The Thames Challenge Cup.


Crew: Isy Marshall, Tom Weeks, John Stewart (capt.), Sam M, Mike Scott, Rob Hinchley, Scott Bramley, Marcu Yarwood, Jonathan Middleton (bow).IMG-20160625-WA0008

Curlew may not have qualified for the 2016 Henley Royal Regatta, however, the club can take so many positives away from this result. We brought our “A” game to qualifiers – beating a number of really good crews who only 2 weeks previously had beaten us IMG-20160625-WA0007

convincingly at Marlow Regatta. Crews like Reading RC, Lea RC “B”, Cardiff RC amongst others. This result gives us a massive boost going into the “fun-regatta” season, with crew members coming back from injury we can take great strength from this result and move into the 2016/2017 season in a positive manner.IMG-20160625-WA0010 The footnote has to be said that this was a massively over subscribed event this year, with nine international club crews having been pre-qualified. This meant that the qualifiers were that doubly tough this year, but boys did the club proud. Well done. We march onward to the 2016/2017 season with our head held high.

Richard Darcy who coxed Curlew the last time they qualified for Henley Royal Regatta in the Britannia Challenge Cup 2013 had this to say “I was so impressed with your result today lads. I know it’s not the way you would have hoped for things to end, but you beat some impressive crews, looked great and laid down an awesome time. Keep your chins up.” – could not agree more! Well said Darcy.

The Silver Goblets and Nickalls Challenge Cup

2016 qualifiers saw Curlew RC enter a “open” event at Henley for the first time in their history. M.A.C Richardson and J.R. Sunderland raced the “Goblets” having thought that  being a “olympic year” would mean fewer international crews and more UK based crews…how wrong could they be? Having raced senior & elite all season, fresh off their elite pair win at the Metropolitan Regatta they were feeling pretty confident, made even more confident by their 5th place finish at Marlow behind Molesey, Leander, Henley and University of Oxford…proving that they were the “best of the rest.”


However, entries came out…entries where up from 2015, a lot. 25 entries of which only 12 would actually race. From those 25, 12 were international, China, Italy, the Dutch, Germans and U23 GBR. Tough. The qualifiers where tough, 16 crews for 3 spots…everyone who had raced at Marlow had to do qualifiers as well as the Italian, Dutch and China pair…doubly tough.

Curlew were off ahead of China (not often you hear that) and were chased down the entire way…however, they did not pass. The result was never in doubt, Curlew did not qualify, however they finished 10 seconds ahead of City of Oxford who had beaten them at Worcester Regatta, they were 0.6 seconds behind University of Oxford and 5 seconds off University of Nottingham who had put 25 seconds on them at the start of the season. The result was massively positive for the club, and it was great to see two curlew boats at Henley. Just a shame neither would be there for the Wednesday.

What is next for the pair?

A long rest.

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