The Club's Results

Henley Royal Regatta, Summer 2007

1st men's VIII (Temple Cup)

Coxed by: Emma Salgård Cunha

Qualifying
Qualified
We were divided as to whether this was a good or bad row. On average it was average, and in any case comfortably enough for us to qualify. (BJ)
I clocked us at 6.55, although (as Ming was keen to point out) prior to this race i had never at any point made any meaningful or accurate use of the cox box's stopwatch function. (Emma)
1st round
lost to eventual winners, University of California, Berkeley (easily)
Watching the crews warm up on their way down to the start, it looked like this would be rather a tough ask for the crew.

Rowing into a strong headwind and fast stream, the american crew used their 2 stone per man weight advantage well, and were a couple of lengths up in short order. Never looking particularly troubled, they eventually posted 7.19, the second fastest time of the day, and would look to have a good chance of winning the event. (Matt)
We were pretty happy with the draw; indeed, there were only thirty crews that we would have preferred to come up against and only one station more favourable than ours. Cal were undefeated in all competitions, but there were rumours flying around that American universities were, contrary to all indications, rubbish. We were psyched for this, as both crews realised that whoever won this race would probably win the event. (The same is true for all of Cal's races.) There was also an emotional involvement after Tom reminded us of 'America and their fascist bombs' and suggested that we 'do this for our boys in Afghanistan and Iraq'. Our race plan, described by Emma as 'not a race plan but a travesty', was to intimidate them with some witty yet cutting chat on the way to the start line, rate 50 off the start and sprint as hard as necessary to maintain overlap for as long as possible.

We took the early honours, reaching the stake boat before Cal. Tom cleverly adapted their adopted nickname 'Golden Bears' to 'Golden Showers' and proceeded to raise some important religious dilemmas with the aim that the Cal freshmen would be distracted in the later stages of the race as they pondered these fundamental issues. (This probably gained us a length or two.) From there we held them until the umpire said 'Go!'. This was one of the quickest starts we'd ever done, with the rating reaching 49, and we managed to restrict them to a narrow lead by the end of the island, with Cal only slightly over a length ahead. The next fifteen strokes saw them take only one more length out of us, and both crews knew that this could go right down to the wire, provided that Cal crabbed or hit the pontoons. Having watched All for One: In the Spirit of the Race, we knew that this was pretty likely.

Unfortunately, we failed to execute that part of the race 'plan' and Cal continued to underrate us by only four pips down the course, which was sufficient to extend their lead to four lengths by the enclosures. We were still relaxed, as we planned to take a single stroke that would be worth a full five lengths on them. But disaster struck, as on that single stroke Tom took an air stroke, and we were condemned to an 'easy' defeat.

With all three Cambridge college crews going out in the first round, it's probably good for the big fish to get out of their small pond once in a while. On the plus side, Phil had a book of vouchers that meant we were able to save nearly £35 at Wetherspoons. (BJ)
I should clarify that it wasn't an "air stroke" as such; in fact the water was so scared of the power I was about to apply to it that it dived out the way. Perhaps this is how Moses parted the Red Sea. (Tom C)

1. Into the enclosures
2. The Cal boys stretch...
3. Coming past the Rega...
[more...]


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