UCD travelled to Dorney Lake at the weekend for a chance to test themselves against British crews before college exams begin.
Racing began early with the heat of Challenge 8+, with only the winner guaranteed a place in the final. UCD struck early in the race, establishing a 2 length lead by 1000m and finishing 4 seconds clear.
In the final, home club Eton College raced out of the blocks and were chased down by Thames and UCD. Both clubs were neck and neck at 1000m but Thames began to push ahead to draw level with Eton by 1500m. The last 500m was a sprint battle between Eton and Thames, with Thames winning out by 1/2 length and UCD 1 length back from Eton.
— Eton Rowing (@EtonRowing) May 1, 2016
Race 48 – Challenge 8+ Final
The two UCD entries in Challenge 4- did not race due to illness and equipment failure respectively.
This left the Challenge 2- of David O’Malley and Shane Mulvaney. The winner of each heat was guaranteed a place in the final, along with the next four fastest crews. UCD’s lightweight duo started in determined fashion and were tied with Molesey for 1st at 500m, over a length ahead of the rest of the field. They pushed into the lead by 1000m and held this until the last 200m when the Thames D crew, who had stepped up their pace over the 2nd half of the course, got past them. In any case, UCD’s time was the 2nd fastest between both heats so they were comfortably through to the final.
Race 82 – Challenge 2- Heat
The final took place nearly 12 hours after the first Challenge 8+ heat that both athletes were part of so it was another fantastic effort in their 4th race of the day that saw them neck and neck with Molesey again at 500m. They kept pace with the leaders at 1000m but the amount of work done during the day began to take its toll over the 2nd half of the race, with Thames D again lifting their speed. UCD finished 4th, 7 seconds off the winners Thames D, having put everything they had into the race.
Race 109 – Challenge 2- Final
The trip provided the group with very competitive racing and a reminder of the standard required to compete in the UK, both of which will be valuable experience for races later in the season.
Full results are available at wallingford-regatta.org.uk.