HENLEY, England - Cape May Court House native Seamus Labrum and the University of Washington men's varsity-eight continued their unbeaten season, booking a place in Sunday's final of the Grand Challenge Cup for international eights at the Henley Royal Regatta on the River Thames.
Labrum, a Holy Spirit High School graduate, is the coxswain for the reigning Intercollegiate Rowing Association champions.
The "Grand" is the senior event of this prestigious regatta, and Washington beat the Polish national squad, racing as Wojskowy Klub Sportowy Zawisza and Regionalne Towar-zystwo Wioslarskie Lotto, by 1¼ lengths in Saturday's semifinals.
It now faces the Great Britain national squad, including Olympic champions Peter Reid and Andrew Triggs Hodge, in the final.
The Ladies Plate for international eights is second in seniority only to the "Grand," and Northeastern University 'A' will contest Sunday's final, following its strong 3½-length win over the Great Britain under-23 international eight, racing as Robert Gordon University and Aberdeen Boat Club.
Egg Harbor Township High School grad Kyle Erlandson will sit in seat four for Northeastern, which advanced to a Henley final for the first time since 1973.
However, the University of Washington junior varsity eight lost out in the semifinals by 1¼ lengths to a development eight from the GB squad, racing as Leander and Molesey clubs. Sunday will mark the first time since 1973 that a Northeastern crew will contest a Henley final, and the 1973 crew have made a special trip this year to mark the anniversary of that win.
John Graves of Cincinnati, Ohio, racing in the colors of the Craftsbury Sculling Center, Vermont, lost out in the semifinals of the Diamond Sculls for international single scullers, going down by 2 ½ lengths to Britain's Olympic bronze medallist Alan Campbell, from Coleraine, Northern Ireland.
Harvard University won its semifinal of the Temple Cup for student eights, beating a Newcastle University crew who chased them all the way down the course by just three-quarters of a length. Harvard now faces the Dutch students from Laga in Delftsche in the final.
Local club Leander 'A' beat the California Rowing Club crew from Oakland by 3 ½ lengths in the semifinals of the Prince of Wales Cup for student and club quadruple sculls.
Harvard's 'A' crew progressed to the final of the Visitors' Cup for student and club coxless fours with a 1 ½-length win over local club Molesey in a race it controlled all the way.
Harvard 'B' beat local club Thames by 1/4 lengths after trailing in the first quarter of the race to set up an all-Harvard final.
Altogether, crews from the United States will be in six of the 20 individual event finals on Sunday.
Union Boat Club, from Boston, Massachusetts, will race in the final of the Britannia Cup for club coxed fours, after beating Taurus Boat Club 'B' from London by just two-thirds of a length in a cliffhanger of a race that Union only controlled from the mile-mark onwards. It now faces the 'A' crew from Taurus in the final.
Conditions were warm enough Saturday for "gentlemen" in the enclosures to be allowed to remove their jackets for only the second time in the modern era.