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US wins final against Germany at Henley's Royal Regatta. US Naval Academy student/athlete and former OC Men's Crew Coxswain, Matthew Catanoso, in the foreground just after the historic win. Photo Credit: Twitter Page of HRR

By Donna Oves

Former OC Men’s Crew athlete, and Ocean City High School Class of 2018 graduate, Matthew Catanoso, coxswained the United States Armed Forces boat to victory today at the Henley Royal Regatta in Oxfordshire, England. The United States Armed Forces crew beat Germany’s crew by 3/4 of a boat length in the final race winning them the world famous King’s Cup.

United States Armed Forces crew winning in the final race against Germany at Henley’s Royal Regatta at Oxfordshire, England, July 7, 2019 – Photo Credit: Twitter Page of HRR

Just last spring, Matthew, or “MattCat”as he is known, was a Coxswain for Ocean City High School’s Men’s Varsity Crew Team. MattCat coxswained for OC Men’s Crew Team for four years.

2018 – Was it only last year? Coxswain Matt Catanoso getting the traditional dunk after winning the Atlantic County Championships, Lake Lenape, Mays Landing, NJ. Also pictured at teammates Blase Japzon, Greg O’Connell, AJ Oves and Luke Hornick.
2019- Coxswain Matt Catanoso once again getting the traditional dunk, this time in the River Thames in Oxfordshire, England. The joyous United States Armed Forces Crew just won the King’s Cup, representing the United States on the world’s stage at Henley’s Royal Regatta. Photo Credit: Twitter Page of HRR

Now, only one year later, as a US Naval Academy first-year student/athlete, he was selected to Coxswain the United States Armed Forces crew boat to compete at the Royal Henley Regatta. This select-crew was comprised for the first time ever of both male and female military officers. In the case of the United States Armed Forces team, these competitors all come from the ranks of Navy Crew, in honor of their 150th Anniversary.

The eight crews competing in the 2019 Henley Royal Regatta. Photo Credit: Twitter Page of HRR
The eight crew’s competing at the 2019 Henley Royal Regatta. The River Thames in the background. Photo Credit: Twitter Page of HRR

This year is also the 100th Anniversary of the first-ever King’s Cup Regatta. The 1919 Royal Henley Peace Regatta was staged by the rowing community to help heal the wounds and hasten the return of normality of the Allied nations and their troops recovering from the First World War. According to the Henley Royal Regatta website : “For the first time, male and female military athletes will row in the same boat at an elite international event. The King’s Cup will see crews from the original six nations of Australia, Canada, France, New Zealand, the UK and the USA, joined by Germany and the Netherlands, competing in a knock-out format over the final three days of the 2019 Henley Royal Regatta.”

The King’s Cup – Photo Credit: Twitter Page of HRR

And compete they did! Day one of the regatta saw Australia, Germany, France and the United States win their races. The next day, at the semi-final races, Germany and the United States were the winners. At today’s final, the United States was victorious over Germany. All the races were broadcast live, and can still be seen on YouTube at HenleyRoyalRegatta. Here is the link to the final race (US vs. Germany):

Congratulations to Matt Catanoso and the United States Armed Forces crew on winning the King’s Cup on the world’s stage at Henley’s Royal Regatta!

2019 Henley’s Royal Regatta – The United States Armed Forces Crew Team. Coxswain Matt Catanoso far right. Photo Credit: Twitter Page of HRR
Navy Crew receiving the King’s Cup. Matt Catanosos holding the prize. Photo Credit: Twitter Page of HRR

 

United States Armed Forces Crew Team’s oars at Henley’s Royal Regatta. Photo Credit @NavyRowing