The Club's Results

Pembroke Regatta, Lent Term 2009

3rd men's VIII, Gents VIII (3rd division)

Coxed by: Tom Lovering

1st round
Beat Homerton III easily
Splatter horror rowing.

Panicked, spacky start with a "stride" into panicked, spacky rowing. Still, we were about 6 lengths up by the railway bridge so we wound it down to the finish.

Here's to rowing a lot better in the next few rounds! (Charles)
Quarter finals
Beat Pembroke III by a length
slightly better (Jij)
After the previous race, Ming succinctly assessed our performance as "If we row like that again, we're going to get dicked on".

Our first 20 strokes seemed to be reasonably effective because we took out about half a length very quickly. However once again we failed to settle into a reasonable rhythm, and although we stretched our lead to a length, we then allowed them to hold us there all the way down the reach, and even gain slightly around the railway bridge.

It ended up a reasonably comfortable victory, but our scrappy rowing made our lives much harder than they needed to be - the lack of water time really showed. (Charles)
Semi finals
Beat FaT IV by a length
worst of the day (Jij)
Due to random and confusing reshuffling of the draw by Pembroke, we somehow ended up facing the fourth VIII even though we were supposed to meet in the final.

By this stage we were a bit ragged after 2 races and some hypothermia from wet kit and freezing conditions. The fourths, on the other hand, had received 2 byes due to incompetent opposition and were seriously up for some actual racing. More "interesting" organisation by Pembroke meant we were held at the start line for about 10 minutes, during which time some good banter was exchanged between the two crews - I think it's fair to say M4 won that particular battle.

Regarding the race itself, we knew that M4 were bigger and stronger than us, so our only advantage was our extra experience and (hopefully) better technique. Which was why it was a bit counterproductive to produce an even worse row than we did against Homerton.

Again we stretched out half a length at the start, but some seriously gutsy rowing by M4 meant they held us there for a long time. I actually thought we were at risk of losing it but a few strokes after the railway bridge, for whatever reason we finally extended our lead, and finished about a length up.

We may not have put in a good technical performance but it was certainly a very enthusiastically contested race on both sides. I'm sure with 2 more weeks of water time that M4 will be brutal opposition for their victims in the coming bumps. (Charles)
Final
Beat LMBC III by disqualification
best row of the day, still not satisfactory. (Jij)
We knew LMBC were the crew to beat in this division, so the only surprise was that we encountered them in the final rather than the semis. Since we had so far failed at finding any kind of rhythm, we decided to dispense with the usual stride, instead having Tom give repeated "down 2" calls which should come with increased power. Happily, this actually worked and we produced our best row of the day by miles.

Maggie had taken a few seats out of us by 30 strokes, but as we settled into a rhythm we began to hold them, and clung on all the way down the reach. Towards the end of the reach a call came for legs, and it worked as we slowly started clawing back the deficit. We had recovered to one seat down when, regrettably, there was a monumental blade clash. From my seat I saw Jij almost get KO'd by his blade, while behind me Ming caught a mini-crab. Once the dust had settled Maggie had a length on us, and since we were very closely matched in speed there was no hope of us recovering it.

However, it turns out that LMBC had been repeatedly infringing our line rather than the other way around, and so we were awarded the victory by default. This had been a great race and it's a pity it never reached its natural conclusion. I genuinely believed we were going to win with our final push, but now we'll never know! Maggie apologised for the way things turned out so there are no hard feelings, and I'm sure they're gutted to have lost it this way.

A big thank you to everybody who bankpartied us, and especially to Neil whose dry kit saved many of us (including me) from getting seriously ill before the last race. It was an incredibly exhausting and unpleasant day of racing, but somehow I've ended up with my first pot in 3 years of trying, so I can't deny being quite happy about that! (Charles)

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