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Scotch College, Melbourne win Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup at Henley Royal Regatta

Josh Dunkley-Smith and Josh Booth win at Holland Beker

Scotch College, Melbourne have become the first Australian crew to win the Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup for school First VIIIs at Henley Royal Regatta since 2001. The 2017 Australian Schoolboys Champions, beat Radley College in the final by one and two thirds of a length and became only the third Australian crew to have won the title.

The Victorian crew join The King’s School, Paramatta (2001) and Brisbane Boys College (1993) to have won the prestigious event and are the first Victorian crew to have won the title. The crew of Harry Isles, Max Cooper, Mark Russell, Marcus Emmett, Charlie Miller, Tom Macky, Angus Emmett, Lachlan Murchie and Harry Gill won in a time of 6 minutes 29 seconds.

Also making a final on the Sunday of the famous British regatta, were Rio 2016 Olympic silver medallists, Joshua Booth (Melbourne University BC) and Joshua Dunkley-Smith (Mercantile RC. The duo were edged out in the final by the favourited French men’s pair of Théophile and Valentin Onfroy who had recently won gold in the same event at World Rowing Cup 2 in Poznan.

The previous week, Booth and Dunkley-Smith had raced at the prestigious Dutch regatta, Holland Beker, where they won both Men’s Pair events – winning both their heats and their finals in Amsterdam.

Dunkley-Smith’s younger sister, Addy, joined up with Olympian Meaghan Volker (Buckingham RC), Kate Rowan (UQBC) and Katie Michelmore (MUBC) in the inaugural Women’s Four event at Henley Royal Regatta. The crew were unfortunately knocked out in the heats by the composite crew of Australian Olympic gold medallist Kim Brennan (MUBC) and fellow Olympians Wianka van Dorp, Olivia Carnegie-Brown and Grace Luczak.

Brennan’s crew was eventually knocked out by the crew from New York Athletic Club, USA in the semi-finals. Meanwhile Olympian Alexandra Hagan, joined with Rosie Popa in the Women’s Pair event, representing Banks RC, with the duo unfortunately knocked out in the heats.

Rio 2016 Olympic silver medallist Cameron Girdlestone raced in the Diamond Challenge Sculls for the Men’s Single Scull representing Sydney University Boat Club and was knocked out in the semi-finals by eventual winner, Matt Dunham of Waiariki Rowing Club in New Zealand.

In the Britannia Cup, UTS Haberfield were knocked out in the semi-finals, after losing by a mere three feet at the finish line to St Andrew BC. In the Wyfold Cup, the club were also knocked out in the semi-finals with the event eventually won by Sport Imperial BC

The week before had seen multiple medallists at Holland Beker for Australian club crews, including gold for a composite crew of Banks RC, University of Technology Haberfield RC and Mercantile RC in the Lightweight Men’s Eight. Meanwhile in the Junior Women’s Quadruple Scull and Junior Women’s Double Scull there were two silver medals for the composite crews from Sydney RC, Somerville House and Pymble Ladies College.

Joshua Dunkley-Smith (left) and Joshua Booth racing for Mercantile RC/MUBC in the final of the Silver Goblets and Nickall’s Challenge Cup for the Men’s Pair