It seems strange that, after months of preparations by the rowers and a year of planning by our coach, Henley Women’s Regatta is over and the group is scattered across the world for the summer. However, in reflecting on our races in England, it surprises us how much this opportunity has changed us as rowers and as people.
In Friday racing, the Brown dueled it out with Henley RC, falling just 2 lengths short of advancing. The crew was lauded by commentators and spectators alike for the “tenacity, grit, and no-nonsense racing,” and clearly left everything they had on the racecourse with their strongest performance of the year.
The Gibbons crew advanced out of the Friday heats, beating Thames RC by open water. In the Saturday quarterfinal, they were matched against the Yale University crew that placed 2nd in the Ivy League Championships. The two crews raced neck and neck, never more than two seats apart from one another, the entire way down the course in by far the Gibbons’ closest race of the season. As the Bowdoin crew began surging up on the competition during the sprint sequence, a crab caused the boat to stop dead in the water, allowing Yale to win the fastest race of the day in 5:24. In the semifinals, Yale went on to fall to University of East London, the eventual victor of the Regatta, in UEL’s closest race of the weekend.
Our trip to the Thames River draws to a close with the whole squad grateful for the support from home. Hearing from parents, alumni, and friends in the college and town has meant the world to the team. Thank you all! We return to the New Meadows more seasoned as athletes and people. We have raced, and won, and lost in the highest level available to us on a river of historic racing and beauty. We have been a part of the pageant of international competition, and with Kipling have met with “Triumph and Disaster” and have learned to “treat those two imposters just the same.” Above all, we have learned to respect, trust, and even love one another through the gift of racing boats. Thank you all for helping make it possible.