Press Office


University rowers cruise to gold at the Henley Royal Regatta


Newcastle University’s men’s coxed four crew won the Prince Albert Challenge Cup at the Henley Royal Regatta after beating Harvard University in the final.

Sam Arnot, Tom Ford, Jasper Holst, James Rudkin and Calum McRoberts won the final race by over three lengths to claim the trophy.

Angelo Savarino, Head of Rowing Newcastle University said: “We are very pleased with the performance of Newcastle University’s crews and the victory in one of only two events offered to universities. The success reflects the hard work and dedication of all the rowers, coaches and support staff.

“During the final race, the river bank was filled with supporters from Great Britain and USA from start to finish, the noise was absolutely overwhelming. When the crews reached the enclosure everyone was standing, cheering and applauding. To our delight, Newcastle’s boat secured a confident win to claim the Prince Albert Challenge crown.”

Colin Blackburn, Director of Newcastle University’s Centre for Physical Recreation and Sport said: “We are delighted that five crews qualified to take part in the Henley Royal Regatta – our largest entry ever. The draw was not kind to us as we lost to the event winners in both the Remenham Challenge Cup and Temple Challenge Cup.  However, our top boat, the men’s coxed four performed excellently in winning the Prince Albert Challenge Cup.”

The Prince Albert Challenge Cup is one of only two academic events at the regatta and has been won twice by rowers from Newcastle University – the first time being in 2008.  

Commonwealth regatta  

There was a further boost for the team when Gemma Hall and Emily Ford, from the women’s rowing squad, were called up for the Commonwealth Rowing Championships regatta. Gemma will be competing for Team Wales and Emily is representing Team England.  

Gemma, 22, is competing in the lightweight women's double scull, lightweight women's single scull, heavyweight women's quadruple scull and mixed eight. She said: “I am very happy to have been selected to represent Wales at the Commonwealth Rowing Championships, and I am hoping to compete in some great racing and challenge for a medal wherever I can. 

"It takes a lot of commitment to be part of the national team and a desire to achieve your best wherever you can." 

Emily, 19, comments: "I feel proud to have been selected and to be representing my country in an international event. I am excited to compete in the regatta, but I am also apprehensive knowing the level of competition will be high.

"I am competing in the women's pair, the women's quad and an exhibition mixed eight. The women's pair is my main focus and I hope to obtain medal position. 

"It has taken a lot of hard work to obtain this standard. Not only from myself but also from my coaches, to whom I will be forever grateful. In addition to hard work, a lot of social sacrifices have to be made, which requires the need for supportive family and friends."  

Championships is being held in Scotland on the 9th and 10th August over a 1500m course at Strathclyde Park, Motherwell. 

International waters 

Newcastle University is sending 18 students to the European Universities Games 2014 - the highest number from any of the nine universities that form Team Great Britain. The championship, which takes place in Rotterdam, Holland from July 24 to August 8, attracts the best student athletes from 45 countries in Europe. The University rowers will take part in both the men's and women's 8s events. 

Last summer, Team Great Britain returned with four gold, three silver and five bronze medals from the European Universities Rowing Championship, including gold for Newcastle University’s women’s eight and silver for the men’s coxless four.


published on: 9 July 2014