Greetings from Geneva!
We have successfully returned to the States, and the team has filtered back home or off to the next summer adventure. Our return home also marks the end of Coach Keller’s tenure with us. He, along with our seniors, have left an indelible impact on the program, and we will be forever grateful for the friendship and quality of their time here in Geneva. Thank you Tom, you were an outstanding teammate!
The Henley experience was everything we expected and more than we hoped. It is a spectacle in every sense of the word. The crowd is enormous and stretches for better than a mile and a quarter down the entire length of the race course.
The history (176 years worth!) and the pageant of the event can only be experienced to be understood, and the fellowship with teammates, alums, family, and other rowers from abroad fills the spirit.
It is a remarkable event in every way imaginable, and I hope you all get a chance to compete or spectate at this event at least once in your life.
As mentioned in the last update, our defeat to Columbia University was a tough race against a mature and seasoned crew. It was gutting to lose, but the men gave a tremendous effort and they will certainly remember that effort with pride for the rest of their lives. As with all losses, we will tear it apart, learn from it, and get better because of it. This moment, however, does not capture the event and why it was so special and successful.
We have enjoyed a run through the history book at Hobart these past few seasons here at home. Henley represents the highest level of international competition for student teams from colleges and universities across the world. To make it through the bracket into racing on Friday-Saturday-Sunday takes tremendous strength and skill. These weekend races pit the best against the best from all over the world and from some of the most prestigious schools in their countries. In the final eight of the Temple Challenge Cup the crews were Hobart College, Princeton University, Cornell University, Columbia University, The University of London, Oxford Brooks University (UK), eventual finalist from the University Of Lyon (France) and the eventual champions from Netherlands, the Amsterdam Student Rowing Club Nereus. Truly elite company, and indicative of the rarified air our program now finds itself in so routinely. My final impression from this event was that it will take a special crew, but this is a race that we can win!
Within our team, we had a remarkable year of training and performance from each individual. As often as possible I remind myself, and our teammates, how lucky we are to share this time in our lives together. From the strongest team in our program’s history, 19 athletes revealed themselves to have the quality required to race with the best of the best from across the world. I’m confident this experience will help us continue to value each other, push each other, and to keep reaching for more!
Thank you one last time to the SAA, our parents, alumni, and friends who made this trip happen with your enthusiastic support and generous donations. You have created a meaningful experience that will last a lifetime for the young men and women from the Colleges. With your continued support we can continue to expand the opportunities and experiences for these student-athletes in ways that complement the world-class education received in the classrooms, and truly create lives of consequence.
With deepest gratitude,