Henley '08 – Instalment III

Well, as I mentioned earlier we were knocked out by Cambridge last Wednesday at Henley. Here’s the run down of our last few days at Henley.

Wednesday
After a disappointing loss to Cambridge I went across the road to enjoy a Guinness with my parents, had a enjoyable chat about my plans for the next while… I’m still terribly confused about what I’m doing with rowing, study, travel, work etc – not sure about what I’m doing and the timing of it. Honours or not? Harvard, Cambridge, Oxford and/or Macquarie? Rhodes? Masters? Thesis topics? Being in Sydney? London? Boston? Vancouver? Do I hang around and aim for 2012? 2016? Anyway, that will continue to be on my mind for the next while, so I’ll keep you posted.

We followed that with a trip to the Flower Pot (a nice little place to eat near the start line) where I had a MASSIVE fish and chips. The chips were the size of wedges and the fish was incredibly huge! (photo doesn’t do it justice)

[insert photo of meal]

Thursday
We get suited up in our macquarie kit and make our way around the Stewards Enclosure and the rest of the course. We checked out all the merchandise, got given about half a dozen free drinks and bought myself a new pair of cheap sunnies.

Dinner was at the Weatherspoons again (cheapest food & drink in the area). Following that we were chaperoned around Henley by this guy we met earlier called Jeremy. In the end Corbs, Cadeyrn and I were led around henley for about 2.5 hours before we reached the only club where anything was happenning. At that point (1:30am) Corbs and me were expired and legged it all the way home to save ourselves (and the 5pounds) for Friday… Cadeyrn stumbled in at around 3am.

Friday
Zoe and Ben went into London and the rest of us stayed in Henley. Corbs and I met up with my parents to hire a boat, paddle down to the finish line and watch races…moored right on the course markers. It was really fun! We had PIMM’S, beer, baguette, cold meat, lots of cheese and antipasto whilst watching races… FINALLY A SUMMER DAY!

We spent the rest of the day around the Stewards watching races and meeting people. Ended up meeting Rob & Susanne for pizza & wine.

Saturday
The big day… after being too exhausted to go out on Friday we made our way to the course a bit later (around 11am). After taking some crew photos Cadeyrn quickly disappeared again and the rest of us went to have Coffee & Cream and English Tea with a Baileys chaser in the Stewards enclosure.

Following our brunch drinks we made our way to the Fawley Bar where spent hours drinking with Mark Beer (my old MRC coach) and his significant other, Kelly. Mark was very kind by insisting on buying us all drinks (and writing it off as expenses for JCBC recruitment). He got me excited about Cambridge which only makes my decision harder… still it was exciting!

Zoe wandered off to get food and didn’t see us at the Fawley bar, so I wandered down the course to find her. I ended up meeting my parents (squeezing my way through the crowds) and we then headed to the Weatherspoons to use the free wireless. Corbs and Ben ended up rocking up coincidentally (I sent Corbs a message but he didn’t have reception) so we sat there for a while having a few drinks.

I then ducked back to the bank of the river to watch Philthy’s race… it was a disappointing loss to the University of Western Ontario (the eventual winners). His race was essentially the final considering how easily UWO won the next day. I quickly legged it across to the boat tent, bought him a sports drink and promised that I’d buy him something harder later that night.

We went back to meet Rob for dinner, then we found out that Zoe was back at the accommodation so we decided that we’d go home and have dinner there. She was pretty upset that she’d be lost again, unfortunately she left her phone at home so once we were separated she was very isolated. Understandably she didn’t really feel like going out so after stocking up on food and cheap drinks the three amigos headed back in to town to hit up the town.

This was the night we’d been waiting for! We got up to a whole heap of shenanigans, met up with the pontoon boys and introduced the boys to a bunch of girls for them to work their moves šŸ˜› — the photos tell all!

I ended up heading off with Philthy and the Harvard boys toward the end of the night. Some van reversed into me at quite a speed… bloody useless driver – my nose still hurt the next day. I bounced back quickly and then had some burning hot nasty noodles outside the sports bar where we ended up. Then I legged it back to Phil’s and headed across to my place after being pointed in the right direction by pommy lass.

I was laying on the lawn studying the stars for about 5 minutes before being interrupted by Ben & Corbs arriving home. So we went inside, swapped stories grabbed a croissant and went to bed around dawn.

Sunday
I wake up feeling marginally sick in the stomach after Philthy’s beer & tequila concoction complimented by 3am noodles. I soon came to when brunch was served at 11am.

[insert photo of brunch]

Pretty incredible, aye! Our host, Odette, was fantastic! A lovely lady who made us brunch on our last day. My folks came across and we said our goodbyes. We then played cards for a few hours before I ducked down to the course to watch a few of the finals and buy some merchandise (ouch… pounds!).