The Hobart rowing team was in England to compete in the Henley Royal Regatta. The Statesmen traveled with an eight and two fours and began competition on July 1. Throughout the trip, the coaching staff posted regular updates on the team’s racing and sightseeing.
N.B. Finding a reliable wireless signal in Henley is proving to be every bit as challenging as the competition on the water. The July 2 report on racing didn’t arrive stateside until the early morning hours of July 3.
Below are the updates from the Henley Royal Regatta beginning from June 29th and ending on the latest updates received on June 3rd.
Greetings from Henley-on-Thames!
The Statesmen have been in England for almost a week! So much has happened and we are excited to send you our first update. Updates will be more regular once racing begins on Wednesday.
The team departed JFK last Monday evening and arrived in Henley on Tuesday morning. After moving into our new homes and meeting our gracious host families we went to the race course to rig boats and row over the Henley course for the first time. The squad was pretty jet-lagged, but the enthusiasm for the event carried us to solid first rows. That night we had a team dinner at a traditional English pub, The Row Barge, and at the end of the meal the squad was happily surprised with the delivery of their Collier and Robinson Henley Jackets. Purple and orange has never looked so good!
Early days and training
It took a few days for everyone to get truly acclimated to the time change and the logistics of getting to and from the venue each day, but that didn’t stop us from pursuing two-a-day sessions. We spent early days fine tuning the rig of our new Hudsons and working on finding rhythm and speed in our new hulls and on this most unique of race courses.
On Friday both of our fours entered in the Prince Albert Challenge Cup had to go through a qualifying race. Simply paying the entry fee and arriving in Henley is not a guarantee that you will be allowed to compete. Fifty boats entered the Prince Albert event while only 24 earn the privilege of racing in the regatta. Twelve of the entries were automatically selected to compete, meaning on Friday our boats were two of 38 crews competing for 12 spaces in the regatta. Both boats had strong races and demonstrated that they were worthy of racing in the Henley Royal Regatta. We are proud to say that both boats qualified. This means that racing will begin Wednesday, July 1, with our entry in the Temple Cup (the varsity eight), and all our crews will race on Thursday July 2 when the Prince Albert Cup begins.
Dinner at the Leander Club
Many rowers are familiar with the world-famous Leander Club in Henley that is home to many Great Britain National Team rowers, and countless Henley and Olympic Championships. Following qualifying races on Friday evening the team was fortunate enough to eat dinner at Leander and celebrate their qualifying crews thanks to members, James and Melissa Robinson, who also hosted the team’s Leander meal during their 2011 visit.
The team had a wonderful evening celebrating the fours and looked forward to an exciting week of racing. It was also Coach Bugenhagen and his wife, Amy Jo’s, anniversary!
The team got dressed up in their Henley attire for the first time and looked beyond sharp and stylish! Thanks again to Collier and Robinson for the blazers!
After the qualifying races on Friday, everyone gathers at the Henley town hall on Saturday afternoon for the official announcement of The Draw. According to the Henley Stewards (the people who run the regatta), a record crowd was on hand this year to see the racing brackets released.
As mentioned, the fours will race for the first time on Thursday and have some strong competition in their event from the IRA Champion Washington Huskies, Cornell lightweights, two entries from Cambridge University (under Goldie Boat Club) and other international entries from the United States and Netherlands. The draw for our crews in the Prince Albert Cup can be seen by CLICKING HERE.
The Hobart varsity eight is entered in the Temple Challenge Cup (CLICK HERE to see the draw) and was one of the eight selected crews in the 32-boat field, which is why they were not required to qualify on Friday. The Temple Cup has its fair share of challenges with a number of talented Dutch crews, University de Lyon from France, Kings College from Australia, Trinity College from Ireland and last year’s champion, Oxford Brookes University. Additionally, there are a number of talented crews from the United States: IRA Champion Cornell lightweights, Columbia lightweights, Princeton University, and the University of Virginia.
The first race for the Temple Challenge Cup is Wednesday at 5:40 p.m. local time. That is 12:40 Eastern time. The race will be webcast by the regatta on YouTube. Results will also be on Twitter at @HenleyResults.
Our next update will be after racing Wednesday. Thank you very much for all of your support! We can feel you pulling with us from afar, and we certainly couldn’t have gotten here without you all. You can find more team updates via Twitter @HobartRowing and Coach Bugenhagen is putting photos and video up all the time on Instagram via his account B_TheHammer.
Until our next update, Go Statesmen!
The Coaching Staff