Host City: London, Great Britain
Venue(s): Henley Royal Regatta Course, Henley-on-Thames
Date Started: July 29, 1908
Date Finished: July 31, 1908
Format: 1½ miles
|Bronze:|| Great Britain-2
The greatest eight in the world in 1908 was considered to be the Belgian crew representing the Royal Club Nautique de Gand. They had won the European championship from 1906-1908 and a Belgian eight had won that title every year from 1897-1910 with the exception of 1905 and 1909. At Henley, the Royal Club Nautique de Gand won the Grand Challenge Cup (for eights) in 1906-07 and 1909. Leander Club had an eight win the Grand Challenge Cup in 1903-05, while the 1908 title went to an Oxford crew representing the Christ Church College Boat Club. The top American eight was the team from Vesper Boat Club in Philadelphia, which had won the Olympic championship in 1900 and 1904, but Vesper did not enter the 1908 Olympic rowing regatta.
The two favored crews came through to the final, although both had reasonable competition in the early rounds. Leander went out at 42 strokes and Gand at 43 strokes. Leander went ahead by -length as they passed Temple Island. Shortly after one mile, Gand pulled even and may have even led briefly but it was a futile effort which exhausted them. Leander pulled away easily after passing Phyllis Court and won by 2 lengths. All the members of the Leander crew had rowed for Oxford or Cambridge.