Henry Royal Regatta Website | Live Video | Results | The Draw
HENLEY-ON-THAMES, England – The Santa Clara men's rowing Varsity 8 boat is in England competing at the Henley Royal Regatta with 577 crews from 15 nations. The Broncos are competing in the Temple Challenge Cup which has 73 entries.
On Friday, Santa Clara competed in a qualifier with 52 crews and was one of nine to advance to Wednesday and the official start of the regatta. The qualifier was run like a head race with each boat starting the course about 30 seconds apart from the next crew.
"Our crew is rowing at its highest level of the year right now and the guys executed the qualifier race well despite the conditions not being ideal with a fairly significant headwind," Santa Clara head coach Jay Farwell said.
On Saturday afternoon, the Broncos attended the draw to determine their opponent in the first round. In front of a packed house, stewards drew random names out of the Grand Challenge trophy to determine the matchups. Santa Clara will face WPI University in the first round on Wednesday at 7:05 a.m. Pacific.
"We have had a great trip this far and the guys will be prepared for the matchup with WPI," Farwell said. "This is going to be high stakes rowing with it being a single elimination regatta. There are only 32 teams racing in the Temple Challenge Cup and all of the crews are very solid."
To get ready for Wednesday, the team competed in the Reading Town Regatta on Saturday. The regatta was a short 800 meters as opposed to the standard 2000 meters. Santa Clara won its heat against Riverside Boat Club and Williams College (USA) to progress to the final.
In the final, the Broncos faced Winchester College Boat Club and WPI and won the 800-meter race by approximately eight seconds over Winchester followed by WPI.
"This was a great race in preparing for the start of the Henley Regatta on Wednesday," Farwell said. "The guys executed very well and are producing significant boat speed. Grace D'Amico, our coxswain, has really performed well under pressure and is handling the tough conditions and new surroundings well."
After the Reading Town Regatta, the Broncos rowed back down river to Henley, about a 20-kilometer row, through the lock system. It was a once in a lifetime experience rowing down the Thames River through the English countryside.
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