HENLEY-ON-THE-THAMES, England - The 1959 Harvard varsity eight will celebrate the 50th anniversary of its Grand Challenge Cup victory at the Henley Royal Regatta Friday, July 3. The Crimson went undefeated in the United States that year, won the Eastern Sprints and went on to win the featured race at Henley.
Captain Townsend Swayne '59 and several members of the boat will be in Henley-on-the-Thames for the 2009 event and will participate in a rowpast during the lunch break on Friday. Regatta officials also invited all crew members, their spouses and families for tea that afternoon.
Since 1914, Harvard has sent at least 30 heavyweight crews to the HRR including eight straight years from 2001-08. The Crimson has won 16 titles, including the Grand Challenge Cup five times.
Henley Royal Regatta is undoubtedly the best known regatta in the world and it holds a unique place in the respect and affection of all oarsmen. Founded in 1839, it is famous both as a great sporting occasion and a social event; and people come from all over the world to attend, either as competitors or spectators. Winning an event at Henley has always been considered one of the greatest achievements of a rower's career, even amongst those who have become world champions; and a rowing life is not complete if it does not include competing at Henley.