Reading's Sam Townsend relishing Henley Royal Regatta

(L-R) Sam Townsend, William Lucas, Marcus Bateman and Charles Cousins
Townsend (left) and his crew came fourth at the 2011 World Cup in Munich

Reading-born rower Sam Townsend says he is relishing the chance to defend his Queen Mother Challenge Cup title at Henley Royal Regatta on 29 June.

Townsend, 25, won last year's quadruple scull event with Charles Cousins, Bill Lucas and Stephen Rowbotham.

"We're so chuffed to compete in our boat as it gives us a chance to defend our title," he told BBC Berkshire.

"It's going to be a top level event. We enjoy doing this event as it's one-on-one racing and it's very different."

GB rowers confirmed they would compete in Henley after pulling out of the World Cup in Hamburg, Germany earlier this month due to the E. Coli outbreak.

"I've done Henley three times and it's definitely a completely different experience to the six lane racing we normally have," said Townsend.

"There's a rivalry in the one-on-one race and there are also the booms, which can end your race if you steer into them and that is my job, I will be steering so hopefully I can avoid that."