Summer Racing Roundup
While the summertime means the squad goes their separate ways, that doesn't mean an end to training and racing. Bantams past and present have been racing up and down the East Coast as well as across the pond all summer long.
The first racing action this summer was in Augusta, SC, at USRowing's Southeast Masters Championships. Nickels '20 came away with an open-water win in the Open 1x, beating out the 2nd place sculler by 6 seconds over the 1000m course. Nickels also raced in the Parent/Child 2x and was the ringer in a crew racing in the Open 4x. Full results.
The success in the 1x would continue the next weekend in Philadelphia at the Independence Day Regatta. Racing with Riverside Boat Club, Aidan Lee '21 threw down a great piece to win the Intermediate Light 1x in a tight race, beating out the 2nd place sculler by less than 2 seconds. Lee also raced in the Intermediate Light 2x. Full results.
Racing was just winding down in Philly as Jack Reid '20 and John Graves '10 were arriving to Lake Mercer in New Jersey for USRowing's combined Junior, U23, and Senior I World Championship Trials. Reid was racing for to represent the US in the U23 2-, while Graves was racing for the seat in the Senior 2x after finishing 9th in the event at last year's World Championships. Graves and partner Ben Davison started off the weekend's racing with a win in their Thursday morning time trial while Reid and partner Peter Chatain finished 3rd in their time trial, 5 seconds slower than the winners. While Reid would not have to race again until the Sunday morning final, Graves returned to the course for a heat the next morning, which he and Davison won, again in the fastest time of the 3 heats. Another win in Saturday's semifinal set the stage for Sunday's final, which Graves and Davison won to lock in their spot on the US team. Just a few minutes later, Reid and Chatain locked into the stakeboats for their chance at a spot on the US U23 team. Despite a strong start, they struggled to hold on to the pace of the leaders in the 2nd half of the race, finishing 4th. While disappointing, the finish was encouraging for Reid, who missed 4 weeks of training and Championship Racing this spring with an illness, and was unsure if he'd be able to race at all this summer, let alone be in the conversation for a spot on the US team. Full results.
While Reid and Graves were racing for spots on the US team, Nick Roll '21 was on the other side of the pond racing at the Henley Royal Regatta. Following his freshman year at Trinity, Roll took a gap year and trained with Vesta RC to race in the Thames Challenge Cup. After coming through Friday's qualifiers, Nick's Vesta Crew led wire-to-wire on Wednesday, dispatching Maidstone Invicta RC by 1 3/4 Length. The next day would be much tougher, as they came up against Thames B, a crew which made the final in last year's regatta. Thames took an early lead off the start, and Vesta was unable to recover. We're excited to have Nick back with the squad this fall after his year away. Thames Cup Results.
Roll was not the only Bantam racing at Henley this year. Tom Graves '05 crossed the pond as well to compete in the Diamond Challenge Sculls and was selected by the Stewards to receive a bye to the Friday's quarterfinal, where he faced Portuguese lightweight Olympian Nuno Mendes. Graves beat Mendes with an "Easily" verdict, advancing to Saturday's Semi-Final, where he drew defending Olympic Champion and 5-time winner of the event, Mahe Drysdale. Drysdale's pace was just too much for Graves, and winning by 3 lengths on his way to his record-tying 6th victory in the Diamond Challenge Sculls. Diamond Challenge Sculls Results.
Following up his win at Trials, John Graves set off for Lucerne, Switzerland, and the 3rd Rowing World Cup, where he and Davison would test their speed against many of the same crews they'll be seeing in a few weeks at Worlds. The crew earned the 3rd and final direct place into the semi-finals from their heat. After coming through the 500 mark in 4th, a strong 2nd 500m saw then move into 3rd, where they remained for the rest of the race. In the semi-final, the pair started strong, coming through 500 in 3rd, but were unable to hold on as the race progressed, eventually finishing 5th and sending them to the B-level Final. In that B-final, the Dutch crew took an early lead, but Graves and Davison battled back, taking the lead in the 3rd 500m, beating out the Dutch crew by 1.6 seconds at the line to take 7th overall. Full Results.
While the summer is slowly but surely coming to a close, there's still more racing on tap. Be on the lookout for Bantams representing the Blue and Gold at Canadian Henley, US Trials II, and the World Championships!