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.
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.
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.
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.”
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!