Shrewsbury School

Salopian crews put on a strong display at Henley Royal Regatta

Thursday 16 September 2021

The 2021 edition of the Henley Royal Regatta took on a new complexion with the regatta shifting to mid-August instead of its regular July slot.

This adjustment did not dampen the enthusiasm of Senior rowers who leapt at the opportunity of a month-long preparation camp after the months lost to lockdown. 

On the 14th July the Boys and Girls 1st VIII’s gathered in Henley at Leander Club to have a three day training camp to familiarize themselves with the famous stretch of water. The crews then travelled to Nottingham to take part in the British Junior Rowing Championships. The Girls VIII came a creditable 4th in their event and the Boys VIII were pleased to earn some silverware by claiming bronze. 

The party then moved to another fantastic stretch of water in Ely just outside Cambridge and the host location of this years Boat Race. Kings School Ely Boat Club were our generous hosts making the logistics of launching and coaching a pleasure. The crews ticked up the miles on the Great Ouse in the best the of the British Summer heat.  

After a thoroughly productive ten days we made our way back to Shrewsbury to be joined by the Boys 2nd VIII to spend the final two weeks training on our home reach. Thank you to the local families that made this possible by kindly hosting the boarders for this period. 

The crews travelled to Henley on the weekend preceding the regatta.  

For the first time in the regattas 132-year history the event offered a Junior Women’s eight event. Our Girls Eight were drawn alongside Enniskillen Royal Boat Club in the first race of the event. With Enniskillen having made the semi final at the Henley Women’s Regatta in June the crew knew they faced a strong challenge. The crew made a strong start in their race and stretched out to an impressive two length lead which they never relinquished to seal themselves a by on the Thursday and a spot in the quarter final against National Schools Champions, Lady Eleanor Holles (LEH) on the Friday.  

The girls race against LEH was one of the tightest races of the day as both crews were pushed to the limit. LEH took the lead off the start but were pegged back by Shrewsbury in the middle of the race and drawing level in the final four hundred meters. In the closing stages of the race LEH managed to eke out a slender lead to take the win by a canvas. Despite the disappointment it was a tremendous race from the girls and one they can be proud of. It is fantastic to have six of these girls returning for next year. 

The Boys 2nd VIII were delighted to prequalify for the regatta and get the opportunity to race on the Henley track. The crew were drawn against a Shiplake College in the Temple Challenge Cup. The Shiplake crew carried form having come 2nd at National Schools and they showed this in their match up with Shiplake taking the win. It was a great to have the 2nd VIII racing at the Regatta which is an achievement in itself and a fitting send off for four of the Upper Sixth boys. 

The Boys 1st VIII were selected for the Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup following their fifth-place finish at the National Schools Regatta. The crew were given a by to the second round on Thursday where they faced Hampton School.  

The 1st VIII put on a strong display to lead from the start and take a commanding win over Hampton by three and a half lengths and set up a quarterfinal race against Westminster School. The two crews had been separated by half a second two months earlier at the National Schools Regatta and tough race was on the cards. Shrewsbury got the better of Westminster off the start and looked to have settled into a strong rhythm. Approaching the halfway point Westminster put in a powerful push to take the lead. Despite the crew doing all they could to challenge Westminster in the closing stages the crew couldn’t overcome the deficit and narrowly lost by two thirds of a length. 

Athol Hundermark

Master i/c Rowing

back to top