“In the final [of the senior 8 race at Reading], we raced against Drexel University and Shiplake College [a British boarding school]. This start was even more controversial because we were not prepared, so Shiplake started four to five seats ahead of us, and Drexel was four to five seats behind us. After our poor start, Drexel and Shiplake both had about a length on us, but we were able to move back in a great sprint and beat Drexel, but fall short to Shiplake. As a crew, though, we felt like we had our mojo and swagger back after this race.”
“The main difference regarding racing at Henley though is the increased distance. At Henley, the race is 2112 meters long compared to our usual 1500-meter course, and there has also been a huge headwind and head current. To compare the times, we won [the Stotesbury Cup Regatta] with a 4:06 and [last Thursday] our winning time was a 7:49. That’s almost double the amount of time, so it’s definitely a different style of racing and endurance and toughness have a bigger role.”
“The regatta scene at Henley is far different from anything I have experienced in the U.S. There are huge crowds lining the entire race course every day. In essence, many people go to Henley to drink and bet on races.” . . .
“For most of the crowd, the Henley experience is based on drinking. So in that aspect there is a lot of noise, especially in the Stewards Enclosure. The Stewards Enclosure is the grandstand and it is where the requirements for extremely nice clothing are in effect. Men have to wear blazers and women have to wear dresses that go below their knees, so the attire is probably similar to what it was when Henley started in the 1800s.”
“The fans as a whole are not huge fans of the American crews, but they haven’t yelled anything against us yet, they just mainly cheer for the other crews. In the past, fans have been known to throw beer cans at and taunt the rowers though.”
“We lost [Friday] to a very good [Abingdon School] crew. Rowing against a strong headwind and head current. . . . We were a very light crew, so we had trouble rowing in the conditions. According to various sources, as we crossed the line, the announcer said that our coach could not have asked for anything more from our crew. Abingdon went on to win the Princess Elizabeth Cup [the top prize for schools racing at Henley].” . . .
“Being one of the top eight high school crews in the entire world is not that bad.”