Henley Race Report

Rosa Stanley, Wes Maccabe, Chris Dixon, Andy Watson, Tim Moonen, Rory Bryant, Pete Crush, Mike Dowell & Jake Nelson
Our Mens First VIII raced brilliantly last Wednesday at Henley but ultimately went out to the seeded Green Lake Crew from Seattle in the USA.

Green Lake came to the UK with a fearsome reputation after strong performances at HRR over the last decade. "GLC" (Green Lake Crew) are a brilliantly coached club of highly talented juniors pulled together from their region in the North West of America. They had arranged a series of warm up matches in the days leading up to the race on the Henley course against the likes of Shiplake College, Pangbourne School and Dulwich College and won comfortably each time (despite all of these crews making the final of first eights at this year's National Schools Regatta).

We knew that they had an incredibly fast start, so the crew's plan was to hold on to them as best as they could at the beginning of the race before piling on the pressure further down the course. Our eight has never been beaten off the start, but still GLC slipped out to a 3/4 of a length lead by the end of the island. Fine rowing and push after push down the course kept the deficit between half a length and 1 length, but try as TwRC might, our boys just could not quite get onto terms. The "Remenham Roar" gave our crew one last boost but GLC had just enough in the bank to absorb this last effort before slipping away in the final 500m of the race to a 2 length win.

Our First VIII, wearing special one-off Lycra courtesy of sponsors Catalyst and kit manufacturer Sport Hugga, were disappointed to have gone down to the talented Americans, but still enormously proud of their row and to be the first TwRC to make it through the qualifiers for a good few years. At least six out of the eight will be back next year to build on this year's efforts and to get TwRC into the later rounds where we belong. GLC went on to lose to the eventual winners Griffen by just 1 & 1/2 lengths, which gives a clear indication of the quality of the crew that we produced this year. With a better draw, who knows how far they could have gone in the event?

Thanks to everyone who came to support the crew. And extra special thanks to James Sirmon and Paul Davis for calmly and efficiently dealing with a last minute rigger failure that almost stopped the crew from making it to the start line.

The Thames Cup 2013 - full results. 

On the start