Thursday 4th July at 7:10pm saw Curlew RC mount their challenge on the Britannia Challenge Cup; standing in their way, Thames RC. Two of the rowers in the Thames boat had beaten Curlew the year before in quite convincing fashion in the Thames Challenge Cup…However, with a new boat, new coach and a new look determination, it was not going to be a easy “rate 26 into the enclosures 4 lengths clear” as it was 12 months before.
Having raced Senior and Elite all year, we knew what we were up against, we knew how fast we were and more importantly how fast Thames were. Marlow Regatta, Elite Final, Curlew had led the field off the start – multi-lane, however Henley is different, side by side, get in front and hold on! We knew we had a pretty awesome start, so the plan was simple – get in front and stay in front. Coach Martin has videoed the entire race, which will be uploaded later. The race itself was epic, it was the second quickest race of the category, with the shortest winning margin – Thames won, but not by much – and nothing like the beating we took the year before, it was just a shame, with a different draw and we could have had a Friday crew, but that is the game you play with HRR, it’s all about the draw.
However, the work that the Senior Men’s squad put into the Henley campaign should not go unrecognised. The Britannia Challenge Cup in recent years has been a tough competition, especially for East London clubs, last year Lea RC failed to qualify their top boat and Globe RC had a similar experience this year, so for Curlew to Prequalify just highlights the standard of rowing we strive for at Curlew RC.
It is great to see Curlew move away from the Thames Challenge Cup into the Wyfold & Britannia Cup, and hopefully with an increase in interest in Curlew RC, we will see a Friday crew next year…fingers crossed.