Five British wins at a Henley Royal Regatta marked by the setting of 33 records

British crews won five of the top trophies on a spectacular finals day at Henley Royal Regatta watched by triple Olympic Champion Sir Chris Hoy who presented the prizes.Whilst Britain was triumphant in the events for men’s fours and pairs and all three open-weight men’s sculling disciplines, it fell to Germany to take the honours in the Grand Challenge Cup for men’s eights thus denying Greg Searle and his British men’s eight a victory in the front of the packed crowds.Racing as Hansa Dortmund, the German national eight broke all the course records to win in 5:57 symbolising the tone for the Regatta during which 33 records fell and 24 were equalled across the five days of racing.“It has been a fabulous Regatta”, said Henley Royal Regatta Chairman Mike Sweeney.  “The standard of racing has been immense with crews from around the world making Henley part of their Olympic qualifying year plans”.Germany’s victory probably denied Henley Steward Greg Searle a final Henley win of his career and gave the British combination, themselves world silver medallists, something to ponder en route to next weekend’s world cup in Switzerland.“They seem to get away quickly and we match them for speed in the middle of the race but, by that time, they have too much on us”, said SearleWhereas Searle might have been disappointed, his men’s quadruple scull team-mates of Stephen Rowbotham, Tom Solesbury, Bill Lucas and Sam Townsend were delighted to have beaten the World Champions from Croatia to win the Queen Mother Challenge Cup.Britain’s double scull of Matt Wells and Marcus Bateman were winners of the Double Sculls Challenge Cup, beating the Olympic Champions Scott Brennan and David Crawshay.  They were quick, though, to underline that Brennan is only recently coming back into the sport after a two year break.American Esther Lofgren will remember this Regatta for a while. She won two titles in one day – as part of  the all-powerful American women’s World and Olympic Champion eight that won the Remenham Challenge Cup from the GB national squad eight and as a substitute for an injured compatriot in the women’s quadruple sculls.The Henley crowd also roared home Pete Reed and Andrew Triggs Hodge to victory over Italy in the Silver Goblets and Nickall’s Challenge Cup for men’s pair, equalling the overall record of 6:56 set by Sir Matthew Pinsent and Sir Steve Redgrave in 1995.Alan Campbell achieved a hat-trick of Henley wins in the Diamond Challenge Sculls with victory over Nicholas Hudson of Australia.The Stewards’ Challenge Cup also fell to Britain when Matt Langridge, Ric Egington, Tom James and Alex Gregory beat a strong American quartet.  “We can now go to Lucerne with confidence having won here”, said Gregory.One of the most eye-catching crews of the Regatta fulfilled its promise when the University of California, Berkeley, USA, student eight beat a Dutch University crew, racing as A.S.R. Nereus, in the Temple Challenge Cup.Abingdon School put in a strong performance to win the Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup for school eights, holding off St Andrew’s School from America in one of the closer races of the day.For further information contact the Henley Royal Regatta Press Office on (01491) 572 153 or (01491) 579387