Race Report

Henley 2
08 November 2015

As 12 Dragon Boats descended upon Henley, we had ourselves uncharacteristically organised with our boat on the water, and ready to go very early on. I’m sure the promise of Coffee and Bacon once we were ready was the main incentive behind this unusual behaviour.

Once we had consumed more than our fair share of pre-race refreshments, it was time to show everyone what we could do.

We made our way to the green to carry out our now routine warm up, with the boat loaded it was time to make our way up to the start line. As 12 boats joined together alongside each other the number of people taking part was great to see. We, with all the other boats, observed the 2 minutes silence and paid our respects. Then it was time to race, with one aim in mind – Improve on last race.

On the way down to Temple Island we maintained a constant speed with frequent calls to ensure everyone was putting our recent training into practice. There was a feeling in the boat of everyone working together and responding.

As we built out of the first turn there was a group of 5 boats battling with each other for us to chase down, and we did. We again maintained our speed catching UKTV and Berkshire Vision, blasting passed them with a strategic build.

In our sights next Bear Force 1, however we had increased pressure from Rafters (who were very close to a course record) and once they had passed we had a very small window of opportunity to get our noses in front of bear force 1 to get the inside line for the turn. Unfortunately our boat hit a lull in hunting them down even before Rafters had passed. This we will improve on!

After we had missed that window our boat sat still facing the finish line out of the turn, Bear Force 1 pulling away towards the line. To say that it was time to dig deep is perhaps an understatement, we needed to pass a boat we had been having trouble passing and they had the advantage. We automatically deployed our race start, matching their speed, we were slowly reeling them in. Then came the call to go up, around 100m out, and up we went with our boat matching its quickest race speed of the day – we got passed them and kept pulling ahead over the line.

Our time 35.17, our position 4th. A great result, and much to be proud of.



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