After merely one outing together (thereby minimising the danger of peaking too early), the Sons of the Thames-Furnivall Composite VIII debuted its racing season in the IM3 category at the Chiswick Regatta on Saturday. It was a tough draw, with Sons-Furnivall on the Surrey station pitted against Thames RC, enjoying the middle of the stream and Auriol Kensington stationed on Middlesex. Within twenty-strokes of the start, AK's coxadjudged the centre of the river was broad enough for two crews and promptly rammed Thames, which was Sons-Furnivall's golden opportunity until the umpire's red flag was lofted and a re-run commenced. Second time round, Sons-Furnivall got off to a better start with David Preece setting a blistering stroke-rate, backed up by Graham Stewart and Ben Jury and with Marc Corbett at bow. A third of the way into the race, Sons-Furnivall had already taken a length off AK and were impudently coming back at Thames, whittling the deficit down to half a length, at which point Thames realised a successions of pushes might be in order. This duly gave Thames clear water again and they crossed the line first with Sons-Furnivall, starting to shorten-up, about a length and half behind. AK finished third, a couple of lengths behind Sons-Furnivall. Although the row was scrappy in parts, the overall feeling was that for a Composite VIII which had only had one outing before, Sons-Furnivall could go places. Possibly to Twickenham. Or further, if anyone has space on their trailer.