オックスフォード大学セントキャサリンカレッジのクルーの日本訪問記

昨4日の、筑波大学漕艇部棚橋さんの英国ボート大会参加記に続けて、返礼の意味で、2016年9月にオックスフォード大学セントキャサリンカレッジのクルーが来日し我がボートレースに参加したその記録を、クルー一員のGeorgios Ntentasさんがメッセージを寄せているので、原文のまま紹介します。

ST Catherine's College Oxford - Tsukuba University Japan Exchange 2016

After about 24 hours on buses, plannes and feet,we arrived at Toda rowing lake,the Olympic rowing venue from Tokyo 1964. After a quick setup paddle and being bamboozled by a supermarket, we got into our routine of early-to-bed, earlywake.WE were racing in the Oxford Shield Regatta as part of the All Japan Universities Championships-something akin to-BUCS in the UK.The regatta we were competing allowed entries from non-university crews,so saw a mixed field of companies and universities entering.With a couple of outings under our belt, we hit the race weekend, starting with our heat.We placed 2nd, behind an exceptionnally strong TORAY crew.who went on to win the A Final.
This put us into the repechages, in which we placed first and booked ourselves a slot in the semi-finals on Sunday morning.The semi-final turned out to be a bit of a race-of-death; we again faced the strong TORAY crew from the heats, but each of the other two crews has posted times within+-3 seconds,of us, and were competting for one slot in the B Final.Although we had a good race, it wasn't enough, seeing us come 3rd by 1/2length setting the 7th quickest time overall in the semi-finals.
after rracing we had a number of visits from members of the Toda rowing community- from the Japanese Rowing Association and Saitama prefecture newspaper (see link below) to a rower who had raced against an Oxford crew in the 1950's ( and beaten them by a bow ball, apparently!).We spent the evening meeting Tsukuba alumni, before handing over a little bit of SCCBE after President George Ntentas brought out his best Japanese for a speech.WE didn't understand a word of it, but apparently it was very good! Racing and training done, we set about exploring Tokyo for a few days, before back to the UK.
It was a fantastic experience which promoted rowing collaboration and cultural exchange between the two clubs and of course the two countries.We experienced an international race and made great friends. Please feel free to contact us if you wish to organise something similar in Japan.We believe that there are many universities which will be more than happy to host a British crew, especialy klooking forward to Tokyo 2020.(Authors: Matt Smith &Georgios Ntentas)
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