It wasn't the start of the afternoon, but it was a race that defined Washington's presence at Henley and their assertive move to enter the Grand and the Ladies’ when they could have been a Ladies' and a Temple entry.
Racing against a Polish national team boat that was in the 2012 Olympics with the same squad (in different seats) and just raced World Cup II, Washington and their competitors came out of Temple Island rowing at a 44. At the barrier, with a time of 1:45, the Huskies were a quarter-length up, but that was extended bit by bit down the course, with some rating elevations in the middle of the race (they went up to 40 at the three-quarter mile marker. Husky Stroke Alex Perkins has been in this position before, first with Kent in the final of the PE in 2010, then with the Washington Frosh to win the Temple in 2012.
On the Polish side, Coach Wojciech Jankowski said that the "Olympics were not good for us, but this season we were 2nd in the European Championships and 2nd in the World Cup," says Jankowski, "this race is to train for the third World Cup, and then World Championships."
Washington made it a very good training race. Although the Huskies were pressed by the Polish team, they had the race in control. They won by a length and a quarter; more from them tomorrow after their final.
Harvard Crews Advance
"My coach's mantra is 'relentless pressure'" says James O'Connor of Bill Manning, Coach of the Harvard heavyweights. Four of the Men's Varsity Heavyweight Eight were in the four this summer for Henley Visitor's Challenge.
"We didn't have the best start, but our rhythm must have helped.” The Harvard "A" boat in the Visitors’ Challenge raced Molesey Boat Club for their semifinal challenge, and were able to relax, lengthen and lower two beats to finish this race with a length and a half lead. He adds that both Coach Parker and Coach Manning stressed persistence while in a race.
"Our rhythm must have had a little more speed then theirs," said O'Connor of the body of the race, where despite the imperfect start, Harvard pulled away to win by a length and a half. They will be in the final tomorrow.
In the Temple race for student eights, the Harvard frosh never had a moment to relax, although their bow jutted out just a tad bit ahead of Newcastle University "A" throughout the race, Newcastle pulled within a canvas at the Fawley marker. At the three-quarter marker, Harvard was looking for more separation, and moved to three-quarters of a length ahead, a margin they held to the finish. More from this boat tomorrow, will see Harvard coaches and supporters at a Leander dinner tonight.
Graves falls to Campbell
John Graves pushed Alan Campbell the 2012 Olympic Bronze medalist with tenacity. Although he was behind on his battle with the local favorite Campbell, it was obvious Campbell could not relax and play in the lanes as he did yesterday. Graves lost by two and a half lengths.
CRC Women Race Princess Grace Challenge
The California Rowing Club entry in the Princess Grace Challenge has rowed together three times. Their experience in the past (from University of Virginia, Ohio State, Wisconsin, and Cornell), not to mention each of them taking turns at training centers in Princeton and of course California Rowing Center, prepared them well to row together. Bernhard Stomporowski, coach of California Rowing Center had mentioned going to Henley as an idea, and then the crew was on their way.
"Our start was the best we have ever had," said Grace Latz, stroke of the boat. With Emily Walsh, Kelsie Chaudoin, and Anne Holmes, they powered away from Temple Island at a lower rating, but enough to pull ahead early over Leander Club and Tees Rowing Club. When they settled into the body of their race at about the half-mile marker, they were able to press the boat forward at about two beats lower than their opposition.
"We tried to race internal for the beginning of the race...for at least 60 strokes we were focusing just on our boat," says Walsh. More from the CRC women after their race against the Leander and Minerva Bath Rowing Clubs.
"It is their identity...it didn't come from me," says Northeastern Head Coach John Pojednic of his own crew's declaration of "aggression" earlier in the week. The crew faced Robert Gordon University and Aberdeen Boat Club (the Brit U23 by any other name) in a round of the Ladies Plate. During the race, the two crew's ratings were almost identical, but Northeastern was getting more for their strokes (either aggression or god technique in play here), and at the Barrier, had separated from the other crew by one length, then two, then an astounding three lengths to win. Kudos to Northeastern, more from an interview with Coach Pojednic tomorrow but they are closing the press tent now!!
2013 Henley Royal Regatta - Saturday Highlights
Miscellaneous USA highlights from semifinal races at the 2013 Henley Royal Regatta. Thursday, July 6, 2013. Henley-on-Thames, UK. Bulk of the video is from the Grand Challenge semifinal between the University of Washington and the Polish men's eight.
UW Huskies - Our Grand Challenge
The Washington Varsity 8 talks about what it means to them to be racing in the Grand Challenge Cup at the 2013 Henley Royal Regatta.