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The Club's Results

Fairbairn Cup 2004

1st men's novice VIII, officially the 2nd men's VIII (Lower VIIIs)

Coxed by: Magnus Jones

5th College 2nd VIII, 31st overall
Time: 16:24
This race held two highlights for me:

1) equaling our time over the Novice course from yesterday (10:05), despite saving plenty of juice for the additional 1.6k of the Senior course, and . . .

2) making our titanic push to overtake Hughes Hall just past Grassy Corner. Coming out of the Long Reach, the separation stood at three lengths. That's when cox Magnus Jones earned us at least half a length in mere seconds with his tight steering job around Ditton Corner. (All thoughts of yesterday's "secret pressure" at the same location were cast aside.) Then the distance melted away rapidly as the Hughes crew began to flag. The overtaking soon became a foregone conclusion, and the frantic cries of one of the Hughes bank party said it all: "That's the First and Third SECOND eight, and they're novices!"

Special kudos to substitutes Matthew Sargeant and Sebastian Pancratz, normally stern pair for the second novice VIII, who filled in admirably as bow pair.

Sixteen minutes of pain notwithstanding, this was my favourite outing of the term. (James)
The guys set off really well, initially rating 33 and moving like a train! I was getting a little worried that they'd gone off very hard, and that they'd not survive 4km of this pace, but they soon settled into a nice controlled rhythm rating about 30 or 31. A couple of weeks ago, a similar rating looked a little frantic at times, but it just goes to show how much they've improved by how good the rowing was.
It became clear by Chesterton that we were closing slightly on X-press and quite a lot on Hughes Hall (2 in front of us). X-press overtook Hughes at around this point. By the time we reached the railway bridge, Hughes were about 5 lengths clear of us and we were closing fairly fast. As we crossed the novice finish line, I clocked them as 10:06 since the start - only 1 second slower than yesterday - despite the fact that the race was more than 60% longer!
As we approached the end of the reach, the pace did seem to stall a little, and Hughes ahead held us at around 3 lengths for a while. Ditton corner was the point at which we'd agreed we'd start going for home. A great lift around the corner saw us go from 3 lengths off Hughes at Ditton to around 1/2 a length at Grassy - and the boys finally made the overtake at First post corner, spurred on by several Black Prince rowers who had come up from the finish to support.
The guys then lifted for the finish, crossing the line in 16:24, several lengths clear of Hughes Hall.

Overall, I was extremely pleased with how they all rowed. The rhythm was great throughout, and despite the fact that they'd only been rowing for 1 term, they were only 34 seconds off winning the fastest 2nd VIII prize, and managed to beat nearly 1/4 of the field of senior VIIIs. Black Prince III were also only 6 seconds infront, composed of 6 1st VIII colours, and 2 2nd VIII colours.

Great row guys, hope everyone comes back to row in the Lents!! (Richard)

1. Huge reach from Jacob
2. Neat at the start
3. 1 length into the ra...

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