Not so much of a race as a comedy of errors. After 3 strokes we were well up on the opposition before they decided to crab and veer right into us. After a few blade clashes and some incompetent marshaling (telling us to row on straight after blowing the 'hold them up whistle') New Hall were rightly disqualified. Unfortunately this deprived us of some race experience, but at least it told us we could get the start right (DM)
This was much more like it. A good start followed by some controlled rowing meant we left the opposition trailing in our wake for the whole race. Sorry about the rubbish call for a push off the bridge, but you kept your heads well to close out the race and showed the opposition that a fast start doesn't guarantee a victory. (DM)
What a race! They managed to get ahead from the start, but we knew this would happen. From there some great rowing kept us in touch before an excellent push off the railway bridge which managed to close the gap to about 1/3 of a length. There was little in it down the home straight, but sadly we didn't have quite enough as the opposition managed to find just enough to hold us off. However, this is probably some of the best stuff we have ever rowed. Everyone was getting the blades in right at the front, all of you squared early and nobody was rushed on the way forward. If we keep that standard up we should do very well at Fairbairns. Also it will be interesting to compare our time with that of this team who seemed to be entirely focused on this competition. (DM)
It's unfortunate to come across such a crew so early in the game. Fitz arrived with cleavers and a racing shell, and were very well trained. Our boys fought for length but couldn't keep up.
However, again, get a positive attitude and a good result at Fairbairns is far from out of reach. (Jij)
Fitz A were big guys with cleavers, and would have been hard pressed not to have a faster start than us. This had been discussed at the crew pasta and in the race chat, but nevertheless heads went down during the wind as they moved to about 4 seats up over the start. This wasn't fatal for an 800m race, but the belief wasn't there and didn't come back. Especially at First and Third, one should not be scared by some rugger bugger who is twice your weight and several inches taller.
The rate was ridiculously high - I *knew* it was a bad idea to teach novices to spin the hands! - so although catches were not horrendous we were only getting to half slide most strokes. Do NOT be the one that gives in and rows at half slide; keep the length, keep the speed in the water.
The push into the railway bridge was reasonable, and the rate settled from 35 to 30 as people got too tired to rush forward at such a pace. This should work to our advantage in Fairbarns: I don't believe anyone will be stupid enough to set off at such a pace for a race lasting at least ten minutes....
This week we will be practicing the first two minutes of FB, as well as some longer continuous rowing for fitness. Technique will concentrate on the drive, moving boat rather than water. Bring it. (Dan)
It's a real bonus for you guys that Dan is a pure mathematician, and hence doesn't have to abide by conservation of momentum. (Tom C)
An unfortunate draw as Fitz look one of the strongest crews in the regatta.
They beat us off the start as expected. We never put the power down to catch up and they did nothing wrong that would have allowed us to. (Alasdair)
It was amazing that Cauis actually went anywhere at all... A really good start to the regatta, in contrast to Emma Sprints we held it together at the start without panicking then continued to row well and just walked away from them. (Charley)
A really good row, and a shame their competition was described as "a 10 legged caterpillar" and "an epileptic spider", so they didn't have any competition. They held it well and were strong throughout the race, recovering from crabbing incidents well. (Rachel)
An amazing row. You kept your focus even though they had a slightly better start than you. The power stayed in the water keeping you neck and neck for the first half. You kept it there all the way to the end, getting a good lead by the railway bridge and extending it to the end.
I'll second that. Bloody awesome! Not phased by their quick (but not particularly together) start you kept your head in the boat and just did your own thing by keeping it long and powerful. In the end our superior fitness and technique shone through, moving out to a length up under the railway bridge and a really fantastic push off it taking us up to about 4 lengths clear at the finish. The best I've ever seen you row, so so proud. Even the Downing LBC said how well you did and congratulated us on our tactic of a good solid quick row all the way through the course (woop woop!). Very excited about the quarter finals on Saturday - more of the same please! (Charley)
Bad weather conditions saw us blown into the bank despite the cox's best efforts, and after two crashes we didn't have much of a chance. However, we never gave up and by the end had taken a couple of lengths back off them after a particularly good push under the railway bridge. The start was also pretty good, we weren't phased by their quick racing start and were gaining on them all the time until we were blown off course. The man-style grunting towards the end showed just how much everyone was putting into the race, and the boat was speeding along right up to the finish.
Really proud of how well the girls have rowed this regatta. Each race has got better and better, more powerful and technically more precise, and that's all we can ask for. Well done everyone :) (Charley)
Really good row girls! You really did not give up despite the difficulties, and as Charley says even though they had the quicker start we really were gaining on them shortly after the first 30seconds.
We were the stronger crew overall, I believe, and if we weren't as unfortunate as we were with the wind then it's quite likely that we would've had that race. (Mark)
A neat start got us going at a similar speed, but by the stride we were gaining a foot with every stroke.
Got to about a length and a half and maintained for most of the reach, mostly due to a drop from our own boat commitment and therefore speed. A tit hall crab let us gain another length and a bit before the fact we were meadow side allowed us to take the third full length before the finish in the final turn. (Thomas)
I wouldn't have wanted to be the umpire calling this!
Magdalene were faster off the start gaining about half a length on the towpath side of the reach. The guys focussed in well though and we held it there until magdalene crabbed allowing us to pull a couple of length lead which led to them dying as they gave up.
The lead was lost when a series of incidents around the railway bridge led to a serious loss of timing and boatspeed as bow pair dropped out.
Magdalene passed us to go 4 seats ahead 20 strokes from the finish. The guys in the boat commited there all. Overrating the magdalene crew by 4 or 5 pips we pushed for the end, getting our bows ahead a mere stroke from the finish.
Know one knew which way it was called until we checked with the marshalls. A massive cheer from the bank was met by similar from the boat. (Thomas)
They took us off the start as we sort of expected. We started to draw back but despite cutting the deficit to a length and a half, problems and heads dropping due to being behind meant we dropped back again.
A good final push off the railway bridge took us to a mere length and a bit off. A few hundred more metres and I think we would have had them.
A good race and a good performance from a 3rd/4th novice VIII. Hope you guys do well in fairbairns. (Thomas)
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