After an early start and a chilly walk to KH, we were greeted by a continental breakfast as we tried to wake up. We then went back to sleep for the three-and-a-half-hour journey to St Paul’s School, who kindly let us use their boathouse. We rigged the boat quickly while trying unsuccessfully to keep our hands warm.
We were boating from St Paul’s alongside the Oxford crews that will make up next spring’s Blue and Isis boats. We then made our way upstream with approximately 500 other crews towards the start at Chiswick Bridge. Along the way I started to play spot the Olympian. The winning quad had four, so it was surprisingly easy. It was awesome to share the river and race against some of the greatest rowers in our generation. No matter how many times I row that course, it never fails to surprise me – the stretch between Barnes and Hammersmith Bridge is seemingly never-ending.
We had a good race, trying to look our best as we went under Hammersmith for all the photographers – difficult to do when you’ve just raced over 12 minutes! After another nine minutes we finished the race with an encouraging time. We then rowed back to St Paul’s, landed and derigged before the drive back home.
It was a good day out for all the crews with some encouraging results to help take confidence into the Christmas training.