Six of rowing’s power-house nations look set to make the 2010 Henley Royal Regatta entry one of the strongest in recent memory, as crews take advantage of the chance train for the regatta at Dorney Lake, the 2012 Olympic course.
New Zealand, Canada, France, the Netherlands, the United States and Great Britain have all indicated that they will send a strong contingent to the Regatta on the Thames, which runs from June 30 to July 4.
Participation at the historic event has also been boosted by the different nature of this year’s international calendar. The World Championships is taking place in New Zealand in November rather than its more usual slot in August or September.
This has prompted many of the most successful international coaches to decide to include Henley in their plans for this extended season.
New Zealand is the first nation to have declared the detail of its squad for Henley. They will race a men’s eight for the first time in 30 years at the Regatta in the Grand Challenge Cup, an event dating back to 1839, as well as two men’s fours. They will also be defending the four small boat events that they won at last year’s Regatta.
World champions Mahe Drysdale and Duncan Grant will both race the single scull, providing the prospect of a re-run of the 2009 World Championships final when Drysdale pipped Britain’s Alan Campbell on the line in Poland.
Equally, if GB men’s chief coach Jurgen Grobler decides to race Pete Reed and Andrew Triggs Hodge in a men’s pair again in 2010 then a re-match could well be in store with Hamish Bond and Eric Murray who beat the GB duo at Henley and then went on to repeat the feat in the World Championships final to take gold.
New Zealand will also enter Emma Twigg in the women’s single scull, two women’s quadruple sculls, Nathan Cohen and Joseph Sullivan in the men’s double scull, two men’s fours and a new-look men’s quadruple scull including Olympic bronze medallist Nathan Twaddle.
A second New Zealand eight, a club crew from West End, are all set to race in the club eight’s event, the Thames Cup. It will be by far the largest ever contingent of Kiwi rowers to grace the regatta.
“It would seem we have some fabulous racing in store this year,” said Henley Royal Regatta chairman Mike Sweeney. “It is an important year for New Zealand as hosts of the 2010 World Championships and they will wish to make their mark early in the season. In what looks set to be a bumper year, they will need to fight their corner, though, with strong nations like Canada, France, the Netherlands and the USA joining GB as their opposition.”
For more information contact the Henley Royal Regatta Press Office on (01225) 443998 or (07831) 755351 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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