Bears Fours Advances to Finals At Henley Regatta
HENLEY, UK – California men's rowing had a successful day at the historic Henley Royal Regatta on Friday, with both boats advancing to the next rounds of competition.
"The Varsity 8+ had a great first race," Cal head coach Scott Frandsen commented. "They know that they are going to have to be sharper tomorrow in the semifinals against Dartmouth, but for a first race in these pretty tough, windy conditions at the regatta, they performed really well. Excited to race in the semifinals tomorrow."
The Bears Varsity 8+, fresh off their national championship win, defeated the local Thames Rowing Club and Army Rowing Club in the Ladies' Challenge Plate heat. The Cal boat finished with a time of 6:31, just over three lengths ahead of their competitor. Luca Vieira coxed the boat, joined by Iwan Hadfield (stroke), Elliott Kemp, Tim Roth, Ollie Maclean, Gennaro di Mauro, Angus Dawson, Olav Molenaar, and Campbell Crouch (bow).
Later in the day, the Bears coxed four also defeated their opponent in the semifinals race of Prince Albert Challenge Cup. They battled Newcastle University, with the two boats starting off the race tightly contested. The Bears pushed ahead slightly and maintained a composed lead for the duration of the race. They finished the heat one length ahead of the Brits with a time of 7:17. The four was composed of Illiad Izadi (cox), Tommy Barrell (stroke), Fred Roper, Balthasar Issa, and Evan Lane (bow).
"I'm really proud of how those guys raced," Frandsen said. "It was a really close race against Newcastle and they stayed together, stayed internal and really inched out in the middle 1,000-meters. They were able to control the race from there and didn't really need to sprint or lift too much towards the line."
Both boats will now advance to the next round of competition in their respective events. The V8+ will face Dartmouth in the semifinals race of the Ladies' Challenge Plate on Saturday evening. The 4+ will return to the water for the finals race of the Prince Albert Challenge Cup on Sunday.
"To be in the finals at Henley is a great achievement, and those guys are going to take their crack at the finals and try to win on Sunday," said Frandsen.
Fans can follow the races live here.