The Club's Results

May Term 2005

Coxless pairs

Foster Fairbairn Pairs (Men's 2-), Cunha/Shepherd

1st round
Beat Johnson/Burnage (Pembroke) easily
Yes Bryn! it's there now.

After three strokes we were in full flow. Our oppo weren't. In fact they hadn't heard the call... so we screeched to a halt, backed it down, lined up again, and went.

A tidy start was followed by 15-20 powerful strokes. Bow-man was then distracted by a Pembroke pair nestling in the reeds just past the motorway bridge. Confusion led to a wobbly row led to a bad line round 1st post which almost led to a barge. A serpentine route took us past that and another, safely onto the Plough Reach. Despite our obvious lead, there was no slacking... but our big push for 10 slowed the boat down... almost as much as our power (but no length) bursts after Ditton. The long, bank-bouncing route I steered down the Reach was then lengthened further as bemused marshalls sent us to the (wrong) later finish-line. Pembroke were just about in sight behind us :)

Having doubled the number of times we've rowed the course, tomorrow might be a tad quicker... (Jacob)
Won or lost easily...? (BJ)
Quarter finals
Lost convincingly to Braithwaite/Twigg (Kings)
my dodgy steering gave us a close-up view of grassy. oops (Jacob)
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Foster Fairbairn Pairs (Women's 2-), Russell/Aiken

Semi finals
Beat Lowson/White (Pembroke) easily
Our basic plan for the race was to not crash, not fall in, and make it round the corners; anything on top of this would just be a bonus.

We'd heard that the Pembroke pair were pretty quick, so were looking forward to a good race. Having made it up to the start without crashing once (for the first time ever) we were already doing well. :) Catherine lined us up superbly on the start line, and after quite a bit of waiting round we were finally off.

Our first stroke was pretty shocking but the rest of the start was reasonable, although probably ought to have been a bit sharper. Just as we were striding down to race rhythm, the Pembroke pair (un)fortunately crashed into the reeds just downstream of the motorway bridge so we opened out a lead which we maintained and increased throughout the race, despite our spacking around the corners and dying on the reach. A slightly hollow victory given Pembroke's crash, I'm sure they would have given us a great race. (Amelia)
Final
Dead heat with Thompson/Weaver (FaT)
It's worth noting that the rules actually state that the final should be declared a draw in this case - it's only in preceding races that there must be rerows until there is a winner.

Well done everyone. The boards will look very cool! (Martin)
This was truly unbelievable - we couldn't have hoped for a better result! There had been lots of banter between the two pairs over the past few weeks, discussing 'our' final, but neither pair were sure of winning our semis as the other crews looked pretty classy. Once we both had actually booked our slots in the final, the tension mounted and further banter was exchanged along the lines of 'wouldn't it be great if we 'decided' that we'd dead-heated and didn't have to race, and got the medals anyway'. Hmmm, good plan.

Well we both arrived at the start line, and it seemed that in fact a technical dead-heat "wouldn't do" for CUCBC, and we were actually going to have to fight it out. Arse. I for one certainly wasn't relishing the thought of the post-race changing rooms atmosphere.

A lot of faff at the start further heightened tension and my nerves were at breaking point when eventually we were allowed to go. The race was shoddy and we didn't row well, and the howling headwind didn't help matters when we practically came to a standstill on the reach. We crashed. We were told several times to 'go now', 'more pressure', 'lift it now', 'it's very close, more pressure' etc etc etc. Eventually, as my lungs were about to explode/implode (not sure which, medicine has never been my strong point), we finally hauled our boat to the finish. And waited for the results. And waited. And waited.

And waited.

And waited.

When a dead heat was announced, it seemed for a few minutes that we might have to re-row. Uh-uh. In my mind, re-rowing was not an option. So we had a brief congratulatory-we-are-great hug and discussion, and decided that probably sharing the points, going home, all getting medals/blades/names on boards and Pimms were really the thing to do. So we went home. Enough said.

Bring on the Magdalene Silver Pairs next year...!

Thanks to our team of banksteerers and coaches, without which none of this would have been possible *sniff*; Guy, Martin, Andy, Dan (also thanks for loan of the boat) and Jacob, plus Melissa from City for the loan of our superb craft, Clara T. (Amelia)

1. Post race smugness b...
2. Dark and Light Trini...
3. Dark Trinity pushing...
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Foster Fairbairn Pairs (Women's 2-), Thompson/Weaver

Semi finals
Beat Kunze/Moynihan (Churchill) by a few lengths
Race went very much to plan, though there's probably still some room for improvement. We pulled away from them towards the end, weren't sure if we'd won or lost initially as we were too busy crasing into a Leys quad, with Erica not sure if we'd actually crossed the finish yet [we had, luckily]
oooh it's FaT on FaT tomorrow.. bring it ;) (Lilie)
Final
Dead heat with Russell/Aiken (FaT)
FaT women rock! Having knocked out all the opposition with relative ease, we knew that we were pretty evenly matched and even attempted to tell the umpires in advance that it would be a dead heat. Unfortunately we had to row anyway. Both crews had minor incidents involving large objects such as the bank a couple of times and I don't think any of us felt it was really a very good row. A massive lift out of Ditton though made for a great race to the finish ending in pretty much the best possible result: dead heat, to within the millisecond!
Celebrations, names on boards, and medals (!!!) all round :o)

Huge thanks to Jenny, without whose great banksteering we would have had much more trouble with barges etc! (Erica)
Wow, we couldn't have done this if we'd tried.. Well we did try.. sort of. Having spent all of yesterday joking about declaring a dead heat and refusing to rerow.. it happened. We both had a pretty shocking row from what I gather - Cath and Amelia clipping a platform thing, and Erica and I crashing into a barge. We certainly struggled with the evil headwind which sprang up today, and our technique was shocking. It was good that neither side felt we'd been advantaged/disadvangted. Woo! See you next year in the silver pairs! (Lilie)

1. Light Trinity workin...
2. Post race smugness b...
3. Dark and Light Trini...
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Foster Fairbairn Pairs (Men's 2-), Coker/Holland

1st round
Beat Leonard/Wilkins (Pembroke) by 2 seconds
Time: 7:55
After a week of unavailability, illness and boat breaking, we turned up to race having rowed no more than 20km together. We also scratched the wrong crew and ended up with the harder of the two possible opponents. Bugger.

We went off pretty hard, and must have had a useful lead going into the corners. Went a bit wide round first post but survived, and we somehow got a good line round grassy despite the barges on the outside and Dan having to stop and leave me to work out where we were going.

I reckon we were about 5 seconds up at the 1500m post, but by then I was really knackered, finding it hard enough to move the rudder, never mind stop Din from pulling me round. Managed to hold on though, catching my crab exactly on the finish line. The marshalls gathered together for a chat, and finally said that we'd won, by the smallest possible margin. Not sure I could've faced another re-row. (Tom C)
2nd round
Beat Farnell/Prue (Churchill)
I must confess I was less confident than Tom going into this. But their cock up on the start meant it was a very relaxing row. It will be interesting to see how the time compared with yesterday (if we get one). (Dan)
We were pretty confident going into this; I'd implicity beaten one of them easily in maiden sculls earlier, and they chose to advertise their power disadvantage by wearing CULRC kit. The hard bit was getting the equipment down there so we could re-rig. Being inept, I managed to get one of the trestles stuck in my front wheel and went flying over the handlebars, but thankfully avoided serious injury.

We had a good clean start, and rowed nicely up first post reach. They held the racing line well, but unfortunately there was a big barge parked in it. Din called a lift to gain us as much as possible, and a few seconds later I announced that we'd won. The corners were pretty good, and the rowing was much nicer than yesterday. With a few pushes in the second half we should be able to do some serious damage tomorrow. (Tom C)
Semi finals
Beat Christs (6s)
Although it was rubbish, we always knew we were ahead. It shows how tight this competition was that 6 seconds was a pretty comfortable win. (Tom C)
This was a pretty awful race. We didn't handle the wind conditions at all well. However we did manage to negotiate the course with only one minor altercation with the bank and were faster than them despite the shoddy rowing. Maybe they struggled even more than we did I don't know. (Dan)
Final
Beat Corpus (4s)
After waiting nearly half an hour, they decided that it'd never be clear so we'd have to do the best we could. Steering was made doubly harder by the wind which was being both strong and inconsistent, but even so we did a bad job of first post reach. The corners were ok, although I had to pull my blade in a foot on one recovery round grassy. Pretty relieved when Dan told us they'd crashed, and we just about maintained a 5 second lead through the second half.

Thanks must go to Dan Jane for his superb bank steering, and Jacob for his loud encouragement down the reach today. (Tom C)
This was a very close race. We gained on them on the start (i gather they had some sort of incident?) but then we clipped the far bank down first post reach and got entangled in the trees. We probably lost a couple of seconds here and were down by a bit coming round first post corner. I think we then closed again up the gut and had an ok grassy (though i probably should have pulled a bit harder to keep us in tighter). This is where disaster struck our opposition. Some random barge decided it was a good idea to head back down the river towards the two crews racing upstream. Corpus managed to avoid this barge initially by ploughing into the Grey Barge. They pushed off from that and then ploughed into the barge coming downstream. We avoided all this despite me being blissfully unaware the barge was even there. Dan on the bank estimated their crash cost them 5-10s and we were well up by the time we got to the timing posts outside the plough. Thus we took it fairly cautiously home from there. I think they opended the gap between us again up the reach but it was all too late and we crossed about 4s up. (Dan)

1. :-)
2. Tom and Dan powering...
3. Tom & Dan again
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City Sprints (ARA S2 2-)

Semi finals
Lost to LMBC by crashing
The start marhsall had told James he was allowed to banksteer so long as he didn't coach. The marshall halfway down the course and other ideas and managed to block his passage. Dan didn't notice, and hearing no further instructions carried on damn straight.

I was quite impressed by the Maggie pair; we were rowing pretty well and yet were only 3/4 of a length up when we hit the bank just before 300m and thus ended the contest. They lost by about a length in the final, so it would've been a good race if we'd made it. Or maybe the Robs pair were just having a laugh, we'll never know. (Tom C)
I was banksteering with the permission of the start marshal. But some old dude opposite the Goldie boathouse decided to be a stickler about things. He jumped in my way as I was telling Dan to steer away from the bank, telling me that I couldn't give coaching. I duly ignored his negative spiritual energy and tried to veer around him -- but what can I say? He was pretty spry for a white guy.

After the thud of defeat, I told the old guy off, figuring that since everyone expects Americans to be rude anyway, I might as well live up to expectations. I also realized that, given my red tracksuit, he'd probably think I was steering for the Maggie pair anyway!

P.S. Tom's not kidding, this was an absolute cracker of a race. He and Dan looked very good but were barely managing to keep their lead. They would very likely have won without the crash, but the LMBC pair were definitely pushing them. (James)

1. No point in finishin...
2. At least Tom sees th...
3. James catches up a l...

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