=2nd out of 11 college VIIIs
I happened to race with our girls after Tom called me yesterday evening and was very nervous my fitness would let me and the whole crew down. The row up to the start was I think good for what I thought was essentially a scratch crew rowing mostly in fours the last few weeks. On the start line, I was suddenly aware of the fact I agreed to race 2.7k with almost no training and having rowed sweep twice since Mays. Nervous. We hit rate 30 actually easily and despite Emma's lenghten calls we held it there. Felt good and stayed OK till Ditton. On the Reach we had a lot of grunty pushes (literally, grunty) and came pretty close to the City boat ahead of us, which was the only motivation I had not to give up. We kept it up quite controlled till the end the Reach when we just went flat out for the finish, which of course felt like miles away and technically less polished.
I am very very glad I subbed in for this race and I had loads of fun. We all did :)
Excellent job girls :-)!!!
Well done! From all the way across the Atlantic :)
Only 13 seconds behind CUW!!
2nd to Christ's
Well, we lost out on winning by 2 seconds. Damn. However there are a lot of positives to be brought from this. Firstly, there were probably that many seconds to be had simply by me taking a decent line occasionally. Apparently you don't just aim for the kink off Ditton, and First Post corner was a minor voyage of discovery.
However the other eight people in the boat seemed to be really fairly effective. We did pretty well despite our stated aim being to row it mostly like the first half of a Fairbairn's race, and I certainly felt that we could have carried on for a fair while longer. It may take a while to convince the girls of that however :). The rowing felt sustainable, and the technical improvements we've been making recently seemed to largely stick. Judging by the split at 1000m we seemed to go off faster than most other people, and then it would appear that Christ's were a lot faster than us over the last 1000 odd metres, however I don't feel that we "blew up" at all. Maybe we should have gone for it a bit harder in the 3rd quarter. Anyway, we've got some 5K pieces over the lock tomorrow, so it'll be good to see what happens when we try the Liz Hill, "Let's do Fairbairn's at 40" plan. It think it'd be fun, but then I would wouldn't I...
Having lost by a margin of 2 seconds sucks. Especially knowing that we could have pushed that extra bit harder to get these 2 seconds. No excuse for that.
On the positive side, we had our best row together so far, and it was really noticeable that things finally start getting together. Let's build on this and really consolidate the technical achievements! Our main issue so far was not a lack of strength or fitness but of togetherness in the boat. We're getting there now. I'm getting excited to see what we can do if we synchronise our power!!
1st college senior VIII
Sub 16:00. Really pleased with the row, nothing more available.
A statement of desire for the year from a crew which didn't believe they could do it two weeks previously at winter head.
I am really pleased with the way that the crew has embraced the idea that second place was not good enough, and that the difference was training and a desire to push yourself to the limit. This will hopefully stay with FaT women for many years to come.
Everyone in the crew has contributed to a spectacular achievement. The determination, energy and happiness of the crew has ensured that I feel proud to be captain.
Special thanks to:
Neil - For giving the crew the belief they needed.
Peter, Dan Darley, Dan Holland, John Earl & most of the members of M1 - For Coaching the girls and helping them improve all term.
Liz - For convincing eight people that they wanted to stick with First and Third throughout the test of trying to rebuild W1 last year. This ensured that this term all I had to do was suggest that we should go for it.
Swords - For bailing us out when we had no-one interested in coxing W1.
BLAZED!!!!! Light weight baby!
I'm currently on the varsity coach wishing I could be at the dinner. You deserve to go all out tonight just like you went all out today.
I know I overuse the word but that was an *incredible* result and performance and the squad looks so strong for next term to go out and do what I failed to do last Lent - bring the Headship home on the last day. It's all yours for the taking now!
What's the point in merely winning when you can win by around 25s and let everybody know that if they want to get anywhere near FaT, they have one hell of a job?
In all seriousness, this term started pretty badly for me from a rowing perspective. An intention to trial was destroyed by a shoulder injury, and as a result I decided to cox because the women had nobody, and I wanted something to do. Well, what a crew I was allowed to cox. Yesterday's race was just incredible. The technical focus was excellent, but what really stands out in my opinion was the drive an desire. Down first post each the pain levels were incredible, I could see it on people's faces, but every up 2 call was committed and strong, and the girls had the guts to go over the line at about 36, having then done most of first post at 34. Yesterday the girls put themselves through hell to win, and they have come out the other side with a massive result they fully deserve. There's not that much to say really, when you've won by 25s.
Actually that's a lie. We would have won by 30 seconds, had I realised that you have to use your rudder at some point round Chesterton. My line was appalling, so much so, that my admission of guilt needs preserving for posterity. It was turbogash, I nearly crashed. Everything else though, awesome :)
In the interests of preserving an accurate statement of events for posterity, all of Swords' other corners were so tight that had I been paying attention instead of rowing, I may have had a heart attack. That's why we won by 25 seconds.
What an amazing race. Possibly the most painful sub-16 minutes of my life, but afterwards it felt so good. Even before we knew the result, I think everyone knew we had really given it everything.
I don't have much to say about the actual race, but want to thank Neil Talbott and Peter Summers for coaching us - I think we owe a big part of our win to their dedication.
And thanks to the girls and Swords - you really made this term amazing, and all the resulting work crises and amount of time I have to spend catching up during the holidays are totally worth it! :)
Until yesterday I would have written off anyone who suggested that racing Fairbairns could actually be enjoyable as a complete nuthead. I was wrong. It WAS really fun, despite the pain and all. It felt powerful, efficient and surprisingly relaxed even when we took it up to r36 for the last 200m or so. And nothing really beats the feeling of 8 people moving neatly together and applying power in synchrony! We really made this boat fly... :-D!
I never ever enjoyed rowing that much like in the past 2 weeks! At the start of Mich term I wasn't particularly keen on VIIIS or sweep rowing in general... now I simply CAN'T WAIT FOR LENTS!!!!!!!
The previous weekend, JPD told these girls they could win by 15 seconds; they obviously took the hump and decided to show what they could really do. This was a fantastic row, starting off around eight lengths behind Christ's (winners of the Winter Head two weeks previously) and finishing all over their stern in a breathtaking lift for the finish. The result was outstanding, relegating all other colleges (and Blondie!) to a separate race entirely, and fully deserved by a crew that has been the epitome of commitment and desire and a privilege to coach. To quote Emmanuel's stroke girl after the race, "[these] girls are f***ing fast". Ice cold, baby.
I think you meant to say "Price cold, baby".