Twelve strokes into their race in the double, about halfway up the Island, Luke McGee heard a crack at his oarhandle. He thought at first that there wasn't a problem, but on the next stroke, placed the blades in the water, pushed at the boards, and ripped the adjustable handle off his oar. The opposing crew rowed over the course unopposed, while Luke and Erik limped over well behind as Luke rowed the boat with a handle-less oar. Back on land, the winning double came up to them in the boat bays, and a rerow was discussed; one of the scullers wanted to do a rerow, but his partner did not, so ultimately no rerow was offered. Henley rules offer no remedy to broken equipment (as witnessed last year when the Harvard frosh bowman broke his oar and jumped in the water.
Malvern had mixed results today; their B crew, which valiantly rowed into the regatta through last week's qualifiers, then won yesterday, lost to a Tideway Sculler's crew, but the A crew very comfortably took their quarterfinal against Marlow and Maidenhead by over 4 lengths.
Under deadline pressure, I failed to report yesterday that the Leander 4- - the selected GB 4- that won Munich - was given an official warning by the regatta for launching for practice during a time when the course was closed save for crews racing or headed to the start. A second warning or false start results in disqualification. Mike Sweeney gave them the warning, noting that "rules are rules."
After a come-from-behind victory over Stanford, the Tara lightweight coxswain was pretty happy; he stuck his arms in the water, tossed handfuls skyward, then stood in his seat and bellowed "Yeah, yeah, I'm the fucking man! I'm the fucking man!"
After a few days that featured few tight races, the race above was followed immediately by the Cal-Trinity matchup in the Temple, which came down to a Trinity victory by two feet. Trinity worked for this one, particularly in the three seat; the three-man was all but spent with 20 strokes to go, but fought his way to the finish line and collapsed. The umpire and lifesaving crew rushed in, but the kid wanted to row back to the dock with his mates; they ferried him straight to the dock. Within 10 minutes or so, the oarsman was doing fine. Hopefully he can rally for tomorrow's matchup.
Before the race, Trinity coach Larry Gluckman noted that the times of the two crews had been closely matched all week: "On paper, this should be a good race." It played out as such on the water.
Gluckman was wearing a special talisman today: his Henley competitors badge from 1985. In 1985, as coach of the Princeton heavies, Gluckman found his crew in a race in the Grand against the favored crew, the University of London - much like his Trinity crew did today against the favored Cal frosh. In 1985, Gluckman's Princeton crew had to row from behind against the favored crew, much like today.
"In 1985, we were in a race against the favored crew, and had to row from behind to win. We were up against the favored crew today, and I knew it would be a great race, so I put on this badge this morning, and went to the grandstands and listened to the race from the same area I did in 1985. That year, the crew came from behind to win by two seats; today, it was two feet."