Portions courtesy of Harvard Athletic Communication, Princeton Athletic Communications and Yale Sports Publicity
HENLEY-ON-THAMES, England -- Ivy League alumni made strong showings at the 2011 Henley Royal Regatta on the River Thames with record-setting performances and three cup wins.
Radcliffe alumnae contributed to a pair of event championships while the Harvard men's heavyweight four defeated Oxford Brookes University to win the Prince Albert Challenge Cup.
Former Radcliffe standout Esther Lofgren pulled off a Henley double by helping the United States win both the Remenham Challenge Cup and Princess Grace Challenge Cup. She joined the U.S. women's eight, when another rower could not compete due to injury, and helped that boat win for the second-straight day on the final day of races. The eight defeated Great Britain's eight, racing as Leander Club and Gloucester Rowing Club, by 1.75 lengths in an event-record-tying time of 6:38.
Lofgren's original boat, a U.S. quad, was also victorious and counted among its scullers Radcliffe alum Caryn Davies. They beat an Australian national quad by 1.25 lengths in a time of 7:02, one day after the Aussies set an event record.
In Harvard men's heavyweight four win in the Prince Albert Challenge Cup, the Crimson four trailed through the Barrier and Fawley splits but came from behind to win. This time, Harvard came back and won by a wider margin of 1.75 lengths. Its time of 6:58 was just one second off its event-record mark from Saturday. Each of its splits was one second behind its semifinal pace as well.
The winning oarsmen were Peter Scholle, Justin Mundt, Benjamin French and JP Hogan, and the boat was coxed by David Fuller. The win concluded another successful Henley trip for Harvard. The Crimson set event records in both the Temple Challenge Cup and Prince Albert Challenge Cup and reached the semifinals in both the Temple and Ladies' Challenge Plate events.
Harvard has now won a trophy in each of its last three Henley appearances: in 2007, '10 and '11. The Crimson has won seven Henley titles since 2001.
The Crimson's entry in the Temple Challenge Cup stayed with the national-champion California freshman eight, but the Bears won held on to win by 1.25 lengths. Through the Barrier and Fawley splits, California was on pace to break the event record that Harvard set the previous day but ended up one second shy of the mark in 6:13. Harvard reached its showdown with California after defeating Yale's national-champion lightweights in the quarterfinals. Harvard used at strong move at the halfway point to win by 0.75 length.
Lofgren's U.S. eight boat reached the final of the Remenham Challenge Cup by defeating Princeton's NCAA champion women's varsity eight in the semifinals. The 2011 Princeton varsity eight also became only the second Tiger boat to compete in the compete in the prestigious Remenham Challenge Cup, which draws the highest level of women's 8+ crews in the world. The first Princeton crew to compete in the challenge was in 2004 and that crew advanced to the final.
Brown also has an entry in the Remenham Challenge Cup, bested by Oxford Brookes University and Molesey Boat Club by 2.25 lengths in the quarterfinals.
The 2011 Regatta was one for the record books as 33 records fell and 24 were equalled across the five days of racing.