The senior Men’s Henley Squad travelled down to the London Olympic Course on Dorney lake to compete at the Metropolitan Regatta this weekend. The Met is easily the most challenging Multi-Lane regatta outside of Brit Champs and is a major test of form for Henley Royal Regatta which is only a month away. We had two fours competing, the A crew competing in Seniors fours on Saturday and Sunday, with the B Crew racing in Intermediate 3 on Saturday and stepping up to Intermediate 1 on Sunday.
On Saturday the Senior crew had a very good row and came 3rd, beating Upper Thames to fourth on the line, only getting beaten by Agecroft and Royal Chester. All of these clubs have a strong Henley pedigree, with Agecroft and Upper Thames both having won Henley in a coxed four in recent years (2009 & 2015 respectively). This shows the boys are really mixing it with the best of them and while pre-qualifying for Henley isn’t a certainty, the guys are going to be very competitive at the very least. In intermediate 3, the B Crew made the final comfortably through the heat and semi and were looking good to challenge for the win, but the now all too familiar problem of equipment issues reared its head again. A broken backstay meant they came home last in the final – not a fair result for a crew who would have been challenging for the win.
On Sunday the B crew jumped up two categories and did exceptionally well to finish 5th in the final of Intermediate 1. The crew they had comfortably beaten the Kingston crew who won the IM3 category in both the heat and the semi on Saturday. However, with Henley drawing closer the experience of racing at a much higher standard will be much more useful in the quest to qualify the boat for Henley – although a medal from Met would have been nice, there is always next year! The A crew came so close to the win in Senior on Sunday, coming through 1300m in the lead, but despite their best efforts couldn’t quite hold off the charge of a very fast crew from Nottingham Rowing Club and finished a clear 2nd. Having overlapped with Upper Thames on Friday, to be able to put nearly a length on them the day after shows how well the crew came on. Importantly, the performances of both crews relative to other universities was very strong and shows good form for Henley.
Overall it was a really good performance from everyone and having seen some excellent rowing and coxing. Every crew has learned a great deal and has improved from before the trip. We are well set for the Scottish Championships this weekend, the next step on the road to Henley Royal Regatta.
SUBC Senior Men's Squad Coach
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