Saturday, 15th September 2012
The Vikings' regatta, held at the now world-famous Dorney Lake, seems now to have become an annual fixture. This year around 25 OEs took advantage of the beautiful weather and an excellent excuse to meet up with old friends and have a bit of exercise. As the current batch of rowers, urged on by their coaches, gritted their teeth through a brutal training session, the older generation set about reliving fond memories of their own (perhaps more relaxed!) times in an Eton boat.
For the first race of the afternoon, the Vikings split into coxed fours. Coxswains were borrowed from upper boats crews as well as some current Colts rowers in order to fill out the numbers. All were glad to hear the races would take place over 500m, only ¼ of the normal 2km race course! After 2 heats there was a thrilling final in which the winners triumphed by only a few feet in a very exciting finish. Next, our rowers all jumped into eights for the grand finale of the afternoon. The winning boat shot off the start at a surprising and perhaps rash 46 strokes per minute, but with much shouting and splashing they were just able to hold on to beat the other two crews. After these valiant efforts on the water the Vikings were joined by wives and families on the balcony of the boathouse for tea, a much needed rest for the exhausted racers and a chance for them to catch up. Many thanks go to Tom Anderson and Henry Clark for helping organize this wonderful event.