As HRR begins tomorrow, this will be the final part of our Henley Highlights series, we hope you've all enjoyed it. If you have your own stories you would like to share with us, please get in touch! This piece is on the Temple 8 of 2018, who had a "barnstormer" against Bristol on the Wednesday.
"For the 2017/18 season we were fortunate enough to have Tom Mapp coaching us, which brought an aggressive style of racing to the crews that year. The club purchased a Hudson as the top women’s boat, which was reflected in a huge step forward in the women’s squad results from previous years. The heavies and lighties combined in the lead up to Met to form the crew that would take on the Temple, the perfect blend of finesse and terrible chat. We finished 2nd in T2 Academic, amongst crews that we could face at Henley, but it was clear there was more speed needed. In the lead up to Marlow there was fierce competition for seats from the guys in the 2nd 4+, and this bred an awesome atmosphere.
At Marlow we qualified fastest for the final, with UWE, Bristol, UL, Exeter and IC. In the final we were pipped by UL by half a second, but we’d done enough to prequalify. I think the time in the final (6:00.3) is the fastest time from a Bath 8+, I’m sure I’ll be corrected if that’s wrong! When we drew Bristol in the first round we all knew it would be a very close race, as we’d raced each other a lot throughout the year, but Bath crews always come good in the summer. The respect we had for Bristol was shown when Mappy told us we’d lose if we gave them more than half a length!
We came out of the blocks together, but Bristol inched away to the barrier where they were 2/3 length in front. With a big first move we drew up alongside, which is where we stayed until the enclosures. In training, the thing we worked on the most was the change of pace for the last 600m. We’d spent the whole race at 39+, but still found high forties, with Ella’s voice getting louder and louder as she – and the rest of us – started to realise that we’d broken clear in front of Steward’s. On the footage it looks like we teleported out to half a length, and that’s the ‘big Bath finish’ that we all love.
Despite being in the bin, the boys pulled out a big effort to challenge Yale the following day. Alas, the Americans were immune to our scare tactics (see video), winning by 2 ¾ lengths while we posted the same time as the day before. To get an idea of how much fun we were having that summer, watch the video “Crewbath HRR Temple 8+ 2018 - Mes Amis Et Poat" on YouTube.
Cox: Ella Kay
S: Will England
7: Harry Shimmin
6: Chris Bryan-Isaacs
5: Josh Poat
4: Henry Jones
3: Tom Stace
2: Ben Pickford
B: Tom Bowles"
Tom Bowles, Class of 2020