As trailed in March and promised recently I owe a report on the Head of the River Race (a follow up to the Hammersmith Head). Tune out now if you don't care for boatie stuff. There is only one river, of course, the Thames; and only one head. We are insular folk. But the race isn't: although most of the crews were British there were a scattering of high class foreign entrants from Spain, Germany, Czech, Italy and so on. Full results are here; Molesey won, if you were wondering, in 17 21.76 . But we didn't concern ourselves with that end. Having started at 354 (where else do you put an unknown provincial club entering for the first time?) we finished at 302 (without overtaking anyone, alas) in 19 57.57 which is a fair enough result - just sneaking in under 20 mins.
(who is that masked man and why is he advertising cider? Tom W, Chris, Me, Mike, Ralph, James H, James T, Tom M, Paul)
From our viewpoint a more interesting comparison is against misc Cambridge crews.
FINISH START TIME NAME 1 4 17 21.76 Molesey I 2 2 17 24.80 Leander I ... 64 218 18 35.36 N In2 Rob Roy I 67 278 18 35.92 N In3 H Downing College, Cambridge 88 79 18 44.22 In2 Cambridge '99 I 113 220 18 50.40 N In2 H St Catharine's College, Cambridge 122 130 18 53.67 R In1 Cantabrigian I 129 157 18 56.93 In3 H Lady Margaret Boat Club 133 305 18 57.66 In3 H Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge 141 147 18 59.98 In3 H Pembroke College, Cambridge 145 224 19 1.00 N In2 Rob Roy II 146 176 19 1.29 In3 H Peterhouse, Cambridge 152 195 19 2.42 In3 City of Cambridge I 154 60 19 2.70 In2 H First & Third Trinity, Cambridge I 161 252 19 5.94 In3 H Jesus College, Cambridge 164 326 19 6.76 In3 H King's College, Cambridge 206 288 19 18.90 N In3 H Robinson College, Cambridge 211 222 19 20.26 N In2 X-Press BC 229 384 19 29.30 In3 Cantabrigian II 236 237 19 31.96 In3 City of Cambridge II 242 377 19 34.68 NOV H Wolfson College, Cambridge 252 231 19 38.24 In3 Magdalene College, Cambridge 253 260 19 38.33 In3 H Selwyn College, Cambridge I 258 163 19 39.02 In3 H Trinity Hall, Cambridge 267 226 19 41.71 In2 Cambridge '99 II 295 378 19 52.52 NOV H Selwyn College, Cambridge II 296 263 19 53.72 In3 H First & Third Trinity, Cambridge II 302 354 19 57.57 N NOV Chesterton 304 281 19 57.75 N In3 H Homerton College, Cambridge 311 254 20 1.66 In3 H Christ's College, Cambridge 334 319 20 16.17 In3 Churchill College, Cambridge
We don't really care about the college crews, I just put them in for fun. More interesting are the likes of Cantabs II, who by odd chance are just behind us in the Bumps and 30 seconds faster over the course... but then we weren't fielding our fastest crew on the day. Hello, Petr!
The course is Chiswick to Barnes, which is the Boat Race course but in reverse, but as with the boat race it is with the tide. Which means (given 400 boats take several hours to get off) that someone gets the height of the tide and thus the fastest advantage. Rumoured to be about boat 100. We stuck the boat together in Furnival Gardens (not nearly as grand as it sounds) and boated from the nearby Furnival (yes, I know you don't care - I'm writing this for my furture reference). You get a 1 minute slot on the pontoon, so all the blades are stacked up in advance, welly wenches are available for the shoes, and there is no time to hang around. We paddled up the course and stacked up on the banks, which is good, because you get to see the first division crews racing down in their impressively impeccable style. The half hour rain shower only dampened us a little.
The club blog has a link to a video that includes us, briefly. Misc photos from me in Horr on flickr. More club pix. There are more pix here than even I want to look through. Molesey were better than us. How about Cantabs II?
Exciting event of the day: I was going to go by train. At 7 am I was woken from sleep by my mobile, downstairs. So I ignored it. When it rang again 5 mins later I thought I'd better answer. It turned out to be James H, warning me that there was a huge fire near the station and there was liable to be Trubble. And in the end: it turned out that the old Spillers Mill burnt to a shell. The railway was unaffected, but they shut all trains off. Miriam drove me to Royston in the hope that there would be trains from there, but they were useless (vignette: I phoned the national rail inquiries: yes sir, there is a fire at Cambridge, all trains are cancelled there. And what about Royston? Err, oh hold on, let me look... Because, you see, since I was getting a call centre in India reading stuff off a screen they had no idea that Royston is a station on the Cambrdige line to London...). So I ended up joining someone else's taxi down to Kings Cross, or at least fairly close. And so I arrived shaken but on time.
Brief mention: Mr Asbo. Paul says they ripped off his story. Mr A nibbled my blade on Saturday. [Update: Paul broke the story first, of course. Amy has the links. I say: let him be. The rowers can cope, and if we lose the odd sculler, well never mind.]
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