Rowers from Greenbank Rowing Club became the first crew from Cornwall since 1977 to take part in the prestigious Henley Royal Regatta, held over five days on the River Thames.

The men’s coxed four of Tim Wilkinson, Lex Kerr, James Kerr and Matthew Pullen with Cox Sarah Lewis entered the Britannia Challenge Cup, an event for club rowers open to international as well as UK crews.

The category runs with 16 crews only so the Greenbank boat was required to complete a qualifying time trial in the week preceding the event.

The time trial is held over approximately 2000m on the race course itself and after a solid performance the crew were delighted to qualify for the main event, the side by side racing on the world-renowned course.

Crew member Tim Wilkinson said: “The commentators and race officials were very enthusiastic about our appearance at the regatta.

“Not only were we the first crew from Cornwall to compete at the Regatta since the 70s but we also had an interesting age range and family connection with James at 52, the oldest competitor, competing alongside his nephew, Lex, at just 18.”

Tim went on to explain that the commentators were also fascinated that the crew’s Cox, Sarah Lewis, had recently reached the semi-final in the lightweight single sculls at Henley Women’s Regatta before turning her hand to coxing.

After successful qualification the crew was drawn against Wallingford Rowing Club in the first round. Racing over 2,112m, the crews battle side by side between wooden booms set out each year for the Regatta.

After a controlled start the Greenbank crew took a lead by the half way mark and continued to hold their position to finish three quarters of a length ahead and secure a place in the quarter final.

The next race proved to be a much tougher challenge against a high quality crew from Australia. With much support on the crowded banks the Greenbank crew put in a great effort and finished just over three lengths behind.

“This was a proud moment for the club,” said James Kerr, crew member and club Chairman. “Qualifying and winning a round at Henley Royal Regatta is a real achievement and certainly put Greenbank and Cornwall on the map.”

Greenbank Falmouth Rowing Club is based at Stithians Lake and welcomes members of all ages and abilities. The club is kindly supported by The Greenbank Hotel.