reading and get the full highlights from the Regatta staff here.
Thursday will bring a day off for the PE and Temple crews, but the singles, doubles, and pairs get underway, so the "spot an Olympian" portion of Henley has begun, and the racing will go up that extra notch for "Friday Junior" as the draw progresses to the weekend.
Notes From the Course
Drone Down: it appears that the now-famed Henley Drone may have taken a swim on Wednesday evening. We have not gone back to check--yet--but if you are a YouTube scroller, it was right around 7 pm that the report came in.
So Many Dudes: Henley Royal has made impressive and forthright progress towards turning this longtime males-only Regatta into an equitable event, but the way the events were scheduled and subscribed did mean that we waited a full day plus before the first US women got to race: the only Women's racing on Tuesday was the Junior Quads and--since the US entry from Redwood Scullers just happened to be regarded enough to get a first round bye--it was not until 3:05 on Day 2 that the US Women's group here, which is likely the largest ever, got started, with Washington's Island Cup eight.
Rumors and Spottings: Famous folks are part of the scene here, so there is a fair bit of time spent on wondering who is here and why. 2021 F1 Racing Champ Max Verstappen topped that list--and enough people mentioned that one that it is probably true--but everyone has a secret mystery guest theory. Other guests are less secret, like Gordon Ramsey, who was definitely here, and definitely hanging out with entourage and security crew on the gangway to the press box--much to the chagrin of beat reporters who could not get past to write pithy paragraphs like this one.
Nonesuch, you say? Only at Henley, right, could your next opponent be as fancifully named as the Nonesuch Boat Club, but that is who the Stripe of Riverside BC will see next in the Thames. Granted, you can probably see Nonesuch crews at many UK events, but Americans don't get to many others, and seeing that name on the boards is a signature experience for Yanks here, for sure.
Lastly, We Have to Ask:
Who did the pre-race thumbs up better...Winter Park, as seen above, or Princeton's Class of '22 Crew:
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