The Hobart College rowing team will jump across the pond to compete in the world famous Henley Royal Regatta beginning July 1. The Statesmen, who have been on campus training since the end of classes, begin their transatlantic journey on Monday, June 22.
The Henley Regatta is contested on a 2,112-meter (1 mile, 550 yards) course on the Thames River in England. Racing is a conducted in a win-or-go-home bracket similar to March Madness, giving crews a potential to race five times.
“This is a bucket list event for every competitive oarsman and coxswain,” Head Coach Paul Bugenhagen said. “The level of competition is outstanding and the opportunity to race the best student crews from universities and colleges around the globe is a tremendous challenge and honor. We are well prepared for the stress of five days of intense racing and we look forward to representing the Colleges at this most historic of rowing regattas.”
Hobart’s varsity eight, powered by Sam Zuckerman, Joe Biesemeyer, Robert McNamara, John Hibbard, Austin Letorney, Matthew Sylvan, Brett Lawhon, August Wherry, and W. Hunter Holtz, will compete in the Temple Challenge Cup. The Statesmen head to England coming off of their best performance in the varsity eight at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association National Championships, finishing 16th overall. Hobart collected gold medals in the 1V at the Liberty League Championships, earning Liberty League Crew of the Year honors, and earned silver medals at the ECAC National Invitational Rowing Championships, the Knecht Cup, and the Head of the Charles this season
The Temple Challenge Cup was created in 1990 for eights from universities, colleges or schools. This year’s regatta has 66 entries for a 32-team field, meaning that teams will have to qualify to reduce the field to 32 teams. The bracket will be drawn on Saturday, June 27 after the field has been trimmed to 32 teams.
The Statesmen competed in the Temple Challenge Cup in 2011, the last time Hobart traveled to England. Hobart survived qualifying to earn a place in the 32 team field. At the Regatta, the Statesmen won their opening round match race against Southampton University. In the round of 16, Hobart was defeated by the University of London.
The Statesmen will also enter two fours in the Prince Albert Challenge Cup. Sky Drazek, Patrick Ware, Nicholas Baca, Tyler Steving, and Davis Muller will make up one Hobart entry, while Julia Dexter, Mike Giroux, D. Griffin Marsh, Owen Monahan, and Julien Green will make up the other. The two fours are comprised of members of the second varsity eight that finished 17th overall in the second varsity eight event at the IRA National Championships.
The Prince Albert Challenge Cup was created in 2004 to give student fours an opportunity to race each other at the regatta. The Britannia Challenge Cup was originally the only coxed four event at the regatta, but the number of entries in the event forced the creation of a separate event for universities, restricting the Britannia Cup to just club entries. This year, 50 crews have been granted entry for 16 spots. The field will be trimmed to 16 boats with qualifying races before the bracket is drawn on June 27.
This will mark Hobart’s fifth appearance in the Henley Royal Regatta. The Statesmen have previously entered boats in 1986, 1993, 1994, and 2011.
Fans can catch all of the action beginning July 1 as the races will be broadcast live on the Henley Royal Regatta website and YouTube page. They will also compile a daily highlights show that will be available to watch on demand within an hour of the close of each day’s racing.