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Digital Subscriptions > Row360 > Issue 016 - Feb | Mar 2017 > AN UNDERDOG STORY


How to win Henley in four years
The Claires Court rowers train on campus.

There is no higher achievement in British schoolboy rowing than ‘the triple’. Namely, winning all three of the national junior events in a single season; the Schools Head of the River Race, the National School’s Regatta and Henley Royal. Taking place between March and July, each event is unique in format.

Last year, the Claires Court boys, racing in the under eighteen quad, added their names to the exclusive list of triple winners.

What is most remarkable is not the fact that a small school from Berkshire overcame the US, German and Dutch national champions, as well as the rest of the UK’s best junior sculling teams, to win the Fawley Challenge Cup at Henley, or that they sustained their unbeatable form throughout the season. Rather it is the fact that just three years ago they did not have a single under eighteen rower in the program. Furthermore, they have no boathouse of their own – they rent two racks from a local rowing club – and their gym doubles up as a classroom. It’s the classic Hollywood underdog story. Refreshing at a time when schoolboy rowing is looking increasingly professional in its approach and threatens to become monopolised by only the most well-endowed programs.

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About Row360

Welcome to Row360, the world’s only global, independent rowing magazine. Row360 brings you features from around the world, profiling the best athletes, coaches, and others from the whole rowing community – Olympic, adaptive, college, club, ocean, and more.