Graf's sterling performance at Henley Royal Regatta 2022 competing in the Temple Challenge Cup, coupled with his exceptional performance at Under 23 Trials has landed him an invite to crew formation and thereon selection to compete in the Under 23's European Rowing Championships in September 2022.
The draw for the week of racing saw Durham 'B' with a tough first draw, facing the eventual winners Oxford Brookes 'A'. Durham flew out of the blocks alongside Brookes but were eventually outclassed by the winners.
Durham A began their Henley campaign with the very first race of the 2022 regatta, being the first ever Henley race in history on the newly added Tuesday. Durham faced Bristol and showed dominance straight off the end of the island gaining a commanding lead of over 4 lengths by the Fawley marker (half way) to secure a place on day 2 of racing. On day two, Durham then faced Nereus; the holders of last year's Temple Challenge Cup from Amsterdam. As the underdogs, Durham took the fight to Nereus losing a couple of seats out of the blocks, but consistently chipping away at the slender Dutch lead to take the win by just over a length over the finish line, showing the development and hard word Durham had put in throughout this season. Friday saw Durham match up against Oxford Brookes 'B' resulting in another close race of around a lengths lead by the finish line, sending Durham into the semi-finals; marking us as one of the top four student crews in the event.
Saturday saw a serious match up against the Huskies of the University of Washington. Another nail-biting race with both crews in contact the whole way down the course all the way to the finish line where unfortunately Washington were victorious by just under half a length. Reaching the Saturday of Henley Royal Regatta is a huge milestone for DUBC. Durham 'A' is the first Durham Temple eight to make the Saturday of Henley Royal in 24 years. With a large proportion of this years' crew returning next year; looking to return next academic year with a serious vengeance and hunger to work harder than ever in the following season.
At the same respective trials, Natasha Morrice represented the Women's team. Morrice is a fourth year Natural Sciences student and a very successful graduate of DUBC's Development Programme, becoming a lynchpin of the Women’s squad. After just a year of rowing, Morrice was ranked the 5th U23 British stroke-sider following November Trials. She has placed 3rd in the U23 women's pair repeatedly, and was also invited to crew selection and has since been selected to go to the U23 World Rowing Championships in Italy at the end of July, which is an incredible achievement.
We wish Graf and Morrice all the best at Europeans and Worlds, knowing they will do DUBC and Team Durham proud.