Abingdon School coach Athol Hundermark has praised the dedication of his crew after they won the Princess Elizabeth Cup for school eights at Henley Royal Regatta.

Abingdon beat St Andrew’s School from Connecticutt, USA, to record their first Henley triumph since 2002.

“St Andrew’s put us under pressure early on, but we held our nerve,” he said.

“Where the crew won it was in the training and the hours they have put in every day. They have a great team spirit and have been a dream to work with.

“This sensational performance was the crowning achievement for a squad of boys who have lived and breathed the sport over the past few years.

“The crew saved their best for last as they showed maturity and composure to record an incredible win in an event that is the pinnacle of school rowing.

“The tremendous support from Old Abingdonians, parents, friends and even our closest rivals made it a memory that I will cherish for years.”

Will Davey, Abingdon’s captain of boats, said: “Winning the Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup was something that I will remember for the rest of my life.

“The work the nine of us have put in since the beginning of this year was more than repaid this past week with the thrills of racing.

“I couldn’t be more proud to be part of a club with this much support from old and current Abingdonians.

“There is no club I would rather be part of and I believe the support and pride our boat club has is second to none.”

Abingdon rated a massive 49 strokes per minute off the start and edged a slight lead.

But the Americans held on and the situation did not change for a full mile before Abingdon upped the pressure and gained the winning advantage of nearly two lengths by the finish.

The semi-final was another great race, Abingdon’s winning margin over Radley being by under a length in a time which knocked three seconds off the record which had stood since 1992.