Rowing's McElduff Recounts Eagles' First Days in England
June 21, 2013
The Boston College rowing team is on an overseas tour, competing in international races in Switzerland and England. Junior Kelly McElduff gives a first-hand account as the Eagles arrive in England.
Although we were sad to say goodbye to beautiful Switzerland, the BC women's rowing was ready for our next leg of the trip. So we packed up our suitcases and headed to the airport for our next destination: England. After an interesting experience as our pilot nearly missed the runway, we landed in London thankful that we were alive and that all the signs were in English.
Our next challenge would prove to be even more difficult: adjusting to the cars driving on the opposite side of the road. Thankfully, most of us are quick learners! We boarded a bus and headed to Henley-on-Thames, our home for the next 10 days. Here we are living in three separate houses, two of which have host families.
After about an hour of downtime, we decided it was time to start working off all the chocolate they kept feeding us in Switzerland, so we headed down for a team run along the River Thames. This gave us our first glimpse of the Thames, our home course for the rest of our European experience. After the run, we headed over to our new favorite dinner spot in downtown Henley, The Three Tuns, who are hosting us for four delicious meals during our stay here!
Henley-on-Thames serves as the host for both the Henley Royal Regatta and the Henley Women's Regatta (HWR). We will be competing in the 26th HWR in less than a week. Each year, over 1,000 women travel from all over the world to race on the famous Henley course - a two-lane course lined on both sides with unforgiving log booms. Just one slight turn off of the straight course can lead to an unwanted, and sometimes costly, collision. We have been practicing every day, with two-a-days every other day, in order to prepare for our Henley debut this Saturday.
On our first afternoon off, we traveled to London where we saw Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, the London Eye and many other famous London locations. We even got to experience some famous London shopping! Because one day wasn't enough, we plan on returning to London for some more sightseeing.
Tuesday was our second afternoon off and we headed as a team to the Oxford Boat House for a reception hosted by the Oxford Women's Rowing Team. We mingled with our friendly competitors, including our fellow Americans, Trinity Women's Rowing team. We then toured Oxford University to catch a glimpse of what it would be like to attend college in England. (Don't worry - Boston College is still number one!)
With just six days to go in our European tour, we are gearing up to show our speed and represent our school at the regatta this weekend!