HRR Update Thirteen

HRR Update Thirteen, from 51.5358° N, 0.9029° W

Rising fourth year Garret Overholser has brought you this post. He sits seven-seat in the eight and is recognizable by being the only guy on the entire squad using light blue foam grips on his oar handle.As Sebastian noted in his earlier post, our Henley Campaign has come to an end. As such, the past 24 hours have been a good opportunity for all of us, in both the 8 and the 4, to look back, appreciate and reminisce on the incredible experiences we’ve all shared.

Now that racing has finished up, everyone has been soaking up the regatta and enjoying the chance to watch some races.

Although the end result was not exactly what we wanted, we’re extremely grateful for the opportunity we were given to give it our all in all our races and practices here in Europe. There is no group of gals and guys I would rather have experienced these past three incredible weeks with.

As often occurs with these kinds of once-in-a-lifetime trips, there is a huge amount of social debt owed to a huge number of people that none of us will ever be able to fully pay back. Nonetheless, an acknowledgment is necessary of the incredible generosity of a number of people. In particular, huge thanks are owed to Jürg Biller (Frank’s father) for underwriting the Swiss portion of our trip and for his never-ending support of our program. In addition, many thanks go to Robin Dowell, head coach of the Swiss National Team, and the entire Swiss Rowing Federation for their generosity in sharing their beautiful training center in Sarnen with us. We wish them the best of luck at the upcoming World Cup in Lucerne and hope to see many Swiss rowers on the podium in Sarasota this fall. Thanks go as well to our Team Manager Michael Cotumaccio for his help in organizing us, but in particular for doing the difficult work in keeping us focused on the task at hand at practice and on race-day–even if it often meant keeping our parents at bay to avoid distraction!

Toasting the good times with great people and Pimm’s, Henley’s classic drink.

And of course thanks must go to our fearless leader, Frank Biller for organizing this trip and for his expertise in preparing us for it. At every practice I’ve been struck by just how lucky we are, as a group of club rowers, to have been given this incredible opportunity–and I look forward to hitting it hard in the fall in hopes of building our team towards an even better performance in two years time, although I will not be here to enjoy it.

If you’d like to see more of our adventure, you can also follow our travels on twitter (@VirginiaRowing) and instagram (@vmensrowing).