On the comeback, Drysdale scores sixth Henley title
Olympic Champion single sculler, Mahe Drysdale of New Zealand continued his comeback efforts last weekend, winning his sixth Diamond Challenge Sculls title at the Henley Royal Regatta in Great Britain.
After facing several challenging competitors, Drysdale beat Olympic bronze medallist from the men’s double, Kjetil Borch (NOR) in the final.
The sixth win, in nine attempts, equals the record number of wins with Australian Stuart MacKenzie, set back in 1962. Drysdale elaborates about the race on his blog (click here), calling it a “cracker” and saying that Borch “went off like lightening”. Drysdale uses the blog to chronicle his comeback to rowing after an 11-month break following the Olympic Games in Rio. He will challenge teammate Robert Manson this week at the World Rowing Cup in Lucerne, Switzerland to determine who will be entered at the 2018 World Championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. Drysdale calls his win at the Henley Royal Regatta a “confidence boost” going into the all-important trials in Lucerne.
In the women’s single, the Princess Royal Challenge Cup, World Champion Jeannine Gmelin of Switzerland beat Madeline Edmunds of Australia with three boat lengths. Gmelin seems to be unstoppable, having won the 2017 World Championships, she went on to win the first two world cups of the season before shining again in Henley. Gmelin missed her home country’s national championships to compete but will be back on the Rotsee regatta course for the World Cup this weekend.
Australia won big in the men’s and women’s eights, with the women’s eight claiming a victory against the home crew from Great Britain. The women’s eight set a new Henley record time of 6:36. This was one in a series of new records thanks to competitive racing and warm water temperatures. The men’s eight also set a new course record of 5:53 by winning against the men’s eight from Romania. The line-up was a combination of the Australian men’s four and some of the rowers from the men’s eight who are heading to Lucerne for the world cup this weekend.
Other big names from international rowing included the Sinkovic brothers, who picked up the win in the men’s pair against Australia’s Campbell Watts and Angus Widdicombe. The British crew of Jack Beaumont and Angus Groom beat the lightweight men’s double from Ireland, Paul and Gary O’Donovan.
Most of the international crews present at the event will now head to Lucerne for the third world rowing cup of the season. They will continue to test their performance in the lead-up to the 2018 World Rowing Championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
Full results and more information on Henley Royal Regatta can be found here: https://www.hrr.co.uk/