HENLEY-ON-THAMES, England—Harvard crews won each of their three races on the opening day of the Henley Royal Regatta Wednesday on the Thames River.
The Harvard lightweight varsity eight and heavyweight freshman eight both advanced to the second round of the Temple Challenge Cup, while the heavyweight four marched on to the Prince Albert Cup quarterfinals. All three boats will race Thursday, as will the Radcliffe heavyweight varsity eight in the Remenham Challenge Cup and lightweight sophomore Andrew Campbell in the Diamond Challenge Sculls.
Harvard's unbeaten, national-champion lightweights started their competition at Henley with a three-length win against fellow U.S. entry Drexel. The Crimson led throughout, pulling away as the race went on to post a winning time of 7:20 and set up a second-round meeting with Southampton University.
"We were up against a good crew, and we had to be strong and row well," said Charley Butt, the Friends of Harvard Lightweight Rowing Coach of Harvard Lightweight Crew. "It took a while to get to the point where were comfortable and we knew we could advance."
The Crimson heavyweight freshmen also led throughout their race, topping the University of York by 1.5 lengths in 7:04. They will next race Newcastle, a three-length winner against Oxford Brookes University B.
In the Prince Albert Cup student four event, the defending-champion Crimson easily defeated Durham University A in 7:49. The time was the day's fastest in the event by five seconds.
"It was a straightforward day of racing," said heavyweight associate head coach Bill Manning. "Our crews were strong today. The races are going to get tougher. When you're successful, you're going to face faster and faster opponents each day."
Former Harvard heavyweight coxswain Chris Kingston '11 raced Wednesday, guiding Star Club to a four-length win against Eton Vikings in the Britannia Challenge Cup club four event. It was another Harvard-Yale victory for Kingston, who defeated the Bulldogs varsity in the 2011 Harvard-Yale Regatta, as the opposing boat was steered by Yale coxswain Oliver Fletcher.
Other Harvard alumni racing at Henley include boatmates Steffen Buschbacher '00 and Justin Webb '04. Michael Blomquist '03 will race in a pair in the Silver Goblets and Nickalls' Challenge Cup and in the Penn Athletic Club eight in the Ladies' Challenge Plate. Former Crimson lightweight captain Martin Eiermann '10 will also race in the Ladies' Plate, manning the five seat in the Sport Imperial entry that will face the Harvard heavyweight varsity in the quarterfinals.