Saturday, 21 June 2014

Day One!!!

Hi there!! Jess here, for those of you who don't know I'm a recent grad and have been the Cox of the varsity 8 all season.

Here I am at the reception holding the 2012 Olympic Torch! So cool!
 Friday was the official kick off of the Women’s Henley Regatta. Racing began bright and early with time trials, 7:15 am, for events that had too many entries in order to select the boats that would make the cut for actual racing. Crew wishing to practice Friday morning were we required to be off the water 45 minutes prior to any racing, so sadly we did not get to go out for a paddle. Instead we slept in until 8:30 ate breakfast then trekked down to our old home the Henley Rowing club for a quick workout with Paul. At this time the two boats went their separate ways and started focusing on their individual races. Both boats will be racing in the Women’s Senior 8+, for The G P Jefferies Memorial Trophy, the V8 had their first race on Friday wile the 2nd boat has a 24 hour wait until Saturday after noon.

The V8, or Waddell 8 as we have become known as, headed upstairs with Jason and the rest of the girls stayed downstairs and began working out with Paul. Upstairs we reflected on the season, trip, and discussed our race against Imperial College at 3:54 later that day and then returned downstairs to began our workout. At this time I took off and wandered down to the finish line, to see the new markers and figure out EXACTLY what was to be expected. Once finished with our workout Jason, Martha, Mike (Clark University’s Coach who just arrived) Julie and myself piled in the car to return to the house for rest and relaxation. After arriving at the house coach realized just how large a hill he made the other 7 walk up and returned down the hill to pick them up.

We ate and rested until around 1:50 then we headed down to the course, for our final warm up before the big day.  Once, at the sight I quickly went off and got weighed in (in shoes, a uni, sunglasses, shorts, a shirt and a life vest what????) and collected my weight. Once, done with our prerace visualization, warm up and boat chat we got hands on and headed down to the dock at 3. Soon after pushing off we noticed my cox box wasn’t working (first time all trip) due to the connection inside of the boat forcing us to return the 5 feet to the dock and make some quick adjustments.

Now we were finally on the water channeling our nerves and energy into a productive warm up. Looping the warm up zone we eyed our completion, and got some warm greetings from Bowdoin College. Soon we were called to the start, then quickly made our way through the starting platform and locked on (in three strokes) at 3:49. Sitting relaxed we got our point and waited for the polling of the crews, then sat ready at 3/4 slide. Quickly we heard the poll Imperial College, WPI; Attention…….. GO and we were off. Blood pumping throw the vines, heart beat rising we past through the start and temple island and to the actual buoyed section of the course (which is between two concrete pillions just large enough for two boats), beginning our length we were the first WPI cheers found our race rhythm. At this point we had fallen down about ½ to ¾ a length on Imperial, who was proving to be super clean and quick, but began to match speed and held them pretty solid for 20 or so strokes. Coming into the second bench on the course, for the 500 we powered through with a big 10, making our technical moves again at the 1000 and then lastly for the last 300 meters for the sprint. Sadly we did not advance, but it was a well fought race and wonderful experience. When both boats were over the line Imperial’s cox led his boat in the traditional three cheers for WPI, and all quickly rowed off the course home. On the way home we watch the Trinity (Ireland), Drexel (USA) race, which Trinity took, and docked the boat. The day concluded with lots of hugs, photos, and a few tears shed as the seniors officially pass the torch onto the underclassman.

All the girls headed back to the house to get ready for the oversees reception at the river and rowing museum. Here we met other crews form various countries, socked in the rowing culture and took a moment to reflect on the trip.

Here are a few photos from the reception:
The entire team plus coaches all cleaned up.

The Waddell 8!
Three of the original Fab 4 !!
Fab four back then!!!!

Senior Women

Seniors and Coaches 

Me and Martha! Thanks for always believing in me and teaching me about coxing and rowing as well as life!

As a senior concluding my collegiate career, with two trips to Henley, I could not think of a better way to leave the program. Next year I wish the best of luck to my teammates, and hope to see you all as I continue my coxing with Saratoga Rowing Association in New York.

Don’t forgot to check out the Barolli 8, who will be facing off against London College Boat Club today at 4:12. Other crews you can find racing today are Yale, Riverside (a club rowing out of Boston) and Bowdoin College good luck ladies, USA all the way. 

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