Rowing: Redgrave and Pinsent untouchable

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The Independent Online
It was business as usual for the reigning Olympic and world champions, Steve Redgrave and Matthew Pinsent, as they paddled home to a comfortable victory in their first race at Henley Royal Regatta here yesterday.

It is Redgrave's last Henley - he will be training in America for the Olympic Games during next year's Regatta - and he is determined to push his career total here to 15 by entering two events.

Yesterday they were opposed in the Pairs by two eager schoolboys from Newcastle Royal Grammar School, 16-year-old Robert Sanders and 17-year- old Richard McElroy. They dealt kindly with the youngsters, dropping to a majestic nine strokes a minute by the end.

Redgrave is seeking to surpass Gully Nichall's six-win total in the Silver Goblets and Nichall's Challenge Cup, and there is no one in the world, let alone at Henley this week, who can stop him.

"They'll have to add Steve's name to the Cup if we win on Sunday," said Pinsent.

The leading crews in the Thames Cup began to show their form in the second round of what is turning out to be a very tough competition. The Cambridge reserve crew, Goldie, showed great pace against Quintin and cruised home at 31 strokes a minute in 6min 25sec. But the Dutch students from Nereus nonchalantly disposed of Durham University, going three seconds faster, and Nottingham Boat Club were only a second slower.

But the Americans are well represented as well. Syracuse, MIT and Harvard all qualified well and in slowing wind conditions the unselected Washington Junior Varsity Eight won a memorable battle with selected Brown University's Freshmen, losing and then regaining the lead as Brown faltered approaching the finish.

Kingston, too, produced a storming finish to snatch a 3ft victory from Cambridge '99 and London University put out the selected Australians from Melbourne.

In the Temple Cup for Colleges, Japan's Nihon University upset predictions when they rode right past America's Riverview and Sarasota High School after trailing all the way to the last signal. The lightweight Japanese steering veered alarmingly all the way, costing them at least a length. And Kingston Grammar School upset the selected Imperial College with a blistering start to win by one and a quarter lengths in 6min 50sec. At the end of the day, Oxford Brookes University dismissed the fast Americans, Williams College, by a one and threequarter lengths.