Henley Royal Regatta 2016
Tees members before Henley Royal Regatta 2016
The excitement of this year's Henley Royal Regatta started early when on Friday 24th June, Cameron Harrison, Callum Johnson, Andy Brown and JJ Hogg made it through the Qualifying Races to join Tina Stiller, Beth Bryan and Jo Wratten – who had all been pre-qualified by the Stewards - in competing the following week. Here's a round-up of what happened:
First of all, on Thursday there was a row-over of the Henley course by the newly-announced GB Paralympic Rowing Team, including our very own Laurence Whiteley. Anyone wishing to see the footage of this can find it here: https://twitter.com/HenleyRegatta/status/748493209098125312
Moving onto the racing, Callum Johnson, Andy Brown, Cameron Harrison and JJ Hogg got their 4x campaign off to a flying start, beating Nottingham RC by 2 lengths in the first round of the Prince of Wales Challenge Cup.
Delivering what was described by livestream commentators Martin Cross and Tom James as "a strong and controlled performance" our lads looked cool as cucumbers from the outset, surprising many who expected a far closer race.
Cameron Harrison (S), Andy Brown, Callum Johnson and JJ Hogg (B)
Starting the racing for Tees on Friday was Tina Stiller in the quarter-finals of the Princess Royal Challenge Cup (Open W1x). A narrow defeat in a really good race, Tina and opponent R de Yong, a Dutch U23 international sculler, were within half a length for the first 1000m of the race before de Yong finally took control. It's worth remembering that the Princess Royal is a very high class event with only eight places available to the very best, so our congratulations to Tina on her performance today.
Tina Stiller (Photo Credit: © HRR Official Photo)
Next it was the turn of Callum Johnson, Andy Brown, Cameron Harrison and JJ Hogg who faced the event favourites, Leander 'A', in the Prince of Wales Challenge Cup. They, too, were defeated, but not without another classy row of which they can be very proud indeed - as the livestream commentators put it, "absolutely nothing wrong with that quad at all".
Last, but by no means least, were Jo Wratten and Beth Bryan in a GB Development crew, racing as Leander/Tees in the quarter-finals of the Remenham Challenge Cup (Open W8+). They comfortably defeated their opponents, Dutch crew Hollandia Roeiclub, by three and three quarter lengths assuring them a place in the semi finals.
Beth Bryan (3) and Jo Wratten (5) flying the Tees Colours
Saturday – Semi Finals Day
A fabulous Saturday for Tees, as Jo Wratten and Beth Bryan in the Leander/Tees crew won their semi-final. In a nail-biting rematch of their Henley Women's Regatta final, this time our girls defeated their opponents, US crew Princeton University, by one and a quarter lengths with a devastating final sprint after a bowball-to-bowball battle most of the way down the course. A heart stopping row for those of us who saw it. Well done ladies!
Beth Bryan (3) and Jo Wratten (5) in the Leander/Tees W8+ vs Princeton University
(Photo Credit: © HRR Official Photo)
If anyone would like to see what was a great spectators race, you can find a full replay here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NE8zh3c8v8M&list=PLgHoN6LLDp_9QKb7QAUsC8UMGjwaNmGTp&index=10
Sunday – Finals Day
Sunday is Finals Day at Henley, and we were hugely proud to see Beth Bryan and Jo Wratten with their Leander Club/Tees RC composite crew - which also included members of Agecroft RC and Coalporters ARC – up against the Princeton Training Centre (USA) in the Remenham Challenge Cup.
For those who don't know, Princeton Training Centre is the US women's equivalent of the GB Rowing Team at Caversham and Leander/Tees were defeated in a very well rowed race against what the commentators accurately described as "to all intents and purposes the USA's second Olympic boat". Nonetheless, the British crew more than held their own and we're sure this will, by no means, the last we'll be hearing of Jo and Beth's part in this already successful partnership.
Congratulations also goes to Coach Lauren Fisher, who should be very, very proud indeed. The results achieved at this prestigious event comes from the continued hard work and commitment by Lauren and her athletes - Bring on Henley Royal Regatta 2017!
Coach Lauren, Boating with the boys and, alongside Coach Jane Hall, with the Girls
In more Henley news: Chris Boddy (who could well be a life member of Tees after representing the club at the U23 worlds in 2007) won at Henley Royal Regatta, for the Leander Club, in the Ladies Plate.
Oddly enough, on the YouTube video of the race the crew is down as ‘Leander and Tees’, although officially it is believed they were entered as Leander only. Nevertheless, Chris wore his Tees Blazer at the presentation and joins other names, who in recent history have won at HRR, such as Tina Stiller, Kieran Clark and Ed Mace. For those that don’t know, Chris is a LOVELY bloke who unfortunately hasn’t had the best of luck with regards to selection at GB level, so this win couldn’t have happened to a nicer chap.
Chris Boddy (far right) at the Ladies Challenge Plate prize giving presentation (Photo Credit: © HRR official photo)
Credit: Lucy Radley, Rob Cree and Kate O’Sullivan