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Head of the River Race 2018 – Race Report

Posted by Ryan Cheale | March 15, 2018

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The HoRR event is the premier eights race for men’s Eights in the United Kingdom. The Tideway, a mistress to the weather, has often seen this event called off. This year the weather behaved itself and with mild winds, the event was run on Sunday 11th.

This year we entered two crews:

A: 112
Cox: Kathryn
S: Dario Unmarino
7: Rick Bolton
6: Ryan Cheale
5: Phil Robinson
4: Steve Turner
3: Russell Theobald
2: Graham Walker
B: Ben Hughes

B: 249
Cox: Cerys
S: Dan Richardson
7: Dan.L
6: Richard Watkins
5: Husayin Aysen
4: Brian O’Purcell
3: Giles Dunk
2: Andrew Jones
B: David Pike

The A crew saw a last-minute illness and forced an unplanned substitution. Nevertheless, we set off hard chasing down Vesta-C boat. We comfortably walked through them at the Chiswick Eyot and begun using them to push off. Post hammersmith the toll of racing was starting to get to us but with some strong calls from our cox we picked it up and continued to push. Up ahead we had begun closing in on a group of crews, sadly (or perhaps luckily) we didn’t catch them in time to be part of the mess of boats. We placed 112th overall.

It was a solid row for the men’s B boat, the conditions were good and we were able to settle into a decent rate off of the start. Unfortunately, the snow had messed up training so we had not done much high rate training, but on the day the crew coped well. Cerys coxed us well through the race, including pulling off a clean overtake in the last stretch. Hopefully, with more training at race pace, we should be in good shape for Bedford 4s.

Quintin Head 2018 – Mens Squad

Posted by Ryan Cheale | January 31, 2018

Quintin Head took place on the 27th January over on the tideway. A ‘small’ 8’s race which saw the likes of Thames, UL, Imperial and Cambridge rock up.

This year we fielded an IM2 8+, a mix of our Senior and Intermediate squads to gauge how winter training has gone.

For a crew which had a single outing together prior, it seemed cohesion was not an issue and grinding away in small boats over winter has had its benefits. The crew set off behind Vesta and Lea rowing club with Quintin behind. For the majority of the race the eight stuck with Vesta but did lose grip eventually with Vesta pulling 9s out of the crew. The Lea boat saw the crew row through them near Chiswick Eyot and finish the race ahead.

The overall placing was 42nd and 8th/16 in Category in a time of 10:59.7, winners of the category were Imperial College in a time of 10:40.5 – a mere 19s difference for a scratch crew is a brilliant achievement. As HORR beging to loom, moving into larger boats will only build a faster, more consistent 8.

Reading and Curlew has already laid down the challenge of a rematch.

Kingston Small Boats Head 2017 – Senior Men Report

Posted by Ryan Cheale | November 5, 2017

Kingston Small Boats Head.

Low winds and warm weather made for good racing conditions this weekend. Kingston is a 5km head race with a long bend and a couple of bridges to push off of.

This year we had entered:

Div1

IM2.2- Ryan Cheale / Phil Robinson
IM2.1x Russ Theobald
MasC.1x Russ Bielby

Div2
IM1.1x Ryan Cheale
IM3.1x Phil Robinson
IM3.4x Peter Maynes / Adam Brown / Dan Richardson / Russ Theobald

We had two wins:

IM2.2- Ryan Cheale / Phil Robinson

and

MasC.1x Russ Bielby

A constructive weekend with our scullers learning a lot in prep for Scullers Head.

Pairs Head 2017 – Senior Men Report

Posted by Ryan Cheale | October 15, 2017

Pairs Head 2017 is one of the first major heads to be running under the new point system BROE2. It is a 4.8km head race on the Thames running from Chiswick bridge to about 250m down-tide of Hammersmith Bridge. It is an important benchmark event and we entered three crews that were drawn into:

Op 2x Championship Ryan Cheale / Josh Davies Crew 5
Op 2- Intermediate Matt Fidler / Ben Hughes Crew 33
Op 2- Club Phil Robinson / Russ Theobald Crew 68

Conditions were ideal for a non-tideway club. The course started out at Chiswick bridge going through a cross-tail from the SW direction. As crews came round to Barnes bridge this turned the wind into a slight tail. Finally, back round Hammersmith the course was a cross-tail again. The low wind coupled with high banks meant flat water for the majority of the course. When your crews only practice on flat conditions with only the ducks disturbing the water this was more than ideal.

9th Overall Ryan Cheale / Josh Davies 13:33.85
130th Overall Phil Robinson / Russ Theobald 14:53.22
171st Overall Matt Fidler / Ben Hughes 15:08.98

Provisional results:

A good spread of results with the pairs being within 15s of one another. Broxbourne produced the fastest non thames mens crew this weekend which quite the achievement.

We will next be racing at Kingston Small Boats Head, see you there!

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Reading Small Boats Head 2017 – Senior Men Report

Posted by Ryan Cheale | October 9, 2017

Arguably the first ‘proper’ head race of the season starts over in Reading. A 3800m downstream course full of all the wonders that head racing brings. As we remain focused on small boats we sent a small selection of athletes to compete.

Intermediate 2- – Mike Marsh / Ben Hughes
Beginner 1x – Rob Mayes
Beginner 1x – Matt Fidler

Intermediate 2-
Our father-to-be Mike Marsh represents with Ben Hughes in Divison 2 in the Intermediate Pairs. The pairing has been training hard out in the pitch black and their Sunday evenings. Sadly upon rowing up to the start line the pair found that their opposition had scratched – they raced down the course anyway but had difficulty taking slow crews at non-passing points and those who weren’t yielding to a faster crew. Final time: 14:27.06

Beginner 1x
Two of our novice scullers set out to see what true sculling is all about. A lonely self-motivated pain train. A good result from Rob Mayes clocking 15:25.87. The highlight was Matt Fidler winning the category in a time of 15:00.30 – a good race!

One happy chappy:
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This is the first race attended by the Senior Men this season and we’ve walked away with a first win. Saturday 14th is Pairs Head where we have three entries:

Championship 2x: Ryan Cheale / Josh Davies (UEA)
Intermediate 2-: Matt Fidler / Ben Hughes
Club 2- : Phil Robinson / Russ Theobald

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