The St. Joseph’s Prep varsity eight boat advanced to Thursday’s second-round race at the Henley Royal Regatta on the Thames in England by defeating England’s Canford School by 3½ lengths Wednesday in the Princess Elizabeth Cup.

The Hawks, coached by John Fife, took a big lead early and won easily. Coxswain Connor Thompson is the only senior in the boat, and five of the eight rowers are sophomores.

“They all did a good job,” Fife said. “It’s a race unlike anything they have ever been in before. With our youth and the way they handled the race, I was very proud of our guys.”

The Prep’s opponent for Thursday’s 9:05 a.m. race is Flatow-Oberschule School from Berlin, Germany.

You can follow the action live via the Henley YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/HenleyRoyalRegatta.