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The Club's Results

Fairbairn Cup 2009

2nd men's VIII (Senior VIIIs)

Coxed by: Emma Smith

Fastest 2nd VIII
Time: 14:59.02
Well done guys - not only the fastest 2nd VIII but also the fastest 1st & 3rd 2nd VIII time on record .

Some way to go, though, to match BPBC 2nd VIII's best effort from 2001, and further still to match Crawfster's report. (Neil T)
I dispute that, but very well done anyway :-) (JPD)
JPD, I'm glad you posted that link, because it meant I saw this photo of you. (BJ)
Ok, time for someone to actually write the race report.

As is very often the case with the 2nd Fairbairn VIII we had quite a struggle just getting a crew together that could make it to the race. However we managed and we even got two outings together as a full VIII. We all knew we could row well together but it usually took half the outing to get there, could we do the same in under five strokes?


It felt good from the off and we quickly caught up with Wolfson ahead of us. Being told to easy off so you don't make the bump feels quite strange. After Chesterton Wolfson gracefully made way for us and provided a good marker to push off; we passed them in good style and gave a massive push to get our speed up again.

From time to time everyone feels the need to exclaim in some way during a race, whether it's a cry of pain or a "Yeah Buddy", this is quite normal; what isn't normal is the need to inform the rest of the crew of where you are by shouting out "THE REACH" just after your cox has told you "Reach push now boys".

We had been going fast and by Ditton we knew it was just a case of hanging on to our rhythm and eeking out the last k or so. We kept it together well but by half way down first post reach the rate had dropped several pips, a last 'balls to the wall' push took us over the line.

I was very glad it was over, my calves had been cramping up on the last three or so recoveries; I don't think any of us could have put any more effort in, well done guys.

Then we had to wait. Then we found out we'd done it, the shouts of elation could be heard far and wide.

This report is long overdue, sadly I got battered after Fairbairns Dinner and left for a week on the Varsity Ski Trip.

Nonetheless, here it is.

As Aaron mentioned, the rowing at the start of each outing had been awfully hairy and it was really quite questionable whether we would be able to come flying out of the blocks right off the start.

The first few draw strokes were a little tentative but the rate came up pretty fast and settled to a pretty sustainable rhythm at 32. As we'd planned, we powered through the first part of the race hoping that once we got into the familiar racing area, the race would be second nature to us. We powered on keeping the rhythm chunky and keeping it hard on the legs. Sadly, we were forced to keep a bit of power in reserve when we came up close to a somewhat slow Wolfson crew before the P&E.

When the chance arose, a solid push on the legs took us past Wolfson fairly swiftly and gave us a good target to push off until we came under the railway bridge and our planned "THE REACH!" push... Obviously we'd be pushing so hard that we'd be tunnel visioned and unable to notice this...

Calls on the finishes allowed us to keep the 'send' the boat setting up a solid foundation of the second half of the race. Whilst the lungs were starting to burn, we could feel the commitment was certainly there and the rate and powered stayed there until the final stretch of the race. A final wind up to the end brought us past the finish line at a solid rate 33-34.

As mentioned at the dinner, the crew would like to thank Phil and Neil for all their coaching, particularly in the two weeks leading up to Fairbairns. Ain't easy to turn eight spackers into a respectable crew. Many thanks also to our bank party that stopped us from quiching our way down the course :P.

All in all massive result for us. Lightweight baby ;).

EDIT - Saw this nice extract from the article of the CambridgeTab:

"The fastest second men's eight was that of Trinity II who themselves beat nine first boats including Anglia Ruskin, Clare, Magdalene and Girton."

:) (Tsunami)

2. Closing the gap
3. Putting pressure on ...

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