This year, LYR qualified two crews to race at Henley Royal Regatta.

We asked the boys racing in this year's Fawley Cup (Junior Quadruple Sculls) and girls racing in the Diamond Jubilee Cup (Junior Quadruple Sculls) why they love Henley, and what makes the regatta so special. 

Bow: Sam Baker, 18yrs old

'There's so much tradition and history at Henley. It holds more gravity than any national event we row at. And, in comparison to Great Britain trials, which is done by yourself, you get to compete with your mates who you've been training with all season.'

Two: Dominic Sullivan, 16yrs old

'You get to race crews from all over the world at Henley. Local crews get to come up against international competition. This doesn't happen anywhere else. I think I'm the youngest competitor here, so it's a great experience for me. It's the race that everyone works towards. Junior crews wait to put their best athletes into this race because they know so many people are watching.'

Three: Callum Sullivan, 18yrs old 

'I love the racing format at Henley - a knock-out system. It's gladiatorial. It's the only event we do that you have to qualify for, which means we spend so much time building up to the event. We've been training and racing since April preparing for this.'

Stroke: Jake Offiler, 17yrs old  

'It's amazing that people can now watch all over the world. It's so much more mainstream than other regattas we do. It means something to the wider community when we win, not just the rowing community. Henley has the prestige of an international event, that you get to race with your friends.'

 

Left to right: Sam, Dominic, Callum, Jake

 

Dominic is hoping to represent England at Home Countries International Regatta this summer. And, Callum and Jake have been selected to represent Great Britain at the Coupe de la Jeunesse regatta. 

 

Bow: Meda Laukyte , 17yrs old

'I love being a part of such a traditional event and being able to compete alongside athletes of world class caliber. It is such a different atmosphere to every other regatta, and to have crowds cheering you on from only a few meters away is a feeling you can't experience anywhere else.'

Two: Julia Olawumi, 17yrs old

'Henley is one of the biggest Regattas in the world, and the only one to have a system where every race could be your last! It is such a prestigious event that all crews strive for, especially the juniors as there are only two events. I am so proud to have been a part of it.'

Three: Leila Berstein, 18yrs old

'I love Henley; I look forward to going to it every year even if I’m not competing, just as a spectator. It’s definitely a unique event that brings all the rowing community together and enables people to watch the very best rowers compete. Just being able to qualify and race in the heats highlighted how special the regatta is and makes you appreciate the sport we're in.'

Stroke: Siobhan Samuel, 17yrs old 

'It's amazing to be able to be so close to your opponent on the start line of Henley. And the buzz and noise that surrounds you going down the course is amazing too.'

 

Left to right: Meda, Julia, Leila, Siobhan

 

Siobhan is also representing Junior Great Britain this summer at the Coupe de la Jeunesse regatta, while Leila has been offered a scholarship to row at the University of California, USA. Julia is no longer a junior athlete, but has become a keen volunteer and session coach within the LYR community.