TRC win 3 pennants at the Head of the River…and break the top 10!

After two years of cancellation due to weather, the 2015 Head of the River race went ahead as planned, albeit it thirty minutes late following a sensible decision by the committee to postpone it due to forecast gales. The gales never quite materialised and though it was blustery, the water was not too bad and the five TRC men’s eights that raced in a field of 327 were able to give a seriously good account of themselves. Three pennants from five crews was the plan, with expectations of maybe one of them coming off, if it all went well. Winning more pennants than any other club; the new IM3 and Novice Club pennants seems apt but backed up the highly elusive Vernon Trophy for the fastest Tideway crew, absent from TRC blistered hands since 1961!

The 1st VIII had been unbeaten on the Tideway throughout the winter head season with wins at Remenham, Quintin and Hammersmith Heads. A very useful fixture against Goldie last week highlighted some weak spots, not only in our technique, but also that Concept 2 blades trump Crokers in a clash. Going off 15th, the goal was the top ten, with crew and coach well aware of how tall an order this was, the plan was simply to have the best row possible. There very nearly was a tale of woe when Jon Bale and the bows came within inches of Zurich’s stern, but disaster was avoided and the crew came off the water happy they had done their best. 9th place and the Vernon Trophy secured was the best possible result we ever imagined. To be the fastest non-funded-centre crew, and narrowly beat a very good Scullers crew with Alan Campbell on board, was a superb result and a reflection of the efforts made by the guys and girl involved. The Vernon trophy, last won in 1961, seems like a fitting tribute to the club and a superb and well-deserved result for a very good crew.

Going off right behind the 1st VIII was the very feisty 2nd VIII, backed up by good horse power, to push their club mates on. Competition between the crews has been intense at times, however, as with their club mates, the second eight stepped up to row their own race and produced an outstanding performance to achieve their goal of making the top 20. 17th was again, the top end of what we thought we might achieve and it shows the strength in depth of the squad that has been developed by the guys competing for seats. A great result for a very tough and committed crew.

The 3rd VIII who went off 130th was made up of a mixture of last year’s 3rd and 4th VIIIs and a few new faces. 47th was a very good result and to break into the top 50, while starting that far back, and over taking a lot of crews, is something for the crew to be pleased with. They also managed to beat the 2nd VIII’s of two of our biggest club rivals. Again, job done.

The 4th VIII, a mixture of youth and experience, had its sights set on the IM3 club pennant all season. A great row by the crew was dampened by initial results showing us as finishing 1 second behind LRC, but a later time update caused a reshuffle and put us just in front. A great result from a crew that has worked really hard and which has undergone some real headaches over selection, as competition was so tough for seats. Something that really should be noted is that two of the guys in this crew started last year as novices! It should be no surprise given….

…the Novice men like the 4th VIII, initially thought they had lost but again the results were changed and they too had won their Pennant. All credit to the coaches and rowers of this group who have had to weather last six weeks without a boat! A great step on from the last races and a great incentive to step on for the summer, in a sport that can all too often make you wonder why you train so hard to race so infrequently.
Again, a very well done to all the rowers who performed so well on the day, but even more so, to the volunteer coaches and hard working committee members that enabled these results to happen.