On Saturday 18th November, the boys of Upper Boats and Colts returned to the Kingston Grammar School boat house for the second time in as many weeks to race Teddington Head. This time, both squads raced both the morning and afternoon division. The Colts were the first to race, racing in Op 8+ (morning division) and setting a seemingly insurmountable task as they lined up next to three men’s 8+’s from Molesey Boat Club. Etn-Colts D were the first crew of the day followed by Etn-Colts M. While neither of the crews did succeed in beating the men from Molesey they did come 1st and 2nd in band 2 of the Op 8+ (morning division) category.
The Upper Boats then began their defence of the wins that they had on the same stretch of the Thames last week at Kingston Small Boats Head except with a few changes in crews. Etn-McLusky raced in the J18 4- and proceeded to win the category in decisive fashion being a minute faster than the next best crew. Etn-Bishop then tried to compound this victory in the J18 4+. They however were pushed much hard and eventually ended in 3rd behind two very strong crews from Reading Bluecoat. Not to be deterred by the lack of success in the 4+ at this point, Etn-Colts raced their hardest and placed 2nd in a large category in J16 4+.
Upper Boats had four pairs entered in J18 2-. After defeat last week at the hands of Westminster, everyone was more driven than ever to take in win in a category that has so far been elusive at the highest level. To this extent, Etn-Jain, Power, Clarke and Slack powered down the course and, despite some interesting steering and position, came out with a clutch of good results with Etn-Jain taking top honours and Etn-Clarke, Power and Slack taking 3rd, 4th and 5th respectively.
After a break for lunch, kindly provided by the parents of the PSG and a few last-minute crew changes which resulted with Adam Pearson (FOCB) racing in Etn-Power and RPD Foster racing in Etn-Colts. Etn-Power were the 1st crew down the course in the afternoon and proceeded to win the Op 8+ (afternoon division), ECBC’s first win in 8+’s of the year. Etn-Jain-2 battled through adversity to take a hard won 2nd place in J18 8+ only 12 seconds behind a selected 1st VIII. The Colts then had a crack in J16 8+’s with Etn-J winning the category and Etn-S coming 3rd. Etn-Colts raced in the afternoon division of Op 4+, competing against much and more experienced crews. As a result, they did not place highly however should be very proud of their efforts none the less.
Finally, while there was no known Vikings participation, GR Pooley raced in Op MasD 1x and won the category decisively. Finally, our thanks must go to the boatmen, the PSG and our wonderfully subs. This was the last race for Upper Boats this half as we now move to prepare for the Spain training camp but Colts are racing at Scullers Head next week.