The Wyfold Challenge Cup - Winners
he whole club was eagerly anticipating the Wyfolds Challenge Cup final, one of the latest in the day, and set to be a tight race between MBC and previous rivals Tideway Scullers School. The crew of Alistair Douglass (stroke), Harry Glenister, Chris Rae and Liam Tustin, coached by Franz Imfeld, have been a successful combination since their formation in mid-May, and had previously been tipped as favourites in this event. To reach the final they progressed through all their races with respectable margins, beating a gutsy Star Club crew in the semi-final on Saturday to gain their place in the final.
The TSS crew reached the final of the Wyfolds last year, and at Marlow Regatta were the closest crew to the MBC boys, beaten into 2ndby just three-quarters of a length, so it appeared to be anyone’s race for the taking.
Known for their strong start out of the blocks, the Molesey four took a canvas at the end of the island, and began to inch away from the TSS crew from therein. By Fawley they had moved out to three-quarters of a length up, and at Remenham, backed by the black and white supporters, increased their lead to a length and kept moving through. They crossed the line two lengths clear, having not faltered throughout their race, and already grinning as they passed the steward’s enclosure. The crew were ecstatic to bring the Wyfolds Challenge Cup back to Molesey, the last time it was in the club’s possession being back in 1997.
The win was well overdue for two-man Chris Rae, the oldest of the crew, having raced with Molesey at Henley for the past two seasons. At the other end of the scale, Alistair, Harry and Liam are all under 20 years old but have raced and trained throughout like much more experienced athletes. The crew is a great credit to coach Franz Imfeld, who has coached the crew since their formation, and developed the three younger athletes throughout the season.
This could not have been possible without the support and sponsorship from ISPS Handa.