Crews heading to Henley qualifiers on Friday afternoon were met by sun and almost perfect conditions for racing, as a result there were no great surprises and non qualifying crews had only themselves to blame for not being fast enough...
More surprising were some of the crews who were prequalified, the black art of crew selection used by the Stewards sometimes appears more like the HRR lottery and this year was no exception. Indeed friday saw half of the GB lwt VIII having to qualify for their slot in the Visiors because they'd entered as a composite of their home clubs (TSS and Wallingford) and weren't recognised for who they were (we can only assume they hadn't pointed out their credentials in the entry cover letter), whilst Upper Thames Novice crew who'd entered the Thames cup simply to get the experience of doing qualifiers, found themselves pre-selected...
Plaintive cries of "You've made a terrible mistake, make them qualify" from UTRC captain Syd Rand, were merely greeted by a firm response that the Stewards decision is final.
Also qualifying yesterday - and looking a little quilty about wearing lycra, was UL coach Tim Foster, who had to sub into the UL vistors four to replace an ill crew member. A source from UL told the slug "He's done no training for years and is really unfit, we think it's all a ploy to publicise his new book".
After the Lucerne WC results last weekend, the GB hwt VIII have apparently withdrawn from the Grand, the Dutch VIII were coming over because they wanted to race them, but whether they now also pull out, remains to be seen.
Elsewhere at the regatta, those watching the rowing over a drink at the Remenham club were surprised to spot BBC sports reporter Steve Rider on the mound with a group of other short people (not watching the rowing).Feeling the need to inspect non-members for suitability, the rabbit went over for a closer look to see if his hair really is plastic, though we had to advise Mr Rider that throwing the rabbit in the river would not be a good idea as the rabbit has lots of friends over 6 foot 5...
Qualifying results are available HERE
For those of you wondering "who were those mystery rowers scattered through the Henley Women's Regatta programme this year?"...well, the Slug can inform you that they are in fact, four girls from the Furnivall women's squad.
One of the four discovered that their images had been used (from the Getty image library) when she checked-in her crew for Intermediates eights on Friday.
The Furnivall women's squad had a crew in a WHR final (Intermediate fours) for the first time this year, showing they are not just a pretty face....
Has anyone noticed the amazing resemblance between
upcoming British tennis star Alex Bogdanovic,
who recently qualified for Wimbledon, and prodigal
child rower Ben "the boy" Thompson who...er...
Are they, perchance, related?
Curious of Mortlake
|HWR RACE FOOTAGE
UTRC member Russell Stynes has just started a new business providing video footage to sportspeople (primarily rowers at this stage). He and his team videoed almost all of the starts and finishes for Women's Henley last weekend and competitors can order their choice of the availble races on DVD from him at a very reasonable price.
Crews can also commission him to come and do an hour of videoing of a training outing -- real slow motion capture so that you can really see what is going on (not just bog standard videoing as they've invested in some very fancy hardware and software to improve the usefulness of what gets captured).
They recently did some filming for the Olympic Women's quad through one camera mounted above on the stern, two more on 1 metre booms sticking out from the boat (so that you can see the looms) and another from the side.
It all gets quite technical but all four views can be transmitted back to the coach who sits comfortably in his 4x4 watching it live through a dashboard mounted TV!
|WORLD CUP 2004
No, not Euro 2004, but the one at Lucerne....
Incase you hadn't spotted them, as well as a gold for the GB women's quad there were a couple of notable result for several Tideway women:
The Women's 4- only had three crews entered, the Danes, the senior GB crew and the women's U23's. The U23 crew beat both the senior crew and the Danes to take first place and were Natasha PAGE, Beth RODFORD (Thames), Anna BEBINGTON and Alison KNOWLES (Thames). The U23 girls are entered in the Remenham challenge cup at HRR as part of the Thames/UL composite.
Also at Lucerne, in the Women's 2x A final Sarah Winckless and Elise Laverick (Thames) were 4th out of 6.
The seventeenth Henley Women's regatta took place at the weekend, over three days of sun and showers on the Henley reach.
This year's regatta saw the introduction of both "Intermediate" events in 8's and coxed 4's and, for the first time, qualifying races on Friday morning (as a response to the huge entry in both Intermediate events).
The qualifying races proved to be a very good predictor of form, as the fastest crews in both the 8's and 4's "head races" went on to win their overall events - the second placed crews coming second.
Interestingly, the spread of entries at Henley women's is starting to mirror that of the Royal, with the "high status" events attracting few entries (and most of those being foreign crews) whilst there is a huge entry in those events perceived to be "easier" - - though no medal at Henley women's is easy to come by these days...
The decision by organisers to tighten up on foreign crews entering intermediate events, didn't compromise the standard of the racing and the finals on Sunday produced a good range of results across all categories, with a strong showing from both UK and American Clubs. Indeed most competitors seemed very happy with this year's structure, the only suggestion being that organisers might consider imposing restrictions on recent "blues" and "purples" in the Intermediate events (as HRR used to do for the Brit before it was split into two events).
London RC and Auriol Kensington picked up their first ever wins at HWR, while Vesta ended their recent drought, by picking up a well deserved win in Senior VIIIs over Mortlake.
The Intermediate 8's was won by University College Dublin, and in the last event of the Day - umpired by ARA Chairman, Di Ellis CBE - the elite eights was won by a strong confident Thames crew.
Full results are available on the HWR regatta website
Click on the thumbnails below to see full size (will open in a separate window)
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Elsewhere at the regatta, a special ceremony was held for Stan Collingwood of TTRC where he was awarded the ARA Medal of honour for his services to rowing - a few pictures from the event are below.
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|READ IT AND WEEP
From the Concept 2 newsletter..."Staff at my gym have asked me to moderate my rowing action/speed on the Indoor Rower. I work at the highest resistance level (10) and include a 30 second sprint in my normal workout to raise my pulse rate (when my heart monitor shows that I have dropped below my Training Zone). The sprint takes the strokes per minute (SPM) into the 70 and 80s and on the return action there is a brief loss of chain tension, which causes a slight 'whiplash' action. The reaction is safely limited by the design of the machine. The 30 second sprint adds variety and a motivational element to my workouts and I am reluctant to reduce the intensity.Non rowers - - gotta love 'em
My Concept 2 training consists of 30+30+20 sessions = 80 minutes at an average 50 SPM, which normally gives me a pulse rate of 100. My Concept 2 workout is part of a comprehensive weight resistance and cardiovascular routine. I have a strong upper body and my technique has a fast arm action and limited leg movement. I find this gives me the highest SPM and I have aspirations to enter indoor rowing races. "The British rowing team must work at high intensity levels and I find it hard to believe that the Rower would be damaged by high SPM. The machine is there to serve me. I do not exercise to serve the machine. "I am aged 67 and weigh 14st 9lbs."
|WORLD CLASS STUCK-IN-A-RUT PROGRAMME
The incriminating photos to the right were taken at Durham Regatta last Saturday afternoon.
The damange was apparently done while Andy Bird of Durham ARC's World Class Start programme, was trying to drive the van over a pothole of half metre of depth. Failing one of his 'first class start' boys lifting the van out, he proceeded to 'chock' it out with bricks.
However, a source close Andy confided to the slug that the pothole, was not the sole reason for the little incident...
"we all know the van was loaded with booze from the local of-licence!"
|CRASH, BANG, WALLOP...
The Henley reach at this time of year, is unique in several ways, but one way it which it differs from normal rivers (and which can cause a painful surprise) is the presence of the booms marking out the racing lane...
...as the Thames women's elite eight found out to the detriment of their lovely shiny yellow boaty last weekend.
The girlies (who are anything but slow and gave a few men's crew a good run for their money when they competed against them in the Open S1 event at Met regatta recently), were doing pieces against the Thames men and had just finished one, when they went smack into one of the poles at the start line.
The end result being three scared and bruised bow siders and two broken Carl Douglas riggers on their lovely boat...
Be careful out there...
|TSS AT THE OLYMPICS
23 members of the Tideway Scullers School have represened Great Britain at the Olympic Games from Tokyo in 1964 to Sydney in 2000. This has been achieved in the club's relatively short history since its foundation in 1958.
A dinner was held recently to honour these members in the run up to this year's Olympics, and 14 of the surviving 21 were present. Solid Silver commemorative lapel badges designed by Annabel Eyres, founder of Rock the Boat, were presented to each member, including Annabel herself as an Olympic competitor from 1992.
The four Tideway Scullers athletes seeking selection for the Athens Olympics this year: Tim Male; Mike Hennessy; Rod Chisholm and Alan Campbell (in the first photo,L to R Campbell, Chisholm, Male, Hennessey), were also present at the dinner and were wished well by all present.
These athletes have all benefited from the High Perfomance Programme* set up by TSS in September 2003.
The second photo shows Chris Williams, Chairman of TSS, welcoming the returning Olympians.
Attending the dinner were the following Olympians:
Bill Barry & John Russell (1964) Willy Almond & Dick Findlay (1972), Alan Inns (1972, 1980, 1984), Fiona Johnston, Kate Grose, Jo Clark and Ali Norrish (1988) Sue Nicholl (1988 and 1992) Annabel Eyres & Suzanne McKenzie (1992), Tim Male and Tom Middleton (2000).
(Click thumnails to see pictures full size)