a huge entry to the Thames Challenge Cup and many of the country's
finest oarsmen returning from an Olympic year, the challenge for
Henley qualification proved too great and the Oratory Cardinals
VIII finished as the sixth fastest non-qualifying crew of the 26
crews racing for eight places. While an obvious disappointment to
all involved, the Club have been reminded of the elite standards
of Henley and the magnitude of the task of qualifying against crews
that have trained together all year.
it is important to put this in perspective with the very aims of
the Cardinals - primarily to reunite old boys at enjoyable events.
While none of the crew are likely to describe the actual race as
'enjoyable', there is no doubt that the crew for 2001 enjoyed their
short season. Afterall, nearly 300 hundred competent crews turned
up to Qualifiers in 2001 and only 90 made it through to the Regatta.
That the Cardinals VIII were amongst the fastest of those turning
back is only to be applauded.