The winter months are a time of the year when most crews are grinding out the miles on the ergo and establishing a strong base of strength and conditioning on which to build for the summer. Whilst that may be the case for the current KCS 1st 8+, who recently excelled against the best junior crews in the world at the Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston, the 1884 Boat Club are not ‘most crews’.

At KCSBC’s 2017 Festive Races, the Old King’s Club (1884 BC) crew took to the water in the aptly named “King’s Gift” with one thing in mind: setting the record straight after the controversial dead heat verdict of last year’s race. The conditions: an overcast tideway afternoon with just a hint of a tailwind breathing down the course. Perfect conditions then, for stroke man Charlie Buchanan to lead the boys out onto a punchy rate 42 rhythm, which he did with characteristic elan. This was reinforced by some familiar faces in the bow 7 of the boat. Once again, however, the old boys fell victim to underhand tactics from the youngsters, conceding a half length lead before the race had even begun. Cox Hugo Forshaw showed great composure, as his crew overhauled the deficit in the first three quarters of the race and in the final dash to the line it was all to play for. The big effort from 1884 was starting to show and the school boys began inching back.

The official verdict: too close to call in yet another race that will be remembered as much for the controversy surrounding it as the rowing.

Bow: Jack Elkington (OK 2012)
2: Fraser Harris (OK 2011)
3: Alex Nelson (OK 2013)
4: Alex Robey (OK 2013)
5: Nick Elkington (OK 2016)
6: Alex Duncomb (OK 2013)
7: Ollie Hines (OK 2013)
Stroke: Charlie Buchanan (OK 2014)
Cox: Hugo Forshaw (OK 2013)