|4th Dec '07||Mich Term round-up||by bjg|
|Michaelmas term saw the men's and women's boat clubs facing different challenges. The men's squad was unusually experienced for this time of year but, with the main goals still many months away, had to maintain commitment and rate of progress despite the opposition being a bit slow out of the blocks. Also playing the long game, the women faced the task of rebuilding after the loss of several key squad members. Looking back on the term, both sides of the club have acquitted themselves impressively well, with the novices also showing touches of real class as they look forward to strengthening the senior squad next term.|
The Autumn Head was the first chance to see how we measured up against the other clubs, and strong results across the board suggested that we were reasonably well set up for the rest of term. However, University IVs still surpassed expectations, with First and Third winning all three men's categories: the light IVs and 1st and 2nd men's coxed IVs. The 1st women's IV proved to be among the quickest crews in the competition, but were ultimately not quick enough to retain their title. The following day's Fours Head results were disappointing, perhaps affected by post-Uni IVs lethargy but definitely a result of the rowing being too slow.
Meanwhile, the novices had taken to the ergometers in the traditional mindless destruction of four weeks' painstaking technical tuition known as Queens' Ergs. The 1st novice men and women got off to a flying start, coming 5th and 2nd respectively, and everyone enjoyed the unique Queens' Ergs atmosphere. The week after came the Winter Head, the first chance for the novices to give it a go on the water and the last chance for pre-Fairbairns race practice for the seniors. It served both purposes adequately, highlighting that there was still plenty of work to be done all round. The day after, Emma Sprints was called off early on due to high winds, depriving the 2nd and 3rd novice women of their warm-up for Clare Novices.
Clare Novices was the first major race for the novice squad. The 1st novice men showed the progress they had made since the Winter Head, winning three rounds before losing in the semi final. The 1st novice women were out-sprinted in the quarter finals by a determined Lucy Cavendish/Hughes Hall composite. The 2nd novice men were unlucky to come across one of the stronger first boats in their first round, while the 2nd novice women and 3rd novice men had decent runs to the quarter final stages of the plate competition.
Novice Fairbairns was particularly eventful for the men's club. The 1st novice men was the only First and Third men's crew to make it down the course from start to finish in one attempt with more than six people rowing for at least half the race, and came a strong 4th place. The 4th novice men's (first) attempt was, fortunately for posterity, captured on camera. The women's novice crews all recorded solid results, coming 8th, 31st and 45th.
The final event of term, Fairbairns, saw the usual high turnout of alumni, with Black Prince Boat Club entering a total of five men's and women's crews and beating all college alumni opposition. The Black Prince women won the Fairbairn IVs invitational category for the second time, maintaining their 100% record in this event. The 1st women's VIII finished 5th, but looking at this over the course of the term they are making rapid progress on the colleges ahead of them, none of whom are out of touch. The 1st novice women finished as the 5th fastest 2nd VIII. The 1st women's IV were disappointed to lose their Fairbairn IVs title to a quick Emma crew, but the 2s margin of defeat over the 3.2km course is another reminder of the progress they have made when compared with the 7s defeat to the same crew over 1.3km in Uni IVs.
The men's boat club underlined its dominance of Cambridge college rowing past and present with all nine crews entered by First and Third and Black Prince the fastest in their class (including victories for the novices as the fastest 3rd and 4th VIIIs), picking up five trophies along the way. These included our first Fairbairn Cup victory since 1997 and the retention of the Fairbairn IVs title, with three rowers surviving from last year's crew, and was a fitting end to a term in which the senior men had suffered only one defeat in seventeen races on the Cam.
Congratulations to all involved this term, and a huge thanks to all who have coached us. This is a great time to be at the club, and things look good for the future. The biggest challenges are still to come, but the club is in a strong position to meet them head on.
|by Dan - Wed 5th Dec 2007, 3:00pm|
bjg said "...[Fairbairns] was a fitting end to a term in which the senior men had suffered only one defeat in seventeen races on the Cam."Was the one men's defeat your Fairbairn IV+? In which case you should have paddled down the course to be the fastest 3rd IV+ by default.
Illness is not an excuse - if he dies, he dies.