The Club's Results

Cambridge Winter Head, Mich Term 2011

1st women's VIII (Student Senior VIIIs)

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11th Cambridge College
Time: 10:27
We set off from the boathouse (on time, which proved to be a mistake) with a Peter Summers blessing. The warm-up was somewhat premature as we then spent 45 minutes drifting foot by foot down to the white bridge (measured by how far and often Miles had to move his bike along the sidewalk).

Bursts on the reach felt chunky, rating 30. On arrival at the lock we seemed to be the only crew told to spin (and indeed the only crew complimented on our spinning). We confused ICSM by wishing them luck and set off, behind Caius and in front of Newnham. Our plan was to keep it simple, and put distance on Newnham. At Ditton the plan had to be swiftly changed to putting distance on Pembroke as they came round the corner instead of Newnham.

The start was good, winding to a nice 30. I was concerned that my legs weren't burning 10 strokes in, but I think we were all aware that we were setting ourselves up for a 2.5k race rather than a 4 minute piece. We kept it chunky to Grassy, and lifted out of the corner with a power 10. We took a nice line off this push and then Miles called for a plough reach burn. This caused the rate to rise with adrenaline, but we found a new rhythm coming round Ditton and held 32 for the rest of the race.

The cover dropped somewhat on the vacant expanse of the reach, but calls for pressure from within the boat spurred us on, powering through the railway bridge for our (moderate - I quite liked the rhythm) sprint for the finish.

Spirits were high at the finish, despite exhaustion. Without much pressure either from behind or in front, we were able to concentrate on our own rowing and row the race we planned. The result doesn't properly show how far we've come, but it gives us a target for the next two weeks. I'm proud of how we rowed in the race, of how we reacted to it off the start and held it at the finish. Now we just need to get massive. (Julia A.)

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