The Club's Results
University IVs 2011
A knockout competition for Cambridge College IVs over 2800m (light IVs), 2000m (men's coxed IVs) or 1300m (women's coxed IVs)
Mon 24th - Fri 28th October
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Lost to LMBC by 39s
For two members of the crew, the 'taper' for this event began in July 2010. The other two members had rowed rather more recently, (including in my case a glorious victory in the "Scratch 2x round a buoy in Hamilton Harbour" by virtue of neither being a novice nor over 50), but suffered from the perennial problem of being far too short and fat.
After our extensive training for the event on Wednesday morning, the mood in the post-outing loafing-around-period/chat was a fascinating mix of amazement, disgust and despondency. It turns out that if you take 4 decent rowers, send one of them to start some revolutions, another to wander around America, and then reconvene 18 months later, you produce a four which rows like novices. More precisely, it rows mediocrely for 15 strokes, and then loses all core strength and coordination and drifts off toward anti-phase.
Given this context, we were quite happy when we made it to the start on Friday afternoon having only stuck the riggers into the (millpond-like) river a few times, and with a few isolated 'decent' strokes. We lined up on the downstream station, attacked it off the start and according to our very helpful shell-guardian Iain may even have gained slightly. Then we hit the wash under the railway bridge, most people's cores gave up, and we "strode" down to a more relaxed rhythm. According to the (possibly generous) reports of our large bankparty, we then drifted out to perhaps 2 lengths down by the Plough.
It's unclear whether this (surprisingly small deficit) was due to LMBC's carefully developed JIT (Just In Time) method of avoiding the banks, or because we were actually moving the boat for the first 1k. In either case, the river straightened out, Miles' back suddenly stopped him from breathing (no, we don't understand either), and we wandered our way down the course to finish a long way off to give Maggie their hat-trick.
Nothing more to say, other than to express my continuing disappointment that nobody outside the big red boathouse down the river is willing to take this event seriously and mount a challenge to the LMBC small boats machine.
PS - Time added as an approximate (+-10s) guess based on LMBC's estimate of their time.
Lost to Downing W1
I have never had a successful Uni IVs race. In the past my crews have drawn the winners of the event, and suffered a fairly spectacular equipment failure. This race was dominated mostly by nerves, lack of training, and Downing.
After a very quick series of starting calls 'Firstandthirddowningattentiongo' I proceeded to air stroke through the start. No doubt because of this, we were rating 38 (fair higher than we had ever attempted in training) and Downing took a quick lead. Alex tells me we gained a little of it back, but at this point I was more concerned with getting my blade in the water.
The race then became an test of extreme cardiovascular fitness down the reach, overrating and losing ratio with every stroke. The final margin was 31 seconds.
When I decided to enter a IV for the competition, I did it to give meaning to our training. I figured at the very least it would give us a wake up call, possibly light a fire under the squad. The positive that we took from it, walking out of the crew room afterwards, was resolve. That's what I've seen in every outing since.
Full Mich Term 2011 results