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Leander Crews at HRR 2016

Leander Crews at Henley Royal Regatta
29 June – 3 July 2016

Words by Yasmin Tredell
Photography by Robert Treharne Jones

Please scroll down for race reports and images for all our crews racing at this year’s regatta

Grand Challenge Cup
Remenham Challenge Cup
Ladies’ Challenge Plate
Visitors’ Challenge Cup
Queen Mother Challenge Cup
Princess Grace Challenge Cup
Prince of Wales Challenge Cup
Fawley Challenge Cup
Silver Goblets & Nickalls’ Challenge Cup
Double Sculls Challenge Cup
Diamond Challenge Sculls

Grand Challenge Cup
GB composite 236 lo-resSaturday: Nautilus RC v Team Italia, ITA
The Nautilus eight in the Grand included athletes from Molesey, London and University of London, as well as Leander, many of whom hoped to compete at next month’s U23 World Rowing Championships. Team Italia with a slightly puncher start managed to steal a small lead off the start but by the barrier Nautilus had closed it back and taken a ½ length advantage. The young crew consolidated and moved away with a long consistent rate and rhythm at 36. Team Italia made a gallant effort to stay on terms, rating 38 upwards throughout, but crossed the line two lengths behind the Nautilus crew.
“Our crew get on really well – we’re all British students studying in America and we’re used to close racing in eights. It’s a really fun boat, fun boats are fast boats.” explained Leander’s Sholto Carnegie, the 6 man of the Nautilus crew.

Sunday: Nautilus RC v Hollandia Roeiclub, NED
Grand Challenge Cup finals are renowned for bringing excellent racing to the regatta, the this year’s was no exception. Both crews got out fast, with Hollandia overrating the GB development crew at 39 to 36. They pushed on hard to the ½ mile and looked to have the race under control with a one length lead, but a spirited second half from Nautilus forced the Dutch to row hard to the end, finishing in a time of 6.24, just ¾ length ahead.

Remenham Challenge Cup
Remenham - GB women 236 lo-resFriday: Leander & Tees RC v. Hollandia Roeiclub, NED
Four Leander athletes were racing in the GB development eight drawn against Hollandia. The Leander & Tees composite took control very early on and had clear water ahead of the Dutch crew by the Barrier. Rowing more efficiently this lead stretched out down the course, the GB composite looking strong and relaxed to the end finished with a 3 ¾ length lead.
“I was really pleased with how the girls performed, it was a good opportunity to practice the rhythm we want to race with. I’m excited for tomorrow and how much more we can do” said their cox Erin Wysocki-Jones after the race,

Saturday: Leander Club & Tees RC v. Princeton University, USA
The Remenham final saw the GB development eight drawn against the same Princeton crew which beat them in the final of elite eights at Henley Women’s Regatta two weeks ago. Off the start Princeton took a slight lead, which they maintained to Fawley, but were unable to move away from the Leander composite who were rowing a long powerful rhythm. Leander had a score to settle and their efficient rowing paid dividends in the last third of the race when they began to move through the American crew. Leander’s momentum built into the finish and they crossed the line with clear water 1 ¼ lengths ahead.
Fi Gammond, in the 7 seat, was pleased with the race. “We learnt a lot from our defeat to this crew at Henley Women’s Regatta, we knew they would be quick off the start but we had gained a lot of speed since then and I was confident that our pace through the middle would see us through to take the win” she said.

Sunday: Princeton Training Centre, USA v. Leander Club & Tees RC
The first Leander final saw the GB composite up against the US development crew. The Leander composite took an initial early advantage however Princeton quickly took this back and began to steadily extended their lead. Leander and Tees pushed hard but were unable to pull back on Princeton who finished strongly 4 ¾ lengths ahead.

Holly Norton, stroke of the Leander crew, said “I don’t mind losing to a crew of that class, they are a very good crew and were better on the day. The same however won’t be said in four years’ time in Tokyo!”

Ladies’ Challenge Plate
Ladies Plate 236 lo-resSaturday: Univ. of California, Berkeley, USA v. Leander Club
With only four entries in the Ladies’ this was the Leander crew’s first race of the regatta, on the more difficult side of the draw. The crews got off to a close start, with Cal gaining an initial advantage before Leander came back to reach the Barrier just a foot ahead. Leander built on this momentum through the half mile and with a powerful rhythm they took full control of the race. After breaking a clear water lead they were able to reduce their rate of stroking to 35, winding down to cross the line one length ahead.
Cameron Buchan, the Leander 7 man, was confident throughout. “I believed we would win, the whole crew did. It didn’t cross my mind at any point that we wouldn’t, it’s this belief that kept us calm when the racing was tight” he said.

Sunday: Leander Club v. ASR Nereus, NED
The final of the Ladies saw an exciting rematch between the two crews which had last raced head to head Holland Beker in Amsterdam, where each crew came away with one win apiece. Nereus left the blocks so hard that their stroke lost his blade but it had little effect on the boat speed and at the end of the island Nereus had gained a strong ¾ length advantage. After extending this to just under a length they moved into Leander’s water and after repeated warnings by the umpire, the crew eventually moved back to their station. With Leander always maintaining an overlap the crews tracked each other stroke-for-stroke and with around 600m to go Leander realised the fate of the race was imminent. Upping their rate they began to move back, passing the Enclosures half a length down, but with the race beginning to run out, and looking hungry for the win, Leander made a second push. When Nereus crossed the line spectators couldn’t call the verdict, but the cheers from the Dutch crew signalled that the crew had just crossed the line ahead.
The Leander cox Ian Middleton swiftly raised his hand to appeal the verdict, the umpire raised a red flag and a waiting game began. After much deliberation by the Stewards and after a two hour debate, it was announced that Nereus were disqualified on the grounds of unsportsmanlike behaviour from their coach, who had used illegal hand signals from the launch.
Following the disqualification Regatta Chairman Sir Steve Redgrave said “Really sad result. But there are standards and procedures that all crews need to abide by, and Nereus stepped over the mark. The umpire is the only person who is in charge of the race and needs to be adhered by.”

Visitors’ Challenge Cup
Visitors lightweight composite 236 lo-resThursday: Leander & Oxford Brookes Univ. v. Thames RC
From the first stroke Thames used their extra body weight against the Leander lightweight composite to good advantage. Despite rating 3 strokes per minute lower than Leander, Thames were able to gain a one length lead by the Barrier but Leander did not let this phase them, stuck to their rhythm and rowed well through the middle, ensuring that Thames struggled to get away. Thames maintained a 1 ½ length lead until the Mile marker where Leander’s gas began to run out and Thames edged away once more. Holding off a sprint finish from the Leander crew Thames crossed the line 2 ¾ lengths clear.

Queen Mother Challenge Cup
QM club 236 lo-resFriday: Leander v. Vac Varosi Evezos & Mohacsi, HUN
This race got off to an eventful start as both crews having a less than perfect execution, Leander tangling with their sculls and the Hungarians having trouble with their steering. Leander regained their composure a little quicker and moved ahead with a 1 ¾ length lead by the Barrier. A strong rhythm from Leander saw this lead increase to 4 lengths going through the ¾ mile and were able to reduce their rating for a comfortable row. A final sprint from the Hungarians past the enclosures reduced Leander’s advantage to 1 2/3 lengths through the line however Leander were never pushed.

Saturday: Dukla Praha, CZE v. Leander Club
Facing the Czech international heavyweights Leander took an early lead, and were in command, sculling smoothly despite the rough conditions. It was clear that Leander were not going to be challenged – they had clear water at the ½ mile and were able to reduce their rate of stroking to cross the line at rate 28, 3 ¼ lengths clear.
Leander didn’t underestimate the Czechs prior to the race, “I knew we had a big one on our hands, the conditions have been tricky all week and we knew our competition was tough. We stuck to our plan and didn’t get overwhelmed by the other crew. I’m happy with our performance.” said Rowan Law, the Leander 2 man.

Sunday: Leander Club v. California R.C, USA
Having reached the final of the open event for men’s quads Leander, a crew made entirely of development athletes, were undaunted against California. Leander took an early lead which they extended to the Barrier, but as the second half opened up California, who were 1 ¼ lengths down, tried to get back in contact. They managed to narrow the gap but Leander responded by moving further ahead to win by a convincing 2 ½ lengths. Stroke man Andy Joel said “The lads were great and backed me up the whole way. We rowed confidently and kept our cool when they tried to come back. I’m over the moon.”

QM GB lwt composite 236 lo-resFriday: Leander Club & Oxford Brookes Univ. v. Danske SR & Roforeningen, DEN
Drawn against a strong Danish crew the GB lightweight composite drew back level after an early push by the opposition, and thereafter a fine contest unfolded, with both crews rating 36. There was nothing to call between the quads until the ¾ mile marker, where the GB men’s blade work and technical efficiency began to pay off and they started to inch away. Once in the lead the crew relaxed, sculling longer and at a lower rating of 33 to the Danish crew’s 36, the Leander composite was able to cross the line cool and calm, unfazed by the earlier tight racing. Final verdict: 2 lengths.

Saturday: California R.C., USA v. Leander Club & Oxford Brookes Univ.
Their second race of the regatta saw the GB lightweights up against California who took an early lead, moving ahead by 1 ¼ lengths at the Barrier. The GB quad matched the Americans up the entire course, making small indents but no substantial moves. A last sprint attempt to get level by the Leander composite was held off by Cal who took the win ¾ length ahead.

Princess Grace Challenge Cup
GB composite 236 lo-res
Friday: Leander & Reading RC v. Cambridge Univ. Women’s & Imperial
Racing for Leander in the GB composite were Holly Nixon and Jess Leyden, who just missed Olympic qualification in the GB women’s quad, and today their crew was drawn against Cambridge & Imperial who also had international experience on board. Off the start Leander & Reading initially edged out ½ length, both crews were matched in speed as they maintained this lead to the Barrier. The Cambridge crew pushed hard and, rating higher at 34 compared to Leander’s 32, managed to hold contact up until the ½ mile mark. In difficult gusty sculling conditions it was the Leander crew’s technique that then allowed them to move away confidently and with composure, bringing the rate down to 31 in the second half of the race. Final verdict: 1 ¾ lengths.

Saturday: Reading R.C & Leander Club v. Leander Club
The first Leander race of the morning saw teammates from the club go head-to-head, with the composite taking an early advantage and leading by a length at the Barrier. Throughout the composite rated two strokes per minute lower than Leander and showed greater cohesion, allowing them to move away convincingly to take a comfortable win of 3 ¾ lengths.
Holly Nixon from the winning crew said “It was challenging conditions out there, massive credit to the other Leander crew for also coping so well. I think it was the execution of our solid rhythm that ultimately got us the win.” She added, “It’s never nice racing against people from your club.”

Sunday: Reading R.C & Leander Club v. AZS Warszawa & Grudziądzu, POL
The Leander composite and the U23 Polish crew battled the whole way down the course making for some nail biting racing for the trophy. Leander took the early lead, clean and calm in the rough water, and with both crews rating 34 Leander sat one length up. A fierce push at the ¾ mile marker by the Polish crew closed the gap to just ½ length, but the Leander composite upped their rate, Poland faded, and the home crew crossed the line one length ahead.

Princess Grace 236 lo-resThursday: Leander v. Wallingford RC & Glasgow Univ.
Leander’s club crew were drawn against a Wallingford lightweight composite that was aiming for the U23 World Championships in August. Both boats got out of the blocks cleanly, but a slight early advantage gained by Wallingford was overturned by Leander when they settled onto their strong rhythm, the crew pulling to ½ length ahead by the Barrier. The depth of experience in the Leander crew shone through as they continued to stretch out the lead over Wallingford down the course, eventually finishing 3 ¾ lengths clear.
“The crew were poised and calm’ said Lucinda Gooderham from the 2 seat. ‘We coped well in tricky conditions and the crew responded positively when we were caught off guard by a very fast start.”

Friday: Leander v. Boulogne Billancourt & Encouragement, FRA
This was a fine race between Leander and the French crew, and with both crews striking 41 off the start there was little between them. Leander managed to pull ahead to a ¾ length lead with a push before the Barrier, but the French pedigree responded with an attack, closing the gap to ½ a length just before Fawley. The French continued to inch back at Leander in a nail-biting race, only ¼ of a length between the crews at the ¾ mile marker. The French looked to have the momentum to overturn the race when the Leander managed to find another gear. This was the nail in the coffin for the French and Leander proceeded to power away and win by 1 length.
The Leander stroke Emily Carmichael explained, “I have so much trust in the crew, I know the other girls are backing me up 100% and that faith and confidence is what took us through today.”

Prince of Wales Challenge Cup
PoW Leander A 236 lo-resThursday: Leander A v. Christiania Roklub, NOR
Our A crew in the Prince of Wales had an eventful race after the Norwegian opposition got too close to the buoy line at the end of the Island, and proceeded to hit the wooden booms, breaking the bow man’s rigger. This ended the race, which the umpire judged ‘not rowed out’.
Frazier Christie three seat of the Leander crew said, “Despite the other crew crashing into the booms we had a good start, I was pleased we kept calm and didn’t let it affect us. We took advantage of the circumstances and gradually took it down around 400m in.”

Friday: Leander A v. Tees RC
Leander A were able to have a full race in their second round, where they took an early lead ahead of Tees, up by 1 ½ lengths at the Barrier. As Leander settled into a more relaxed rhythm Tees rated two strokes per minute higher to enable them to hold off the opposition. After a final push at Fawley to stay in the race Tees early efforts seemed to take their toll and Leander were able to move away, winning comfortably with an Easily verdict.
Frazier Christie, in the 3 seat of the Leander crew said, “Tees gave us a really good race, they fought hard and didn’t make it easy for us in the early stages, it was great to get out and have a good race.”

Saturday: Lyon & Vichy, FRA v. Leander A
Lyon and Vichy shot off the start with an aggressive and sprint style rhythm, maintaining 37 to the Barrier where they were 1 ¼ lengths up. But Leander tracked their opponents, sculling maturely, and began to inch back on the French through the ½ mile. Lyon and Vichy responded and held Leander at a ½ length lead but their consistent momentum was too much for the French, who began to slip back past Remenham and were successfully overhauled, eventually being beaten by 2 ¼ lengths.
Ross Hunter coach of the Leander crew was incredibly proud of the crews performance. “The French rowed stunningly in a very quick first half, our crew showed the grit and determination that we spoke about prior to the race. That was the plan – to be the tougher crew.”

Sunday: Schuylkill Navy H.P.C, USA v. Leander Club ‘A’
The final proved a fantastic race, with both crews showing incredible class. The Americans shot off the start and took the early lead, 1 ¼ lengths up by the Barrier, but Leander kept their rate high striking 38 to keep in the race and with a push pulled back to ¾ of a length. The crews were matched in speed along the middle part of the race with Schuylkill at 36, Leander at 37. Along the grandstands Leander dug deep with a final charge, and were gaining rapidly before they ran out of water, crossing the line 4 feet short.

PoW Leander B 236 lo-resThursday: Leander B v. Lyon & Vichy, FRA
Drawn against a last minute entry from Lyon & Vichy, a crew of French internationals who had missed Olympic qualification, was a tough draw for the selected Leander crew. Off the start both crews were being warned for steering, Lyon took an early lead with a length of clear water by the barrier rating 34 to Leander’s 33. They extended this lead to two lengths clear water by Fawley, after which point they were able to take the stroke rate down to 31 and sat on a long comfortable rhythm to the finish. The final verdict was a win for Lyon by 3 lengths.

Fawley Challenge Cup
Fawley A 236 lo-res

Thursday: Leander v. Northwich
After a fast start rating 42, against Northwich at 45, the crews were level, but approaching the Barrier Leander managed to gain a slight advantage when both crews settled onto a rhythm. The Leander juniors kept their heads in a close race and very slowly edged away, a push through Remenham giving Leander the momentum they needed to break through clear water with a comfortable 3 length victory.<br /> ‘There was a lot of wash from launches, this coupled with a strong stream made for challenging racing conditions” said stroke man Cameron Forsythe. ‘”I was pleased with how we coped, we kept cool heads.”

Friday: Leander Club v. Frankfurter RG, GER
A rematch of last year’s regatta when Leander were knocked out on the Friday by the same crew! This year was heading for a similar outcome with the Germans taking an early 2/3 length lead off the start. Despite Leander putting in a big push and closing the gap to ½ length the Germans kept their composure and were able to move away again, rating 37 to Leander’s 35. They remained one length up until the ¾ mile when the Leander boys’ grievance from 2015 pushed them on once more and take the lead at the Mile, using this momentum to power to the finish to win by 2 ¾ lengths. Tom Mortimer 3 seat and a returner from last year’s quad said, “There was a score card that needed changing and I’m really happy we managed to do that today, a satisfying race.”

Saturday: Leander Club v. The Windsor Boys’ School
Windsor Boys took an early lead and at the Barrier they extended this to ¾ length, sculling well. Leander held on through the middle of the race but Windsor Boys sought to put the outcome of the race beyond doubt with a push above Fawley, and this allowed them to withstand Leander’s late rush to the line. Final verdict 1 length.
“In really rough conditions we gave it a good fight but left it a bit late for the push. Windsor Boys were a solid crew and will go on to give Claires Court a good fight tomorrow” said bow man Tom Placidi.

Silver Goblets & Nickalls’ Challenge Cup
Cook Fieldman McBrierty 236 lo-res
Friday: ORG Cook & CS McBrierty v. M Kohlmayr & J Auerback, AUT
Oli Cook from UL and Callum McBrierty of Leander were well matched with the Austrians off the start but then Cook and McBrierty pushed into a more efficient rhythm and began to move away The GB men rowed a mature race and built on their lead throughout, reducing their rating to 32 once they had a comfortable two length advantage, and commanded the race to the finish line.
Callum McBrierty said after the race “we are really pleased with that, we felt in control and were able to row how we wanted to. There is definitely more to come.”

Saturday: ORG Cook & CS McBrierty v. B Demey & E Jonville, FRA
Described by spectators as ‘the race of the morning’ Cook and McBrierty’s encounter with the French pair saw them battling tooth and nail down the track, with the French never gaining more than a ½ length advantage. The GB men closed several times but with every effort the French responded, and along the enclosures Cook and McBrierty wound up for home with a blistering sprint, but were once again rebuffed, the French managing to hold on to the win by 2 feet.
Callum McBrierty reflected on the race afterwards, “I’m pleased with the performance. We did everything we could but just gutted with the result. That race is what we have been progressing and working towards all season” he said.

Goblets Arnot Congdon 236 lo-resThursday: PL Congdon & SH Arnot v. L Duhnkrack & N Merget, GER
Phil Congdon and Sam Arnot trailed the Germans by 1½ lengths at the Barrier, and the margin was 2 lengths at Fawley, but Duhnkrack and Merget were never able to break away completely. Both pairs rated 35, with the Leander crew continually challenging the Germans through the middle part of the race. With an early sprint the Leander men were able to come back on the Germans to reduce the margin, but the Germans responded to come through the line 1 ¾ lengths ahead in 8.06.
The Leander crew were pleased with they’re performance. Bow man Phil Congdon explained, “we had to bring our whole race plan forward and go for home early, Sam and I both thought we were going to do it but the Germans just managed to hold us off.”

Double Sculls Challenge Cup
Beaumont Middleton 236 lo-resFriday: NC Middleton & JRA Beaumont v. K Lorentzen & S Vinje, NOR
Middleton and Beaumont got out quickly and took a commanding two length lead off the start, settling into a solid rhythm, and by the Barrier had extended this to 4 lengths. Despite a gutsy row from the Norwegians the Leander double were able to take the rate down gradually throughout the race to cross the line with an easily verdict.
Nick Middleton, bow of the double, said, “We are both very pleased with the race, we got to practice our start and had an enjoyable first run down the track.”

Saturday: NC Middleton & JRA Beaumont v. DW Klomp & AT Wiersma, NED
Middleton and Beaumont once again made short work of their semifinal and after a strong start were 1 ½ lengths up at the Barrier. Thereafter they were never challenged and sculled comfortably away, reducing their rating, to win by 2 ½ lengths.

Sunday: NC Middleton & JRA Beaumont v. G Fistravec & D Fridman
Middleton and Beaumont had dominated their event throughout the regatta and were not going to stop on finals day! Fistravec and Friedman hung on to their coat tails but could never really mount an attack and the classy Leander double dominated the race. Final verdict: 4 ½ lengths.
Nick Middleton, six-times Henley winner said “Jack and I have a great bond, this double is really fun, and it’s great to win it with him.”

Diamond Challenge Sculls
Barras 236 - lo-resThursday: Tom Barras (Leander) v. Stefan Broenink (Hollandia Roeiclub, Holland)
Drawn against the Dutch senior international sculler, Tom gained a 1 length lead off the start, but as both scullers gained their rhythm the Dutch sculler began to edge back. The heavier man by 12kg was then able to power through the water with seemingly more force than Barras. The two scullers battled neck and neck until Fawley where Broenink put in a push to edge out to a 1 length advantage. His experience showed in his ability to maintain a slightly higher stroke rate of 33 to Tom at 30 throughout the middle section of the race. Approaching the mile marker the big efforts both scullers exerted during the early part of the race started to show as both scullers rates dropped, Broenink to 31 and Barras to 28. The Dutch sculler was never able to ease off with Barras pushing him hard into the finish where the final verdict was 3 lengths.
Barras reflected upon the race “I was happy with my start and pleasantly surprised to be up by so much coming to the end of the island, it was a good race, at the end of the day I was beaten by a bigger stronger guy.”


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