Henley Royal Regatta 2019
(8 July 2019)
The 2019 Henley Royal Regatta has been Durham Universitiy Boat Club’s most successful for over a decade.
Having witnessed a very successful Henley Women’s Regatta a week earlier, the six athletes that would be representing Durham at this years event were excited to get started on the 3rd July with the first round of racing.
DUBC were represented in two crews at this years event: a Prince Albert Challenge Cup Coxed Four comprised of all Durham athletes (Oscar Lindsay, Ed Gardiner, Magnus Burgess-Smith, Ben Wright, and Zoe Evans); and a composite quad with one Durham athlete (George Bourne) joined by athletes from Edinburgh University, Nottingham Rowing Club, and Harvard University.
The PA 4+ first raced the University of Michigan, USA and managed a comfortable win. Their next test came in the Quarter-Final against the University of London who had also fielded a crew of their top athletes. The race was extremely tight from start to finish but the Durham crew came out 1 length up to make it to the Semi-Finals on Saturday. Saint Andrews University were the next opposition and put up a good fight but again our four came out on top to book a place in the Sunday final against Harvard University, who had won the other Semi-Final. Unlike the baking heat of the rest of the week, Sunday was slightly overcast but that didn’t put a damper on the excitement of Henley Finals day. The race itself was hard and fast with never more than one boat length between the crews. Harvard had the quicker start and created much of their margin early on. Durham never gave up and at the Remenham Club (just over halfway in) put in a huge effort which brought them up to 2/3 of a length down but Harvard proved too strong in the end crossing the line 3/4 of a length up on the Durham crew. This is the first time since 2005 that a full Durham crew has made it to the Sunday (Finals Day) of Henley Royal Regatta and is a great step on for the club.
George’s crew also had some tough races throughout their regatta racing but proved too quick for their opposition setting records to the Barrier (600m in) and the Fawley (Halfway) in their Semi-Final. The final was almost an exact rematch of last year’s final against a Dutch crew from Skoll. In 2018 the Dutch crew came out on top, but this year George’s crew raced hard to get a lead of just under a length and held it all the way to the finish where his crew equalled the full course record! This is a fantastic win for George and is fully deserved for the hard work he has put in over the year. His attentions will now turn to the U23 World Rowing Championships in Florida where he and his crew will hope to race and win Gold.
Henley Royal Regatta has been a fantastic finale to this years season and with four of the six athletes returning to Durham next year these results will slingshot next years season to bigger and better things.