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Scotch College Melbourne wins School Boy Eights, The Prince Elizabeth Challenge Cup

Scotch College, Melbourne have become the first Victorian School crew to win the Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup for School First VIIIs at Henley Royal Regatta.

The 2017 Australian Schoolboys Champions beat Radley College in the final by one and two thirds of a length to became only the third Australian crew to have won the title, beating both Eton College last year’s winners and St Pauls, the current British National Schoolboy Champions along the way.

Did you know Henley Royal Regatta has a history dating back to 1839. Whilst it is well known for its traditions and dated rules and regulations, many innovations have come from this regatta. In recent times, the use of drones to bring live action from perspectives never seen before in rowing races but then as far back as 1890 where ‘Coxless Rowing' had its inception under the following circumstances.

Stewards' Challenge Cup

The Stewards' Challenge Cup is a rowing event for men's coxless fours at the annual Henley Royal Regatta on the River Thames at Henley-on-Thames in England. It is open to male crews from all eligible rowing clubs. Two or more clubs may combine to make an entry.

The event was established in 1841. It was originally for coxed four crews. In 1868 Walter Bradford Woodgate arranged for his Brasenose cox to jump overboard at the start of the race to lighten his boat. While the unwanted cox narrowly escaped strangulation by the water lilies, Woodgate and his home-made steering device triumphed by 100 yards and were promptly disqualified. Whatever passing fame the hapless cox gained on the Henley reach in 1868 was eventually eclipsed by his accomplishments in later life when he, Frederic Edward Weatherly, wrote and published the Irish ballad "Danny Boy".

A special prize for four-oared crews without coxswains was offered at the regatta in 1869 when it was won by the Oxford Radleian Club. When Stewards’ became a coxless race in 1873, Woodgate “won his moral victory,” the Rowing Almanack later recalled. “Nothing but defeating a railway in an action at law could have given him so much pleasure.”

View some amazing filming of the Henley course on a perfect English  Summer morning taken in June, a stark contrast to the busy regatta scene most visitors would be familiar with.



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