Athlete: Christopher Doherty
Year & Major: Junior, Exercise Science
Hometown: Traverse City, MI
High School: Traverse City West Senior High
I chose Grand Valley because: The exercise science program is excellent, the campus is beautiful, and I am not that far away from home.
Today was full of excitement for the Laker Navy! This morning was the most relaxing so far: we woke up to send the four off to the course, then I went back to bed and slept in to awake to a sunny day a while later. Taking it at my own pace, I ate breakfast, got dressed up for the regatta with my crew and we went on our way.
The train to Henley was packed. We literally squeezed into the train; when I began to board the woman next to me said “thankfully you’re not fat,” and off we went. When we arrived and made it out of the maze of people at the station, we followed the stream of people to the already busy course. We sent the four off the dock with cheers and applause, wishing the best of luck in their impending race. Thankfully they did not need it.
We made our way down to the viewing area with 2016 ACRA Assistant Coach of the Year Michelle Goodwin to watch the four race. It seemed like an eternity, but finally we herd the announcement that they had began racing. Facing Durham, the tension built as they approached. The announcer slowly updated their progress… “Grand Valley even… one foot ahead… quarter of a length… half a length…” When they finally reached us, about two thirds down the course, they were almost through the rival boat.
Trying to give them an extra boost we started the traditional GV-SU chant on the shore, easily drowning out the Durham fans in front of us (we got some dirty looks). Excitedly we waited for the results. We held our breath and her that the four had won!
We hurried back to the boat tent to congratulate our teammates on their successful race. After some congratulatory handshakes and smiles, we went back to enjoy the rest of the regatta.
Scott and I went to the enclosure and sat down to enjoy some racing. Highlights of the day included Olympic 1x champion and world record holder Mahe Drysdale, Harvard and Cal’s eights, and some Leander crews. After a long day at the course, we headed back to the Henley House.
We are now settling down for the night after a bunch of pizzas that Coach had bought for us. The night has been full of videos and photos, kindly provided by friends of the team Richard and Dot Owen, who also are housing the famous Don and Nancy Lubbers. The Lubbers will be visiting us tonight, it will be nice to be able to put faces to the names I have seen on our boats and meet them in person.
This journey has been a busy and fulfilling one, today was no different. Tomorrow our four is racing at 9:35 AM our time, or for those who will are early birds, 4:35 AM EDT. I am excited for them, so I can only imagine what they are feeling. The feeling around here is a relaxed readiness, I just hope the rest of Henley is ready for us tomorrow.
Athlete: Rob Hiner
Year & Major: Junior, Engineering
Hometown: Ann Arbor, MI
High School: Pioneer High School
Favorite Quote: “Just Go”
Today was another successful day for the Laker Navy in Henley. My boat and I woke up and ate a large breakfast in preparation for our race. We then headed to the course and sat in anticipation for our launch time.
Our match up was against Durham, a reputable English crew. The race was a close one that came down to the end. We were able to pull out the win by one boat length. There was a stiff head wind all the way down the course and it was my crews ability to stay long that won us the race. Durham put up a good fight and tried to move on us at several key points during the race but we were able to successfully counter all of their moves and get our bite across the line first.
Our win today matches us up against another fast crew, Edinburgh, tomorrow. The rest of the day was spent laying low, resting, and restoring energy for tomorrow’s race. We soaked in the pool for a while this afternoon to help restore our legs for tomorrow and we ate an enormous pizza dinner. Everything is in order to continue our success. I’m excited for tomorrow’s race, it should be another close one.