With Edie, Trevor, and former captain Morgan Andersen following behind in the Umpire launch, Coachie in the grandstands, and the boys and Jen ready in the boat, the race began. It was an incredible race through the first half - both boats jockeying for the lead and never giving up. But after the Fawley marker and through the second half of the course, we couldn't keep up with Edinburgh's higher stroke rate and fell behind. Bowdoin made a serious push to take the lead approaching the 500m mark, but Edinburgh stayed strong all the way through and secured a spot in the quarterfinals.
It was just another example of how unique the Henley Royal Regatta is from any other Regatta in the world, in that anything can happen while in a single-elimination, knock-out format.
Although it was a tragic defeat and a disappointing end to racing, our early elimination allowed us to experience many other exciting aspects of the Regatta. We also found solace in the fact that no other American crews survived past Wednesday in our event.
We spent a lot of time in the swanky Stewards' Enclosure, an enclosed area at the finish line where the most bizarre fashion statements are considered acceptable. Many of these "trendy" people don't know anything about the sport of rowing . We spent most of the day milling around this area, witnessing some spectacular racing.
The nights were exciting, as the town was full of Olympians, all going to the same restaurants as us.
Saturday, by far the Regatta's most popular day, was an absolute mob scene. It is rumoured that 200.000 people come into the little town of Henley-on-Thames (usually population 10.000) during this day. Mark spent the morning on the Brassey's punt boat, moored to the booms right at the finish line, while the rest of us watched the racing from the grandstands in formal wear, and tried to avoid heatstroke.
And somehow it was suddenly Sunday, our last day in England. Sunday was the final day of racing, and what a day it was! Eight course records were set, including one in the Grand Challenge Cup by Great Britain's World Champion Eight, a time that was the fastest ever recorded on the Henley course. Great Britain came close to a full sweep of the regatta, with a few exceptions. The United States could only find gold in a final that featured Harvard 'A' vs. Harvard 'B'.
Now back in the good ol' U S of A, we all had an incredible experience that will surely be cherished for the rest of our lives. Although the racing didn't go as planned for the heaviest boat in Bowdoin's history, we still learned a great deal and had a fantastic time. We will certainly bring a lot of passion with us into the upcoming fall racing season!
Thank you everyone for your support while overseas!!! It meant a great deal to Bowdoin Rowing as a whole. It was truly an honour to represent Bowdoin at such an elite level of international competition.
Let's go black!!
|Looking classy outside the Queen's Buckingham Palace|
|An example of HRR "Fashion"|
|The Gloriana being rowed down the course|
|Mark chillin' on the punt|
|Our host family looking fresh|
|Sir Matthew Pinsent|
|At the Row and River Museum during the American reception|
|Red, White, and Blue for the 4th of July|