Come hell or high water, Henley's five days of knock-out competition in 19 events begins tomorrow. This year's first is a mother and son competing in the same regatta - Helen Mangan as stroke of London's quadruple scullers in the Princess Grace, and her son, Olly Mahoney, in Imperial College's Temple eight. This year's quirk is Tim Foster, the Sydney Olympic gold medallist, being required to row in a qualifying race with his University of London Visitors' four.
There have been some judicious withdrawals, the most significant being the British and Polish Olympic eights from the Grand. This leaves four entries, the Cambridge boat race crew and Harvard's Varsity in one semi-final and the Dutch and Czech national eights in the other. Cambridge beat Harvard last October in the Head of the Charles race in Boston, since when Harvard have been unbeaten at home.
Harvard havejunior varsity heavyweights in the Ladies' Plate and freshmen heavies in the Temple. All three Harvard crews won the crucial Eastern Sprints, which gives them the opportunity to round off their season with a trip to Henley.
All three have been selected in the draw, and the seven and stroke men of the Junior Varsity are in the Goblets for pairs in the same quarter of the draw as Britain's Olympic pair of Toby Garbett and Rick Dunn.