Harvard and Radcliffe Crews Set for Henley Royal Regatta

The Harvard heavyweight varsity eight, shown celebrating its defeat of Yale last month, includes five athletes who have previously won Henley trophies with Harvard.
The Harvard heavyweight varsity eight, shown celebrating its defeat of Yale last month, includes five athletes who have previously won Henley trophies with Harvard.

HENLEY-ON-THAMES, England—The Harvard heavyweight and lightweight and Radcliffe heavyweight crews seek to end a championship-filled season on another winning note at the prestigious Henley Royal Regatta, which takes place Wednesday through Sunday on the Thames River.

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The Harvard heavyweight varsity eight captured Head of the Charles and San Diego Crew Classic titles earlier in 2011-12 and looks to add another invitational trophy, the Ladies' Challenge Plate. The national-champion Crimson lightweights will race in the Temple Challenge Cup, as will Harvard's Eastern-winning heavyweight freshman eight. Members of the heavyweight second varsity will once again race for the Prince Albert Challenge Cup, as Harvard seeks to defend its title in that event.

Radcliffe, the Ivy League champion, will race for the Remenham Challenge Cup. The Black and White was one of just three teams to advance out of 12 fighting for spots in the qualifying rounds.

Harvard lightweight sophomore Andrew Campbell also qualified and will race in the Diamond Challenge Sculls.

Follow From Home
Up-to-the minute results for Henley racing will be available via the event's official results page, and a live webcam shows video of the finish line. Fans can also follow along via the Henley Twitter feed and at the Henley Facebook page. Updated schedules and other information are available from the Henley Royal Regatta official site.

Probable Lineups
Ladies' Challenge Plate
Cox: David Fuller, 8: Patrick Lapage, 7: James O'Connor, 6: Caspar Jopling, 5: Matthew Edstein, 4: Sam O'Connor, 3: Michael DiSanto, 2: Andrew Holmes, 1: Parker Washburn

Remenham Challenge Cup
Cox:  Jill Carlson, 8: Michelle Pearson,  7: Lucy Grinalds, 6: Liz Soutter,  5: Jenna Gregoire, 4: Courtney Diekema, 3: Mimi Tanski,  2: Scout Moran, 1: Mary Maginnis

Temple Challenge Cup - "Harvard A," Heavyweight Freshman Eight
Cox: Jack Smith, 8: Charles Risbey, 7: James Medway, 6: Ed Rippon, 5: Andrew Emmett, 4: Josh Bernstein, 3: Max Meyer-Bosse, 2: Alexander Uruchurtu, 1: Lachlan Hanbury-Brown

Temple Challenge Cup - "Harvard B," Lightweight Varsity Eight
Cox: Angela Chang, 8: Florian Mayr, 7: Alex Newell, 6: Tim Moore, 5: Nicholas Gates, 4: Stuart Taylor, 3: Erich Schultze, 2: Matt O'Leary, 1: Michael Wales

Prince Albert Challenge Cup
Cox: William Hakim, 4: Jack Morrissey, 3: Elihu Reynolds, 2: Andrew Reed, 1: Ben Lynton


Last Season
The Harvard heavyweight four defeated Oxford Brookes University to win the Prince Albert Cup, while Radcliffe alumnae contributed to a pair of Henley wins. The four came from behind to win in both the semifinals and final, setting an event record with its winning semifinal time.

The heavyweight freshman eight also set an event record before falling in the Temple Cup semis. The Harvard heavyweight varsity also lost in the semifinals, by just one-third of a length to Leander Club A.

Former Radcliffe All-American Esther Lofgren '08-09 pulled off a Henley double by helping the United States win both the Remenham Challenge Cup and Princess Grace Challenge Cup, filling in for an injured rower in the Remenham eights event. Caryn Davies '05 joined Lofgren in the Princess Grace-winning quad.

Harvard's Henley History
Harvard crews have traveled to the Henley Royal Regatta many times and returned home with impressive victories. The first to win was the legendary 1914 junior varsity, which became the first American crew to win the coveted Grand Challenge Cup.

In 1972, Harvard entered the first college freshman crew to win the Thames Cup. One year later, the Crimson's junior varsity crew was its first to win the Ladies' Challenge Plate. In 1985, the Crimson won Henley's Grand Challenge Cup, its fifth and most recent title in Henley's most prestigious race. (Harvard also won Grand titles in 1939, '51 and '55.) In 1990, Harvard returned and captured the Ladies' Challenge Plate. The varsity four with coxswain set a course record while winning the 1993 Britannia Cup. Harvard then won the Ladies' Plate for an unprecedented fourth time in 1998.

Harvard's success at Henley has continued into the 21st century. In 2001, its freshmen won the Temple Cup, while in 2002 Harvard won an amazing three titles, in the Ladies' Challenge Plate (varsity), Britannia Cup (four) and Temple Cup (freshmen). The Crimson has increased its total of Ladies' Plates to seven with wins in 2007 and '10. The Crimson added a Prince Albert Cup win last year, its seventh Henley trophy since 2001.

Radcliffe has not raced in the Henley Royal Regatta since 2007, when the Black and White fell to Oxford Brookes University and Nottingham Rowing Club. Radcliffe reached the Henley semifinals in 2003, topping the entry from Nottingham University and the University of Bristol before losing to eventual champion Western Rowing Club and Victoria City Rowing Club.

Ladies' Challenge Plate
Harvard is one of seven boats entered in the event and will open competition, which is the top competition for university and club eights below the open Grand Challenge Cup, Friday against Sport Imperial Boat Club and Leander Club. Seniors Michael DiSanto, Matthew Edstein, Patrick Lapage and Sam O'Connor helped Harvard win the Ladies' Plate in 2010, and coxswain David Fuller steered the Crimson four to a Prince Albert victory last year.

Remenham Challenge Cup
Ten crews are entered in the final draw in the invitation race for women's eights. Radcliffe will begin competition in Thursday's first round, facing the entry from Thames Rowing Club and Henley Rowing Club. The Black and White is racing its second regatta in England, having placed second at the Henley Women's Regatta earlier this month.

Temple Challenge Cup
Harvard owns two of the 32 student eights in this event. Harvard freshman boats have reached the semifinals in each of their last three tries in the Temple Cup. The Crimson lightweights are competing as an eight after racing a four in the Prince Albert Challenge Cup last year. The lights race first, taking on fellow American entry Drexel Wednesday at 11:05 a.m. local time. The heavyweight freshmen take on the University of York at 3:35 p.m.

Prince Albert Cup
The Crimson begins the defense of its student four title against Durham University A Wednesday at 2:50 p.m. There are 16 crews entered in the event.

About Henley
The Henley Royal Regatta was established in Henley-on-Thames, England, on March 26, 1839 and has been held annually ever since except during the two World Wars. The Grand Challenge Cup has always been open, except in the Olympic Games year of 1908, to all established amateur clubs.

The regatta has its own rules and is not subject to the jurisdiction of the governing body of rowing in England (the Amateur Rowing Association) or the International Rowing Federation (FISA), but is officially recognized by both.

There are 20 events in total, with 499 entered crews competing in 2012, including 133 overseas crews with 43 American boats among them. The length of the course is slightly longer than the standard international distance of 2,000 meters and takes approximately seven minutes to cover. The number of races is reduced on each successive day, leaving only the finals to be rowed on the last day.