The Club's Results
Foster Fairbairn Pairs archive
- May Term 2012 (Men's 2-), Little and Large: Men's 2-, Beat Harris-Wilkes (Peterhouse) by 13s in the quarter finals and Lost to Whetnall/McPhail(sic) by "1 length" on the rerow in the semi finals
- May Term 2010 (Men's 2-): Men's 2-, Lost to Catz (Moss-Grimwood) by 48 sec in the 1st round
- May Term 2010 (Men's 2-), Griffiths-Ford: Men's 2-, Lost by 6s in the quarter finals
- May Term 2009 (Men's 2-), Little and Large: Men's 2-, Raced 3 rounds: Lost, by 13 small seconds in the final
- May Term 2009 (Men's 2-), Wood/Main/Garcia: Men's 2-, Lost by 5s in the quarter finals
- May Term 2009 (Men's 2-): Men's 2-,
- May Term 2008 (Men's 2-), Laffan/Cunha: Men's 2-, Raced 3 rounds: lost to Fletcher/Preiss several times over in the final
- May Term 2008 (Men's 2-), The Comedy Pair: Men's 2-, Lost to a tree stump by a blade width in the quarter finals
- May Term 2008 (Men's 2-), Fletcher/Preiss: Men's 2-, Raced 3 rounds: Beat Laffan/Cunha over the first half of the course. After a brief rest beat Garrod/Cunha over the second half in the final
- May Term 2008 (Men's 2-), FaT nth pair: Men's 2-, Lost to Fletcher/Preiss by 20s in the 1st round
- May Term 2008 (Men's 2-), Gruessing/Dunleavy: Men's 2-, lost to Fletcher/Preiss in the 2nd round
- May Term 2007 (Men's 2-), Garrod/Jane: Men's 2-, beat Chapman/McCool (Trinity Hall) by 3s in spite of everything in the semi finals and beat Rutterford/Atman (Emma) by 10s in the final
- May Term 2007 (Women's 2-), Ralston/Rawlins: Women's 2-, beat Lucas/McNiece (Kings) easily in the semi finals and beat Hughes/Sawyer (Downing) easily in the final
- May Term 2006 (Men's 2-), LBC Pair: Men's 2-, Beat Peterhouse (Jacobs/Satchwell) by 3s in the quarter finals and Lost to Christ's (Darby/Davis) by 25s in the semi finals
- May Term 2006 (Men's 2-), Garrod/Shepherd: Men's 2-, Raced 3 rounds: Lost to Darby/Davis (Christ's) by 17s in the final
- May Term 2006 (Women's 2-), Weaver/Rackley (Pembroke): Women's 2-, Lost to Darby/Davis by 39s, lost to Garrod/Shepherd by 22s in the final
- May Term 2005 (Men's 2-), Cunha/Shepherd: Men's 2-, Beat Johnson/Burnage (Pembroke) easily in the 1st round and Lost convincingly to Braithwaite/Twigg (Kings) in the quarter finals
- May Term 2005 (Women's 2-), Russell/Aiken: Women's 2-, Beat Lowson/White (Pembroke) easily in the semi finals and Dead heat with Thompson/Weaver (FaT) in the final
- May Term 2005 (Women's 2-), Thompson/Weaver: Women's 2-, Beat Kunze/Moynihan (Churchill) by a few lengths in the semi finals and Dead heat with Russell/Aiken (FaT) in the final
- May Term 2005 (Men's 2-), Coker/Holland: Men's 2-, Raced 4 rounds: Beat Corpus (4s) in the final
- May Term 2004, Coker/Colvin: , Beat Catz (alot) in the 1st round and Lost to Catz (43s) in the semi finals
- May Term 2004, Chamberlain/Holland: , Raced 3 rounds: Lost to Catz (~15s) in the final
- May Term 2003 (Men's 2-), Talbott / Earl: Men's 2-, Lost to Caius by 3-4 sec in the quarter finals
- May Term 2002, Glass/Davies: , Raced 4 rounds: Lost to CCAT by 17s in the 4th round
- May Term 2001, Taylor/Painter: , Beat Wolfson/Darwin composite by 34s in the semi finals and Won by beating Emmanual by 26s in 8min 26s in the final
- May Term 2001, Men's Pair A, Rose/Earl: , Lost by 3s to CCAT in the semi finals
- May Term 2001, Men's Pair B, Thorne/Grundy: , Lost to St. Catherine's (eventual winners) in the semi finals
- Lent Term 1998, Wilde/Darley: , Raced 3 rounds: Beat Peck/Robinson (14s) in the final
- Lent Term 1998, Backhouse/Ponsonby: , Rowed over (Moore/Stoll - King's scatched) in the quarter finals and Lost to Wilde/Darley (9s) in the semi finals
- Lent Term 1998, Bevan/Ingram: , Lost to Peck/Robinson (3s) in the quarter finals
- Lent Term 1998, Peck/Robinson: , Raced 4 rounds: Lost to Wilde/Darley (14s) in the final
- Lent Term 1998, Dixon/Wilton: , Beat Cornfield/Downing (26s) in the semi finals and Beat Stout/Blount - Queens' (10s) in the final
- Lent Term 1998, Cornfield/Downing: , Lost to Dixon/Wilton (26s) in the semi finals
- Lent Term 1967 (Men's 2-), 1st & 3rd A: Men's 2-, Raced 3 rounds: Beat Heanley-Wallace (Queens') by 22s in the final
- Lent Term 1967 (Men's 2-), 1st & 3rd B: Men's 2-, Lost to Queens' by 37s in the quarter finals
Beat Harris-Wilkes (Peterhouse) by 13s
For Ali's third outing in a small boat, and my second attempt at bowside in quite a while (my hands were pointing out...), this went quite nicely. The bursts on the way down seemed to work reasonably well, we determined that while no faster than Chris Kerr we didn't seem to be slower either, and I managed not to crash into many things on the way to Baitsbite.
We sat around chatting to some of the other pairs about some other races which had apparently been settled by email argument, and then lined up on bottom station. We seemed to move away quite nicely, and although Ali seemed to be unwilling to take the rate particularly high, I was confident we were overgeared enough and with reasonable enough length this shouldn't be an issue. After some cautious lines round the corners (30s power differences are a bit scary when you're steering) we were told we'd moved up nicely, and when Emma called "5 lengths down" at 500m to go, it took me a moment to realise we were close enough she'd switched to literal distances. Apparently they then called a sprint, Emma told us to take it up, but their sprint disintegrated after a few strokes while we wound to the heady heights of 34 (at a guess) and we crossed the line in some comfort.
We then battle paddled back a couple of lengths in front of the Caius pair who had won the race after us, at the point they started lifting the rate into the mid 20s past the Tit Hall boathouse I decided it was time to bow out and came to a halt on the bank.
Onwards to tomorrow, where I suspect we'll need to keep improving to meet the challenge of the multitude of Caius pairs still in the competition
To see (among other things) just how much I quiched round Ditton (never done it without using rudder before...), see
and switch to the HR&Speed plot in "Player"
Video of us paddling afterwards: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMF7-U0jJJ0
Lost to Whetnall/McPhail(sic) by "1 length" on the rerow
The weather alternated during the afternoon between downpours and strong gusty winds, but brightened up for just long enough that I made it down to only one thick long-sleeved top by the time we started the semi-final. The paddle down had been a little iffy, but I felt hopeful that the tailwind would suit us better.
We had a reasonable start and looked from my seat to be rowing away nicely from the Downing pair down First Post reach and through the Gut. Unfortunately some combination of scrappy bladework and a lack of legs from me (2 2k races in 90 minutes is a lot if you aren't doing any training!) meant I struggled hard to turn Ali round Grassy and we took the long route around the corner. Thomas called us as 2s up at the Plough, I called us a length down, and the same calls were made at the exit of Ditton. We wound reasonably effectively for the line, but presumably so did they, and it looked like they won the deadheat by feet at most.
With the rules requiring a 2s margin for races in the chase format, we did an awful practise start into the headwind under the railway bridge and paddled back to Ditton, lining up on the towpath station. As I expected, we started crisply in the tailwind, took half a length in the first few strokes, but then slowly got rowed down. With 20 strokes to go we were half a length behind, managed to pull much of this back with a frantic wind to the line, but were left "a few feet plus the stagger" behind. The Downing pair went straight on at the kink and for a few moments I thought they were going to park on the outside bank and leave us to it, (apparently they were hearing Thomas calling "Away" to us, more than the three members of their bankparty frantically telling them to come "Towards"! Maybe coded signals for next time...), but they came round at the last moment.
Thanks to Ali for some fun racing, if we can produce this with no practice (and still having never rated above 35) and me quite unfit I hope this can inspire a return to some FaT successes in the SBR 2013.
Lost by 6s
A very disappointing result. Training had been going well, driving each other on in fitness and technique, and the times done in training suggested we were well placed to win against average competition for the event.
Given the standard of the crews that turned up (I can think of 4 FaT pairs who entered FF in the last two years who would have won this event), we were definitely looking to win.
Sadly Matt still hadn't got anywhere with getting his forearms to work properly, particularly with wooden handles and in the slower boat. The race went reasonably well (although my line was a bit dodgy) upto about 1k, then Matt started to lose control, and by 400m to go he was square blades and only occasionally managing to put down any pressure. The (practised...) up 8 into the mid 40s simultaneous with going to ghost pressure maintained boatspeed for a while, but I was having to keep the boat down to strokeside to keep Matt's square blade clear of the water and eventually we took a duff stroke. The high rate ghost pressure wasn't possible for re-accelerating the boat, and I ended up rowing the last 150m basically on my own; while this is a useful exercise in the tubs, it doesn't work as well against a little racing rudder and we limped across the line.
Won by 5s
A lot more exciting than I was hoping. We had a reasonable row, I thought, but discovered after the race Pedro's wrist wasn't taking to high rates at all well; the only sign to me of this was a mini-crab in the gut.
The excitement was what was happening behind us. Gonzalo had about the same warning as me in Lents last year of needing to race, about 5 minutes. Having done an outing with him earlier in the week, I knew he could make a pair go quite fast, but I hadn't realised how fast he and John would set off. Even before we got to the posts on Plouch Reach it was obvious they were gaining substantially, and my best guess is that they had over 10s on us 800m in. However at that point John clipped the inside of Grassy (probably the steering error with the best excuse, it being necessary to be quite close to have a half-decent line), Gonzalo threw up, and an angry narrowboater shouted at them. After that it seems they were struggling; we didn't really get any faster until the last 250m, and the margins at the three sets of posts were 5s down, level, and 5s up. A very impressive bit of rowing (and steering, for the majority of the course), and I imagine with a day's notice of the crew for the race, Gonzalo and John might well have had us easily. Go and get it next year!
Won by 14s
Our hour of gentle paddling around with a few starts seemed to be vaguely working, I was rowing in time with John more often than not and slowly working out how long to row. Improved further on the paddle down to the start, and set off reasonably aggressively. I was slightly worried down First post reach that this might be an erg difference to far for me, but Kiely told me afterwards I just put the rudder on and sat there happily. Much better lines round the corners than yesterday, and we steadily pulled away over the course in a relatively uneventful race.
Lost, by 13 small seconds
This was better than last year, sadly the jesus pair were actually quite quick. I'd wanted to get my name up in gold, and double my uni medal count, but instead my blue lycra was stained by defeat. Oh well...
I haven't written one of these for a while, so I think this is the part where I put the excuses. Having had some time to consider them, I believe that they were worth at least a minute, and possibly two. Firstly, it was too warm, and I'm not used to rowing in these conditions, or at this time of the day. Second, I wasn't allowed to use the C2s, and instead spent the row failing to find any connection with the crokers. Third, they had a filippi, and we had a burgashell, whose bow had had a non-aerodynamic hole put in it. Fourth, we were unable to get out of the boat before the start, so I wasn't able to scare them by tensing and making them feel intimidated/sorry for my malnutrition (this alone was worth at least 30s). Fifth, we'd only had one practice outing, which was an unpleasant race yesterday. Sixth, I was confused by having a bowman who tried.
On the plus side, we rated quite high, and were the fastest trinity pair (by time anyway), going over the course in a reasonable time. I also pushed peter hard enough to make him vom. And I got a sun tan, although unfortunately this turned in to sun burn during my later outing. The jesus guys had trained a lot, and are the second fastest pair on the river, which isn't bad considering who's in the top pair. They probably also set a record time for this event, though someone else will probably check this for me. So they may have deserved it.
I think I'll go for something in between Kiely's amusing extravagance and 2001-era "Didn't pull hard enough" reports.
We probably didn't pull hard enough, and that wasn't helped by the cold that had come on hard the day before; on Plough reach I attempted a 3 word call and nearly threw up, so went back to the relative safety of monosyllabic grunts after that. Being able to breathe is useful.
However, we probably also put too much effort into pulling against each other, pulling against the rudder (must try not to put rudder on and quiche...), and trying to make the Cam go backwards at speed. The C2s would have helped on the last front, because you can actually push as soon as the blades in the water with them, but they weren't to be had, and the problems would more have been solved by either spending more time in the boat, or me being better at rowing.
In any case, it's not clear that the things we could have changed (like training) would have been enough, the Jesus pair went very fast. Glad tho to finally produce a decent time in a pair since leaving school, so thanks to John for helping me do that. Finally, many thanks to Emma for both keeping me on the river during my abysmal steering on Monday, and not getting scared when I went back to 6-12" margins for days 2 and 3.
I'll be back.
Lost by 5s
This couldd well have been an interesting race. I am heavily displeased that my back died during a practice start on the way down, otherwise we would have probably scared quite significantly a pair comprised of people who taught us to row last term, which would have at least been banterous.
As it was, this day was a bad day. A very bad day. I disliked this day very much.
Something probably should be said for Gonzalos very noble effort at jumping in on eating half a pack of jaffa cakes and not really having rowed a pair with Jon before - well manned up.
beat Granger-Bevan/Watterson (Selwyn) by 30s
In what should have been recognised as an omen for Hambleden's second race of the day, it took only until first post corner for the steering to pack up. Armed only with wild variations in pressure we managed to meander our way through the corners, clearly causing some distress to Emma as we pushed the limit of how wide its actually possible to go around grassy. Thankfully the Selwyn guys were doing their fair share of meandering too, I think they might have even scraped the bank once or twice.
However, the end result was good, we never really stormed away, but I think we just steadily edged further and further ahead. Good to have one race behind us going into Wednesday.
This race gave us the honour of being the only FaT pair to beat another college this week, Coker having also won a round of Fairbairn Junior Sculls to uphold the club's name.
Beat Worley/Martin (Christs) by 3s
It was looking good, our row down had been some of the best rowing we'd ever put together - our burst on the reach was powerful, our practise start was clean and rapid, I was even lined up almost straight at the start. The, dare I say it, class continued down first post reach, the start wasn't too shabby and nor was my line.
However, rounding first post corner we threw away anything resembling timing, rhythm or balance and instead did our best to spank the boat along with complete disregard for technique. This second style of racing perservered for the remainder of the course and explains why this was one of the most physically demanding races I've ever done. This was a shame because that level of exertion probably wouldn't have been necessary had we rowed to our technical potential, and left us in pretty bad shape for the next round, not that it turned out to matter.
A good race from Christs, from all accounts they were much slicker than on Monday and certainly gave us a decent race.
This race took out the last remaining non-FaT entry into Foster-Fairbairns and assured us the Michell Cup points.
lost to Fletcher/Preiss several times over
They row better than us, they have more power than us and just to put the icing on the cake, they have working leg muscles.
They were faster and would most likely win any ordinary race against us. In fact they were in the process of doing just that quite convincingly when my hamstring started to go. So we stopped, and lost. We then subbed me out for Bryn (who is inelligable for this event) and thus probably lost again. They were kind enough to allow this new crew a fresh race from the plough, which we promptly lost. All in all, I think we have to concede that they deserved to win.
We weren't in tip top shape after our semi, but that wasn't going to change the result, however I would have liked to make it look a bit more competitive, which I'd like to think on fresh (working) legs it could've been.
Lost to a tree stump by a blade width
My cunning plan of staying on the far side of first post reach to nail the racing line and avoid the outflow backfired. Someone put a tree stump in the way. We crabbed. On the plus side, we didn't fall in... We got going again, then my footplate fell apart. Nothing like the ominous noise of nuts rolling about in the shell.
Unfortunately the Christs' pair didn't feel like completing the comedy quartet and spanked us all over the place.
Positives to take away from this race:
1. Stroke's rigger didn't fall apart.
2. We didn't fall in.
3. We don't need to change our crew name.
It took us an eternity to extract ourselves from the bank after our tree-induced boat-stopper, but after that the rowing was actually reasonably un-comic.
A rudder, however, would have been nice.
1. I think we could have had them.
Lost to Fletcher/Preiss by 20s
With nothing better to do at the moment, I noticed nothing at the time inspired either of us to write a race report, which seems a pity given the comical nature of the race.
The first kilometre seems to have mostly faded from my brain, which means it must have been quite uneventful; a good start was followed by a shock as turning round grassy was enacted in about 3 strokes. Somewhere along plough reach I was somewhat discouraged by the gentle tinkling noise of the footplate nuts falling off, and then a rather epic Ditton corner began. Sadly John chose the moment at which I no longer had a rudder (or in fact a way to push off my left foot) to mildly blow up and lose all power at the catch. In spite of Ming's crazed shouting, we nearly managed to land on the outside of the corner. Following the eventual straightening up onto the reach, we vaguely spannered our way towards the railway bridge, before John gave up at the moment Preiss finished and we drifted across the line.
On the whole, a working pair might have made the racing more comfortable, but once we'd drawn these two hope was slim. Ah well, hopefully next year I might manage to both not draw the winner in the first round of every competition I enter, and be in a position to make some kind of use of a more friendly draw.
I didn't give up, I just got confused by hearing 'wind down' to the other boat. I think we generally rowed reasonably, and were beaten by a stronger crew, despite over-rating them by about 4. The only other positive I can think of is that when kristina gets round to it we'll become the only boat from sbr with photos.
6:41.2, rate 28.
beat Chapman/McCool (Trinity Hall) by 3s in spite of everything
Well. What a nightmare.
After many emails, phone calls and discussions about how we were going to cope with four races to be done in the same boat and only three divisions to race in, we ended up rigging a pair at Christ's boathouse at roughly the time we were meant to be marshalling. The boat was weighted for 90kg, less than 10kg too much, but rigged very high with it. And it could only be bow-rigged due to minor damage on strokeside. And the shoes gave me blisters and were much too big for Dan so that he couldn't steer properly. So, armed with a new crew order and much lower river, we set off full of confidence.
We knew from previous results that we had 30s to play with, so we played with all of them. We were still level at the Plough and only a couple of seconds up at the bottom of the Reach, but the potential shame of losing led to a titanic push of effort and a resultant tiny increase in effective power. Fortunately we won, just. I don't want to row at stroke ever again.
Having said that, massive thanks to Christ's for lending us a boat and to Karthik for sorting it out for us. I really wouldn't have wanted to scratch.
So luckily we didn't lose to someone called McCool, but he did lose to someone called Jane. (They're friends anyway, so it doesn't really matter.)
A horrendous race, but as everyone kept pointing out 'a win is a win'. Very true, but when you have to leave yourself physically and mentally broken before the final it doesn't feel quite as sweet.
My little feet kept falling out of the shoes, especially the one that steers, and meant turning the rudder was a major stress. That cost us a lot on the corners and even a bit on the straights. Excellent calls by Coker and Karthik kept us on the blue. The rigging was much higher than we were used to, and we totally lost all semblance of a catch. Bugger.
In the end, we just had to grit our teeth and push them away. No technique required, just blue sweat and golden blood.
beat Rutterford/Atman (Emma) by 10s
Everything went better. I've never loved a boat named after a Nobel Laureate as much as I did today. Tiredness was definitely an issue (as was steering, as ever) but we were psyched and put in a row that, while not quite our best, was still pretty decent. Nice to win. Thanks to Tom for banksteering loudly and not seeking revenge on any of the corners.
A good race, if a little riskier than was necessary.
We set off hard and gained a length before we were half way down first post reach. Back in the steerer's seat, Bryn took a very good line after an initial wobble and we both took confidence from that. In the stroke seat, I was determined to win FF no matter what the physical cost. I could hear Coker calling for length and that we were up, but I wanted to break them from the word go.
Unfortunately this meant the race was incredibly painful as I had very little left in the tank after McCool (and hence why I'm writing this a day late). We had a massive lift out of grassy they didn't respond to, and then another past the plough that simply wouldn't have been possible if we hadn't trained together over the holiday. These helped with the confidence and after a slightly wide Ditton we kept taking it up down the reach.
Beat Peterhouse (Jacobs/Satchwell) by 3s
Having almost ejected out of the Grad VIII yesterday, I was a bit apprehensive about racing a pair today, but the sun was shining so it seemed like a good idea.
Whilst waiting at the lock, I came to the realisation that I had omitted one of my more important pre-race rituals - the Preparatory Evacuation. I like to think this gave us a sense of urgency.
The row itself was not too bad, although apparently we did a good job of squandering a healthy lead during the second kilometre (we had no idea as we were chasing). Tom's steering was pretty solid, despite my best attempts to make us hit the outsides of both First Post and Ditton.
We probably should have won more easily, but at least we made it to the Penny Ferry in time...
Lost to Christ's (Darby/Davis) by 25s
Whilst I was "doing core" in the Penny Ferry, Tom was secretly hoping that I would return too late and get us DQ'ed. Sadly for him this wasn't to be, so we had to race again.
We rowed a bit better this time, pushing our finishes out more convincingly. But the first race had taken its toll and the power was lacking. The corners were more colourful, with a mini-crab sending us to the inside of First Post Corner, and this time I made sure we messed up Ditton by calling a restart before the corner was over.
Seb reckons we lost by about 20s but when the margin is that big it's hard to tell. Thanks to Dami and Seb for coming out.
Beat Hunsley/Potter (Pembroke) by turning up
We suffered from indecision about what we were doing during our row over, so didn't exactly race it and didn't exactly paddle it... We more just spacked
. At least it gave us the confidence that, however slow we were, at least we were going to make it around the course.
Beat Kelly/Mott (Sidney) by 12s
We were ahead coming out of Grassy, but then I had sunglasses issues as they fell off my head and blocked my view. I tried to push them back up again but they fell back down, so I then put them on properly and rowed the rest of the race in near-darkness. One-handed rowing in a pair is not particularly clever. Tom called us a length up at the Plough reach timing posts and we put in a bit of a push to go into Ditton slightly up. Unfortunately, any potential drama of a tense finish was ruined by their bowman's getting stuck in his heel restraints and thus steering Ditton without a rudder. The last 500m served to prove that Jacob is more of a man than me and we wiggled our way over the finish line.
Lost to Darby/Davis (Christ's) by 17s
We knew that we were up against it, as our oppposition had been proven to be exactly the same speed as Dan and Tom. Tiredness meant we probably rowed a bit more consistently but more slowly than in the earlier races. They were 4s up at the Plough so we knew we had to put in a big push - unfortunately they fancied catching us and put in a much bigger one. On the reach our rowing went to pot and they loomed ominously, but we managed to hold them off by about 3 lengths. If they hadn't hit the bank two strokes from their finish line, it could have been a different story...
Lost to Darby/Davis by 39s, lost to Garrod/Shepherd by 22s
Well, all our opposition wimped out of racing us, so we raced the Men's Forster-Fairbairn pairs final instead of the Women's Madgelene pairs. We reckon losing by 22s to the FaT pair ain't too bad, and Eton Boy thought it was enough to earn us the won-by-defualt Uni medals.. Such a shame not to be able to race actual opposition, but we had a pretty good race. Despite our start consisting of "draw 1.. er.. wind some? go fast.." we went off pretty swiftly, and managed to pretty much hold the boys until about halfway down first post reach [apparently]. Lucw took awesome lines round all the corners, and we even managed to take it up two for the finish. Only one mini crab - our rowing was qualiteeeee. Bring on the summer!
Beat Johnson/Burnage (Pembroke) easily
Won or lost easily...?
Yes Bryn! it's there now.
After three strokes we were in full flow. Our oppo weren't. In fact they hadn't heard the call... so we screeched to a halt, backed it down, lined up again, and went.
A tidy start was followed by 15-20 powerful strokes. Bow-man was then distracted by a Pembroke pair nestling in the reeds just past the motorway bridge. Confusion led to a wobbly row led to a bad line round 1st post which almost led to a barge. A serpentine route took us past that and another, safely onto the Plough Reach. Despite our obvious lead, there was no slacking... but our big push for 10 slowed the boat down... almost as much as our power (but no length) bursts after Ditton. The long, bank-bouncing route I steered down the Reach was then lengthened further as bemused marshalls sent us to the (wrong) later finish-line. Pembroke were just about in sight behind us :)
Having doubled the number of times we've rowed the course, tomorrow might be a tad quicker...
Beat Lowson/White (Pembroke) easily
Our basic plan for the race was to not crash, not fall in, and make it round the corners; anything on top of this would just be a bonus.
We'd heard that the Pembroke pair were pretty quick, so were looking forward to a good race. Having made it up to the start without crashing once (for the first time ever) we were already doing well. :) Catherine lined us up superbly on the start line, and after quite a bit of waiting round we were finally off.
Our first stroke was pretty shocking but the rest of the start was reasonable, although probably ought to have been a bit sharper. Just as we were striding down to race rhythm, the Pembroke pair (un)fortunately crashed into the reeds just downstream of the motorway bridge so we opened out a lead which we maintained and increased throughout the race, despite our spacking around the corners and dying on the reach. A slightly hollow victory given Pembroke's crash, I'm sure they would have given us a great race.
Dead heat with Thompson/Weaver (FaT)
This was truly unbelievable - we couldn't have hoped for a better result! There had been lots of banter between the two pairs over the past few weeks, discussing 'our' final, but neither pair were sure of winning our semis as the other crews looked pretty classy. Once we both had actually booked our slots in the final, the tension mounted and further banter was exchanged along the lines of 'wouldn't it be great if we 'decided' that we'd dead-heated and didn't have to race, and got the medals anyway'. Hmmm, good plan.
Well we both arrived at the start line, and it seemed that in fact a technical dead-heat "wouldn't do" for CUCBC, and we were actually going to have to fight it out. Arse. I for one certainly wasn't relishing the thought of the post-race changing rooms atmosphere.
A lot of faff at the start further heightened tension and my nerves were at breaking point when eventually we were allowed to go. The race was shoddy and we didn't row well, and the howling headwind didn't help matters when we practically came to a standstill on the reach. We crashed. We were told several times to 'go now', 'more pressure', 'lift it now', 'it's very close, more pressure' etc etc etc. Eventually, as my lungs were about to explode/implode (not sure which, medicine has never been my strong point), we finally hauled our boat to the finish. And waited for the results. And waited. And waited.
When a dead heat was announced, it seemed for a few minutes that we might have to re-row. Uh-uh. In my mind, re-rowing was not an option. So we had a brief congratulatory-we-are-great hug and discussion, and decided that probably sharing the points, going home, all getting medals/blades/names on boards and Pimms were really the thing to do. So we went home. Enough said.
Bring on the Magdalene Silver Pairs next year...!
Thanks to our team of banksteerers and coaches, without which none of this would have been possible *sniff*; Guy, Martin, Andy, Dan (also thanks for loan of the boat) and Jacob, plus Melissa from City for the loan of our superb craft, Clara T.
It's worth noting that the rules actually state that the final should be declared a draw in this case - it's only in preceding races that there must be rerows until there is a winner.
Well done everyone. The boards will look very cool!
Beat Kunze/Moynihan (Churchill) by a few lengths
Race went very much to plan, though there's probably still some room for improvement. We pulled away from them towards the end, weren't sure if we'd won or lost initially as we were too busy crasing into a Leys quad, with Erica not sure if we'd actually crossed the finish yet [we had, luckily]
oooh it's FaT on FaT tomorrow.. bring it ;)
Dead heat with Russell/Aiken (FaT)
Wow, we couldn't have done this if we'd tried.. Well we did try.. sort of. Having spent all of yesterday joking about declaring a dead heat and refusing to rerow.. it happened. We both had a pretty shocking row from what I gather - Cath and Amelia clipping a platform thing, and Erica and I crashing into a barge. We certainly struggled with the evil headwind which sprang up today, and our technique was shocking. It was good that neither side felt we'd been advantaged/disadvangted. Woo! See you next year in the silver pairs!
FaT women rock! Having knocked out all the opposition with relative ease, we knew that we were pretty evenly matched and even attempted to tell the umpires in advance that it would be a dead heat. Unfortunately we had to row anyway. Both crews had minor incidents involving large objects such as the bank a couple of times and I don't think any of us felt it was really a very good row. A massive lift out of Ditton though made for a great race to the finish ending in pretty much the best possible result: dead heat, to within the millisecond!
Celebrations, names on boards, and medals (!!!) all round :o)
Huge thanks to Jenny, without whose great banksteering we would have had much more trouble with barges etc!
Beat Leonard/Wilkins (Pembroke) by 2 seconds
After a week of unavailability, illness and boat breaking, we turned up to race having rowed no more than 20km together. We also scratched the wrong crew and ended up with the harder of the two possible opponents. Bugger.
We went off pretty hard, and must have had a useful lead going into the corners. Went a bit wide round first post but survived, and we somehow got a good line round grassy despite the barges on the outside and Dan having to stop and leave me to work out where we were going.
I reckon we were about 5 seconds up at the 1500m post, but by then I was really knackered, finding it hard enough to move the rudder, never mind stop Din from pulling me round. Managed to hold on though, catching my crab exactly on the finish line. The marshalls gathered together for a chat, and finally said that we'd won, by the smallest possible margin. Not sure I could've faced another re-row.
Beat Farnell/Prue (Churchill)
We were pretty confident going into this; I'd implicity beaten one of them easily in maiden sculls earlier, and they chose to advertise their power disadvantage by wearing CULRC kit. The hard bit was getting the equipment down there so we could re-rig. Being inept, I managed to get one of the trestles stuck in my front wheel and went flying over the handlebars, but thankfully avoided serious injury.
We had a good clean start, and rowed nicely up first post reach. They held the racing line well, but unfortunately there was a big barge parked in it. Din called a lift to gain us as much as possible, and a few seconds later I announced that we'd won. The corners were pretty good, and the rowing was much nicer than yesterday. With a few pushes in the second half we should be able to do some serious damage tomorrow.
I must confess I was less confident than Tom going into this. But their cock up on the start meant it was a very relaxing row. It will be interesting to see how the time compared with yesterday (if we get one).
Beat Christs (6s)
This was a pretty awful race. We didn't handle the wind conditions at all well. However we did manage to negotiate the course with only one minor altercation with the bank and were faster than them despite the shoddy rowing. Maybe they struggled even more than we did I don't know.
Although it was rubbish, we always knew we were ahead. It shows how tight this competition was that 6 seconds was a pretty comfortable win.
Beat Corpus (4s)
This was a very close race. We gained on them on the start (i gather they had some sort of incident?) but then we clipped the far bank down first post reach and got entangled in the trees. We probably lost a couple of seconds here and were down by a bit coming round first post corner. I think we then closed again up the gut and had an ok grassy (though i probably should have pulled a bit harder to keep us in tighter). This is where disaster struck our opposition. Some random barge decided it was a good idea to head back down the river towards the two crews racing upstream. Corpus managed to avoid this barge initially by ploughing into the Grey Barge. They pushed off from that and then ploughed into the barge coming downstream. We avoided all this despite me being blissfully unaware the barge was even there. Dan on the bank estimated their crash cost them 5-10s and we were well up by the time we got to the timing posts outside the plough. Thus we took it fairly cautiously home from there. I think they opended the gap between us again up the reach but it was all too late and we crossed about 4s up.
After waiting nearly half an hour, they decided that it'd never be clear so we'd have to do the best we could. Steering was made doubly harder by the wind which was being both strong and inconsistent, but even so we did a bad job of first post reach. The corners were ok, although I had to pull my blade in a foot on one recovery round grassy. Pretty relieved when Dan told us they'd crashed, and we just about maintained a 5 second lead through the second half.
Thanks must go to Dan Jane for his superb bank steering, and Jacob for his loud encouragement down the reach today.
Beat Catz (alot)
Dont know what the crew thought but I gather they came past Catz in the Gut where they had crashed.
They spent at least a minute parked on various banks, and we were faster than them. We didn't row the last half especially well but there wasn't really any need to.
Lost to Catz (43s)
There was a significant headwind through most of the course which we struggled to find a rhythm in. And they were quite good, hence the result.
Beat Corpus (28s)
A pretty awful race to be honest. We never found a rhythm and the boat never ran very well. however we put in quite a bit of power and that saw us through. We had a couple of dodgy moments including one where steered us into the bank just before the plough as i was watching them crash at grassy. After that there was a whole series of shipwrecks down the course. If we hit a rhythm and get it set up like it has been in our prerace pieces we should go quite fast.
Beat Peterhouse (~15s)
A pretty good start to this race. Though we could have done with double clamming as the wind was quite strong. We were chasing though and were about a length off at Ditton and so despite a very bad corner and a bit of a slog up the reach we still had them by quite a good margin.
Lost to Catz (~15s)
Dont know the official result yet but Im a bit gutted. We had a nice start and I think closed on them a bit. We failed to take first post properly, had a nice grassy and then an ok push down Plough reach. Unfortunately it went a bit wrong from there. Ditton was very bad, I came over too soon and then really struggled to get round what becomes quite a tight corner. All the way up the reach I struggled to hold our line and in the end I dont quite think we capitalised on our power.
Lost to Caius by 3-4 sec
Racing against the middle pair from Caius' Lent VIII was always going to be a tough task, especially without any practice, and so it proved. For once there were no pre-race equipment problems so we had a brief rowing revision lesson before our 11am start at Little Bridge.
We were on top station with Caius going off 100m downstream of us. The start was reasonable and there was some semblance of a wind. Through the corners our steering was superior but we were perhaps a couple of seconds down at Ditton. Once we were straight Caius's extra power began to tell and they closed on us for the first half of the Reach. We lifted for home and took a little distance back but not enough, to lose by a narrow margin of about three or four seconds. Never mind, at least we obeyed the 'no outings' rule.
Lost to CCAT by 17s
This was a tight race. The CCAT pair inspected the bank briefly around first post allowing the Jons to close, but subsequently slowly pulled out a small lead of some 3 or 4 seconds. Unfortunately the Jons engaged the bank themselves moments before the finish line, resulting in the large official margin.
Lost by 3s to CCAT
Apparently there weren't sufficient corners on the shortened course for Earl to win it by doing little more than just steering the thing. And they didn't pull hard enough.
Lost to Peck/Robinson (3s)
Arrogantly assuming we'd beat a pair from the 3rd VIII, we went and got absolutely plastered the night before and didn't take the race very seriously.
We were moving well together and had the pair better sat than any of the others. However, we rated about 25, didn't go very fast and were deservedly beaten by a pair in a heavier boat.
Full Coxless pairs results archive