OXFORDSHIRE, England – The Columbia lightweight varsity eight is on its way to England to compete at the Henley Royal Regatta from July 3-7. The Lions will race in the main draw of the Temple Challenge Cup race with 31 of the best collegiate crews in the world.

This will be the first time a Columbia boat will race at the Henley since 2008 when the heavyweights sent the varsity eight across the pond. The lightweights have previously sent three eights to Henley – 1971, 1998, 2000 – and most recently saw a varsity four compete in 2003. In 1998 and 2000, the Lions reached the quarterfinals of the Temple Challenge Cup.

The Henley committee accepted 62 entries into the Temple Challenge Cup, but that number will be pared down to 32 after qualifying races on June 28. The format is a head-to-head racing against another crew with the winner advancing to the next round to take place on the following day. The Lions will hit the Thames on July 3 against a first round opponent to be determined this weekend.

For more information regarding the Henley Royal Regatta, click here. Also, check back on gocolumbialions.com for race previews and recaps.