On the 18th February the club made the journey up to Henley-on-Thames to compete at the first regatta of the season. In all it was a good day for the regatta, although slightly cold, most importantly it was dry and the stream on the river wasn’t too strong, which is just what you want for an upstream race.
Henley 4’s and 8’s Head is held over the Henley Royal Regatta course, but stick an extra 1km on to the start of this and you have the head race. It’s a nice head race to enter for those who haven’t had much experience of head racing too, its simply 1km off the start which goes round a long sweeping bend and then straight down the Henley course to the finish.
We had quite a good representation of the club, entering six crews across two divisions.
In Division 1, Itchen entered three crews: a Mens Senior Coxless Four (4-) and a Womens and Mens Novice Coxed Four (4+).
The Mens Senior 4- had a reasonably solid row and showed some good speed at times, if not always that consistent, and went on to win the event in a time of 12:00, 6 seconds over second place Stratford Upon-Avon. They also finished with the 3rd quickest 4- time of the day.
The Mens Novice 4+ also felt they had a good row and finished 7th in their event, beating 3 crews from Coalporters Rowing Club.
The Womens Novice 4+ are mainly in their transition from the clubs Junior section, so it was good to get them racing against other clubs and see where stand and what they need to do to make the next steps forward.
In Division 2, Itchen entered three crews: a Womens J18 Coxed Four (4+) and two Mens IM3 Coxed Fours (4+).
The first IM3 crew was made up of the clubs Junior Men. This crew have only had a couple of sessions together and although a little rough around the edges, showed some good speed, strength and potential for the season, finishing 5th out of 16, only 15secs behind the winners of the event.
Our other IM3 crew was actually our Mens Masters and had to row up at IM3 due to their not being a Masters event for them to row in. However, these guys are the Hants & Dorset Champions from last year and will no doubt show more speed later in the year, these old steam engines take a long time to warm up and get going.
Our Womens J18 4+ have also just made the step up to training with the more senior members at the club over the last few weeks and this crew was a bit of a scratch crew, it was good to get these girls racing and hopefully open their eyes to what it is they need to do later in the season.
Overall, it was good to represent the club at Henley Head, get our name out there and get some good results. It was also a good opportunity to see where we are as a club and where we need to improve.
This weekend (25th February 2016) the clubs Juniors (The Itchen Imps) will be racing at Burway Head…come back soon and see how they got on, and GOOD LUCK GUYS.