Henley 2015

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Day 16, July 3: After Black Thursday, no VRA boats remain in competition. The 8+, 4+, and 4X all went out yesterday, and now we will try to enjoy the racing. Best of luck to our friends at Hobart against Columbia this afternoon.

Day 15, July 2: Day two of racing today as the 8+ takes on our friends from Hobart College at 2:05 PM (9:05 AM ET) and the 4+ race Exeter University at 3:15 PM (10:15 AM ET). Our Old Man Group (OMG) 4X of alumnus Scott Stuard ’13, current grad student Andrew Neils, board member Sean Gorman, and Potomac Boat Club member and former national teamer Sam Stitt will race at 12:10 PM (7:10 AM ET).

Day 14, July 1: Race day is finally here! The 8+ races at 18:20 local time (13:20 ET) against St. Hild & St. Bede College, Durham and St. Cuthbert’s Society, Durham. The regatta is streaming live with some amazing coverage and can be found here. Also, the third installment of Forrest Brown’s RowingRelated series can be found here.

Day 13, June 30: The 8+ will have a “brushing” again today, this time with Leander Club’s Thames 8+. The 4+ will piece alone, as their training is slightly altered with their first race not scheduled until Thursday. The OMG (Old Man Group) 4X, comprized of Scott Stuard ’13, current grad student Andrew Neils, and husband of UVa women’s assistant coach Brett, Sean Gorman arrived yesterday. A second session in the afternoon will be in order to relax before racing begins tomorrow.

Day 12, June 29: First thing on the schedule this morning is our move to Henley. We have 4 different houses each hosting a boat and/or spares and coaches. After moving, the 8+ will scrimmage with Australian crew Mercantile, entered in the Thames Cup, and bowed by two-time UVa graduate and, 2011 and 2013 Henley 8+ stroke seat Jonathan Furlong ’12, ’13, currently in veterinary school in Melbourne. The 4+ will race with Cornell lightweights Prince Albert entry. We will row again this afternoon, after getting settled into our new homes and spending some time with families as they begin to arrive.

Day 11, June 28: It will be a lazy morning today as we are taking it as a recovery day. The 8+ will have a paddle in the afternoon while the 4+ rests up from some hangover travel illnesses. Tonight, our Nettlebed hosts will be running us through the gauntlet of the Nettlebed Olympics, including darts, golf, badminton, egg and spoon races, and pellet gun target shooting. Visting this evening will be former UVa and British National Team rower Sarah Cowburn ’13.

Day 10, June 27: We are unfortunately one boat down after yesterday’s time trials. The B 4+ missed qualification in a challenging headwind. We expected their time to easily qualify given the slow conditions, but the level of competition was more than expected with almost all of the 12 qualifying boats within 20 seconds of the all time fastest course record for the event. Similar results were seen in the Temple (8+) trial with all those qualifying within 15 seconds. A fast year indeed! Today we will have one longer hard session before lunch, then return to Town Hall for The Draw, the selection of all crews to populate the racing bracket.

Day 9, June 26: Today is the all important qualifying time trial for the second 4+. Everyone will practice this morning and again in the early afternoon before races start. The second 4+’s race will start just after 19:00 and results will be posted about one hour later, 15:00 ET. Due to the competitiveness of the event and the high number of entries, the bracket for the Prince Albert Challenge Cup has been expanded this year to include 8 more crews than usual. With that, the second 4+ must place in the top 12 of the qualifying trial to earn a place in the bracket to race Wednesday.

Day 8, June 25: London was fun for all yesterday afternoon. Different groups split off to explore Hyde Park, have afternoon tea, and search the big city shopping. Many thanks again to London Rowing Club for hosting a lovey dinner on the bank of the Thames. Today is back to the training ground, with the B 4+ in their final preparations before the qualification time trial tomorrow. Forrest Brown’s second installment of the travelogue can be found here.

Day 7, June 24: Our oars arrived at our Nettlebed home last night and we are ready to be at full speed tomorrow morning. We will have a long morning session with the afternoon off, as we will head to London for a tourist afternoon and dinner at London Rowing Club, a biannual tradition thanks to Charlottesville local and longtime VRA supporter Jack Cann. Professor Cann learned to row at LRC while pursuing his PhD in England, and connects the two clubs for a mutual celebratory dinner in anticipation of the Regatta.

Day 6, June 23: A mixup at Heathrow has left us sans oars, but we have otherwise arrived safely in England. We are staying in Nettlebed for the week with a couple, Charlotte and Jay, who have been in the hospitality industry for decades. They have set up wonderful accommodations in their home for all 24 members of our group, and are cooking meals for us daily. We will drive into Henley today to train on the Thames for the first time, using borrowed oars, and keeping our fingers crossed that our oars show up in London.

Day 5, June 22: The early morning practice appeared to have the desired effect and both crews raced much better than they did Saturday. The finish order was the same, this time with Seeclub Zurich taking second and our 1V and 2V in first and third respectively. The 1V posted their best time of the season in the choppy, tailwind conditions, showing promise as we head to the last two weeks of the year. We leave this morning for London, make our way to our home for the next week of training camp in Nettlebed (just outside Henley-On-Thames), and settle into the incredible atmosphere of Henley.

Day 4, June 21: Yesterday’s racing saw the 1V take home the miniature golden oar for a first place finish, with the 2V finishing behind Seeclub Zug in third. Both boats rowed a bit below potential with some signs of jet lag still lingering, so to shake off some cobwebs, we will practice this morning at 06:00 before racing begins. Today’s race will be at 16:15 and we will test our speed against Zeeclub Zurich, favorites to win the Swiss national championships in two weeks.

Day 3, June 20: Beautiful weather yesterday led to two great training sessions on Lake Greifensee. The two 4+’s competing at Henley in the Prince Albert Challenge Cup are rowing together here in a second 8+. Both 8+’s will compete this evening at around 7:30 PM local time (1:30 PM ET). Live video streaming of the race can be found here. Tomorrow’s race will be closer to 4:00 PM (10:00 AM ET). The team went for a brief walk and ice cream after dinner last night and will pick up on a full guided walking tour of the old town of Zurich this morning before leaving for the race this afternoon.

Day 2, June 19: Yesterday’s training session was cut short to about 15 minutes after the flight delay and rainy weather, but all boats were rigged and ready to go for today. With better weather on the forecast today, we will be headed back to Greifensee to get in two training sessions.

Day 1, June 18: After a 2.5 hour delay leaving Dulles, today we will be arriving in Switzerland, loading into vans, and heading to Ruderclub Thalwil to row one of the borrowed 8+’s across Lake Zurich to Ruderclub Erlenbach. There, the first 8+ and a second borrowed 8+ will be loaded on the trailer to head to Lake Greifensee for the first European row out. Then onto the youth hostel in Zurich for dinner and sleep.

Day 0, June 17: Leaving from Dulles this evening for our adventure! Click here to read graduated fourth-year Forrest Brown’s pre-travel blog entry for our friends at Rowing Related. He will be updating them on our travel as the trip goes and we will post all the links here. Can’t get enough of our trip? You can also follow us for even more frequent updates on our Twitter account @VirginiaRowing. Go Hoos!