Hacker laps up attention to breeze past Jones

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The Independent Online

You do not have to over-indulge on Pimms to be confused about what is going on at Henley. Here is an example of an announcement in the Visitors' Challenge Cup for coxless fours yesterday: "A race has started between the National University of Ireland, Galway and Skibbereen Rowing Club, Ireland on the Bucks station and Galway Rowing Club and Skibbereen Rowing Club, Ireland, on the Berks station."

You do not have to over-indulge on Pimms to be confused about what is going on at Henley. Here is an example of an announcement in the Visitors' Challenge Cup for coxless fours yesterday: "A race has started between the National University of Ireland, Galway and Skibbereen Rowing Club, Ireland on the Bucks station and Galway Rowing Club and Skibbereen Rowing Club, Ireland, on the Berks station."

Henley allows composite entries in some events, and this is rife in the Visitors' this year, where there are also entries from London RC/Willem III of Amsterdam, Oxford Brookes/Oxford Universities, and Orca, Holland/London RC. It is a sizzling event, with London and Willem III knocking the selected crew Skadi of Holland out yesterday.

Cambridge University's A crew removed the University of Massachusetts Amherst and meet London University today. London beat Cambridge's B crew with their coach on board, the Olympic gold medallist Tim Foster, who has not rowed here since he won the Stewards' in 2000.

The Diamond Sculls began yesterday with the favourites for the final, Marcel Hacker and Ian Lawson, both having an easy time in their first race. Lawson was in Britain's double scull last year and qualified for the Olympics in the single scull two weeks ago. Hacker, who is originally from Magdeburg in Germany but who is now based in Munich, is making his second appearance at Henley. In 1999 he turned up wide-eyed and focused himself by taping "Ich Will" on the deck of his boat. It did the trick; he won the Diamonds against the American Jamie Koven.

Since then he has achieved a world title in 2002 and a world silver last year, and is bound for Athens. Because the Athens Olympic course has a reputation for wind, wind is what Hacker hoped for here, and yesterday he found it. He also came because there is a crowd. Never shy of playing to the gallery, Hacker follows a long line of colourful characters in the one rowing event which does not bury personality in the anonymity of crews. Simon Jones, of Nottingham and Union, was Hacker's victim, and Lawson's was Gareth Ireland from the same club.

St Andrew appears to be the patron saint of the Princess Elizabeth for schools. The American St Andrew's School beat the selected Schiller-Schule from Frankfurt and the South African St Andrew's School removed the selected crew from Thomas Jefferson High School of Virginia. But St Paul is still in contention, if divided among himself when St Paul of Concord knocked out St Paul of Barnes.

The British pair, Toby Garbett and Rick Dunn, won their opening race of the Goblets and are on course for a final on Sunday against Ramon Di Clementé and Donovan Cech of South Africa.

All the selected crews in the Thames Cup progressed yesterday, including Reuss from Switzerland who had a pulverising race with 1829 Boat Club, which brought both to a gasping standstill for a long time after they crossed the line. In the Temple Cup for students the draw brings Oxford Brookes A and B crews together today, and in the other half the superb lightweights from the US Naval Academy meet the National University of Ireland Galway. But Harvard look good for the final, meeting Nereus today with the winner encountering one or other Brookes boat.

HENLEY ROYAL REGATTA RESULTS

THAMES CUP: London RC A bt Quintin BC, 3 1/ 2 lengths, 6min 58sec; Henley RC bt Thames Tradesmen's RC, 1 1/ 4l, 6:56; Nottingham and Union BC bt Reading RC, 1 1/ 4l, 7:04; Lady Elizabeth BC (Irl) bt Molesey BC A, 2/ 3l, 7:11; Combined Services RC bt Broxbourne RC, 2l, 7:12.

TEMPLE CUP: Oxford Brookes University A bt Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, 1 3/ 4l, 7:06; Oxford Brookes University B bt Leeds University, 3/ 4l, 7:00; US Naval Academy (US) bt Nottingham University A, 1 1/ 4l, 6:56; Nereus (Neth) bt University of the West of England, 2 1/ 4l, 7:15; Glasgow University bt University of Bristol, 2 1/ 4l, 7:15; Harvard University (US) bt University of Rhode Island (US), 2l, 7:03; National University of Ireland, Galway (Irl) bt Manchester University, 1 1/ 2l, 7:21.

WYFOLD CUP: London RC B bt Treveris (Ger) 2 1/ 4l, 7:24; Nottinghamshire County Rowing Association bt Christiania Roklub (Nor), 3 1/ 4l, 7:34; Thames RC bt Henley RC A, 3l, 7:42; Cambridge '99 BC bt Auriol Kensington RC, easily, 8:04; London RC A bt Reading RC, easily, 7:38; Drummoyne (Aus) bt Auckland RC (NZ), 1/ 2l, 7:42.

VISITORS' CUP: Oxford Brookes University and Oxford University bt Tideway Scullers and Wallingford, 1 1/ 2l, 7:18; London RC and William III (Neth) bt Rotterdamsche Skadi (Neth), 2 3/ 4l, 7:10; Galway RC and Skibbereen RC (Irl) bt National University of Galway and Skibbereen RC (Irl), 2l, 7:30; National University of Ireland, Galway (Irl) bt ASR Nereus (Neth), 2 1/ 2l, 7:33; Cambridge University A bt University of Massachusetts (US), easily, 7:42.

SILVER GOBLETS & NICKALLS' CUP: Reed/Livingstone (Oxford University) bt McQuillan/Watson (London RC), easily, 8:10; French/Keating (Cygnet RC) bt Wylie/Wylie (Oratory Cardinals RC), 4 3/ 4l, 8:24; Woods/Pollard (Gloucester RC) bt Gillen/Dobson (US Naval Academy, US), easily, 8:24; Webb/Chastain-Chapman (Harvard University, US) bt Craig/Price (Cantabrigian RC), 2l, 8:07; Di Clemente/Cech (Trident RC, SA) bt Webb/Warnock (Leander and London RC), easily, 7:55; Garbett/Dunn (Leander) bt Grey/Corner (Royal Navy and Upper Thames RC), easily, 8:49.

DIAMOND SCULLS: C M Smith (Oxford University) bt A M Brown (Bradford-on-Avon RC), easily, 8:30; R Kelsey (London RC) bt C Morgan (Hollingworth Lake RC), 2 3/ 4l, 8:48; I Lawson (Leander) bt G Ireland (Nottingham and Union RC), 3 1/ 2l, 9:01; M Hacker (Casseler Fraven, Ger) bt S Jones (Nottingham and Union RC), 3 1/ 2l, 9:03.

PRINCESS ELIZABETH CUP: St Andrew's College (SA) bt Thomas Jefferson High School (US), 1 1/ 4l, 6:54; St Andrew's School (US) bt Schiller Schule, Frankfurt (Ger) 3l, 7:06; Hampton School bt Phillips Exeter Academy (US), 1 3/ 4l, 7:18; Pangbourne College bt Eton College, canvass, 7:22.

STUDENT COXED FOURS (Men): Imperial College, London bt Cambridge University, 1 1/ 4l, 7:30; Trinity College, Dublin bt Grand Valley State University (US), 2 3/ 4l, 7:43; Isis BC bt London University A, 2l, 7:35.

MEN'S QUADRUPLE SCULLS: Commercial RC (Irl) bt Tideway Scullers, 2l, 7:32; Nottinghamshire County Rowing Association bt Bath University & Reading University, 3l, 7:29; Hammonia Hamburg (Ger) bt Rebecca, 3 1/ 2l, 7:20; Mosman RC (Aus) bt Tideway Scullers, easily, 7:19; Aarhus Roklub and Danske Studenters (Den) bt Nottingham Trent University, 3/ 4l, 7:33; Molesey BC bt Leander Club, 2 1/ 4l, 7:22.

DOUBLE SCULLS CUP: Goodbrand/Blanchard (Rob Roy BC) sculled over; Goodchild/Raschke (Auriol Kensington RC) bt McLeod-Jones/West (Army RC), 2 1/ 2l, 8:02; Butler/Taylor (Drummoyne, Aus) bt Dance/McConnell (Upper Thames RC), easily, 7:59; Graves/Graves (Bantam BC, US) bt Buckworth/Pelham (Tees RC), easily, 8:15; Graham/Burbanks (Molesey) bt Wadsworth/Darvill (Minerva-Bath RC), easily, 8:21; Tipney/Purchase (Marlow RC and King's School, Worcester) bt Rennie/Sadler (Upper Thames RC), easily, 8:03.

PRINCESS ROYAL CUP: L Collins (Nottingham and Union RC) bt P Jackson (University of British Columbia, Can), easily, 10:22; C Bishop (Riverside BC, US) bt C Giacomazzi (Trieste, It), easily, 9:53.

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