The Henley Royal Rowing Regatta

Henely Royal RegattaBackground Information on The Henley Regatta

The Spinal Centre is proud to announce Mitchell Hooper, son of Dr. Warrick Hooper will be Representing Mercantile Rowing Club and Australia in The Wyfold Challenge Cup for men’s fours at The Henley Royal Rowing Regatta.

This is the second time Mitchell has competed at Henley. He had an outstanding campaign with The Melbourne Grammar First VIII in 2016 rowing in Six Seat. (For those that play footy, it is like playing centre half forward in the premiership team.)

Melbourne Grammar School had come of a very successful season, wining the prestigious Head of The River in Victoria. Melbourne Grammar, went on to be knocked out by the eventual winners of Henley in the School Boy Division. They were presented with a tremendous honour of the Leander Rowing Club Medal for the most successful overseas team, and at the time has progressed further than any international school boy crew.

Unfortunately, and in a show of extremely bad taste, the old enemy of Scotch College, went on to take the triple the following year. Scotch won the Head of The River, The Australian School Boy Championships and The Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup. It must have been a shallow year of competition. But, we digress.

The Mercantile four competing in the Wyfold Cup are:

  • Stroke – Angus Maloney
  • Three – Mitchell Hooper
  • Two – Jack Kelly
  • Bow –  Ben Canham


Henley Royal Regatta course guide with Sir Matthew Pinsent

We have been asked by a number of patients to provide some back ground and updates to the racing of our boys overseas. So, who better to provide a course guide, than Sir Matthew Pinsent and Sir Steve Redgrave.

The Henley Royal Regatta is one of the oldest and most prestigious regatta’s held during the international rowing season, with the first meet being held during March 1839.

The race is similar in style and uniqueness to Wimbledon. You can win other grand slams – but it is something special to win at Henley. Henley is ‘hallowed ground’ for rowing.

Henley is a round robin, match race or ‘knock out’ style of competition. Crews are seeded based on times and performances of previous regattas. Crews race against each other in a head to head format on the River Thames in a slightly longer than normal distance. The distance of the event is 2,112 metres. Every metre over the standard 2,000 metre Olympic distance feels like an extra mile in the slow water of England.

In recent years for Australians, Henley has become a season ending test for top crews within Australia. The Australian rowing season finishes by April so if you are good enough and keen enough – you may just get invited to Henley. It is a long and cold winter to prepare for racing in the Northern Hemisphere summer when European crews are at the height of their season.

During an Olympic year, Henley is used a testing ground for international crews in the lead up to the World Rowing Championships. Not only is Henley one of the oldest and largest international rowing regatta with over 500 crews competing, it is also part of the English social season where there will be tens of thousands of spectators lining the bank of the river. Crowds of over 100,000 are not unusual over the weekend.


Henley Royal Regatta Preparing to Race with Sir Steve Redgrave

Sir Steve Redgrave, a five time Olympic Gold Medalist, provides insight to what is required to compete at Henley.


Henley Royal Regatta Fly Over

A little dramatic with the music, but interesting to get your head around the size and scope of the regatta.




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