The Club's Results

May Term 2007

Coxless pairs

Foster Fairbairn Pairs (Men's 2-), Garrod/Jane

Semi finals
beat Chapman/McCool (Trinity Hall) by 3s in spite of everything
Well. What a nightmare.

After many emails, phone calls and discussions about how we were going to cope with four races to be done in the same boat and only three divisions to race in, we ended up rigging a pair at Christ's boathouse at roughly the time we were meant to be marshalling. The boat was weighted for 90kg, less than 10kg too much, but rigged very high with it. And it could only be bow-rigged due to minor damage on strokeside. And the shoes gave me blisters and were much too big for Dan so that he couldn't steer properly. So, armed with a new crew order and much lower river, we set off full of confidence.

We knew from previous results that we had 30s to play with, so we played with all of them. We were still level at the Plough and only a couple of seconds up at the bottom of the Reach, but the potential shame of losing led to a titanic push of effort and a resultant tiny increase in effective power. Fortunately we won, just. I don't want to row at stroke ever again.

Having said that, massive thanks to Christ's for lending us a boat and to Karthik for sorting it out for us. I really wouldn't have wanted to scratch.

So luckily we didn't lose to someone called McCool, but he did lose to someone called Jane. (They're friends anyway, so it doesn't really matter.) (BJ)
oi! (Jane)
A horrendous race, but as everyone kept pointing out 'a win is a win'. Very true, but when you have to leave yourself physically and mentally broken before the final it doesn't feel quite as sweet.

My little feet kept falling out of the shoes, especially the one that steers, and meant turning the rudder was a major stress. That cost us a lot on the corners and even a bit on the straights. Excellent calls by Coker and Karthik kept us on the blue. The rigging was much higher than we were used to, and we totally lost all semblance of a catch. Bugger.

In the end, we just had to grit our teeth and push them away. No technique required, just blue sweat and golden blood. (Dan)
Final
beat Rutterford/Atman (Emma) by 10s
Time: 8:18
Everything went better. I've never loved a boat named after a Nobel Laureate as much as I did today. Tiredness was definitely an issue (as was steering, as ever) but we were psyched and put in a row that, while not quite our best, was still pretty decent. Nice to win. Thanks to Tom for banksteering loudly and not seeking revenge on any of the corners. (BJ)
A good race, if a little riskier than was necessary.

We set off hard and gained a length before we were half way down first post reach. Back in the steerer's seat, Bryn took a very good line after an initial wobble and we both took confidence from that. In the stroke seat, I was determined to win FF no matter what the physical cost. I could hear Coker calling for length and that we were up, but I wanted to break them from the word go.

Unfortunately this meant the race was incredibly painful as I had very little left in the tank after McCool (and hence why I'm writing this a day late). We had a massive lift out of grassy they didn't respond to, and then another past the plough that simply wouldn't have been possible if we hadn't trained together over the holiday. These helped with the confidence and after a slightly wide Ditton we kept taking it up down the reach.

Yay! (Dan)
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Foster Fairbairn Pairs (Women's 2-), Ralston/Rawlins

1. Glowing boat
2. Winning by quite a bit
3. So good it made my c...
[more...]

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Magdalene Silver Pairs (Men's 2-), Garrod/Jane

Semi finals
lost to Hopper (Peterhouse)/O'Connor (LMBC) by 6s
Time: 8:16
The start marshall was keen to use the beeper on his megaphone despite its not working, so the race was started with an 'Attention... <whimper>'. We set off but the opposition didn't, so we stopped, assuming the race would be restarted, but then they set off and no one told them to stop so we did started again. Great fun. The fact that the same start marshall was starting races with deliberate feedback later that day rather than just shouting 'Go' meant that Dan's loud call of 'Wanker' was fully justified and added to my amusement even if not the boat speed.

As for the rest of the race, they had a much greater cruising speed but an even worse steerer than me (who at least had the excuse that he'd never steered on the Cam before). Consequently we gained on each corner a decent proportion of what we had lost on the previous straight, and in fact gained a little bit for free when they scraped a moored boat on the Plough Reach. Unfortunately the Reach doesn't really have any corners so we lost by a few lengths. We stopped once they did so I've no idea what the recorded margin will be...

Good practice for our 'real' race tomorrow, when the opposition should hopefully be of a lower standard.

Looks like we got a pretty poor time, nearly 30s off what we had done in training (in better conditions), and slower than Coker in his scull... (BJ)
We were hoping the lack of training together would limit the opposite pair to quite a slow cruising speed. This, when coupled with very little knowledge of the twists and turns of the Cam, would give us the edge. Certainly it looked promising on the way down. Big lads, but meandering all over the shop and it appeared they were rowing quite short - presumably because they had no confidence at front stops.

Unfortunately it turned out that, rather than rowing short, they were just putting down massive amounts of power. Off the 'start' (I'd meant to shout more, but we were - finally - winding) their banksteerer just about managed to keep them off the banks and they gained massively.

Under immediate pressure we changed the race plan, as being overtaken would be game over, not to mention humiliating. Front loading the race massively, our technique soon suffered but luckily each corner bought us a blissful respite. I don't think we were too bad on the reach and dug very, very deep. They had slowed as well, and I think this result was the best we could hope for in hindsight, and much better than being overtaken.

Bring on Foster Fairbarns. And a competent start martial. (Dan)
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Magdalene Silver Pairs (Women's 2-), Thompson/Weaver

Final
Won by "something like a second".
Well. Bit of a wank start due to me winding it up rather too much, despite telling Erica reassuringly that we'd be fine as long as we kept our length, stayed relaxed, and just found the awesome rhythm we had in our 'cheating' outing (well we had to try the corners at least once, even if we forgot to practice starts..!). She duly called 'length' and 'relax', which finally happened in about plough reach. They'd definitely settled to a stronger, longer rhythm and caught up with us round the corners, but once we were on the reach we really settled down, found a good rhythm and gave it a some good FaT grunt into the wind. We pulled away from them steadily and pipped them at the post, by a definite margin, which Mark Jacobs (despite not having taken times for this race - the only one he hasn't managed to today apparently, nor timing the difference between the finish marshalls' hands) decided was 'about 1 second, therefore a dead heat'. I got rather angry, rather bluntly suggested that there's no way that he could know whether it was more or less than a second without timing it, and therefore contested his judgement. We await the results of this.. I'll restrain myself from saying any more until after then.
Thanks to the Jesus girls for a good race, looked like a v nice rhythm you had there (sorry Erica), though if you want to 'scare us' before the start you'll have to do a better job than paddling by and waving ;) (Joff)
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Lowe Alpine Mountain Marathon, Glen Lochay (C Course (45km, 2350m climbed over 2 days)), BPBC Multisport 2-

1st of 154
Time: 8:46:36
Saturday

We set out hard (too hard, and also neglected to eat food) and overtook lots of teams in the first two hours. After the first control we ascended 100m to take a "short-cut", only to be cut off by crags so we had to descend again.

After the third control we had a 400m pull up to the flatter moorland in the north area on the map, but John especially was running low on energy; one Mars Bar later and normal service was resumed.

Our route to control five was probably not ideal, although we were pretty close to the fastest split. We wasted a few minutes finding controls five and six, but overall a pretty solid day - second place, four minutes behind the leaders and ten seconds in front of third.

Sunday

A chasing start, so the leaders (C1) were out of sight when we (C2) started but third place (C3) right on our heals. They took a poor route up to the Loch Lyon dam but ours was worse, and they stole a couple of minutes before shooting off into the distance after the leaders.

We were happy with our pace to the second control (a marathon not a sprint) although we found the description "Knoll" quite unhelpful for locating the control as there were about 50 knolls there. We split up, and after about ten minutes John located the control. I made a beeline for the control, and encountered a 5m wide muddy bog. I'd successfully crossed several already, sinking at most 30 centimetres, so I yelled "I'm going in" before leaping off the grassy edge both feet first into the middle. Needless to say, I sunk up to my waist in thick, black, stagnant mud. My legs wouldn't move, but at least I wasn't sinking any more. A few seconds later, C4, C5 and C6 passed through the control, telling John that he would have to get me out. I had unintentionally landed near a solitary tussock of grass, so was fortunately able to extract myself and leap back to the bank just before the tussock sank.

We ascended to the ridge in a column with the three teams that passed us at control two, and as I recovered my energy we were able to push to the front and force the pace a little. We stole some ground on the descent to the next shoulder, before relaxing on the climb to control three, allowing the others to catch us up.

Feeling fresh, we felt good on the next traverse while the others were starting to look tired, so we put in a big spurt on the climb to control four and located the control before the others could see where we'd gone, which gave us a two minute gap.

We saw a photographer, who told us that C1 and C3 had gone through but had missed a control - we were in the lead! The traverse to control five seemed to take an age but we maintained our gap then again navigated well, stealing another minute or two, before almost going the wrong way down the hill to the last control.

With nobody visible behind us, we jogged steadily along the track to the finish. Back at the event centre, the officials confirmed that we had won, and checked that we had all the right equipment. We could finally relax, eat, wash and watch the other teams finish. Hugely enjoyable - would recommend it to anybody who likes walking, running and mountains. (JPD)
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