Schools Head of the River
Friday, 18 March 2016
On Thursday 17th March on near perfect conditions on the Championship course of the Thames from Chiswick to Putney the Monkton First Eight took on all in the Schools Head of the river. This was such a good experience for the crew to not only to race all the large school crews but also to race on the Tidal Thames where epic battles such as the Boat Race, the Head and the Wingfields run over. Some argue that rowing was developed from the trading boats rowing out to the larger ships in harbour in order to gain the best of the cargo. This has then continued into the racing we see today.
Today 360 crews from year 13 to year 11 took on the challenge which is 8km on a river around 150m wide, very different from training on the Avon. Crews were set off in interval gaps of between 15 and 30 seconds. Some crews were hammering it off the start only to find after 2-3mins they were running out of steam. After a steady start the crew settled into a good solid rhythm and this enabled Philippa who was coxing to concentrate not only on technical calls, encouraging calls but also steering which is paramount to this race. If the crew move more than 3m from the fast water this could be whole seconds being lost just for the time that they are out of the stream.
In the First Eights section Monkton finished 18th which is a end to the head season but certainly shows that more work needs to be done. They finished just ahead of West country rivals Bryanston and Canford school.
It was a fantastic day for all the crew and they really enjoyed the experience. The rowing squad now go on a training camp for 10 days to enable them to enter the regatta season, of side by side racing.