Expectations were not exactly high after previous dire performances. Dom was rowing for the first time in 16 months and I was racing for the first time in 12. The race was obscenely early and owing to the usual faffing we didn;t even manage more than 10 min of practice rowing before the race.
The guy doing the start took about 15 seconds to go from attention to go during which we drifted a little off the straight. To make matters worse our start was simply dreadful as the strokeside riggers became submarine.
We were about a length down after 20 seconds but the rowing began to improve and during the middle third of the race it was clear that our cruising speed was higher than theirs as we pushed back to about a third of a length deficit. I really thought we were going to win at this point but then we had another spectacular shipwreck as we tried to lift the rating at the end. Our fitness then totally ran out and they pulled clear to win fairly comfortably.
I would estimate that we covered the middle third of the course at least 5 seconds faster than the first or last thirds. (Ingram)
Having now had some firm pressure experience we hoped this race would be a little tidier. However, we were now in S2 so were likely to be totally outclassed.
Our start was a vast improvement in that the boat remained with 10 degrees of the horizontal and we even held the crew for the first 30 seconds or so as we wound to 42ish and strode to 37. The rate settled down to 35 as dictated by unfitness but we managed to find something approaching a rhythm as the opposition slowly rowed away from us.
We had agreed that if they were clearly better than us then we would just treat it as a piece and so we did, surprisingly managing to maintian the rate at 35 if not the cover.
We had some minor shipwrecks in the middle of the race on some mildly choppy water and our attempt to push the end a bit left the rowing very scrappy as we crossed the line.
However, we reckon we were about 2 lenghts quicker than in the first race so hopefully we can continue to improve and become non-embarrassingly bad by Peterborough. (Ingram)
Our start was not great, and Staines moved up maybe 1/2 length in the first 10 strokes. As we settled in to our race, we rowed through them quite easily, and were a length up by 300m. Unfortunately, Tom was unaware of the corner in the middle of the course (believing it to be entirely straight), and so we had to stop. We set off 3 lengths down, and reduced the damage to 1 length by the finish. Staines won by default in their semi (after their opponents capsized), and were then beaten quite comprehensively by Dan and Oli in the final. (JPD)
Reasonably happy with this one. I pushed into their lane a bit off the start, a minor blade clash and then i went back where I should have been. They then pushed into us and I proceeded to steer us outside the course lines coming up to the island - a good three stroke corner by oli pulled us back onto the course before disaster struck and we then went on to row away fairly comforatably. we put in a push about 150m from the finish and moved from about 3/4 l up to 3 l. I think this was the fastest time of the day. (Dan)
Pretty crap row to be honest. My steering was awful. We proceeded to push into their lane move wide push into them again, move wide again and push into them again before the bend about 300m down the course. I then moved well wide of them and almost into the bank before hauling us back across the river to a more sensible position. The final straight wasnt quite so bad but I suspect if I had steered a good line we would have cut several seconds off the time. We had one bit just coming past the start of the island where I thought we rowed really well. Id guess rating about 37/38 and with a good solid rhythm, i reckon that littlebit was the fastest we've ever gone. but luckily for our opponents my right foot intervened and we lost the plot again. (Dan)
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