Tortoise Club Crew Race in Henley Royal Regatta Thames Challenge Cup

  • Nine men and one woman, wearing blue shorts and white tops posing with a yellow rowing boat
  • An eight-man crew in a yellow rowing boat wearing white tops, along with a cox sitting at the front of the boat
  • Nine men and one woman, wearing blue shorts and white tops posing in front of two crossed oars with tortoises on
16 August, 2021

After an extensive preparation period of one double outing on the Isis, and to the amazement of many, the Oriel's Tortoise Club crew qualified to race for the Thames Challenge Cup at Henley Royal Regatta on 11th August.

This rare achievement came courtesy of a heroic 1900m time trial on the Olympic rowing lake at Eton-Dorney. The Thames Challenge Cup is a rowing event for men's eights held as part of the annual Henley Royal Regatta. Competition is fierce, and for the Tortoise Club to qualify was a monumental acheivement in itself. 

The draw put the Tortoise Club into a first-round duel with the formidable Henley Rowing Club crew, who were seeded as one of the event's favourites by the Henley Stewards. Despite an excellent and clean row, Henley proved too fast on the day. However, the crew were delighted to be part of the biggest rowing event of the year (outnumbering the Olympics in terms of spectators) and are now highly motivated to attempt to qualify again next year!

The crew was made up of:

Cox: Sophia Fearon
Crew: Robert Boswall, Max Lau, Phil Grunewald, Zach Zajicek, Henry Shalders, Louis Lamont, Hal Bigland and Stevan Boljevic
Coach: Calum Ponting

You can watch their race on YouTube: https://youtu.be/dBnCvYstu-0?t=35635