A crowd looks on at last year's Henley Royal Regatta (photo courtesy Henley Royal Regatta).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Three boats from Harvard will row in the prestigious Henley Royal Regatta at Henley-on-Thames, England July 3-7. The Harvard heavyweight and lightweight crews look to end an already championship-filled year with another victory. The Crimson will also be looking to extend its streak of medals at Henley to four consecutive years.
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The Format (Draws)
Crews will row one-on-one on a 2,112-meter course in a knockout format. Strategies for this type of racing are much different from the usual six-lane, 2,000-meter format used in collegiate championship racing.
The Temple Challenge Cup
Harvard's heavyweight freshman crew was one of 62 entries in The Temple Challenge Cup. The field was reduced to 32 during qualifying races before knockout racing is adopted. The Crimson will race the Imperial College School of Medicine (England) in the first round.
Coxswain: Don Kim; Stroke: Rory Glover; 7: James Croxford; 6: Craig Slater; 5: Gregory Edwards; 4: Stefano Belfiore; 3: Adam Janes; 2: Achim Harzheim; Bow: Abraham Polinsky
The Visitors' Challenge Cup
Harvard's crews will compete for the Visitors' Challenge Cup along with 17 others. Harvard's heavyweights, designated as Harvard 'A,' squares off against University College Dublin, while Harvard 'B,' the lightweights, will see the Ivy Club of Princeton. The heavyweight's group is made up of four rowers from this past season's varsity eight that won at Eastern Sprints, finished second at the IRA regatta and dominated Yale in the annual Harvard-Yale Regatta. The lightweight boat consists of four varsity eight oarsmen that helped Harvard capture the Head of the Charles Regatta, EARC Sprints and IRA titles in 2012-13.
Harvard 'A' (Heavyweights) Boating
Stroke: Andrew Holmes; 3: Charles Risbey; 2: Josh Hicks: Bow: James O'Connor
Harvard 'B' (Lightweights) Boating
Stroke: Alexander Bonorris; 3: Stuart Taylor; 2: Austin Meyer; Bow: Matt O'Leary
Others in the Field
Harvard has a number of other participants outside of the Crimson boats.
- William Hakim '14 and Ed Rippon '15 are part of the Robert Gordon University and Aberdeen Boat Club, which features many of the top British U23 rowers, in The Ladies' Challenge Plate.
- Vincent Breet '16, a member of Harvard's varsity eight, will row in a pair representing Tuks Rowing Club (South Africa) for The Silver Goblets & Nickalls' Challenge Cup.
- Incoming freshmen James Johnston '17 (Leander Club 'A,' The Prince of Wales Challenge Cup), Connor Harrity '17 (Boston College HS, The Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup) and Matthew Carter '17 (Abingdon School, The Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup) are all present at Henely.
- Alumni Jim Bayley '09 (Union Boat Club, The Britannia Challenge Cup) and Jeff Toto '03 (Union Boat Club, The Wyfold Challenge Cup) will both be rowing bow for their respective boats.
- Incoming freshman Tom Marshall '17 is rowing for the Leander Club in The Visitors' Challenge Cup.
- For a full list of entries, click here.
About Henley (Regatta Website)
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, which features 20 events and 470 crews, 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.
Harvard's Henley History (Complete 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, '55 and '59) 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 in 2011, its seventh Henley trophy since 2001, and its eighth overall Ladies' Plate title in 2012.
Before last year, Radcliffe had 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.
Last Year at Henley
The Harvard heavyweight crew came from behind to defeat Leander Club by one foot to win a thrilling final for the Ladies' Challenge Plate to finish the 2012 Henley Royal Regatta. The win came after the Harvard-Radcliffe heavyweights and Harvard lightweights each bowed out in the semifinals of their respective competitions. All five Harvard or Radcliffe crews that went to England won at least two races in the field of top crews from across the globe.
Harvard Captures Henley Ladies' Plate with Thrilling Sprint
Radcliffe Finishes Championship Season in Henley Semifinals
Radcliffe at Henley
The Radcliffe lightweight crew, which finished second in the nation and was crowned EAWRC champions, rowed at the Henley Women's Regatta in June. The Black and White lost by a half-length to Oxford University, while racing in tough headwind conditions. Full results can be found here and pictures and information are located on Radcliffe's Twitter page.
Remembering Harry Parker
This will be Harvard's first race since the death of Harry Parker, The Thomas Bolles Head Coach for Harvard Men's Heavyweight Crew. Many tributes to the iconic coach have been paid and another will be done this weekend as the Leander Club of Henley-on-Thames will fly its flag at half-staff to honor Parker.
During Parker's tenure, Harvard crews enjoyed spectacular success at the Henley Royal Regatta in England. It began with the 1973 JV win of the Ladies' Plate followed by the 1985 varsity win of the Grand Challenge Cup, its fifth and most recent title in Henley's most prestigious race. Harvard went on to six more varsity victories in the Ladies' Plate. The victory in 2012, beating Leander by one foot, was one of the most thrilling victories of his career as the crew overcame a three-seat deficit over the final 50 meters. Harvard also won three times in the Britannia and Prince Albert fours events. The Crimson owns three course records at Henley, more than any other university.
Related Link: Harvard Mourns Loss of Legendary Crew Coach Harry Parker