ROWERS from the Grange School have qualified to race at the sport’s most prestigious event this week, the Henley Royal Regatta.

A junior men’s quad, consisting of Will Broderick, Tom Ford, Rob Sherry and Rupert Wiltshire, came through a qualifier on Friday.

“It was especially tough to make it this year,” said head coach Graham Jump.

“Only 10 crews from a group of more than 40 could complete the line-up so the boys have done a fantastic job just to be there.”

The quartet will take on Maidstone Invicta and Maidenhead in the first round of the Fawley Challenge Cup tomorrow, Thursday.

Norwegians NSR & Tonsberg await the victors in Friday’s second round.

This year’s regatta, the 161st , has attracted an entry of more than 500 crews from 20 different countries, up from 468 boats last year.

Great Britain, Canada and New Zealand have sent the majority of their rowers preparing for the World Championships in November.

“It’s the strongest entry at the top level that we’ve had for decades,” said regatta management committee chairman Mike Sweeney.

However Northwich-born world champion Matthew Langridge, who stroked Great Britain’s men’s four to victory last summer, is not among them.

He had been due to race in Leander Club colours along with crewmates Richard Egington, Alex Gregory and Alex Partridge.

Instead GB Rowing head coach Jurgen Grobler has ordered the quartet to train more after finishing third at last week’s World Cup regatta in Munich.

They return to action in Lucerne, Switzerland, on Friday week.

“It’s disappointing [not to be racing at Henley],” said Langridge this week.

“But Jurgen calls the shots, and he feels it’s better for us to train to make sure we’re in the best possible shape for the next World Cup race.”

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