Legendary 1965 Andover Crew Team Reunites 40 Years After Henley Regatta

The rowers of the 1965 Andover Mens Crew First Boat made a triumphant return to campus on April 30 to celebrate the 40-year anniversary of their trip to the Henley Royal Regatta in England. The class of 1965 Andover Crew team competed in the Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup, the only event at the Regatta in which high school crews were allowed to compete. The crew won several single-elimination dual meets against schools from all over the world, making it all the way to the grand final. Their opponent in the final was neighboring Tabor Academy. The Andover Crew team beat tabor Academy twice in the 1965 regular season. Although a close race to the finish, the Tabor Crew beat Andover to the finish of the one mile and five hundred fifty yard course to win the Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup. The returning Andover rowers brought back scrapbooks and photos from their Henley trip to show the current First Boat members. The photograph that drew the most attention was one of Andover and Tabor on the finish line of the grand final. “The angle that the photograph was taken from actually looks like Andover won,” said Anthony-James Green ‘05. The team returned on April 30 to watch the Andover Boys Crew team race Salisbury. After watching Andover win, the Class of ’65 Crew team braved the cold and rainy weather to row on the Merrimac River for old time’s sake. “After 40 years, they still row surprisingly well,” said First Boat member Geoff Martin ’07. The Crew of ’65 invited the Boys Varsity Crew team to the Andover Inn for a reception. “It was great to speak to adults who went through what we are doing every day,” said Crew Captain Peter Belisle ’05. “We got to talk about the differences in the rowing world and…at PA in general.” Four Seniors, four Uppers, and a Senior coxswain competed at Henley in 1965, however two of the original nine rowers have since passed away. The two alternates who traveled to Henley with the 1965 team came to the reunion to represent the deceased teammates. “It was great to see such a close alumni group,” said rower Kyle Davies ’05. “I hope that after 40 years we’ll still be that well connected.”