Henley Royal 2013

Trip Timeline

July 8, 2013: The team heads for home for a well deserved break. The experience, unlike any other in the world, will stick with the team forever and serve as sincere motivation for those returning in the Fall. See you again here in 2015. Cheers!

July 7, 2013: UVa alumni Kelsie Chaudoin ’08 and Sarah Cowburn ’13, and current UVa rower Fiona Schlesinger ’14 all competed in Henley Finals today. Kelsie represented California Rowing Club in the Princess Grace Challenge 4X, losing by a length to Leander/Minerva Bath. Sarah and Fiona represented Leander/Oxford Brookes and Tees/Agecroft respectively, better known as Great Britain’s Senior Women’s 8+ and Women’s U23 8+. The senior 8+ and U23 8+ squared off against each other in the Remenham Challenge Cup with, as might be expected, the senior 8+ taking home the trophy. Alan Kush ’11 was eliminated yesterday in the semifinals by today’s cup winner Leander Club. Go Hoos!

July 6, 2013: After the gutsiest race of the season, and for many, of their careers, the V8+ was eliminated yesterday by Harvard’s Frosh/2V 8+. Harvard’s early lead was held throughout the race, though Virginia, stroking 39+ strokes per minute all the way down the course, gave them a fight for it every stroke. The team was complimented by outsiders saying that they hadn’t seen any other crew show as much love for one another on the dock as the Virginia 8+ did, arriving to teammates and family waiting for them at the boat tent. The team now does its best to enjoy the regatta scene and live the Henley experience.

July 5, 2013: UVa alumnus Alan Kush ’11 won his second race this morning with California Rowing Club as 3-seat in the 4x racing in the Prince of Wales Challenge Cup. The 8+ races this afternoon at 3:00 PM against Harvard University. This will be the first race for any Virginia crew this year from the Bucks station (lane #2). The crew will meet for a team lunch, and then rest easy for a couple hours before launching for what will surely be the toughest race yet.

Our friends from row2k have been providing great coverage of the regatta, especially of our crews. There are several articles and several dozen photos that can be found here. Check the galleries for all of our race pictures, and even a surprise appearance by one of our slowest boats.

July 4, 2013: Yesterday was a day of ups and downs as the 8+ won with a great row, but both 4+’s fell short. The 8+ was well up on the University of Warwick, cruising across the line with the verdict “Easily.” Stroke man Jonathan Furlong felt the good rhythm early and said he kept the pace up throughout the race for the experience of a solid piece, in preparation for closer competition later in the week.

The docks at sunset

The first 4+ had a practice piece to the Barrier the day before that was a second off the all-time record, but were unfortunately not as clean as they might have been coming off the line. They regained their rhythm, pulled out about 3/4 of a length and led the race to the Fawley, half way, but could not shake Trinity College of Dublin. Coming through the 1 mile post, a UVa digger and a change in the current gave Trinity an opportunity to move through and they took it. They pulled up in front by the 1 1/8 mile mark and had enough to hold off the sprinting UVa boat (temporarily named the “Sic Semper Tyrannis”). It was tough result to handle as it was the last race as UVa oarsmen for 4 of the 5 in the crew.

The second 4+ met Imperial College of London’s second 4+, a boat that was less than a second faster than our boat in the qualifying time trials. Based on that result, one might expect a brutal race, and it was certainly delivered. In typical British fashion, Imperial charged off the line, edging out a 3/4 length lead by the 1/4 mile post. UVa had expected this and, though Imperial continued a hard push through the Barrier, not an inch was given by either crew and the 3/4 length lead was held through the 3/4 mile post. Coming through Fawley, UVa took a strong and effective push to bring it bow to bow coming through the 1 mile post. But the Imperial boat had just enough left in the tank and responded to edge their bow out again and both crews rowed the remainder of the race desperate for the finish line. The regatta umpires and Imperial coaches were thoroughly impressed and commended UVa’s performance; they deemed it “a real cracker of a race.” The UVa 4+ was obviously disappointed in the result but remained proud of their performance.

The second 4+ at the start from the umpire’s chase boat

Today, the 8+ went off the line at 9:00 AM as the first race of the day against Eton College. The result was another “Easily” verdict with a bit more stride to the final half of the race than yesterday. The boys were all smiles on the dock and graciously shook hands with the Eton crew. Tomorrow’s race will be a major test as the 8+ will face Harvard University’s Freshmen 8+ in the third round.

This evening we will celebrate the 4th of July with a cookout provided by the parents (who also fed the team last night – thanks again!).

July 3rd: Henley Begins
2012-2013 team president Elliott Oakley concludes the pre-race portion of the trip and prepares for the commencement of the regatta today.

July 3, 2013: Racing begins today with the 1st 4+ at 11:20 AM, the 8+ at 4:05 PM, and the 2nd 4+ at 6:50 PM. Check here for the full schedule as it is updated daily, here for all live results, and here for the live updates from the Virginia Rowing twitter.

July 2, 2013: Today is the final day of practice before racing begins. The 8+ will line up against Northeastern University’s 2nd 8+ today after positive results against UW yesterday. The 4+’s will finally get their match up with Union Boat Club this morning in a brief test of speed. Parents began arriving yesterday and we will have a group pig roast with all of them tonight at a local pub.

July 1, 2013: Last night’s dinner at OUBC was a tremendous testament to the building reputation of Virginia Rowing. We were one of three collegiate programs invited, alongside Harvard University and the University of Washington. We spent the evening talking to Oxford Blues (some of whom were in a certain University of London boat that was on the losing side of a matchup with UVA in the 2011 Temple Challenge) learning about their system and what it takes to perform at their level. Today, the 8+ will punch above its weight and scrimmage the University of Washington’s 2nd 8+. Tonight we will attend the Overseas Competitor Reception at the River and Rowing Museum.

June 30, 2013: The team has a relaxed morning off after attending The Draw and having a large team dinner last night, courtesy of the cooks in the 1st 4+. All boats are happy with the results of the draw, which can be found in full here. In the first round Wednesday, the 8+ will face University of Warwick, the 1st 4+ will face Trinity College of Dublin, and the 2nd 4+ will face Imperial College of London’s B entry. After practice this afternoon, a group will make the trek to Oxford University Boat Club for a dinner reception to which we were invited.

June 29th: Qualifying Race
3-seat of the 2nd 4+, Gage Wells, recaps training in Henley and their successful performance in the qualifying race.

June 29, 2013: The 2nd 4+ made it through the qualifier in strong fashion, passing a boat and leading them by open water through the finish. We will attend The Draw this evening at town hall. There we will be matched with our first opponents and be set for Wednesday’s racing. With all three boats ready to race, we have set up several scrimmages with other crews in different events. The 8+ pieced Scotch College, current Australian junior national champions, yesterday morning and will have a battle paddle with them again today as the crews were very well matched. The 4+’s will face the Union Boat Club (USA) coxed and straight 4’s.

June 28, 2013: Training continues today for the 8+ and 1st 4+ as normal, while the 2nd 4+ rests up for their qualifying time trial around 6:45 PM. The crew of stroke Forrest Brown, Gage Wells, Ian Feeney, bow Edwin Nieves, and cox Lindsay Sackellares must finish in the top 8 of 28 crews in order to move on to racing on Wednesday. After the time trials race, the team will gather at Leander Club for a barbeque.

June 27, 2013: Yesterday afternoon, the team arrived in London and split up into groups that all explored different areas of the city. We were warmly welcomed at the LRC for dinner and received great advice about the mental and physical approach to racing at Henley Royal in a speech from the team president. We take those thoughts with us to the water this morning and again after dinner for an evening row, as we prepare our 2nd 4+ for the qualification time trials tomorrow afternoon.

June 26, 2013: One early session running up and down the race course to familiarize with the landmarks and then on to London for an afternoon of sightseeing and dinner as the guests of honor at the London Rowing Club (thanks to LRC member, Charlottesville resident, and VRA supporter Jack Cann for this invitation).

June 25, 2013: Early to rise this morning as the team jumps right back in to 2-a-day training today. The rowers are anxious to get back to training after a travel day off yesterday, and now fully amid the Henley atmosphere.

June 24th: Racing in Switzerland and on to Henley
2013 graduate Ed Crocker’s account of the racing in Switzerland and our arrival in the UK.

June 24, 2013: A long day of racing yesterday included one complete swamping (and a trip back to the dock in a safety launch), two near swampings, multiple race delays, cancelled 1x’s racing, trading of gear with Swiss rowers, and another win in the 8+. Today, we head back to Ruderclub Erlenbach to rerig all the borrowed boats and then leave for the airport to head to England.

June 23, 2013: Racing continues at Greifensee today. Yesterday’s performance in small boats left something to be desired for today’s racing. The 1st 8+’s performance will be tested again against Seeclub Zurich and the 2nd 8+ will be looking for redemption after a break in the steering cable yesterday brought the boat to a stop mid-race. After racing, the team will head back to Ruderclub Erlenbach, Frank’s home club, for post-race festivities.

June 22, 2013: Greifensee racing starts this morning with small boats and the 8+’s racing at 7:30 PM

Race results from Saturday:

Senior 2x
Lee-Kramer, Malm 4th
Staples, Wells 4th

U15 1x
Davis 2nd

Senior 2-
Brown, B. Hammond 4th
Nieves, Kush 4th

Senior 1x
Stuard 5th
Courtney 7th
Furlong 4th

Senior 4-
Cox, Thomas, Feeney, Saitta 2nd

Senior 4x
Udler, Watson, Crocker, T. Hammond 6th

Senior 8+
B. Hammond, Thomas, Cox, Lee-Kramer, Watson, Stuard, Saitta, Furlong, Zillioux 1st
Crocker, Kush, Staples, Brown, Wells, Feeney, Courtney, Malm, Garrity 6th

June 22nd: Welcome to Switzerland
8+ coxswain Sarah Zillioux details the arrival and first few days in Switzerland

June 21, 2013: After an early night to bed, the team leaves for a 7:30 AM row in small boats, lunch, and a second afternoon practice.

June 20, 2013: The team arrives in Switzerland and heads to Lake Zurich to derig and trailer boats over to Greifensee for the first row in Switzerland in Virginia Rowing history.

June 19th: Training for Henley
Stroke seat of the 8+ Jonathan Furlong recaps the past few weeks of training and compares this year’s boat to that of 2011.