W1 Success at Henley 4s and 8s

Crew:

Cox — Jack Yates

Stoke — Katie Donahue

7 — Harriet Thomas

6 — Philippa Thornton

5 — Kate Furber

4 — Kaja Fenn

3 — Alison Carrington

2 — Ellie Van Vogt

Bow — Susie Webster

Pre-race: Some nerves, some zen, but in all a lot of excitement for Alison and Susie for their first race with W1! We gathered together for a pre-race chat, and Ellie gave us a helpful map of what were going to do.

Warm-up: We launched and rowed up to the starting line, taking power 20s to warm up and get up to rate. These felt pretty good and gave us some confidence for the race, especially as it was Susie and Alison’s first race! We arrived early to the waiting area, per usual. The wind was blowing us into the shore and we became intimate friends with certain willow trees. It was a bit hectic as we kept having to back down (Harriet probably did more backing than rowing yesterday).

Race: We were bow number 220 and 219 never showed up, so there was a large gap between 218 and us. We started off strong and built to about a 36 easily, took 20 strokes or so and then settled down to race pace. Jack had told us about race markers in the beginning, so we knew it was about 1/3 to the island and 2/3 to Upper Thames. The boat was pretty strong, but it was just difficult because we didn’t have anyone to push off of, especially during a long stretch in the middle.

However, we kept pushing and Jack’s calls were very on it; whenever our rate crept down he called fast hands away or pressure at the front end. Also, there was a steady headwind, but we kept moving through it. After getting some cheers from Upper Thames and from some parents near the finish line, we were feeling tired but good. We knew we were nearing the end, and Jack called the last 10 strokes and we got everything together and crossed the line with confidence. We looked back and saw that we had gained considerably on Reading, who were bow number 218.

Post race: Celebrations were in excess as there were two VEGAN cakes for the birthday girl. Much chocolate milk was also present. The post-race Spoons was well-deserved for a successful race day. Watch out Torpids — here we come. FTD

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