Rowing: Searle sets up stern test of his sculling

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The Independent Online
Henley Royal Regatta came to muscular life yesterday in the Diamond Sculls when two of the best-developed converts to the single life, Jamie Koven of the United States, and Greg Searle of Molesey and Great Britain, 14st 7lb and 15st respectively, cruised through the second round.

Today Searle will race Adri Middag, the Dutchman who looked smooth and accomplished yesterday and could prove a stumbling block in what Searle described as "a winnable race".

In the other half of the draw, Peter Haining defied his early season form to scull through Nick Macdonald Crowley, the first "selected" sculler to be put out. Haining happy with his returning strength, embraced the loser on the finish line and said: "Everyday it's a little better."

The women's sculling event, now known as the Princess Royal Challenge Cup, opened with wins for the two Olympians, Britain's Guin Batten and Maria Brandin from Sweden, who set the record here in 1995.

In the Princess Elizabeth Cup for schools when Westminster, winners of the second- rank event at the National Schools Regatta beat Radley, who won the top title their.

Westminster stole a quarter length off the start and had pulled out to half a length before Radley hauled them back to level at the Mile Post, but Westminster dug deeper to win by two-thirds of a length. St Pauls will be happy to have gone six seconds faster beating Abingdon by two lengths.

Rudergesellschaft Wiking, the Berlin lightweights entered in the Thames Cup for club eights, were ruled out after the Regatta's authorities were told they had rowed with three overqualified oarsmen.

The Thames Cup excludes any who have raced in a World Championships or Olympics within the past four years. "By the time they got to me that had read the rules carefully, and were obviously dismayed," the Regatta chairman, Mike Sweeney, said.

Tideway Scullers School, coached by Richard Tinkler, "rowed over" to gain a third round race with Castle Semple, of Scotland.