Race Report

Henley 1
19 October 2014

Well…….I am not surprised by much these days (Liverpool FC being able to defend, for example, would be a case) but we pulled out a mini blinder today.

With the stand-in Captain arriving late (sorry….again….) and a couple of no-shows, there was a distinct air of “what the hell are we doing…?” around. Thank you firstly to Batty for jumping on the drum in the moment of need and, secondly, to Steve Lawson for donning a pair of leggings and grabbing a paddle for the cause. And he was travelling in the right direction (for a change).

After sneaking up on the starter from behind (Rob….you devil) we got off to a solid start, chasing a strong Hurricanes team. The stroke rate was spot on (well done to the stroke unit) and we were moving smoothly through the water……..with everyone looking at us, thinking how gorgeous we were.

As we approached Temple Island, we could hear the drum of the chasing Henley crew. As they pulled alongside, we matched their speed……and their wheezing…..and went into the turn level. Unfortunately we were on the outside, so had to give way and didn’t quite manage to get back onto them after we pulled off the bend. They didn’t get away for the next couple of kilometres though, and it gave us something to aim at for the rest of the race.

As Rafters and Wraysbury passed us, it was easy to think that we were losing the plot…..but they are both strong teams (Rafters look like a bunch of gym monkeys with paddle accompaniments) and, as the results were posted, it transpires that we pulled out a phenomenal effort (also known as a rabbit) out of the hat finishing an amazing 6th place out of 11. Our time was 35: 41, which is pretty damn impressive for us. But I want more next time. 

I have to say: considering that we had five people who have never raced a Henley event, and we were a fairly lightweight crew anyway, we performed like absolute Trojans. It was a magnificent effort people, well done. You responded to the calls and gave your all. One cannot ask for more.

I was particularly impressed by the number of red faces on the crew…….either you all worked hard, or the people behind me were getting up to something naughty…..
 
 


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