Bears Take Second At Henley Royal Regatta
HENLEY, UK – California men's rowing competed in their final day of the Henley Royal Regatta on Sunday afternoon. They sent two boats to the final round of their respective competitions, both of which took home second-place finishes.
"The guys raced hard, and they left their hearts out on the course but came up short today," head coach Scott Frandsen said. "I'm proud of how they raced and proud of their efforts. The focus of our season was our duels and the Pac-12 and IRA's, and we won all of those in a pretty strong fashion, so I'm very pleased with how the season went. To be able to race at Henley was a great experience."
The national champion varsity eight crew took on local team the Leander Club, which consists of British national team athletes, in the finals of the Ladies' Plate Challenge Cup. The two teams both had strong starts steering out onto the course, but the Leander club inched out in front in the first minute of the race. The Cal boat fought hard to close the gap, but ultimately fell to the Brits by one length to take the runner-up slot. Luca Vieira coxed the boat, followed 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, Cal's coxed four raced against the Oxford Brookes "A" crew in the finals of the Prince Albert Challenge Cup. The 4+ lineup consisted of Illiad Izadi (cox), Tommy Barrell (stroke), Fred Roper, Balthasar Issa, and Evan Lane (bow). The Bears pushed out to a three-quarters length lead ahead of Oxford Brookes at the beginning of the race. They held the advantage through the middle of the race, before Oxford Brookes started to move back and eventually took the lead. Cal answered back with a strong push that closed the gap, but ultimately fell to their opponents by just one length.
"They did exactly what they were asked to do," Frandsen commented. "They raced really aggressively and put themselves in a position to win, and they really pushed the Oxford Brookes crew very well. They dug in at that final stage of the race and came back to make it a very close race."
Cal alumnus Jack Cleary ('18) also competed at the six-day regatta on the Australian crew. Cleary claimed victory in the Double Sculls Challenge Cup with partner Antill on Sunday afternoon.
"I think all of our crews represented Cal very well," added Frandsen. "To have two crews in the final is a great achievement. I'm happy with the overall trip and thrilled that 28 guys got to come over here and get the Henley experience."
With this trip, the Bears close out their successful season, headlined by their 2022 IRA National Championship victory and their conference title as Pac-12 champions. The crew captured the program's 18th national championship and 100th overall for Cal Athletics in a historic season for Cal men's rowing.
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