Despite major misgivings over the accusations of cheating likely to be levelled at black prince for having more than two practice strokes before fairbairns, two bpbc VIIIs raced winter head.
I was a little bit rusty to say the least. However the boat was moving reasonably and we improved over the course, from 31 down first post reach to a more lively 32.5 down the reach.
Giving away far more time to the crew of '07 and the boars head crew chasing over the first half than the second half, was less than ideal, but probably a fair reflection of the rowing.
McT felt pain apparently. He also thought that plough reach was his corner, despite it being straight.
This was entertaining, albeit I feel we would have gone significantly faster if I hadn't been so adamantly turbogash.
A decent start saw a reasonably chunky rhythm, and something that was a reasonable approximation of rowing for the length for FP reach, however FP was when things (from my perspective) took a marked downturn. I turned in on my usual (Read: Empacher) line, expecting to slide in the time honoured fashion. At this point the harsh application of rudder early in the corner saw us violently veer right, and we damn near stacked the inside of FP, which would have been a bit special. Down the gut I was mostly recovering from the fact that I was in utterly the wrong place, and failed hard again, by going for the wide entrance/tight exit line. This then led to us going wide for the entirety of the corner. Fail.
At this point the steering took a turn for the utterly bizarre - The entirety of Plough Reach was done on hard left rudder, and we were steadily drifting right (I've decided to blame McTiernan for this), and we were definitely not travelling in the direction the hull was pointing, which was strange. Ditton was miraculously undisastrous, and we proceeded with aplomb onto the reach.
Here, I abandoned the traditional 'straight line' approach to steering the reach, and provided an excellent example of the '3am cycle to the Newton Road' line which features violent diversions at random locations, all of which seemed to be more of a surprise to me than anybody else.
The rest of the race passed off with little incident - I am unable to comment much on the rowing, I was simply stunned by my own borderline impressive levels of incompetence.
Fortunately, my crew appear to have soldiered on with a degree more talent than me, and our time was actually pretty reasonable. It's good to see BPBC 'Trial VIIIs' doing pretty well, congrats to '07 for winning!