The Club's Results

Fairbairn Cup 2001

A 4300m timed head race on the Cam for VIIIs and IVs
Fri 30th November

The official results published by the organisers, Jesus College Boat Club, can be found here. At the bottom of this page there is a summary of the results of college crews and a link to Cambridge weather. Club members, please go here to add (or correct) results, crews or race reports.

BPBC 1st men's VIII, Senior VIIIs

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 ----- 
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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1st men's VIII, Senior VIIIs

3rd equal college VIII
Time: 13:46
In the Winter Head the 1st VIII came 4th, some 16 seconds behind Emmanuel. In the two weeks since, the crew has improved out of all recognition, earning solid technical improvements and gelling well. We set out knowing we had done everything right to overhaul Christ's and Jesus and ready to put everything towards taking down Emmanuel and Downing.

The row was good, with some untidy patches but some solid sections containing the kind of rhythm and cohesion we were looking for. We were the 3rd College - only 10 seconds behind Downing and Emmanuel over 14 minutes compared to the 16 seconds over 8 minutes at the Winter Head. This stands testament to the the improvements made over the last two weeks and bodes well for the gains that are there for the taking next term. (Andrew Fisher)

1. Near the start
2. From Emma footbridge
3. Passing Emma

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BPBC 2nd men's VIII, Lower VIIIs

22nd overall, beating all college 2nd VIIIs
Time: 14:43
Not to be outdone by the Boar's Head-beating of the BPBC 1st VIII, the BPBC 2nd Fairbairn VIII produced its own implausibly effective and victorious - if inelegant - performance.

The whole process of getting 18 oarspeople in the same place at the same time faced all manner of constraints. Your narrator was still sitting on the tarmac at Heathrow Terminal 4 at 8am that morning, dreaming of pineapples and giant kingfishers. Getting Leakey anywhere these days is no small task. Moreover, the rotting Homerton Aylings - previously used as a punishment craft for naughty 2nd FaT VIIIs (in the manner of Steve McQueee's "cooler" in the Great Escape) - was required to provide a viable floating craft. Whilst I ran up the Marylebone Rd, I am informed that the assembling crew attended to said vessel to ensure that it was
- stripped of its geological encrustation
- beaten about with heavy objects to iron out a few rigging flaws
- inspected for plumbing irregularities
- finally launched with some trepidation.

The crew had an ecletic look to it. Down in the stern, the rhythm section was provided by Messrs Micklethwaite and Ponsonby. Neither appeared - at this stage - to be smarting too visibily from their non-selection for the 1st VIII. The engine room - worthy in scale of the great battleships of Admiral Yamamoto's 1943 campaign in the Pacific - comprised the massed bulk of Messrs Blackburn, Leake, Bevan and Hogley. Up in the bows, equipped with coffee mugs, soft cushions and copies of "Home and Garden", one could find the unlikely duo of Messrs Fisher, G and Crawford. The day marked a return to racing for both Leakey and me - it was with some horror that I stepped back into a boat in anger for the first time since 1993.... The fair Bronwen was given the onerous responsibility of ensuring that this unlikely collection reached Baitsbite in safety.

We buggered about for ages getting to the start. Opinion varies, but estimates of the number of full strokes taken as a crew before the start range from 5 to 7 (although this figure does include air-shots and crabs). One way or another, we found ourselves departing second-last among the massed muppets and talentless tosspots, and left an optimistic gap to a decidely lacklustre Magdalene crew ahead.

And then we were away.

I shall not dwell upon the techical details - or lack thereof - of the 15 or so minutes that followed. It all felt pretty fast to me, but I am reliably informed that this was no super-polished performance. The Homerton Aylings, we also discovered, is also fitted with some sort of speed-limiting, rating-damping system. You can try as hard as you like, but that boat simply won't allow you to rate above 32. No wonder Homerton have never been a force to reckon with. Boat rhythm, though, was very fine - even Leakey was unable to attenuate it to any substantial extent. Before I realised it, we were at the Gunsheds being shouted out by BPBC 1 in their socks. One even had the temerity to tell us that it was "looking good". I see a future in coaching, sir.

The surprise came in the results. The first ever BPBC 2nd VIII had finished 22nd in a time of 14:43.

You can see this in a a number of ways. True, we were 57 seconds adrift of BPBC 1 and finished behind the Crabtree 50-plus-year olds. We were even beaten by crews from Poxford and nearly suffered the ingominy of defeat by Wolfson.

However, Dan's painstaking resource deployment attempts had clearly paid off. He'd had the good grace to drop a number of his better oarsmen into the 2nd VIII to ensure a better balancing of results and no unnecessarily-large margins of victory: a 1-second victory over Boar's Head for BPBC 1 and a 1-second win over Downing II and Caius II for BPBC 2. And whilst we all accepted that 2nd VIII victory shields should only be given to College crews, I noticed a marked reluctance to take our shiny new trophy* round to Downing or Caius during our dinner at Bangkok City....

Roll on Fairbairns 2002. (Mark Crawford)

1. Building up momentum...
2. Past Emma BH, and th...
3. At the catch(es)

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2nd men's VIII, Lower VIIIs

25th of 35 men's Cambridge college VIIIs, 6th of 10 2nd VIIIs
Time: 15:07
This felt like a really good row. Having Boars head closing up on us helped, as we could push off them. It fell apart a bit coming past the Plough, but we recovered and held them off until the motorway bridge.

Although a minute and a half off the pace, we didn't think it was a bad result, especially considering we had just one outing together in the race crew - that morning! (Matthew Byrne)

1. From Emma footbridge
2. Near the start
3. Passing Emma

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1st men's novice VIII, Peacock subbing for Stein, Lower VIIIs

32nd of 35 men's Cambridge college VIIIs
Time: 16:46
At first it seemed like madness to enter the senior fairbairns after the novice fairbairns the previous day, but the crew were determined to show how well they could do. A last minute substitution of Victor stein for Ed Peacock meant Mike Collins was stroke - the rest of the crew wondered whether he could restrain his legendary strength and row at a rating the rest could manage. These worries were unfounded, and a sustainable pace was developed, and a respectable time of 16:46 achieved. An excellent start to our life as senior rowers. (Ed Peacock)

1. Passing Emma
2. Near the start
3. From Emma footbridge

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1st women's VIII, Senior VIIIs

1. Near the start
2. From Emma footbridge
3. Passing Emma

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<h3><a name="selectedresults">Selected Results</a></h3><h4>Men's Senior VIIIs</h4><p><pre>Position Race No.Crew Name Time 1 151 Cantabrigian 1 13:30 2 251 Emmanuel 1 13:36 2 252 Downing 1 13:36 4 274 Black Prince 1 13:38 5 263 Boars Head 1 13:39 6 257 1 and 3 1 13:46 6 258 LMBC 1 13:46 8 152 Christs 1 13:49 9 254 Jesus 1 13:52 10 285 Gonville BC 1 13:56 11 284 Churchill 1 13:58 12 253 Caius 1 14:00 13 256 Trinity Hall 1 14:03 14 276 Pembroke College Oxford 1 14:08 15 255 St Catherine's 1 14:10 16 265 University College Oxford 1 14:21 17 287 Queens 1 14:24 18 279 Girton 1 14:25 18 259 Pembroke 1 14:25 20 266 Robinson 1 14:28 21 268 Crabtree 50 + 14:41 22 297 Black Prince 2 14:43 23 390 Downing 2 14:44 23 269 Caius 2 14:44 25 270 Wolfson 1 14:45 26 273 Clare 1 14:46 27 277 Darwin 1 14:50 28 282 Magdelene 1 14:52 29 153 Christs 2 14:57 30 271 LMBC 2 15:00 31 294 Jesus 2 15:03 32 267 Kings 1 15:06 33 262 1 and 3 2 15:07 34 261 Sidney Sussex 1 15:11 35 293 Emmanuel 2 15:18 36 291 Churchill 2 15:39 37 288 Royal Vet School 1 16:00 38 295 Kings 2 16:17 39 187 Addenbrookes (mixed) 16:31 40 290 Christs 3 (mixed) 16:40 41 280 1 and 3 3 16:46 42 281 Sidney Sussex 2 (mixed) 17:19 43 283 Peterhouse 1 17:52 44 275 Cambridge Blue 1 18:04 45 296 Emmanuel 3 18:27</pre></p><h4>Women's Senior VIIIs</h4><p><pre>Position Race No.Crew Name Race Time 1 157 Caius 1 15:13 2 165 Jesus 1 15:32 3 156 Emmanuel 1 15:48 4 158 Downing 1 15:55 5 184 Caius 2 15:58 6 155 Royal Vet School 1 16:01 7 172 CCAT 1 16:17 8 162 Christs 1 16:25 9 161 Girton 1 16:26 10 166 Newnham 1 16:29 10 168 Wolfson 1 16:29 12 175 St Catherine's 1 16:30 13 167 Pembroke 1 16:32 14 159 LMBC 1 16:33 15 298 Newnham 2 16:38 16 154 Trinity Hall 1 16:39 17 183 Robinson 1 16:40 17 160 Magdelene 1 16:47 19 163 Selwyn 1 16:47 20 174 University College Oxford 1 16:51 21 170 1 and 3 1 16:56 22 169 New Hall 1 17:02 23 164 Clare 1 17:05 24 171 Corpus 1 17:16 25 177 Girton 2 17:30 26 173 Sidney Sussex 1 17:31 27 185 Sidney Sussex 2 17:57 28 176 Trinity Hall 2 18:04 29 186 Royal Vet School 2 18:18 30 180 Darwin 1 18:28 31 179 Churchill 1 18:29 32 181 Leys School 1 19:00</pre></p><div align="right"><font size="-1"><a href="#top">^ top</a></font></div><hr>
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