#BucksGoRoyal: Ohio State Rowing Visits Cambridge, Builds Speed for Henley Royal Regatta

Buckeyes atop King's College, Cambridge (Photo courtesy Madeline Davis)

The following is the third installment from the Ohio State Buckeyes as they continue their pursuit of glory in England this summer. Having already won Henley Women's Regatta (and set a new course record in the process), the Buckeyes have been enjoying a bit of sightseeing and connecting with local athletes and friends while preparing for Henley Royal Regatta, which is set to start in just a few short hours now!

From senior Stephanie Williams:

"After our row, we went to the university and were all instantly awestruck at the beauty of the campus."With Women's Henley all wrapped up, this week we move our focus onto our next challenge: Henley Royal Regatta. Our two crews had to move in different directions with our training, because the four had a time trial on Friday, and the eight already qualified. On Monday we travelled to The University of Cambridge for a day trip. Our first stop was the boathouse (of course). Their boathouse was only recently built, and was definitely a great place to train. We borrowed some boats and went out to explore their stretch of river.

It was a nice change of pace to train somewhere different. The water was flat and the weather was hot.

After our row, we went to the university and were all instantly awestruck at the beauty of the campus. We had an amazing lunch at the university with the Cambridge rowing staff. Following lunch, we visited King’s College Chapel—we climbed 110 steps to the roof, and then two people at a time climbed a ladder to a small lookout where you could see the entire campus. Back in the chapel an orchestra was practicing, which just added to the magic. We honestly felt like we were at Hogwarts. After our tour we met with some of the girls on the Cambridge team and chatted about rowing and school. It was really great to forge a relationship between the two programs.

The next few days we spent training for Royal and the time trial. The four did some race prep with a men’s pair from Yale. The eight trained against the men’s coxed four from Boston University this morning [see video clip above]. It was great to find some other U.S. crews to push us to find speed, rather than just training alone.

"The traffic on the water has increased and rowers are everywhere!"Today [at time of writing] was time trial day for the Henley Royal. The traffic on the water has increased and rowers are everywhere! The feeling of how intense this regatta is really became apparent. So many crews had travelled from all around the world just for the chance to race at Royal, yet so many wouldn’t make it. The nerves could be felt around the boat yard. For our women’s four, only two of the eight boats would make it from the time trial to the first round. With boats going off every 30 seconds, the goal was to beat the clock. The real competitor is only yourself and the stopwatch.

Our four put together a great race, pushing to move up on the boat ahead of them and put more distance on the rest of the field. After the time trial the excruciating game of waiting began. They cooled down, cleaned the boat and waited in agony, until the announcer confirmed the qualifying crews- they made it!

On Saturday the first round was drawn at the Town Hall. The eight will be racing the Great Britain senior eight. The four will race a U.S. composite four [shown in the Instagram video above—a very experienced boat, to be sure!]. We are all so honored to have qualified for the regatta, and to have the chance to show what we are made of against elite athletes. Until then, back to work we go! –SW

The main event begins tomorrow in Henley-on-Thames! Stay tuned for more from Ohio State as they prepare for Henley Royal, and keep an eye on the hashtag #bucksgoroyal on Twitter and Instagram for updates along the way.


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