This report comes at tea time, with four races to go; i'll update again after racing.
Today we had: Princeton vs. Princeton in the Temple (frosh heavies vs. varsity lights, the frosh took it)
Australia vs. Australia in the Princess Royal
Canada vs. Canada in the Stewards (lights vs. heavies, the heavies took it, but just barely)
JR and Volp gave it an outstanding run in the Goblets today against Pinset and Cracknell.
The Leander pair pushed away from the start; the margins over the PA were first a quarter length, then a third, then three-quarters, one length, and so on out to a length and a quarter. The audience didn’t hear much more until it was closed water, then a half length; by the time the crews reached the Enclosures, it was 2/3, then 1/2 length.
“We probably let them get a little too far ahead,” Volpenhein said. Without taking a big look, JR said the sound from the crowd let them know they were in it.
“The crowd helped us along a bit, because we knew we must not have been too far off,” he said. “By then I wasn’t really sure about anything, as we had given a lot early and things like peripheral vision and involuntary muscle control were going. I was just trying to make sure we didn’t flip. We started going up, and it started feeling pretty good, but we ran out of room.”
Pinsent and Cracknell were doing anything but cruising at that point; have a look at the photos of the race in our gallery for the evidence.
With JR in the bow spotting his opposing bowman Cracknell 2 stone and the opposing stroke 3 stone 8, the US pair has shown some exceptional speed. At present, the crew is not the selected pair for the US; Volp and JR aren’t lobbying one way or the other, as both have said that they’ll do whatever is best for the team.
An injury to the stroke of the Australian quad has put the Australian single sculler Donna Martin in an interesting spot. She subbed into the quad for both yesterday’s semi and today’s final (they lost to the Ukraine by a length), and then has her final in the Princess Royal women’s single today at 5:20, against her own teammate CJ Oliver. Martin has looked like the class of that event, but four races in two days will take it out of anyone.
The Grand Challenge turned into one of the most anticlimactic races of the day when the Canadians had a length by the Barrier and never turned back, dominating the race over the entire distance. The Canadian 8 is the final selected eight, while the US eight is still a work in progress. The Remenham Challenge (the women’s eights) was a similar case; the Canadians dominated the final, which didn’t seem to be forecasted by the previous racing. I believe both of these eights are selected for Worlds.
The crews in the Queen Mother men’s quad had blades overlapping for the final 35 strokes or so, finally clashing outright just after the bows had gone over the finish line.
Malvern Prep had a great run in the Fawley, and had all the local (and even some US) journalists asking row2k who the heck they were; that’s always a good sign for a US crew. They lost in the final, but definitely made an impression.
The UW and Rutgers crews were having simultaneous boat meetings a couple bays apart before their final today. The Washington crew ended their meeting with a sharp cheer of “Huskies!” – less than five second later, the Rutgers crew ended theirs with a sharp cheer of “Knights!” Both crews laid hands on and headed for the docks.