Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Texas rowing caps off season with trip to Henley Royal Regatta

Joshua Guenther

Texas rowing traveled across the pond to participate in the Henley Royal Regatta in Henley-on-Thames, England. The reigning Big 12 Champions competed in several of the regatta’s challenge cups, bringing fresh competition to the two-time NCAA Champions. 

First held in 1839, the Henley Royal Regatta is “the most prestigious regatta in the world,” according to its website. Races are held on the River Thames, one of London’s main attractions. 

“The Henley Royal Regatta is one of the most historic races in the sport of rowing,” graduate student Etta Carpender said. “The significance is just that it’s so old and so iconic, and it’s just such an honor to race in (the regatta).” 

After finishing fourth in the NCAA season, Texas took two teams to two different levels of the regatta. One team competed in the Remenham Challenge Cup, the highest division, and the second team competed in the Island Challenge Cup, the second division. 

The Remenham Challenge Cup featured elite competition from several national teams. Texas competed against “Leander Club ‘A,’” Great Britain’s Olympic hopeful boat that won the World Rowing Cup III competition one week after the regatta. The Longhorns fell to the Leander boat in the semifinals, trailing one and a half lengths behind.

“This is the best of the best at the world level for senior teams,” senior Anna Jensen said. “It was definitely tough competition, and we were one of the younger teams there.” 

While the competition was tough, the Longhorns entered the regatta to have fun. After a less-than-ideal finish at the NCAA national championships, the event helped Texas face new competition and enjoy a week of rowing. 

As one of the biggest sporting events in England, the regatta attracts many fans who line the entire course to see the action. For athletes, the biggest surprise was the support Texas received across the Atlantic Ocean. 

“A lot of us were saying that we felt like football and basketball players because of the way everything is set up and the effort they put into rowing,” Carpender said. “There was a crowd of people all along the 2K course, and everyone was super excited to see Texas.” 

Under the NCAA rule allowing teams to compete in one international competition every four years, head coach Dave O’Neil decided to join the Henley Royal Regatta for the first time. The uncharted waters allowed athletes to gain a new perspective on rowing after falling short of a third straight national championship. 

“It was really cool to end our season at Henley because we didn’t end our regular season how we had hoped,” Jensen said. “Having another opportunity to get back out there and race some really good competition and do really well against them was great for showing what Texas is capable of and proving to ourselves what we’re capable of.”

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