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Henley Fours and Eights Head

We took two mens eights to Henley Fours and Eights Head on the 16 Feb. The first eight then split into two fours, coxless and coxed, to also race the afternoon division. Great conditions, very little wind but a noticeable stream meaning steering a good tight line over the second half of the course would be crucial.

Due to the new points system we were sent off first in Division 1 immediately in front of this years Cambridge Blue Boat. A bit of an ask to put it mildly but fantastic to get such an opportunity. Cambridge gave us a big gap allowing us to settle into a strong rhythm and use the flat water. A sterling effort saw us hold off the Blue Boat until about 250m to go when we had to move out into the stream to let the Cambridge Boat through. We finished fifth overall and fastest club crew down the course. Meanwhile, the second eight were looking to put the disappointment of the Quintin Head result behind them and did so very comprehensively finishing 17th overall and 4th in Band 1 eights. It might not be pretty but its getting quicker.

The afternoon division saw our coxless four blast down the course hounding a Leander boat all the way but ultimately losing out to them by 8 seconds. With fresh legs who knows...The coxed four had a last minute crew shuffle due to an rib injury so Ash Wyatt jumped into the bow seat and big Hugh moved to three. A solid row resulted in a third place of seven in band 1 coxed fours.

Great to get out and race in such company and a solid display from the Orange. Most improved award – mens second eight. Performance of the day – coxless four. Best to watch, no contest – mens first eight!

Richard Ellis

16 February 2019

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