On Saturday the Christchurch Rowing Club Men’s squad raced at the annual Head Of the River Race on the Championship Course (Oxford and Cambridge) in London.
The Head Of the River Race is the premier time trial event of the British Rowing calendar raced to international standard with Eights racing from all over the world.
Racing with the primary objective of progressing from their 123rd place at last year’s event, the Christchurch crew of Sam Erwin, Gary Rabbets, Jake Hooper, Ed Patton, Jeff Hanafin, Mike Joscelyne, Jay Simpson, Gian-Luc Angilioni and Alli Fortt (Cox) was also entered in the Medium Club pennant category.
The London Tideway has a tradition of offering challenging conditions to crews and coxswains but, on this occasion, the crew was met with warm sunny weather and a calm, flat course although coxswains challenge of holding a course on the narrow current remained as testing as ever.
A minor equipment failure just before the start may have caused a little tension in the boat and it was a slightly muscular performance to the first timing mark at Barnes Bridge with the crew clearing in 133rd place. They soon relaxed however and the boat was beginning to flow at the second mark at Hammersmith Bridge (120th place) with the final half of the race completed in 119th place overall out of the 311 crews competing and placed a creditable second in the Medium Club pennant category.
The crew now looks forward to breaking down into smaller boats for the forthcoming Henley Royal Regatta and the coastal racing season through the summer.