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Many medals at the Met 2017

Thames Rowing Club had a busy and very successful weekend at Dorney Lake, winning five trophies.

The regatta was the test bed for the new British Rowing Tier system. There were concerns about how it might turn out and while there were no doubt a few anomalies – such as one of our own crews being open water up at 250m for example – there was some superb racing across the board.

The Championship 8s event on the Sunday had 71 men’s and 39 women’s 8s line up, first in time trial format, then seven abreast. The racing was so good that the entire coaching team got so absorbed in the men’s C final, that they missed the start of the A final!

Men’s 1st 8+
After a rather lacklustre heat on Saturday and some strong words of encouragement from the coaches, the men’s 1st 8 took the final of Elite 8s by the scruff of the neck and had almost a full length at 500m. They stretched a few feet more over UL by the 1k mark and only relinquished a few seats in the last few hundred metres when the race was clearly won.

A superb result, the first Elite 8 win at this regatta for Thames in a very long time and done in brilliant style by this hard-working, if rather inexperienced, crew. Their time of 5:45 shows a step on from Ghent in probably slower conditions but there is still plenty of work to be done.

Men’s Championship 8 winners

On Sunday and with very tired legs, the crew approached the time trial in a mature if sleepy fashion and finished second behind UL, with fresh Brookes crews now lurking at a lower intensity in the mix. The semi saw them drawn against the two Brookes temple crews plus Star and Arrow.

Taking the harder, and more costly option for the final just a few hours later, the Thames men took on the Brookes crews and it wasn’t until after halfway that we relinquished the lead on these on two very strong Temple crews. The final saw dominance by the Brookes Ladies Plate 8 and Temple ‘A’ crew, while we had a great race with Brookes ‘C’ and UL (who beat us by a canvas this time) and a very fast school crew from S. Paul’s on fresh legs and high off their Nat Schools win.

Men’s 4+
The men’s 4+ had a big win on Sunday. They ended up in Tier 2 which is roughly IM1 standard. They could have raced in the old IM3 category but have shown speed and maturity in racing and were third in the Championship category on Saturday.

On Sunday they had open water by 250m and kept stretching away to an almost 13 second win, looking very good doing it! Having beaten Molesey the day before by several lengths they are proving fast beyond their years of rowing.

Tier 2 M4+ winners

Women’s Elite 2-

Tier 1 W2- winners

With illness for 10 days leading up to this race, tensions were high and the pressure was on but Natalie Hardy and Lowenna Coad delivered. In the same style as the men’s 1st 8 they took the lead from the start and had open water by 500m which had become two lengths by the 1k. They ran out winners by a length or so in a very brave and mature performance. Not bad for two lightweights with CUWBC and OUWBC pairs present!

Women’s sculling
On Saturday Suzi Perry and Jordan Cole-Hossain finished first and second respectively in the Tier 2 women’s 1x. A great result which backs up the podium finishes in Ghent and Wallingford.

Racing in Elite events on Sunday, they both found the going tough but acquitted themselves well. Suzi faced a hard Elite LW1x field and finished a very good third place while Jordan, in her first season of single sculling, was up with the field in the openweight category.

Suzi – Tier 2 W1x winner

Other notable achievements
In the Championships 8s event on Sunday, the men’s 3rd 8 ended up with a ranking of 16th out of 67 crews, with the third fastest overall time for a club crew, losing only to Star & Arrow and our own 1st 8. A harder time trial might have resulted in them going head to head in the B final against LRC and KRC, who finished with slower final times.

The men’s 4th 8 finished 35th out of 67 which was a fair reflection of where they stand, beating a number of club 1st crews in the process.

The women’s intermediate 8 showed the dramatic improvement they have made since their 44th place at the Head of the River by finishing sixth in the B final, giving them a ranking of 13th overall. Our novice girls acquitted themselves very well also against crews with experience measuring years rather than months by finishing fifth in the D final (after a coxbox failure at the 1k mark) which gave them a ranking 26th out of 39, beating several club and university crews along the way. On Sunday the intermediate women’s 4+ finished fourth in Tier 3 W4+ after challenging the eventual winners, Exeter, to halfway.

Finally, mention should be given to Philip Lee who finished third in the lightweight event on Sunday in his first major multi-lane race!

Well raced all. Next up: Henley Women’s for the women and Marlow for the men.

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