Henley on Thames, England--The Ephs Varsity Eight concluded their English campaign Wednesday as they fell to the University of London in the first round of the Temple Challenge Cup.
The Ephs Varsity Eight consisted of rowers Charlie Sheils '17, Andrew Rondeau '17, Sam Ellison '17, Erik Bovino '19, Drew West '19, Graham Buchan '17, Michael Polson '17, Alex Ruberto '17, and coxswain Devin Flynn '18. For the five seniors in this boat this was the last race of their collegiate careers with Williams College.
As is often the case in rowing, the first stretch of the race proved key. The Ephs put together a strong starting sequence against the Brits, and came past the tip of Temple Island bow ball to bow ball with their English opponents. As the crews settled down into their bases for the race, University of London began taking seats on the Ephs crew. By the time the crews had reached the Barrier, a landmark 650 meters into the race, the Ephs trailed by several seats.
The Ephs refused to let University of London get away from them. The Ephs made a strong move coming through the Fawley marker at the halfway point in the race to keep contact with University of London. However, the Ephs were unable to sustain their surge as U of London gradually slipped away from them through the latter stages of the race.
The Ephs went on to finish one length behind University of London, who put up one of the day's fastest winning times of 6:22.
Charlie Sheils '17 is disappointed that the Ephs failed to advance, but grateful for the company of his teammates and family: "We are disappointed that we are not able to race in the later days but after a long stretch of training we are grateful to be able to spend quality time with our families and teammates in Henley."
A large congratulations and thanks from the team goes out to all of the seniors on the team who finished their careers on this trip. The seniors of the Varsity Eight are joined on the trip by fellow senior Aaron Finder, who concluded his career with the Varsity Four at Henley. The team wishes them the best of luck in their future endeavors, and hopes that rowing will continue to play an important role in their lives.
The team is also extremely grateful for the support of their families along this long journey.
For a replay of the Ephs race and the rest of the day's action, see this video. The Ephs race begins at the 3:27:40 mark in the video.