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  • Writer's pictureBUBC Alumni

Henley Highlights #4

Updated: Jun 22, 2020

For the next instalment of this series, we have a piece about the Temple Challenge Cup crew of 2007. Written by alumnus and Henley winner Ali Gregory!

"Fresh from a 10-day training camp focusing on beach weights, a very competitive iron-man and a massive night at the Hofbrauhaus in Munich, BUBC ’07 were surprised to take the win in the blue riband event at Marlow regatta. They learnt that if they really wanted, the magic combination of cox, Chris Helliwell, and stroke-man, Paddy Hogben, could come from behind and put a length into any domestic opponent, even after a huge semi. It was this win in Senior 3 eights that gave the crew the confidence to do battle with the titans of the Temple Challenge Cup, starting with the esteemed Liverpool University.

Being athletes in tip-top shape, crew nutritionist Tim Williams (3-seat) recommended that the optimum pre-race dinner was Wetherspoons in Henley and Aragorn, son of Arathorn (5-seat) had arranged the worst accommodation Reading University had to offer, so the crew were well set for a cracking Wednesday at the races.

Waking up on race day, the crew found Ali Gregory (7-seat) struck down from a night of bringing back up his ‘spoons lasagne. Fortunately, the crew were able to draft in Trevor Iddenden to set up the bows and move Will Wijenyburger into the 7-seat to spin some silk. This ensured them a clean, ruthless 3/4 length win over Liverpool giving Trevor an inspiring unbeaten run at Henley and the rest of the crew a freshly recovered pair of legs returning into the 7-seat for the next day.

Thanks to their iron-pumping training camp with Marcel Hacker, the crew was mightily fast off the blocks, so day two saw them flying out to a lengths lead over Cornell University from the USA. Having emptied the tank by the end of the island, the crew only had John Clay (6-seat) with enough beans to get to the barrier, to which they almost held a lead.

Fortunately, after a rousing end-of-season speech from Andy Brett (2-seat), the crew were whisked off to the nearest empty bar by the Meles cohort where Greg Kinsey (4-seat) was able to show the squad that there was still one boat race he could win that day.


Cox: Chris Helliwell

Str: Paddy Hogben

7: Ali Gregory

6: John Clay

5: Tom Thornton

4: Greg Kinsey

3: Tim Williams

2: Andy Brett

1: Will Wijnberg

+ Trevor Iddenden"

- Ali Gregory, Class of 2011

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