Road to Henley Qualifiers

In late may, four member’s of the Men’s 1st VIII climbed into a IV+, borrowed from UCLBC. After BUMPS was over, we got out for a few outings and realised we had a lot of work to do if we were going to have a chance of qualifying.

Peterborough Spring Regatta

After a few sessions in the boat, we decided to go and do some racing and training in Peterborough. Arriving on the Saturday, we set up the boat and our tents ready for a full day of racing. We’d entered both NOV.4+ and IM3.4+ (as none of us had any points), making it through to both finals. IM3 was up first, where we were narrowly beaten by a UCL crew and another club crew. Immediately following this final we got back on the water to race the NOV final, after a close fought battle with UEL, we lost by half a foot.

We took some solice from this performance, as we’d only done 3 sessions before racing a packed schedule. Whilst we were in Peterborough, we took the chance to get 3 solid sessions in (On Sunday) on some flat water with the sun shining down.

Norwich Training Camp

Escaping tideway was the aim, Norwich was the game. We took our boat, cox, rowers and coach up to Norwich for the weekend, with 3 days of flat water and hard rowing.

This was an invaluable experience, packed with laughs and great training. The facilities at the Whitlingham Boat House were excellent, and we made full use of them.

Marlow Regatta

Sometimes, things just don’t go your way. The rowing felt good, but the times were slow; overall it was a dissapointing day of racing and we weren’t as competitive as we’d hoped to be.

Henley Qualifiers

Race morning arrived and the boys met bright and early to drive up to Henley, acquired a McDonalds Breakfast en route. Having been out on the course in the preceeding week, we were feeling good, knowing the landmarks and our race plan.

The wind had whipped up as we sat on the start line, opting for a racing start, and we were thankful that we’d lightened our gearing. It has an exceptionally hard slog, but we got out of the blocks hard and fast with rates we hadn’t seen up until that point. Everything was going swimmingly well until we got to Fawley and wind was taking its toll.

It was a slow day for all the Prince Albert crews, with all on the non-qualifiers posting times over 8minutes . ICSM posted a time of 8minutes48, beating many of the crews that had beaten us at Marlow, including UCL, and beating the UEL crew that had beaten us at Peterborough.

We all learned a lot from the experience, and are hoping that it’s going to help us get a punchy start next season.

Special thanks should be given to a few people:

a) James Davey gave up a great deal of time and patience coaching the IV+. Without his tireless efforts, we wouldn’t have been in any sort of shape to compete with other crews, and his extensive range of technical terms created some light hearted amusement

b) UCLBC and Jamie Smith for lending us a very nice IV+ for June.

c) The Whiting Family and Norwich RC for hosting our mini training camp!

BIGBLADE HQR_16_06204_over_1200x800

Credit: Big Blade Photography

Crew:

Cox – Evie Taylor-Davies

S – Lewis Rogers

3 –  Aziz Younes

2 – Morgan Hughes

1 – Luke Whiting

Coach – James Davey.

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