Henley Royal Regatta 2021

Brookes qualified 95 athletes in the regatta across 17 crews with a total of 37 Henley Medals.

A historic week came to a close on finals day, with Brookes having won the Grand Challenge Cup in the mornings session for the first time in its clubs history as a single named entry, beating a Brookes old boys crew – Taurus BC -after no other Club or Nation decided to enter.  It was more of a processional race but respect was shown to all on the finish line for the time and dedication all had played in helping to get the club to this point in history. 

In the Ladies Challenge Plate, Brookes gained their fourth consecutive victory in impressive style versus a strong Molesey crew. Both the Grand and Ladies crews were bolstered this year by members of the developing Olympic Pathway Programme. This allowed the opportunity for several new club members to claim their first victories at the regatta and to put on show what the OPP has to offer for prospective athletes looking for National Team Selection and a lot of enjoyment along the way. 

Fresh from their Olympic endeavours and victory in the spares race at the Olympic Regatta, Matt Tarrant and Morgan Bolding championed in the Silver Goblets and Nickall’s Challenge Cup against a pair made up of Cambridge Blue’s. A first victory for Morgan in an open event at the regatta, and a completion of the set of open medals for Matt Tarrant. Hugely well deserved after a long and successful career!

In the Stewards Challenge Cup, Brookes raced a very strong Dutch four containing two men from the Tokyo Olympics.  Brookes led from start to finish, holding off a late charge by the Dutch to take the win in style, another first for a full Brookes crew and adding a second Henley medal to the four athletes in a single day.

In the Visitors Challenge Cup, Brookes vs Leander, it was all set to be a classic. It didn’t disappoint, Leander taking the early lead of just over a length, but Brookes held their nerve, length and power began to work their way back to equal terms. By the progress board the result was never in doubt, Leander practically now at a stand-still, Brookes stormed through to win by clear water. It was top class racing by both crews and was probably the race of the regatta. 

Another climax of the day was achieved in the inaugural Island Challenge Cup. After the cancellation of the regatta in 2020, Brookes had the opportunity to build for another year. Brookes raced UL in a tight and aggressive race between the booms. They held their composure as the crew from UL lead them until around halfway, where they then put in a monumental challenge for the lead. A memorable race for all concerned as Oxford Brookes saw the finish line first with around a lengths lead.  This season has been one filled with continued growing success for the Brookes Women. Highlighted by also reaching the Remenham Challenge Cup final with a hugely impressive performance on the Saturday to beat another Hollandia crew. 

Several other crews represented Brookes with courage and dedication that was admired by many, learning their trade and gaining experience of racing at one of the most testing regatta courses in the world.  Many will be back next year, stronger and more motivated than ever. 

If you are interested in joining our team as a student or would like to know more about our Olympic Pathway Programme then please do get in touch here and see how you could be a part of one the most unique clubs in the world.