The Grand Challenge Cup - Winners
Tipped to be the race of the weekend, Moe Sbihi, George Nash and their GB crew mates made knocking off the Olympic champions look easy. Having seen off the Australian eight on Saturday, the build up for the Grand final was immense, but GB were simply too strong for the Germans. They lead from the start and gradually pulled away as the race went on, making it impossible for the Germans to re-gain contact. A clear water win was a huge margin, giving the boys great confidence leading into the Lucerne World Cup next weekend.
The Silver Goblets & Nickall’s – Winners
Having not raced at Henley in the last few years, James Foad was eager to take home the silver goblets with his partner Matt Langridge. They faced stiff competition in the final, Ollie Cook and Stuart Innes of UL and Leander, but the fastest British pair ever never looked like giving up their lead and went on to win convincingly. The large winners trophy is accompanied by two silver goblets, new each year, which the winners keep forever. Unfortunately some over-zealous security guards missed the memo and tried to stop James Foad taking his away. Fortunately they are now safely with him at home!
The Princess Grace – Finalists
Friday saw the beginning of racing in the women’s events, and the Molesey ‘A’ quad of Gabby Rodriguez (stroke), Helen Roberts, Aimee Jonckers and Sam Fowler were due to meet age-old rivals Leander Club in their first heat. Coached by Phil Bourguignon, the crew featured two first-time HRR competitors, and two MBC stalwarts who represented MBC last year in the same event.
Leander were no doubt the favourites; featuring GB squad stalwart and Olympian Debbie Flood, alongside a host of other ex-international athletes. Other than the qualifying races, this was the debut race for the Molesey combination, but they rose to the challenge magnificently, leading Leander by half a length by the Barrier. Looking powerful and relaxed, the girls increased their speed to push their lead out to a length by Fawley, and were delighted to finish two lengths clear, booking their place in the semi-final.
The crew then faced Stanford University in the semi-final, and previous form from Henley Women’s regatta indicated that the MBC girls were in with a real chance of progressing through another round. The girls did just that; half a length clear at Fawley, and a big push on at Remenham sent them a length clear, and by that point the race was theirs and a full-Molesey women’s crew made a Henley final for the first time in the club’s history.
As Henley goes, the girls came up across the GB quad, fifth at the last World Cup, and set to race at the World Championships at the end of August. The girls executed a strong race, and attacked it professionally throughout, to be beaten by a verdict of easily. The performance by this crew is a credit to the work Phil has done with the women throughout the season, undoubtedly coaching them to their most successful season yet, and having made history at Molesey Boat Club in the process.
The Britannia Challenge Cup
The Britannia four, who looked like one of the sharper crews in the qualifying races, drew the Tideway Scullers School in the first round of their event on Wednesday. Having previously raced each other, it was predicted to be one of the hardest rounds of the event. The MBC boys had the race of their lives, but unfortunately couldn’t overhaul the TSS crew from their half-length lead, and lost to this quality crew by just three-quarters of a length. The Molesey crew of Rupert Graham (stroke), Samuel Vye, Lee Rawlings and Andy Warren, coxed by Eleanor Willets and coached by Cled Ellison, were pleased with their efforts, and were accepting of a touch draw on learning that their heat was the fastest of the event, by a significant twelve-second margin.
Visitors Challenge Cup
Alistair Webb raced in the Visitors Challenge Cup in a composite crew with Quintin and Thames RC. An unfortunate draw put them against Newcastle University in the first round, who have been the stand out coxless four all season, meaning their regatta ended on Thursday.
This years Thames Cup crew formed late, but made huge progress and performed impressively at the regatta. The four Juniors (Will Stewart, Luke Gowland, Will Johnstone and Oliver Ayres) teamed up with Molesey stalwarts Lewis Thorpe, Roy Elton, Rob Sherry and Jon Broadest. They breezed through the first round against Worcester easily, but a tough draw put them against the selected Barge Club, USA crew on the Thursday. Unfortunately they were knocked out, but the crew was a credit to the club, demonstrating the strength of the Junior set up.
Molesey was represented in two quads in the Prince of Wales. George Stewart, part of the GB U23 quad, raced exceptionally well to reach the semi finals, knocking out the composite crew of Molesey and TSS (Dave Bell, Luke Moon, Fred Gill) on the Friday.
Molesey Boat Club would like to thank its sponsor ISPS Handa once again for their support and sponsorship.