Reading University 8’s Head – men’s squad were out in force with 4 crews competing against the high quality field.
The senior squad posted their best result since 2009 and it was a valuable opportunity for less experienced crews to gain race experience and for the coaches to tinker with combinations.
1st division saw our IM1 and IM3 crews take to the water in a 119 strong field. Although a group of cheering girls did wonders for the rate in the last few minutes the IM1 boat trudged out of the water unsure about the result. Nevertheless they came a credible 15th and 5th of the 18 in the IM1 category. The crew was made up of an international stern of Spanish, Canadian, French, Guernsey, all overseen from the bows by our exiled leader “the Chairman” who is currently rumoured to be on his way to Venezuela, “as there may be an opening,” as he put it.
The IM3 crew was made up mainly of those who have graduated from the learn to race course in previous seasons, and a few finding their feet after a couple of years out. They put in a solid performance at 48th in the division and 13th out of the 27th in the IM3 category, with the crew hoping to move on and achieve a solid result at HoRR.
The second division had 83 crews, with our IM2 and a Novice boats competing. The IM2 boat came in 34th overall and 19th in a strong 21 boat field. Again, it was a mixture of new recruits, graduates from the club’s successful learn to race course, and a few brave souls who doubled up, including our honourable Vice Captain or “Captain of Vice,” Saxon.
The Novice crew came in 69th and 20th out of 23 in their category. For many in the Novice crew it was their 2nd race after joining from the learn to row course in September, with this race being a stepping stone for race experience before competing at HoRR. The crew was coxed by Sally Lawrence or ‘the heart of the club’ as she was described when she received her 2011 volunteering award from British Rowing. Sally successfully navigated the course without any hiccups. [Ed – the following section was removed as it was felt that the public announcement of the author’s affections for a married woman were inappropriate – reference Exodus 20:1–17, The Bible ]
Written by Lloyd Moore, Lea Senior Men’s 1st 8