Saturday 19th March saw the turn of the men of Molesey taking on the Tideway. This year, without our Caversham Squad athletes to lead the club, it was the turn of our club based athletes to take the helm.
Molesey had three senior and one junior eight racing at HORR this year, a somewhat deeper squad then we have had in the past. Molesey 1, this season was built of our younger athletes and with an average age of 19.75, was perhaps the youngest crew from Molesey to ever start and finish in the top ten. Molesey 2 had several Henley winners and was a slightly older crew, but with a bit more experience promised to give the young guns a run for their money. Our third senior crew was comprised of mainly 'Breakfast Club' athletes, developing talents and those fitting thier training around full time jobs. With several athletes fresh from racing at SHORR and the Scullery, Molesey 4, the Junior crew, was a slightly more relaxed crew looking to gain more Tideway experience for the future.
A good rivalry had developed between Molesey 1 and 2, with the older crew wanting to put the whippersnappers in their place, and with selections finalised and time trials completed, all that remained was to race.
Race day proved to be one of the best HORRs for a number of years, with the rain holding off and a stiff headwind from Barnes to Hammersmith.
Molesey 1 had a good start, but with a few lightweights athletes, their weight and experience perhaps showed in the middle third of the race, allowing Bookes 1 to catch them at Hammersmith. However from here on in, their tenacity and race mentality saw them Henley style racing side by side for over 2k down to the black buoy where Brookes finally broke through.
In the second crew, helmed by Olympic champion Adrian Ellison, the crew revelled in the headwind, being a few kilos heavier a man and pushed on well. Their slightly 'grittier' style kept them strong to the line.
The third and fourth crews, having had a lot of line up changes due to illness and injury had good rows, but their lack of time together showed in the rougher water.
Final results where a close 6th place to Molesey 1; a somewhat frustrating result being 2seconds off a third place. They finished 12s ahead of Molesey 2 in 9th. This is the first time since 2012 that Molesey has had two club crews in the top 10, with the gap then being over 50seconds apart. Molesey 3 took 52nd and the fourth crew took 223rd.
Molesey 1 also took the IM1 pennant. A good set of results to finish off the Head season.