In a discussion of the social scene at Henley, both during and after racing, one rowing pundit mentioned "if you're going to be eliminated at Henley, you want it to be on the first day."
But to lose by a deck in the first race on the first day of racing - ouch. That's what Quintin BC did today against the Leander Club.
Even tougher pill to swallow - the University of Virginia and Tulane University drew each other today in the Britannia, making a sort of Southeastern Regional rematch on foreign shores. Tulane led for a long while, but once Virginia drew even, they had the race under control. The Tulane crews raced at Reading and twice in Ireland in the past couple weeks, however, so i'm guessing they had a fine trip.
I don't believe I've ever seen so many US vs. US races on a Wednesday at Henley. This could be due in part to the large number of US crews attending, with many participating in the 32-crew events that race today. In addition to the Tulane-UVa race above, other colonies vs colonies draws: Noble & Greenough vs. Phillips Andover in the PE; Choate Rosemary vs. Holy Spirit, also in the PE; and come Friday, Rutgers vs. Dartmouth heavy men in the Ladies Plate. This will be the fourth regatta in which these two crews raced each other in 2003.
In racing today on the US front, here's the official commentary from the official for each event:
Cincinnati Country Day beat Cheltenham College in the PE: "Some very erratic steering at the start - could have ruined Cincinnati's chances - they nearly hit the pole at the top of the island. Thereafter they established clear superiority over a notably indifferent Cheltenham crew."
Mortlake Anglian and Alpha over Bowdoin in the Britannia: "MAA took the lead from the start and although Bowdoin were competent looking crew and never gave up, Montlake was able to move steadily away to win comfortably."
UVA beat Imperial in the Temple: "University of Virginia were never troubled and steadily increased their lead over Imperial to win comfortably."
Princeton lightweights beat Exeter in the Temple: "Princeton led from a ragged Exeter crew was from the start. Both crews steered erratically in the middle of the race; Princeton were warned once. In the latter part of the race Princeton dropped the rating to allow Exeter to pull back."
UVa over Tulane in the Britannia: "An excellent race between well-matched crews. Tulane led from the start but Virginia maintained steady pressure on them and had the flexibility to raise their rate and go through at the 1 1/8 mile."
Cincinnati Jr RC over Reading in the Thames: "Cincinnati had a fast start and a lead of one length at the Barrier." They maintained their higher rating and steadily extended their lead. Reading kept up the pressure but lost a good race to the stronger crew."
Harvard lights over U. of Leicester in the Temple: "Harvard rowed cleanly away from Leicester from the start and held a constant lead throughout. Both crews steered poorly."
Bowdoin over Isis B in the Britannia: "A tough enough race, Isis took an early lead which Bowdoin clawed back at Fawley. Despite some erratic bladework the Americans contained the Oxford challenge, holding 3/4 length from the Mile to the finish."