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The Club's Results

Head of the River Race, Lent Term 2003

BPBC 1st men's VIII, Rowing in Vesta's 4th VIII, "Girobank" (Senior2 VIIIs)

Coxed by: Bronwen Evans

Time: 20:29
Only had seven riggers for Black Prince II was a key factor for this result. In the end we rowed in Vesta's novice eight, Girobank - a boat similar in design and weight to Black Prince V. A big thank you to Vesta for their hospitality, and we keep a place for next year.
We've all got to start somewhere... (Simon)
On a gloriously sunny Saturday, the BPBC HORR crew assembled on Putney Embankment, ready to take on all-comers. Selected on the incredibly rigorous basis of there having been just enough people wanting to race, our lineup was (from the stern):

Miss B. Evans - R. Foster - S. Blackburn - R. Dewire - J. Glass - D.Micklethwaite - J. Were - G. Fisher - C. Ponsonby

BP2 was duly removed from the trailer, bolted together and rigged. With such a finely-honed crew, we could leave nothing to chance and thought long and hard about the minutiae of the rigging. Having come to a consensus on gate heights, we began making the necessary adjustments, only to discover that stroke had no rigger whatsoever.

Fine oarsman though Rob Foster may be, this omission was bound to cramp his style somewhat. A frantic search of the Putney clubs left us with no suitable replacement rigger - anything that would fit onto our Janousek was either in use or ludicrously elevated (having come from a rather differently-shaped pair).

At this point, we were faced with scratching the entry, but our hosts at Vesta saved the day, offering us use of an old VIII by the name of "Girobank". It was heavy, wooden, had seen better days and wasn't likely to go very fast - a perfect match between crew and craft.

Some very last minute adjustments (stroke's rigger being dismantled and raised a few notches as we paddled to our marshalling point) and we were off. Without a rate-meter, it's hard to say how many strokes per minute we were ticking over at, but I can assure you it was several.

Sat in our borrowed ark, the catches went in two-by-two, which was also on occasion how the overtaking crews came past us. However, nothing too disastrous happened to disrupt our rhythm and we held our form reasonably well to Hammersmith. From there home, I fear that stern pair (the only ones with any recent time spent rowing) were providing a worryingly high proportion of the crew's total power output and things became a little more ragged, but we huffed and puffed and scrambled over the line.

Unfortunately, we didn't quite maintain our 186th place, falling just a tad to 338th.

Leander I were a mere 3min 25sec ahead of us and, with plenty of overtaking opportunities to spur us on, I'm sure we'll get them next year. (Graham Fisher)

1. Steadily moving along

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