The Club's Results

Fairbairn Cup 2001

BPBC 1st men's VIII (Senior VIIIs)

Coxed by: Raf Carbonell

4th overall, beating Boar's Head, Gonville and 1st and 3rd
Time: 13:38
Careful planning in advance meant that we were only missing one boat and a strokesider the day before the race - and this was soon fixed by finding a bowsider (Jon "not quite left Trin yet" Glass) and a fine sky blue Aylings from our tenants, Homerton.

The final hurdle for us to clear came from Jesus (college) who wouldn't let us have our all important 20 minute pre-race outing, but in hindsight they maybe did us a favour as that outing could have tipped the crew into dreaded "over training" and cost us some vital second(s). But it wasn't long before the ladies returned from their race and the river was open for us - we even managed a sneaky paddle to Churchill boathouse before returning to our marshalling slot down by the scum.

Indeed, rather than relax and pull in to the scum's hard, we chose to loiter under Victoria bridge and have Al and Jon back it down continuously for 15 miuntes against the stream. At least if it had been raining we would have been dry there.

We had a long wait for our starting slot as after a fine performance the previous year we had surrendered our higher position to 1st & 3rd II - but eventually we took to the line as Clare I drifted off. We had been worried about catching them early, but fortunately Rich's footplate developed a fault which was only fixed after Al and Jon got involved. As soon as they had returned the angle-grinder to Raf we were ready to go, and did.

The crew hit a sublime 40 off the start and held it up at 37 for the first 1-2 minutes - words like time, rhythm, and even "slide control" would not have been unreasonable here. Could it last? With the rate still at 35 after 4 minutes it seemed like the mighty Stephen Robson at stroke was going to kill us all by Chesterton, but it was here that the mile of training paid off as we settled into our well practiced race rate of 34-ish and began to really eat into the lead Clare had - narrowing this down to around 4 lengths by Ditton. Here we had a fine push to lift the rate from 32 by reducing the time spent on the slide, and so soon we were back at 34 and cruising round the first corner. Salad boy Ingram and Reidy came into their own here, making bowside corners all too short for strokeside who were gratefully taking the opportunity to shorten up to half-slide with no lean on the pretext of helping the boat round.

Ever bearing down on Clare, and with support coming from our bank party (a much appreciated Simon Case) Kevin hauled the boat round Grassy, and in moments we were through the Gut, and around First Post into the final straight, just a couple lengths off the yellow boys in front. So with just two minutes to go we started to go balls out, then threw the kitchen sink at, lifted for the line, wound to the finish, had a last 20, did a final push, things started to go pear shaped, just 10 more, the s**t hit the fan, up 2 again, not much further, sitting on Clare's stern - and finally the hooter. Phew.

It had been a good row, beyond expectations, but would we be eating roast boar for dinner? Time would tell, or more importantly, a few dodgy scribbled notes from Jesus held our fate in the balance....

Finally word came through, Martin - ever the man with an ear to the ground - called with the results hot off the press. Having beaten Boar's Head by 1 place and 5 seconds in 2000 could we stamp on them again? Well, displaying fine consistency we did, and beat them once more by 1 place, and 1 second - close enough that they may even think they'll have a chance next year. As if. But what was more of a pleasant surprise was finishing 4th overall, only 8 seconds behind the winner's (Cantabs) and just 2 secs behind the top two colleges (Downing and Emma). 1st & 3rd finished 6th, 8 secs behind us - giving Black Prince men their first win over college too.

All in all it was, in plasticene speak, a "grand day out" - mission accomplished till the next one. Hopefully you'll all be there as Black Prince boats an ever growing fleet and continues to leave all/most/some in its wake. (Dan Darley)
----- Original Message ----- 
To: webmaster@boars-head.rowing.org.uk 
Sent: Friday, November 30, 2001 7:25 PM 
Subject: Fairbairns

1 sec. Oh dear. You must have overtrained.
(Michael Parker)

1. 1st VIII, except Ste...


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