Sunday 28th April
Half of the VIII took part in GB Junior trials at our own Dorney lake. The trial afforded opportunity to both gain an invite to the all important Final Trials in June, and to square up to our main opposition in the run up to National Schools’.
The first race was a time trial over 1900 meters, to decide which semi final we would be in. Shalders (TEJN), rowing with a partner from Bedford for only the second time placed 33rd out of the 40 odd pairs; Miller (WFM), rowing with an oarsman from Shiplake placed 5th; and Thurston (GRP) and Geffen (MGHM) took 3rd place. This earned both the Geffen and Thurston pair as well as Miller’s pair places in the A/B semi finals ensuring that they could not finish outside the top twelve. Buoyed by the success of the opening race, all of our crews returned to the water with renewed vigour in the knowledge that the semi final is often the most unpredictable race. Both crews in the A/B semis attacked the race from the off: Miller was only just missed out on a top three placing in his semi, Thurston and Geffen battled for first with a very experienced Hampton crew who ended up just gaining the edge in the last 500 metres of the race, but qualified easily for the A final.
Finally the biggest races of the day were upon us. The Finals would be one of the last chances to show our mettle before the major races of the season. Miller and his partner put in a strong late charge and took third in the B final, coming 9th overall. Thurston and Geffen again challenged for an early lead putting in a huge push at the 1250 marker but were overhauled by the same Hampton pair and a quality St. George’s/Walton crew.
All in all it was a very satisfactory day, with several strong results which look extremely encouraging for the coming season and further ahead to summer GB selection.
Charles Thurston (GRP)