Three crews in this year’s Henley Vets, two doubles and one quad. All were men’s crews as the women were, unfortunately, unable to pull together a crew that would have any training time before the event.
The event was held over the Friday and Saturday, in glorious weather. It takes place over the main Henley Regatta course, starting at Temple Island and finishing just past Upper Thames RC clubhouse, around 1k in all.
Friday 9th July
First out were Tim and Pierre-Yves, rowing as a Masters B 2x-. The revised draw (ignore the one on the HVR website!) put them up against a Warwick boat in the first round. Despite a great effort, they finished a length and a half down, lack of water time together in the double definitely not helping.
Next on the water were Steve and I, at Masters D. We were drawn against a Tideway Scullers crew, who had beaten us fairly easily at the National Masters and this was a repeat performance. Although we put everything in, we trailed in five lengths down, despite a blindingly fast start and hanging on to them for the first 250 or so. It wasn’t a bad row from Steve and I, just not in the same league! Still, the TSS boat did set the fastest time on Friday and made it through to the final (where, scarily, they were hammered by the Poplar, Blackwell and District pair who’d won the National Masters – in a class of their own).
Saturday 10th July
We were venturing into the unknown in the quad here as we had drawn the University of Oporto, Portugal! Off the start we were pretty even but they pulled out gradually to a couple of lengths lead; a really big push from us around halfway pulled it back to just over a length but Oporto covered this and then pulled away again, to finish a length and a half clear. Again, we all felt this was a good, clean, sharp row, just need to find a bit more speed from somewhere.
A bit disappointing to have all three boats go out in the first round, but encouraging that we were on the pace in the quad. Wonderful to row on the regatta course at Henley, especially for someone like me who is never going to row at the “main” event.
Nice to see the marshalling here can be confused – Steve and I were told to get a move on by one marshal as we were late, only to get to the start line and be told we were early and did we want to race before the official start time!
Such a lovely couple of days as well, watching some very good, close racing in blazing sunshine. Pity the two crews who dead-heated and had to go back and do it all again though. Very much an international event – as well as our Portuguese rivals, there were crews from the US, Germany, Switzerland and Australia (!) and probably others (as well as our own Frenchman!).
Official results are on the Henley Veterans Web Site
The above is a GPS trace of our row in the Quad, courtesy of Pierre-Yves – impressive push at the end!