Countdown to Henley
17 June 2016
The last two days spent with at Henley have been packed with practice, eating, and walking. Rowing on the unique course has been a remarkable experience. My only regret is not making more sculling friends on the water to row down the course with.
This afternoon I walked with Nicole and my parents down the course to see how the racing is being called. The Destefano's were sitting by the finish line complete with a fenced in grassy area with adorable chairs and tables set out for drinking Pimms while taking in the racing. The finish line was not where I expected and is not marked at all. You row until you pass the tent and they blow the airhorn. Conintuing up to the middle of the course we found it had become quite a hub.
On the way to the start the path was blocked by a large puddle created by the wake of the boats that follow each race. These boat are as long as an 8 and as wide across as a launch. They carry an official, a race commentator, and anyone who wants to ride a long (for a fee?). The fleet of these boats must be quite large as they follow down each race and races are sent off with in a short space of one another. I'm looking forward to seeing these boats roll down the course after the 8's, for the shape of the boat you would not immediately expect a large engine.
The start is as simple as I could have hoped for. I watched several single races start as I was fortunate enough for those to be starting at the time. The singles pulled into their stations, the far one is called Buckinghamshire Station and the near one Berkshire Station, a locked on. The announcer on the boat calls out, for example, "Senior Women's single race 115. Attention. Go." And the race is off. The key for me tomorrow will be to come off clean and straight from the start to get ahead. Get ahead, stay ahead, drift towards the middle, and throw some puddles in the other scullers lane.
Tomorrow is the big day. I race at 2:45 pm against Limbrick from Tideway scullers, and the double goes against Leander at 3:09 pm. Cheers, SK.