Three EAWRC championship boats represented Princeton last weekend at the 2011 Henley Women's Regatta. The NCAA champion Princeton open 1V reached the semifinal round and will now prepare for the Royal Henley Regatta, one of the sport's most prestigious competitions.
Princeton sent its open 1V, 2V and lightweight 1V into the Elite 8+ event, a competition for The Sport's Council Cup, and saw several impressive performances, even in defeat.
The varsity eight was the only boat to advance to the semifinal round, and it did so with a convincing victory over the Thames RC/1927 crew. Since Henley results are listed differently than collegiate results, there is no official time. Instead, margin of victory is listed; in this case, the margin was "easily."
Two closer results went against Princeton in the first round, though both still showed the talents of a pair of gold-medal-winning crews. The Princeton 2V lost to a Brown 8+, which included senior members of its NCAA grand final runner-up, by 1 and 1/3 lengths. That would be an approximate time difference of about five seconds; for the sake of comparison, Brown beat the sixth-place Michigan State boat by more than seven seconds in the NCAA Grand Final.
The Princeton women's lightweight eight, which ended Wisconsin's reign as EAWRC champion and placed second in a dramatic IRA duel against defending national champion Stanford, held its own against eventual finalist Molesey /UL/Oxford Brookes/Imperial/Osiris/Bath Univ/DurhamU, an openweight U-23 boat from Great Britain. The final margin was three lengths, though Princeton was still within one length at the Barrier.
The Princeton 1V fell in the semifinal to eventual champion Reading Univ/Agecroft/Leander/Notts RC/Sport Imperial by only 2/3 of a length. That would be the closest margin of victory for the winner of The Sport's Council Cup.
"We are working hard to get faster before racing in the Remenham Cup in the Royal Henley Regatta," said head coach Lori Dauphiny, the 2011 National Coach of the Year. "We are having a lot of fun during our time here."
The Remenham Challenge Cup is an event within the Royal Henley Regatta open to all women's 8+ boats. Princeton competed in the event in 2004 and reached the final before ultimately falling to Thames R.C. and University of London by three lengths. That was the only time a Princeton boat has competed for the Remenham Cup.
There are 14 entries in the 2011 Remenham Challenge Cup, and six will be eliminated before the eight compete in a single-elimination tournament when the competition opens June 29.