By Chris Judd, News Staff
The Northeastern men’s rowing team placed second in the Ladies’ Challenge Plate at the Henley Royal Regatta in London from July 3 to July 7. The Huskies varsity eight became the fourth Northeastern crew to row in the finals of the Henley Regatta, and were the third varsity eight team to compete.
“Clearly the result is heartbreaking for the crew,” head coach John Pojednic told goNU.com. “They raced very, very hard, and very, very well. In the end, they just were beaten by a crew that was a little bit better than them.”
In the semi-finals, the Huskies seized immediate control against the Under-23 British national team, who raced as Robert Gordon University and Aberdeen Boat Club. They had a boat-length lead after the first quarter mile and continued to improve. The Huskies finished the race with a three-and-a-half lengths lead at 6:16.
“I thought the guys had a much stronger race today,” Pojednic said. “Candidly, I was a bit surprised at how much control they were able to take over the race early on, and then continue to stretch that out.”
The Robert Gordon University was also the team that knocked Northeastern’s second varsity eight team out of the tournament in the quarterfinals.
In the finals, Northeastern led the Under-23 British second national team through the first 2000 meters, which would have been a win for them in a standard race. However, the Henley Regatta is 112 meters longer than standard, which allowed the British national team to take the lead.
The Huskies passed the three-quarter mile mark in 2:55, which set an event record. They also beat the old record for the race by nearly four seconds. Unfortunately for the Huskies, the British national team finished the race in 5:58, which was about a second ahead of the Huskies.
“There’s nothing about the race that we would have done any differently,” Pojednic said. “We have no regrets. We’re a young boat racing a more experienced national team boat. We had a good handle on them for most of the race. That’s the difference between being an amateur and an expert — it’s not enough just to start it or control it, you have to finish it. That’s where we fell short, we weren’t able to finish it off.”
The Huskies have been competing with some of the best teams all season long. In the national tournament in June, the Huskies were three seconds out of first place and half a second out of second place.