The Regatta sees rowers compete over five days on the River Thames Roesie Percy/@a_blind_photographer

As racing drew to a close earlier today (15/08), Cambridge University Boat Club enjoyed success in a range of tournaments at the Henley Royal Regatta 2021. CUBC officially entered crews into three open events (Stonor Challenge Trophy, Silver Goblets and Nickalls’ Challenge Cup, and Diamond Challenge Sculls) and two student events (Island Challenge Cup and Prince Albert Challenge Cup).

Kicking off proceedings on Wednesday (11/08) was the men’s coxed four in the Prince Albert Challenge Cup, which included Rob Harris (Pembroke), Luca Ferraro (King’s), Reef Boericke (Gonville and Caius), Matthew Edge (St. Catherine’s), and Ollie Boyne (Downing). Achieving a strong win over Isis by 2.5 lengths, the crew went into the quarter-finals against University of London ‘A’ on Friday (13/08). Unfortunately, CUBC’s crew failed to match the speedy UL boat, ending their hopes of winning the competition. The London team went on to win the Prince Albert Challenge Cup, beating Newcastle University ‘A’.

Turning to Imogen Grant (Trinity College, Cambridge) and Emily Craig (University of London) in the Stonor Challenge Trophy, the Tokyo Olympic pair received a first-round bye on Thursday (12/08). Racing on Friday, Grant and Craig defeated veterans Katie Greves and Jessica Eddie, who were silver medallists in Team GB’s eight at the Rio 2016 Olympics. After comfortably coming out on top by four lengths against Cam Nyland and Sarah Ferris in Saturday’s semi-final (14/08), Grant and Craig emphatically triumphed over Leander Club’s Jess Leyden and Georgie Brayshaw to win the trophy on the Regatta's closing day.

Imogen Grant, pictured left, won the Stonor Challenge Trophy with Olympic teammate Emily CraigRoesie Percy/@a_blind_photographer

Speaking after the race, Grant expressed her delight in being able to “bring the racing in Tokyo back to the people that weren’t able to travel”, where the pair narrowly missed out on a podium spot. She added: “I have to admit, going through my mind I was like ‘I’d really quite like a medal at the end of this summer’, so that was a great way to finish it”.

Both the coxed women’s eight and coxless men’s pair took to the water on Friday in the Island Challenge Cup and the Silver Goblets and Nickalls’ Challenge Cup respectively. The student crew consisted of Catherine King (Gonville and Caius), Gemma King (St. John’s), Kasia Pilch (Newnham), Abba Parker (Emmanuel), Adriana Perez Rotondo (Newnham), Caiomhe Dempsey (Newnham), Rebecca Dell (Christ’s), Bronya Sykes (Gonville and Caius), and coxswain Dylan Whitaker (King’s). CUBC’s women defeated Durham University by three lengths, progressing to Saturday evening’s next round. However, the crew came up 2.5 lengths short of victory over Oxford Brookes University ‘A’, consequently missing out on a place in the final. The Oxford Brookes eight then won the tournament by defeating the University of London.


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Meanwhile, CUBC’s Peterhouse duo Ollie Parish and Callum Sullivan earned an opening victory in the Silver Goblets and Nickalls’ Challenge Cup, as they topped Fergus Mitchell-Dwelly and Dominic Chapman with ease. On Saturday, the pair defeated Matthew Peters and Joe Willis by two lengths, booking their place in Sunday’s cup final. Despite their best efforts, Parish and Sullivan were unable to take home the silverware, after losing to Oxford Brookes pair Morgan Bolding and Matthew Tarrant.

Finally, Hughes Hall’s Dara Alizadeh competed in the Diamond Challenge Sculls, starting with a victory over Matthew Brigham by 3.5 lengths on Thursday. The following morning saw Alizadeh defeat Italy’s Simone Martini by a tight verdict of 1.5 lengths, but the Cambridge sculler was unable to overcome Leander Club’s Seb Devereux in the semi-final. Devereux eventually lost in the final to Agecroft Rowing Club’s Graeme Thomas by a wide margin.

Coming into Henley after a strong outing in Tokyo, Dara Alizadeh has enjoyed a successful summer Roesie Percy/@a_blind_photographer

Elsewhere, CUBC had a number of current athletes racing in other crews, including college boat clubs. Lucy Cavendish’s Sarah Tisdall made it to the final of the Remenham Challenge Cup with the Oxford Brookes women’s eight, but unfortunately lost by a slim verdict of just 1.25 lengths to Leander Club's boat. Also, the Magdalene and Sidney Sussex composite crew, containing three CUBC athletes in Hugo Durward, Sam Vosper, and Patrick Elwood, enjoyed a historic Henley campaign. Although the team failed to win the Temple Challenge Cup, they became the first Cambridge college crew to make it to the quarter-final stages of the Regatta since 2000.

Varsity congratulates all of the CUBC athletes involved in this year’s Henley Royal Regatta.