Henley Regatta success as student rowers reach final
05 July 2022
Student rowers from the Reading University Boat Club (RUBC) reached the final at Henley Royal Regatta as the University made its presence known at the best-known rowing event in the world.
The men’s quadruple sculling team were victorious in three races in the Prince of Wales Challenge Cup, before losing to Leander Club in the final on Sunday (3 July).
The strong performance comes after RUBC made the decision to focus on sculling over rowing in 2015, having achieved marked success in the event despite spending relatively little time training on it.
Will Rand, RUBC Director of Rowing, said: "The support on the bank was fantastic and the final outcome felt very emotional. The team's great success in the competition is a huge reward for the club's efforts in striving toward being the best University at sculling. We are proud of our students for how far they've come and we look forward to achieving more success."
Henley Royal Regatta is the most prestigious regatta in the world, visited by more than 300,000 people each year. Hundreds who attended this year’s event included current students, alumni, and friends and family who turned out to support the crews and cheer the University team on.
The RUBC crew consisted of students Louis Powell, Sol Hewitt, Oli Dix, and Josh Lyon, and the team was coached by Charlotte Taylor, Chris Bartley and Will Rand.
After defeating Thames Rowing Club in the first round, the RUBC team won against Glasgow University in the quarter-finals and Danske Studenters Roklub in the semi-finals to make it to the final.
Leander Club were an experienced rival, composed of full-time athletes who are aspiring for the GB Olympic team. Among their team was Reading alumni of 2020, Rory Harris, who previously was the captain of the Boat Club when he was a student.
RUBC previously won at Henley Regatta in 1986 and boasts a number of appearances in semi-finals and finals. The men's crews reached the Thames Challenge Cup in 1948, the semi-finals of the Visitors Challenge Cup in 1974, 1977, 1994 and 1996, as well as the semi-finals of the Wyfolds Challenge Cup in 1987, and the finals of the Visitors Challenge Cup in 1984 and 2007. Women’s events have been included in the regatta since 1993 and the RUBC women made it to the semi-finals of the Princess Grace Challenge cup in 2017.
The 2022 Regatta was a successful one for RUBC as a whole, as the team qualified four boats, including two men’s quads, one women’s quad and a women’s double.
The racing success added to events held on Regatta week by Henley Business School, including a corporate function for Executive Education students and a picnic attended by alumni, students, staff and the local community. Both were hosted at the Greenlands Campus on the bank of the Thames.