The 2019 Henley Royal Regatta took place from 3 to 7 July and is the best-known regatta in the world.
Sports Scholar Matt Brigham qualified for the Diamond Challenge sculls on Friday 28 June. He would face double Olympic champion and six-time Henley winner, Mahe Drysdale on Thursday 4 July. Matt caused the biggest upset of the regatta and knocked Drysdale out, beating him by three and a half lengths! The entire rowing community was talking about Matt; he became an overnight sensation!
The next day, Matt faced world U23 medalist Luuk Adema from the Netherlands in the quarter-finals. Unfortunately Matt lost the race by two lengths and Adema progressed to the semifinals.
Matt has only been rowing for four years since he started at the University of Leeds to study Medicine. He joined the GB Start programme two years ago, having swam his whole life. GB Start is a specialist talent identification programme that trains and develop athletes for the GB Rowing Team. Matt was rowing as an intermediate in his second year, so his progress has been phenomenal.
Matt trains with the University of Leeds Boat Club at the Leeds Boat House with GB Start coach, Matt Paul, and Head of Rowing, Dan Grant.
In addition to Matt’s success, the University of Leeds Boat Club had a boat of legends in the Centenary Row Past crew to celebrate their 100th year.
The crew was made up of: Emma Lindsay (Cox), Ella Murphy, Jordan Bryne, Steve O’Connor, Ben Cox, Helen Brown, Grace Clough, Chris Williams and Tom Clements.
Finally, a huge congratulations to Matt for his fantastic Henley Royal debut and the Boat Club on a great year.
Photographs courtesy of University of Leeds Boat Club.