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The Club's Results

Fairbairn Cup 2009

A 4300m timed head race on the Cam for VIIIs
Fri 4th December

The official results can be found here. At the bottom of this page there is a summary of the results of college crews and a link to Cambridge weather. Club members, please go here to add (or correct) results, crews or race reports.

BPBC 1st men's VIII, Invitation VIIIs

2nd Fastest Invitational Men's VIII
Time: 14:08.12
I don't call going over at 35 a gentlemen's agreement. (Neil T)
We didn't win, for only the second time, but it was our best performance for a while (ignoring the first two minutes).

It's good to have some competition in Invitational, although somewhat strange that it came from an Oxford college - I suspect that Cantabs would have been well clear had they raced. We should probably do a bit more training for next year.

Thanks to Iain and FaT for the use of the Empacher (and Pedro and Bryn), Rebecca for coxing us and Jon for organising everything.

Anyone keen for the HoRR? (JPD)
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1st men's VIII, Senior VIIIs

2nd Cam college, 8th overall
Time: 14:09.88
Every stroke counts, and so it proved as a strong Downing crew were pushed into third place by half a second. Congratulations to Queens' for an impressive victory but these boys made them pull out all the stops for it and deserve huge credit for their grit and determination leading up to this race and for producing some excellent rowing and (most importantly) their best on the day. (Neil T)
This was a solid race and a good end to a somewhat experimental term. It's gutting not to win Fairbairrns, but Queens' time was really outstanding! I was very pleased with our position in the rankings and with our committed performance in the race itself. To quote Dan Jane, i am very proud to be part of such a classy crew!

This term morale has been high and we've been lucky to gain some "fresh blood" ex-schoolboy rowers. But with a very mixed squad from all sorts of different rowing backgrounds it took us a while to find our feet. The strategy of remaining in scratch fours for the main part of term was never going to give us quick pay-offs - instead we have made the kind of excellent individual and whole-squad changes which are necessary as a platform for defending our headships and HoRR position.

Having jumped into an approximate Fairbairns eight a couple of weeks ago we knew that we had an enormous task to make up the time between us and the crews who topped Winter Head. The amount of improvement each outing was dramatic, and i think we all felt the infectious excitement when a crew really starts to live up to its potential. We went off hard in the race and maintained rate 34/5 throughout. Our strategy was to bring out the big guns at Chesterton and nail that central stretch all the way to Ditton. Despite the odd wobble the cover was consistently good throughout with no signs of the ridiculous slide rush which had plagued us the week before.

With the loss of all our permanent coaches from the last few years there are lots of people to thank for helping us get this far. Our gratitude to Phil H and Phil P for coaching and supporting on the bank, Coker and Pedro for subbing, and to Peter Summers, Dan Darley and Neil Talbott for giving up weeks of their valuable time. Last of all, congratulations to M2 - and of course W1 who did what we couldn't quite! (Emma)
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2nd men's VIII, Senior VIIIs

Fastest 2nd VIII
Time: 14:59.02
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)
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.

JPD, I'm glad you posted that link, because it meant I saw this photo of you. (BJ)
I dispute that, but very well done anyway :-) (JPD)
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)

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

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BPBC 2nd men's VIII, Invitation VIIIs

Time: 15:32.89
Yeah Andy, how hard can it be to work a stop watch? (Phil)
Definitely the best result for BPBC II since I started rowing with the crew in 2005. A rather ambitious race plan of rating above 30 for the whole course paid off, and repeated pushes back to 32 kept it going nicely.

A far more enjoyable row than usual, and we placed quite nicely in the middle of the field after Jesus admitted their initial time of 18:32 was 3 minutes too slow.

Still think that we ought to try to get more than a 10 stroke training outing in before next year's race. (Matt)
Apparently someone misread a 6 as a 9, so you were actually 3 minutes quicker! (BJ)
We wuz robbed. Some bloody monkeys at Jesus have us down at 18:33, when it was around 16:00 to 16:30. How hard can it be to work a stopwatch, fecking spanners.

Okay, I'll admit I didn't time it from the start, but it was 17:01 from our first practice stroke (of 5 or 6) to the finish (and 50 minutes from pushing off to get back to the boathouse).

PS. Whoops, my timekeeping is about as good as someone's data entry skills. Still, walking the boat down the hard at the start to double our the number of practise strokes was clearly worth it. (Andy)
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1st women's VIII, Senior VIIIs

1st college senior VIII
Time: 15:52.12
What an amazing race. Possibly the most painful sub-16 minutes of my life, but afterwards it felt so good. Even before we knew the result, I think everyone knew we had really given it everything.

I don't have much to say about the actual race, but want to thank Neil Talbott and Peter Summers for coaching us - I think we owe a big part of our win to their dedication.

And thanks to the girls and Swords - you really made this term amazing, and all the resulting work crises and amount of time I have to spend catching up during the holidays are totally worth it! :) (Katie)
The previous weekend, JPD told these girls they could win by 15 seconds; they obviously took the hump and decided to show what they could really do. This was a fantastic row, starting off around eight lengths behind Christ's (winners of the Winter Head two weeks previously) and finishing all over their stern in a breathtaking lift for the finish. The result was outstanding, relegating all other colleges (and Blondie!) to a separate race entirely, and fully deserved by a crew that has been the epitome of commitment and desire and a privilege to coach. To quote Emmanuel's stroke girl after the race, "[these] girls are f***ing fast". Ice cold, baby. (Neil T)
I think you meant to say "Price cold, baby". (Tom C)
Sub 16:00. Really pleased with the row, nothing more available.

Post Script
A statement of desire for the year from a crew which didn't believe they could do it two weeks previously at winter head.

I am really pleased with the way that the crew has embraced the idea that second place was not good enough, and that the difference was training and a desire to push yourself to the limit. This will hopefully stay with FaT women for many years to come.

Everyone in the crew has contributed to a spectacular achievement. The determination, energy and happiness of the crew has ensured that I feel proud to be captain.

Special thanks to:
Neil - For giving the crew the belief they needed.
Peter, Dan Darley, Dan Holland, John Earl & most of the members of M1 - For Coaching the girls and helping them improve all term.
Liz - For convincing eight people that they wanted to stick with First and Third throughout the test of trying to rebuild W1 last year. This ensured that this term all I had to do was suggest that we should go for it.
Swords - For bailing us out when we had no-one interested in coxing W1. (Thomas)
Until yesterday I would have written off anyone who suggested that racing Fairbairns could actually be enjoyable as a complete nuthead. I was wrong. It WAS really fun, despite the pain and all. It felt powerful, efficient and surprisingly relaxed even when we took it up to r36 for the last 200m or so. And nothing really beats the feeling of 8 people moving neatly together and applying power in synchrony! We really made this boat fly... :-D!

I never ever enjoyed rowing that much like in the past 2 weeks! At the start of Mich term I wasn't particularly keen on VIIIS or sweep rowing in general... now I simply CAN'T WAIT FOR LENTS!!!!!!! (Ulrike)
In the interests of preserving an accurate statement of events for posterity, all of Swords' other corners were so tight that had I been paying attention instead of rowing, I may have had a heart attack. That's why we won by 25 seconds. (Julia A.)
What's the point in merely winning when you can win by around 25s and let everybody know that if they want to get anywhere near FaT, they have one hell of a job?

In all seriousness, this term started pretty badly for me from a rowing perspective. An intention to trial was destroyed by a shoulder injury, and as a result I decided to cox because the women had nobody, and I wanted something to do. Well, what a crew I was allowed to cox. Yesterday's race was just incredible. The technical focus was excellent, but what really stands out in my opinion was the drive an desire. Down first post each the pain levels were incredible, I could see it on people's faces, but every up 2 call was committed and strong, and the girls had the guts to go over the line at about 36, having then done most of first post at 34. Yesterday the girls put themselves through hell to win, and they have come out the other side with a massive result they fully deserve. There's not that much to say really, when you've won by 25s.

Actually that's a lie. We would have won by 30 seconds, had I realised that you have to use your rudder at some point round Chesterton. My line was appalling, so much so, that my admission of guilt needs preserving for posterity. It was turbogash, I nearly crashed. Everything else though, awesome :) (Swords)
I'm currently on the varsity coach wishing I could be at the dinner. You deserve to go all out tonight just like you went all out today.

I know I overuse the word but that was an *incredible* result and performance and the squad looks so strong for next term to go out and do what I failed to do last Lent - bring the Headship home on the last day. It's all yours for the taking now! (Mark)
BLAZED!!!!! Light weight baby! (Hannah)

1. Looking good post-race
2. After the race
3. Liz in the zone

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BPBC 1st women's VIII, Invitation VIIIs

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1st women's novice VIII rowing as 2nd Women's VIII, Lower VIIIs

1. Catching
2. Neat Catches
3. Driving past the boa...

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3rd men's VIII, Lower VIIIs

Time: 19:19
We lost to NW1. I think there was originally a penalty for this happening...

On the whole the composite NM1/2 boat performed adequately with a decent spar with Black Prince women on the Reach.

Unfortunately we crashed after Elizabeth Way and several boats started to bunch up around Grassy - we had to easy to allow others to safely overtake but we ended up going in the bank.

At least we've done senior Fairbairns now so for those who plan to stay on we'll know how it feels come next year! (Mark)
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<h3><a name="selectedresults">Selected Results</a></h3><h4>Men's Senior VIIIs</h4><p><pre><b>Pos Pos in class Crew Time Diff Halfway Diff </b> 1 CUBC II 13:13.46 +0:00.0 06:39.77 +0:00.0 2 CUBC 13:14.44 +0:00.98 06:39.43 -0:00.34 3 CULRC 13:29.80 +0:16.34 06:45.65 +0:05.88 4 1 / 23 Queen's 14:02.26 +0:48.8 07:01.08 +0:21.31 5 CULRC II 14:03.33 +0:49.87 07:04.12 +0:24.35 6 1 / 9 Pembroke (OXF) INV 14:04.86 +0:51.4 07:06.98 +0:27.21 <b>7 2 / 9 Black Prince INV 14:08.12 +0:54.66 07:05.34 +0:25.57 </b> <b>8 2 / 23 First and Third Trinity 14:09.88 +0:56.42 07:06.15 +0:26.38 </b> 9 3 / 23 Downing 14:10.41 +0:56.95 07:07.93 +0:28.16 10 4 / 23 Fitzwilliam 14:19.09 +1:05.63 07:06.52 +0:26.75 11 5 / 23 Jesus 14:19.94 +1:06.48 07:11.09 +0:31.32 12 6 / 23 King's 14:21.40 +1:07.94 07:16.22 +0:36.45 13 7 / 23 Trinity Hall 14:22.82 +1:09.36 07:15.03 +0:35.26 14 8 / 23 Lady Margaret 14:28.73 +1:15.27 07:17.72 +0:37.95 15 3 / 9 Emmanuel INV 14:30.34 +1:16.88 07:15.93 +0:36.16 16 9 / 23 Robinson 14:33.98 +1:20.52 07:19.77 +0:40.0 17 10 / 23 Caius 14:44.69 +1:31.23 07:26.41 +0:46.64 18 11 / 23 Sidney Sussex 14:48.44 +1:34.98 07:26.52 +0:46.75 19 12 / 23 Christ's 14:52.90 +1:39.44 07:27.74 +0:47.97 20 13 / 23 Pembroke 14:52.96 +1:39.5 07:30.65 +0:50.88 <b>21 1 / 11 First and Third Trinity II 14:59.02 +1:45.56 07:28.82 +0:49.05 </b> 22 14 / 23 Churchill 15:00.74 +1:47.28 07:32.28 +0:52.51 23 15 / 23 St Edmund's 15:00.89 +1:47.43 08:22.51 +1:42.74 24 16 / 23 Selwyn 15:05.29 +1:51.83 07:38.84 +0:59.07 25 2 / 11 Jesus II 15:09.62 +1:56.16 07:41.28 +1:01.51 26 1 / 5 Emmanuel II INV 15:13.50 +2:00.04 07:39.96 +1:00.19 27 17 / 23 Anglia Ruskin 15:20.24 +2:06.78 07:38.50 +0:58.73 28 3 / 11 King's II 15:21.37 +2:07.91 07:40.25 +1:00.48 29 4 / 9 Darwin INV 15:23.25 +2:09.79 07:45.59 +1:05.82 30 18 / 23 Clare 15:24.16 +2:10.7 07:42.59 +1:02.82 31 19 / 23 Girton 15:25.34 +2:11.88 07:49.48 +1:09.71 32 20 / 23 Magdalene 15:35.92 +2:22.46 07:50.90 +1:11.13 33 4 / 11 Pembroke II 15:37.99 +2:24.53 06:59.57 +0:19.8 34 5 / 9 Cantabrigian INV 15:40.71 +2:27.25 -6:39.77 35 5 / 11 Downing II 15:43.22 +2:29.76 07:53.21 +1:13.44 36 6 / 11 Wolfson II 15:50.53 +2:37.07 07:58.96 +1:19.19 37 2 / 5 Champion of the Thames II INV 15:50.62 +2:37.16 -6:39.77 38 21 / 23 St Catharine's 15:52.88 +2:39.42 07:52.12 +1:12.35 39 6 / 9 Champion of the Thames INV 15:53.12 +2:39.66 08:01.77 +1:22.0 40 7 / 11 Christ's II 16:00.99 +2:47.53 08:03.34 +1:23.57 41 8 / 11 Churchill II 16:01.49 +2:48.03 08:09.34 +1:29.57 42 9 / 11 Robinson II 16:04.73 +2:51.27 08:04.62 +1:24.85 43 7 / 9 Cross Keys INV 16:09.38 +2:55.92 08:04.01 +1:24.24 44 3 / 5 Fitzwilliam II INV 16:15.23 +3:01.77 08:07.22 +1:27.45 45 10 / 11 Sidney Sussex II 16:15.44 +3:01.98 -6:39.77 46 22 / 23 Wolfson 16:19.74 +3:06.28 08:16.24 +1:36.47 47 4 / 5 Anglia Ruskin II INV 16:22.56 +3:09.1 08:11.08 +1:31.31 48 23 / 23 Clare Hall 16:30.39 +3:16.93 08:17.66 +1:37.89 49 5 / 5 Clare II INV 16:32.44 +3:18.98 -6:39.77 50 11 / 11 Magdalene II 16:32.83 +3:19.37 08:19.08 +1:39.31 51 1 / 2 Sidney Sussex III 17:41.78 +4:28.32 08:32.71 +1:52.94 52 8 / 9 Crustaceans INV 17:59.74 +4:46.28 -6:39.77 <b>53 9 / 9 Black Prince II INV 18:32.89 +5:19.43 -6:39.77 </b> <b>54 2 / 2 First and Third Trinity III 19:18.91 +6:05.45 09:48.87 +3:09.1 </b> 55 Champion of the Thames III DNS 56 Disciples DNS <b>57 First and Third Trinity IV DNS </b></pre></p><h4>Women's Senior VIIIs</h4><p><pre><b>Pos Pos in class Crew Time Diff </b> 1 CUWBC 15:32.31 +0:00.0 2 CUWBC II 15:42.81 +0:10.5 <b>3 1 / 20 First and Third Trinity 15:52.12 +0:19.81 </b> 4 CUWBC III 16:18.75 +0:46.44 5 2 / 20 Downing 16:19.97 +0:47.66 6 3 / 20 Christ's 16:23.63 +0:51.32 7 4 / 20 Emmanuel 16:24.43 +0:52.12 8 5 / 20 Clare 16:33.57 +1:01.26 9 6 / 20 Sidney Sussex 16:43.84 +1:11.53 10 7 / 20 Queen's 16:46.15 +1:13.84 11 1 / 4 Caius INV 16:48.69 +1:16.38 12 8 / 20 Pembroke 16:50.81 +1:18.5 13 9 / 20 Selwyn 16:55.03 +1:22.72 14 10 / 20 Magdalene 16:59.77 +1:27.46 <b>15 2 / 4 Black Prince INV 16:59.80 +1:27.49 </b> 16 11 / 20 Murray Edwards 16:59.96 +1:27.65 17 3 / 4 Jesus INV 17:00.93 +1:28.62 18 12 / 20 Churchill 17:06.86 +1:34.55 19 13 / 20 Fitzwilliam 17:15.85 +1:43.54 20 14 / 20 King's 17:19.59 +1:47.28 21 1 / 6 Emmanuel II 17:21.50 +1:49.19 22 4 / 4 Champion of the Thames INV 17:22.12 +1:49.81 23 15 / 20 Trinity Hall 17:32.20 +1:59.89 24 16 / 20 Peterhouse 17:35.96 +2:03.65 25 1 / 1 Downing II INV 17:36.31 +2:04.0 26 17 / 20 Robinson 17:40.89 +2:08.58 27 18 / 20 Lady Margaret 17:46.85 +2:14.54 28 2 / 6 Sidney Sussex II 17:48.67 +2:16.36 29 19 / 20 Anglia Ruskin 17:57.20 +2:24.89 30 20 / 20 St Catharine's 18:11.68 +2:39.37 31 3 / 6 Queen's II 18:20.42 +2:48.11 <b>32 4 / 6 First and Third Trinity II 18:49.99 +3:17.68 </b> 33 5 / 6 Robinson II 19:10.30 +3:37.99 34 1 / 1 Sidney Sussex IV 19:31.99 +3:59.68 35 1 / 1 Sidney Sussex III 20:22.80 +4:50.49 36 6 / 6 Jesus II DNS </pre></p><div align="right"><font size="-1"><a href="#top">^ top</a></font></div><hr>
Cambridge weather: text or graph

1. Emma looking impressed
2. Drive Phase

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