After a stong head season, the men once again proved successful at the last two Dorney regattas of the Summer.
At Met, the second eight split in to fours and raced both days in fours and eights.
On the Saturday, the primary crew was the IM1 eight. After convincingly winning the heat, eight split into a coxed and coxless four where both crews easily made it into the respective finals.
After a strong start, the took a length lead clear of the field which they held to the line, taking the IM1 trophy.
Following this success, the fours ran out of a bit of steam taking third in the coxed four and fifth in the coxless.
On the same day, our senior women's double, prepping for Henley Women's just missed out on the final. However our composite senior four, with Nottingham RC, took second in their straight final, but still took the senior pennant as it was a combined event with the womens elite and IM1 fours.
Sunday, saw the focus switch to the fours for the men, with our primary boat being the IM1 coxed four and a second crew in the IM1 coxless.
The coxless four raced very well taking the win the heat, but then in the final lost out by a length to a very solid and consolidated crew from Nottingham RC.
Success came once again for the squad, with the coxed four. This time it was their turn to have a straight final. After a slow start sitting in third for the first kilometre, the crews strength and fitness showed and they worked their way through the field to win by almost three seconds.
On to Marlow. The final test for the men's squad before Henley. This regatta saw the first showing of the full HRR squad from Molesey, with the first domestic outing for the premier club crew: the Thames Cup eight. Behind this the squad had a second crew in a coxless four, for the Wyfolds and a second eight for the Thames. The club also had three intermediate boats, a pair of Pete Robinson and Al Webb for the Silver Goblets, Dave Bell in his single for the Diamonds and a composite Visitors four with Leander.
The Wyfolds four had got off to a rocky start working around other commitments and injury and this was their first race of the season. Unfortunately, at the 11th hour the stroke man Ollie Ayres, a rising star from the high performance junior squad had to pull out with an injury, leaving super sub Sam Knight doing both the second eight and this four. However, with Sam on board, they pulled it out of the bag taking home a supreme win in the IM1 coxless fours, finishing around 2 lengths clear of the field.
Sam then went on to race with the second eight, who also had a tough start in the time trial. However the crew pulled together and consolidated on their performance at Met and gave St. Paul's first eight a run for the money in the final, finishing just under a length off them.
In the intermediate crews, Dave Bell had a tough race on his hands against James Scott of Rob Roy, but Bell's experience pulled him through finishing first just under 7mins.; only the second time he had ever done so. In the pair, Robinson and Webb went up against ex-Molesey member Phil Congdon in a Leander pair, but unfortunately despite moving themselves up the ranking from the time trial, finished second, 8 seconds off Leander. The Visitors four faced hard opposition and in their time trial finished just outside the top 6, putting them in the B final. They went on to storm their B final, despite their steering being a little awry...!
For the Thames Cup eight, after having a quiet build up focussing on bringing the crew together with some match racing thrown in, they were itching for a fight. They dominated the time trial, finishing well clear of the field, including training rivals Westminster School.
The final proved to be a similar affair. With the wind having turned to a light cross head, the hopes of being able to post the fastest time of the regatta had faded, but the need to win was still there. The crew stormed out of the blocks, taking a length lead by the 500m. This kept extending until the crew was two lengths clear. They held that lead, letting Westminster close back to a length and a quarter as Molesey crossed the finish line in first. A very promising start to the Henley campaign.
On to Henley!