Four Harvard/Radcliffe Boats to Race in Henley Semifinals

The Harvard heavyweight varsity eight has reached the Ladies' Plate semifinals in each of its last four visits to Henley (photo courtesy Henley Royal Regatta Photos)
The Harvard heavyweight varsity eight has reached the Ladies' Plate semifinals in each of its last four visits to Henley (photo courtesy Henley Royal Regatta Photos)

Ladies' Plate Results | Remenham Cup Results  
Temple Cup Results | Prince Albert Cup Results
Timetable | Day 1 Recap | Day 2 Recap

All three Harvard and Radcliffe varsity eights won Friday at the Henley Royal Regatta and will join the Crimson heavyweight four in Saturday's semifinals.

Harvard student Andrew Campbell also moved on to the semifinals in the Diamond Challenge Sculls, while the Crimson heavyweight freshman eight lost a close race to IRA freshman champion Washington. For the third straight day, all the crews faced a challenging headwind.

The Crimson heavyweight varsity eight started off its week at Henley in impressive fashion, topping Sport Imperial Boat Club and Leander Club by 3.5 lengths in the Ladies' Challenge Plate. Harvard led at every split and posted a time of 7:15. Among the Sport Imperial rowers was former Harvard lightweight captain Martin Eiermann '10. Harvard could have faced another alum, Michael Blomquist '03 in the next round but will instead meet Molesey Boat Club and Oxford Brookes University, which defeated Blomquist's Penn Athletic Club entry Friday.

Radcliffe won for the second day in a row, downing Hollandia Roeiclub, a boat of Dutch under-23 national rowers that had a first-round bye Thursday, by 2.5 lengths in 8:18. The Black and White will face Canada's Western Rowing Club in the semifinals.

"We were down just a little bit off the start, but our plan was just to be tenacious, get on it and get going, to get the boat up to speed and sustain that," said Radcliffe coach Liz O'Leary. "You really have to be aggressive. It's a long race with a strong headwind, and you just have to pull hard."

The Harvard lightweight eight made it three wins in three days in the Temple Challenge Cup, coming from behind to defeat Durham University by 1.25 lengths. The Crimson trailed through the Barrier split but overtook Durham by the Fawley and finished in 7:17. A win by the heavyweight freshmen would have pitted the two Harvard crews against each other in the semifinals, but the Huskies edged the Crimson by a boat length in 7:11.

"It was a great day for the team overall, it was a great day for Andrew, and it was a great day for our crew," said Charley Butt, the Friends of Harvard Lightweight Rowing Coach for Lightweight Crew. "We were in a 20-mile-per-hour headwind on a long course, against the stream. It took a lot of calm and a lot of poise to realize that it didn't have to happen suddenly and it wouldn't happen suddenly."

Campbell was matched up with Duncan Grant of New Zealand, who edged the Crimson lightweight sophomore for the bronze medal at last summer's World Rowing Championships. Campbell emerged victorious this time around, winning by 2.5 lengths in 9:04. He will face South African Peter Lambert in the semifinals.

"The Diamond Sculls is one of the premier sculling events in the world, and Andrew is doing great and having a great time," Butt said.

The defending-champion Harvard four races University of London A in the Prince Albert Challenge Cup semifinals Saturday.