Henley Masters Regatta enjoys vintage year

Despite the chilly start on Friday morning, the twentieth Henley Masters Regatta was held in the hottest conditions for many years. Competitors were subjected to temperatures of over 30 degrees celsius as they raced 1000 metres from Temple Island to the finish at Upper Thames RC over the two days of the Regatta.

Henley Master Regatta, hosted by Upper Thames Rowing Club, has grown over its 20 years to be a highly respected event in Masters rowing. This year it attracted 360 crews from nine countries, representing 115 clubs. The crews were well supported by a large number of spectators who enjoyed the racing at four-minute intervals. 

Competitors as young as 27 years and those in their late 70s competed on Saturday in 51 finals in seven boat classes from eights to single sculls. The local clubs, Upper Thames and Henley, enjoyed three victories courtesy of their large entries, with UTRC winning two finals in single sculls (David Hope in the 55–59 age range and Timothy Davies in the 65–69 age range, and Henley one final in C pairs. 

Guy Pooley (Crabtree BC) progressed through two rounds to win the C single sculls (age range 43–49) against Rasche of Auriol Kensington by two lengths. Guy represented GB in the Olympics at Barcelona in 1992 and in Atlanta in 1996 and has multiple Henley Royal Regatta wins and appearances for Cambridge University in The Boat Race. 

Rob Roy BC (of Cambridge) won the B Eights final (ages 36–43 years), beating Crabtree BC by ¾ lengths in a hard fought race in searing conditions. Crabtree BC included Tom Solesbury who represented GB in the 2012 London Olympics coming 5th in Quadruple sculls. Tom Solesbury and James Orme were also successful in the men’s A pairs (age range 27 – 35) for Crabtree BC beating Oporto University Portugal by 2 ½ lengths. James is a GB international oarsman.

Klaus Riekemann, winner of an Olympic gold for Germany in Rome 1960, was in the Minerva Bath Coxless Four that won the H category (70-74 years), and George Saunders – who had spent the previous day entertaining The Princess Royal in his capacity as one of the senior winners of the Race for Doggett’s Coach and Badge – was a member of one of five winning crews from Lea Rowing Club.

Diane Sutherland, President of the Regatta, Dame Di Ellis DBE, Honorary President of British Rowing and Kate Burt, Chief Executive Officer of British Rowing presented the prizes.

More more information about the 2013 Henley Masters Regatta, visit www.henleymastersregatta.org.uk.