An excellent week’s training saw the Boat Club racing at two separate regattas this weekend. The logistics are always a challenge, but should never be the limiting factor – ‘do whatever it takes’ is the mind-set, and this weekend, like so much of the boat club’s activity, was a case in point.
Friday night saw two trailers loaded, one to go off to Blenheim Palace Regatta in Oxford, and the other to go to Walton & Weybridge Regatta. Saturday morning saw the Walton trailer delivered at 4.30am, before heading off to Blenheim Palace for a 7.00am start – rowing and early mornings!
Twenty year 9 boys were racing at Blenheim Palace Regatta, which is set in the grounds of the World Heritage site of Blenheim Palace, and place of birth for none-other than Winston Churchill. The beautiful grounds are an impressive back drop to the regatta, and the lake is equally stunning. The regatta is designed for crews who have not won races before, and so is an excellent and appropriate standard, which is often hard to find in rowing!
The boys were great – unloading and rigging efficiently and with real understanding of what to do, before heading out to race in their respective semi-finals. All four quads had separate semi-finals against the likes of Radley College to name but one of the opposition. So it was impressive that three quads made it to the A final and then won the GOLD, SILVER and BRONZE medals on offer – an excellent display and a testament to the strength in depth of the squad. Well done to them!
Mean while, back at Walton Regatta, crews across the days were racing between 8am and 7pm, so it is a long old day. As ever the boat club had many highs and lows, filled with drama. The J14 quad racing early had a dead heat in their first round so went straight back to the start to race again, and won the re-row! They eventually lost though in the semi finals, but a great racing experience for them. Likewise later in the day the J15 quad also had a dead heat, albeit unfortunate after some dodgy steering from the cox. None the less they also had a re-row, this time against Kingston Grammar School and they also were able to win, to make the final, but were disappointed to lose there.
The J16 double with Max Smith and Matvei Morozov had plenty of drama when they had a major malfunction of the boat and had to be towed back to the landing stages – some urgent repairs where completed though quickly and they were able to get back to the start line to race the final and win by just 2 feet!
The J14 Octuple were on excellent form, racing some quality opposition throughout the day over the three rounds. They made the final where they beat Radley college to take the winning trophy – well done to them.
Sunday saw no let up as the senior quads and eights were out training - they will be back racing next week.
Well done to all the boys who raced or trained this weekend!
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