This was a race of three halves. The start was terrible (lots of power being applied, but all at different times and probably in different directions) and Putney soon made up the distance we had because of the staggered start and some more besides. The middle third of the race had some semblance of decent rowing and we rowed through them to gain a several seat lead. But through some amazing spacking we contrived to lose this lead in the final third and only just pipped them at the line with a finish that was far more power than finesse. It hurt. A lot. And it was only 600m. Clearly shows I shouldn't be doing this rowing lark. (Mike)
A good thing we had a practice outing in the morning, or else we'd have been all over the place ... (Matt)
'Wet' was probably the best way of describing this race. A (marginally) better start than before, combined with the grossly unfair stagger, saw us move up a couple of seats and maintain that lead with what we in the bows thought was much better rowing than in the first race. It was looking like another close race until, with about 100m to go, Weybridge clipped a buoy and suddenly dropped back, leaving us to cruise home a length in front. The rowing must have been more efficient than the first race, as it didn't hurt nearly as much, but we didn't half shift a lot of water into the boat.
Still, there's no points for style in this game...
Addendum to report: maybe it was just me that thought the rowing was better in the second one then - I was mainly basing it on the fact that it hurt less... (Mike)
Not sure I totally agree with Mike about it being a better row (and at bow, I am surely someone in the bows?) but again the triumph of power over finesse saw off a crew which clearly must have had neither. But we rated a pip higher than before so we were clearly having more fun.
The race is perhaps best summed up with the observation on the bank that "this must be the final of the novice viiis". However, a pot's a pot and surely we deserve recognition for actually having an (approx. 30 min) outing before racing. (Ingram)
A much better row than the first race; my lungs didn't feel anywhere near as bad after this one. Shame about the right knee and shoulder though ... (Matt)
We got the nicer Meadow station and had a decent, clean row. A well executed (and by now quite trademark) push for the line saw us win by a very clear margin, which was nice after our S1 race against them! (Rose the Twat)
We got the towpath station which meant a strong corner about five strokes in, and a much more stressed steerer in the bow seat! However the rowing was pretty clean and we were pleased with the performance, if not the result. Unlike most of the crews of similar standard to us that we've raced, these ones didn't collapse under our strong push for the line, though we reduced their lead from half a length to a canvas. (Rose the Twat)
We drew the tough inside station on the towpath side, which was barely a boat width across, and is quite nasty to steer at this time of year with lots of weed making the bank unclear. However, we set off fairly well and stayed out of the first weed patch by clipping the buoy slightly. Unfortunately so did they, and they continued to encroach further into our lane. Despite strong warnings from the umpire their boat stayed right next to the line of buoys, with blades right into our lane. I pinballed up the course, steering from blade clash to bank and back (we were rowing really nicely in between, which meant catching them was never a problem). However, we failed to break through and crossed the line about 1/2l behind, only to find they'd been disqualified. Luckily we had drawn the other side in our race against them in S2! (Rose the Twat)
An appalling row from us saw Cantabs leave us for dead once again. We have never yet had a good row against them, which is a shame as it'd probably be a fairly good race. I clipped a buoy and there were a couple of agricultural strokes, which meant we never really established a rhythm. I attribute this solely to the presence of the BPBC boys who had clearly brought (spelling better now Chris?) along the spacking bug at this point. Unfortunately for us the competition in S1 2- is significantly better drilled than that in S3 8+........ (Rose the Twat)
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