Web romours had Loughborough looking ahead to Thursday’s race against Harvard. It turned out that their confidence was misplaced. Balliol rowed to a convincing 1 length victory on the first day of Henley to reach the last 16 of the Temple Challenge Cup and book a race against Harvard on Thursday.
The early morning didn’t dull our sharpness in the pre-race warm-up, even if the 7am paddle was a little…dreamy. As race time approached, Summer Eights-like nerves began to become apparant. I for one couldn’t wait for stroke two.
Racing at 9.05, the second race of the Regatta, there weren’t too many other crews or spectators around. For anybody that was watching the race, though, we provided plenty of excitement. Our first few strokes were powerful and we were taking seats off Loughborough immediately. However, near disaster struck when a mini-crab slowed us down in the middle of the Temple Island. In the end, it made no difference to the result, but it was clear to all that Andy pulled pretty hard after that. We gained a half-length lead around the Barrier stretching it out to a full length by the finish.
An additional mention must go to Dan Topolski who, while performing the menial task of checking boating crews heel restraints found time to congratulate Balliol on the Headship in Summer Eights and wish us luck for the forthcoming racing – high profile support which supplimented nicely our hard-core of fans who made it down to Henley for the early start.
Noon tomorrow – bring on Harvard!