Eights Head Reports

Last weekend saw a flurry of activity from the club with club trucks and trailers criss crossing London. After the cancellations of both Hammersmith Head and Reading Head everyone was champing at the bit to get out on the water.

We had 5 eights racing on Saturday in the Women’s Head of the River, then on Sunday, a further 4 eights raced in the men’s Head of the River. On top of that, we had 2 junior girls eights racing in the Schools Head on Monday and a junior boys group competing in The Scullery event organised by Oarsport on Tuesday. Just to complete the picture we have 7 crews racing in the Veterans Head on the 24th March. A total of 19 crews – not a bad effort!

On Saturday the women first eight had a solid row to finish 41st. The juniors came in 51st which is a very good effort considering not only how young the crew is, they have a couple more seasons at junior level, but also a start position of 244 means less stream. A good effort from both crews. Lea B finished 123, Lea C 156 and the novices, Lea D 269.

On Sunday the four men’s crews raced and achieved finishes of 35th, 89th, 178 and 188. The first eight achieved the best result since 2008 (33rd) and the second eight the best since 1995 when the second eight came in 58th. This was also the first time we had four eights finishing in the top 200 since 1991, so a good effort especially considering the heavily disrupted run up and our river closure.

On Monday the junior girls raced again. The first eight raced in Championship finishing 5th in their category but closing the gap on other crews in comparison to their race on Saturday. The J15 crew finished a creditable 12th of 25.

And lastly, the junior boys travelled to Dorney Lake on Tuesday to take part in the Scullery event organised by Oarsport. The J18 quad unfortunately had to scratch due to injury and exams so the squad was represented by the J16 quad who finished 23rd of 35 starters and the J14 coxed quad who finished 16th of 48 starters. Well done boys!

All in all a frantic weekend of activity following on from a few weeks of frustration at cancelled races and a closed river. The squads now depart for their various training camps after which hopefully we will see a slightly less erratic regatta season!

Richard Ellis

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