The Club's Results

Foster Fairbairn Pairs, May Term 2005

Coker/Holland (Men's 2-)

Coxless pairs
in Hambleden
bow Tom Coker str Daniel 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)
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)
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)
Semi finals
Beat Christs (6s)
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)
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)
Beat Corpus (4s)
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)
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)

1. :-)
2. Tom and Dan powering...
3. Tom & Dan again

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