The Blue Boat and Blondie had a successful day’s racing at the Women’s Eights Head of the River on Saturday.
Starting in 8th place, the Blue Boat knew they were in for a tough race with fast crews around them and stiff competition for a top-10 finish position. However, the crew felt they coped well with the pressure, finding a strong race rhythm that carried them over the course in a time of 20:38.71. The last painful section of the race from Hammersmith Bridge to the finish was made more exciting by having crews ahead to overtake and crews behind to push off, including the eventually 2nd-placed Belvoir Zurich crew who raced them to the line. Fay Sandford in the 7-seat sums up the race: “We rowed over solidly, holding our own against the top crews surrounding us, responding to the lifts and pushes along the course. We came off the water with a lot of positives and a few improvements to make back in Ely as we fine tune our training over the next three weeks.” The crew finished 9th and won the IM2 pennant for the second year running.
As a new entry this year, Blondie had to start way down in 194th place. Even so, they didn’t let their long marshalling time put them off, and instead had similarity strong row over. A fast start allowed them to set up a solid rhythm, which took them through several crews in the middle section of the race. They held their nerve in the final stages of the race and managed a good push off a London crew closing from behind all the way to the line. Blondie finished 44th in a time of 21:35.70.
Both crews will take plenty of positives away from their races, as well as improvements to make over the coming weeks. With less than three weeks to go until we line up on the start line in Henley, every member of the squad is focussed on building boat speed and making those final mental and physical preparations for the race to come.