I wasn't taken out of the boat because my back was acting up and they considered me a liability. My back didn't start hurting until Monday, and the Henley decision was announced on Sunday night, shortly after my coach admitted that "the quad is going more quickly than I expected."
The decision to put a coxed 4 in Henley rather than a quad had nothing to do with my condition. It was based on the fact that in the coxed 4 category there is an "Intermediate Division," whereas with the quad sculls the lowest division you can enter is "Elite." Coach wanted to put our boat against the softest available competition. That was the ONLY reason, never mind that it just happened to fuck over one of the longest-serving and hardest-training (by his own admission) members of the squad.
And as for my back, it gave me problems purely because training camp is an extra-intense training environment. I hadn't been on the water in a few few weeks (because the university was on spring break), and though i'd been doing a lot of land training (cycling, hill sprints, etc.), my back objected to going from no rowing to rowing 3x a day overnight with no buildup. I predicted that would happen, and so was not surprised. I was surprised by the cascade of other problems it created.
After I got back from camp I went to see my chiropractor ("Miracle Mike"), who massaged out my hip flexor properly, put things back where they belong, and within minutes I was fine. The next day I was back to fighting fit. So I'm fine, it was just a case of over-doing things a bit, and I'm back to training. But not back in the boat, of course.
I'm currently in the process of looking for a partner to double with me at Henley. Tonight I'm going on the water with a woman from a neighboring boat club who is also looking for a doubles partner. We'll see how it goes.
The Bristol Uni boat club may have effectively thrown me off their team, but I am determined to make that THEIR loss, not mine. Bristol uni can go to hell.