On a wonderfully sunny day at Eton's Dorney Lake (home to the 2012 Olympic Regatta), 3 third form octuples took to the water against 57 other crews from around the country. Our training had been limited by illness, injuries and commitments to various other sports; however, the boys raced with real determination and finished with some results that suggest we have yet to see the best from this group of new oarsmen.
Racing was over 2 legs, one against a brisk headwind, the second (thankfully) with a helpful tailwind.
The A crew boated with confidence, and rightly so. On the first leg they were second fastest (only 10 seconds slower than eventual winners King's Chester and 13 seconds ahead of the next crew). Unfortunately, after only 400m or so of the second leg, a major "crab" brought the boat to a dead stop for what seemed like an age, and meant that our bow man could no longer row, leaving 7 boys to heroically finish the remaining 1400m without their eighth man. They will be disappointed with their eventual 7th place, but they will come back stronger next term.
The B crew's training was the most disrupted, with only one outing together as a crew before we de-rigged the boats and put them on the trailer. They raced very well, overtaking 3 other crews in the process. They came 7th out of 19 B crews, and beat 12 A crews. A fantastic effort.
The C crew turned in the performance of the day. They were the fastest C crew on the first leg, beating a whole host of A and B crews. On the second leg, all was going well until they broke a blade 100m from the finish line. By Mr Peach's estimate they were stationary for over 30 seconds. In the final results they still beat 7 A crews and 6 B crews, which shows the potential of the boys in this crew - a number I am sure will feature in higher crews over their time at Shrewsbury.