After some general confusion about the opponents bow-rigged novice boat, we paddled onto the startline and were sent off, with half the crew not being ready and staring into random directions when the unexpected 'go' came. As such, the start was scrappy and messy, but nevertheless we were a length clear around the kink. Despite our rushy and pully rowing, we extending this lead to over 2 lengths before we finally relaxed and strode it down four times into a nice and chuncky mid-rate paddle, finishing 'easily'.
Neil called for composure and togetherness from the bank, but actually was so full of joy afterwards that he accidentally stepped into the river, clearly expressing his commiseration for the splash everyone had to suffer from during the race. (Yimin)
First race nerves meant that this was a bit frantic - more pull than push - but the result was never in doubt against a surprisingly poor Jesus B. (Neil T)
A quick reminder on the startline that people have to actually bury their blades meant that we had a much better and cleaner start than last round. Selwyn were still faster off the first few strokes, and some wind-caused steering confusion meant that we were 1-2 seats down for the first bit of the race. A good lengthening and a confident surge got us level around the kink and soon after that into a comfortable lead. On Neil's suggestion, Yining called for another power-saving surge under the railway bridge, and we kept good technique and rythm all the way to the finish line.
Overall a much more composed race than the first round. And not only was the rowing much more together, even the three cheers after the race sounded vaguely in time. Good work! (Yimin)
The general fear of 'meaty grad students' soon turned into a fear of terrible wind and weather conditions. We dealt with it well and had long strokes, at least whenever the blades actually caught water rather than wave holes. Clare Hall held us well for much of the reach, but our good and consistent rythm off the surge got us into a clear lead by the railway bridge. We kept power and rythm all the way to the finish line and finished 2 lengths ahead. A good introduction into rowing in tricky conditions. (Yimin)
Clare Hall were a powerful crew and well suited to the increasingly brutal wind conditions, but the boys again stepped up the quality. A very good performance in which the winning margin was gradually eked out, but this was a tough quarter-final which took its toll later. (Neil T)
That was a tough race compared to the previous two. And the first that day after which I actually felt tired. (Ahmad)
The two boats were going at roughly the same speed for one third of the race, during the second third of the race our strokes lost a bit of power allowing Maggie to catch up and take a lead of 1-2 seats. Somewhere at two-thirds of the race, our boat went very unstable for a fraction of a second (the wind and the waves gave us a small crab), the short confusion that followed gave Maggie the opportunity to extend their lead to a full boat length. At which point, our cox - Yining - became extremely loud and aggressive with her calls and Florian went mad in his seat when he realized that we are losing distance and gave an enormous shout: "row guys, COME ON!!". Neil from the bank was also so loud that it felt like a matter of life and death. All of this meant that our crew scraped for every last bit of power left and pushed the boat again at roughly the same speed as Maggie for the remaining third of the race.
That was an awesome race between the best two crews in the competition and First and Third NM1 was like nothing Maggie had seen that day before or after that round. When we passed next to them the Maggie crew gave us a salute and spared us the humiliation of the three cheers.
Well done First and Third... (Ahmad)
They had the bigger German guy. I'm working on that.. (Flo)
Lance (Maggie boatman) claimed it was a good race, one of the best he had seen, (I think his actual words contained more expletives.) he is usually fair in his assessments. (Thomas)
Unfortunately LMBC had won their quarter-final easily and their resulting freshness (especially in the severe headwind) proved decisive. The start was again good and we were leading by a few seats with a third of the race gone, but as fatigue crept in the Red Enemy came back on terms and pulled ahead in the second half of the race. The luck of the draw was not with us but this was a high quality race and the crew should be really pleased with their performances which improved throughout the day and bode very well for Fairbairns. (Neil T)
Knowing that this was likely to be hardest race of the day even if we made the final, we had a much better focus on the startline resulting in what was probably the best racing start of the day. We went into a canvas lead off the first few strokes, but Maggie held us well and soon came back, despite some borderline steering from their cox which our marshal clearly wasn't too pleased about. It wasn't until after the kink that Maggie went into a few seats' lead. There was a short moment of panic allowing them to extend this lead, we got it back well together and kept up a good commitment all the way to the finish but unfortunately this wasn't enough.
This was a very good race in tough conditions after a hard quater final and it is comforting to know that we lost against the eventual winners. There is much to take away from today and come Fairbairns next week, today's experience will certainly prove to be very valuable. (Yimin)
I must add that I'm impressed by that start that caught our bow pair taking taps and Robinson at backstops. Well done, especially Katie!
As for the race, keeping the power, technique and timing with nothing to push against is a great confidence boost! (Nina)
So Robinson started off from backstops and pointing towards the bank, which obviously gave us a bit of a headstart before the race even began. After a flawless start, the girls pulled away, and within 10 strokes were a length ahead already. With a few calls of "push 10 for Neil", they were at the finish and Robinson were nowhere to be seen. On the way home, Alex and I were so impressed with their (still) beautiful rowing that we crashed into a bollard.
Great practice for Saturday and a well-rowed raced. Good work, girls! (Rebecca)
Once again the opposition weren't quite ready off the start, giving our girls a bit of an advantage. We were quicker off the start than Jesus and held it together very well, and after 40 or so strokes it was clear we would win. Even though they were miles ahead, the girls didn't slacken off and when we crossed the finish line Jesus were nowhere to be seen! (Rebecca)
A comprehensive victory. At the end of the regatta the girls looked back and wondered if perhaps more energy could have been conserved in the second half of the race, but that's easy to say in hindsight - it was understandable that they wanted to put down a marker, which they certainly did. (Neil T)
One of the only races I saw and it made me very proud indeed. A committed row all the way to the finish line and some good bully-steering by Katie. Well done, girls! (Penelope)
With the wind now howling down the Long Reach this was always going to be a tough race. The first stroke didn't go well but the girls showed great composure to recovery extremely impressively and pull out a lead of a few seats off the start. The way they handled the conditions (with virtually no experience of significant headwinds) was absolutely fantastic and despite giving away height and weight to ARU they continued to pull away gradually. A tremendous performance, and an official warning for me for yapping at the umpire (well done Katie!). (Neil T)
An epic race. By the time of the semifinal the wind was worse still and even senior crews would have struggled. This also effectively lengthened the race and gave a significant advantage to the larger Downing crew who had also had a more comfortable win in their previous race. Nonetheless the start was excellent and the lead increased, seat by seat, until by halfway we were about two thirds of a length to the good. Coming into the Railway Bridge the margin was still half a length but Downing took advantage of their corner to close the gap and pulled level with about 150m to go. The girls dug deep and gave everything but with their previous races now telling they couldn't quite match Downing's final push. Nonetheless they should be extremely proud of this race and can look forward to Fairbairns with great confidence and belief in each other. (Neil T)
This was a really tough second round draw but a committed and impressive row in which Caius were pushed all the way. Very promising for next week and I'm certain these guys will have the measure of plenty of 1st novice VIIIs. With a couple more practice outings to work on timing at higher rates a top 10 placing in Novice Fairbairns is a realistic target. (Neil T)
NM3 were a length ahead by half way through the start, pulled to a bit more then 3 lengths of clear water, then held it at that distance for the rest of the race. Things got a bit sloppy towards the end as people got tired, but all told a good race. Kate held a great line the whole way. (Jack)
Tricky conditions meant that NM3 veered off towards the meadows on the first ten strokes, but some snazzy coxing and a very sharp looking wind meant that they recovered well. The two crews were well matched and more-or-less level as they reached cruising speed, but the boys fought hard and remained calm, pushing LMBC back to about half a length and gradually pulling away.
Under the railway bridge an excellent line gave them clear water and they pushed again to finish a few lengths clear.
They were big. But we recovered well, taking it through to the finish line with some nice rowing. Good work, boys. (Penelope)
Most strokes wins, but not on this occasion - the rate was a little over-optimistic and ARU were very good. A good effort to get to the quarters but the more measured environment of Fairbairns will suit this crew better. (Neil T)
The boys had a great start and were ahead by almost half a length after the draw strokes, but after catching a crab Selwyn overtook and we never quite got it back. Selwyn pushed on and so did we, and as they went under the railway bridge we were only two lengths down, but by the finish line we were tired. All in all the boys should be proud, they kept it together and the start was ferocious! (Rebecca)
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