The crew's second outing together was the row down to this qualifying heat. Notts City is quite a high standard regatta, and the competition was stiff with lots of school eights preparing for Nat Schools in 3 weeks' time. Perennial old boy Rob Foster was there with his J16 Eton eight, whom we narrowly beat out of a qualifying spot for the S4 final (about 0.3s). The race was quite exciting, with all 4 crews within a quarter of a length of each other at the finish, having been so for most of the course. Our start was a bit sloppy and we didn't push the finish well enough, so we resolved to do better in the final. (Dubya)
For the semi we were in lane 4, lining up against Wadham College (Oxford) 2nd VIII, Eton School and Shrewsbury School. The faster two crews would qualify for the final. The start was reasonable, winding to 41 and surging to 37 for the first 200m, coming down to 32/33 which was sustained for the remainder of the race. Wadham initially pulled out to a lead of about 1 length, whilst we were neck and neck with Eton (adjacent in lane 5 with Rob Foster on the bank with them). Shrewsbury (lane 2) were about half a length further down. Despite the extreme closeness of the race we held our discipline and the status quo remained until about the 1000m point. At this stage Wadham were being reeled in by 1st and 3rd, while Eton were a third of a length down on us with Shrewsbury bring up the rear but still in touch. A minute or so later, we had closed the gap to Wadham to a few feet, at which stage Sam's eyes wandered to their cox, on whom we were pushing, with the result that we nearly wandered out of lane, were warned by the umpire and had to steer sharply, allowing Wadham to escape to three quarters of a length or so and Eton to close to a canvas. Nevertheless we retained our composure and regained our speed; Eton pushed hard in the last 200m, a lift we were unable to match, while Wadham continued to fade. An extremely close finish saw all crews within a few feet of each other; Wadham had held their lead, while 1st and 3rd had edged out Eton by the narrowest of margins in a thrilling finish to take the second qualifying spot for the final in a time of 6.35. (Flying)
We beat the Wadham Oxford 2nd eight that had beaten us in our heat to come 4th of 6. The time was slower, partly due to slower conditions; but we pushed better off the start and up to the finish, so a satisfying result nonetheless. The winning crew's splits were [1.33.78, 3.11.97, 4.50.77, 6.27.09] (Dubya)
We lined up against Hampton School, Wadham College (Oxford), Notts Uni 4, Notts Uni 5 and someone else. Another good start, this time settling onto a better rhythm and a rate of 33/34. Hampton school and Notts 4 pulled away as expected, into what was a close battle for 1st place, eventually won by Hampton. Notts Uni 5 rowed into third place. Lanes 4, 5 and 6 saw the battle for 4th place. Rowing in lane 5, we maintained an excellent rhythm throughout the race and were side-by-side with Wadham all the way, someone else being around half a length down most of the way. Despite a hard, attacking row which we really took to Wadham, we were able to lift for the finish much more positively than in the semi-final, lifting the rate to 36 and beating our semi-final conquerors by a very narrow margin, around a canvas. Conditions were such that the time was slower than the semi (6.42), but this was certainly a far better row, resulting in a good 4th place in a strong field. (Flying)
<h3><a name="selectedresults">Selected Results</a></h3><h4>Other college crews</h4><p>Also of interest are the results of the other Cambridge colleges that were there. Pembroke first eight entered S3 eights and got about 6.33.5, we were disappointed not to put in a time faster than them. <br />
Caius I were there and did a quite respectable 6.16 around midday (at the time quite comparable to Downing's 6.14) but we didn't see them again so we presume they didn't make their final. <br />
Downing II entered S4 and S3 eights. They lost both heats so only raced 2k twice. We have the splits for their S4 heat: they came 3rd of 5 with 2 to qualify, splits were [1.35.01, 3.16.11, 4.58.03, 6.38.44] So we were only 3 secs faster than them over the course, and they were a sec faster over the first 500m. Again slightly disappointing for us, but their dropoff to their second race was greater than ours even though they hadn't had four of them race in the intervening period (their second race they did 6.48 to our 6.43). <br />
Downing I did quite well actually, entering S1 and S2. They didn't do well in their S1 heat and missed the S1 final. Splits were [1.29.51, 3.05.46, 4.44.17, 6.20.22] They did very well in their S2 final at 1625 when the tailwind had picked up a bit, coming 3rd in [1.29.51, 3.02.10, 4.37.54, 6.07.29].</p><div align="right"><font size="-1"><a href="#top">^ top</a></font></div><hr>
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