The Club's Results

Lent Term 2012

1st men's VIII

Robinson Head (1st division)

2nd
Time: 4:15
Off the start at rate 36, we settled to an average of 33.5, but hitting rate wasn't the aim of this race.

We fulfilled the objective of staying calm and composed despite a few strokes when things threatened to go terribly wrong. But we recovered well, maintaining a good rhythm down the Reach and sharpening into and pushing off the Railway Bridge. The power didn't seem to drop from then on, which was quite satisfying.

Finishing 10 seconds behind Robinson still baffles me, but we've decided to attribute it to our rather conservative race plan.

Same composure coupled with more roar should bode well for Pembroke Regatta. (Penelope)
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Pembroke Regatta (1st division)

1st round
Beat Magdalene I by 3 lengths
"It wasn't pretty but it got the job done" describes this race well. I was on their 4 man off the start, we broke free around the kink and increased the clear water from there on. "Let's not talk about this race" would be an accurate description of this report. (Penelope)
Quarter finals
Lost to Downing I by 3/4 of a length
"We raced the race we wanted to race". Much more composure, much more patience. They got one seat out of us off the start and gradually moved through to 3, but a successful transition held them there for a while. We are told they broke free before the Railway Bridge, but pushes into and out of the bridge got us back to overlap from where we fought back to only 6 seats down despite sitting in their wash.

Well done, boys! We can justifiably be proud and confident in our abilities. (Penelope)
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Lent Bumps

Wednesday
Bumped by LMBC
This was a very committed and hard fought race between the two crews, with our boat showing some great resilience down the reach, unfortunately getting bumped just after the railway bridge. We were hampered bit a slight lack of composure in the final moments but everyone kept believing and working right up until the end. This should set us up well for Queens tomorrow! (Jacob)
Thursday
Rowed over
Rule 10: It never gets easier, you just get faster. (Matthew)
Very similar to the epic M2 row-over ahead of Sidney in Lents 2011, this race was possibly my most exciting one to date.

The row up to marshalling lacked confidence, I feel we were unsure as to whether we would be able to defy expectations that we would fall to Queens'. Shotgunning the bench next to Maggie's marshalling position was comical, but then we decided being antisocial would be more appropriate and edged back towards our bit of land. Our spirits were lifted upon hearing that W1 had bumped, and our row down to the start went better. Barrell apparently doesn't like being called a "good boy". He shall be from now on.

After a wobbly few strokes, we found some steadiness at 43 before an effective stride to 37 then 35. Jacob called the first push about 15 strokes before First Post Corner and the second just before coming out of it. Maggie going slightly wide at Grassy came into sight and I suddenly became ultra-keen for the perfect line. We pushed outside the Plough, had the usual wobble, and Queens' bowball appeared on my right as a nice reminder to stay tight round Ditton. A push into the corner and an all-mighty "flat-out" push round the corner made this possible.

Out of Ditton Queens' started to gain, and got to overlap probably around the railings. A series of bumps pushes down the Reach allowed us to fluctuate between at least a foot of overlap and 2 feet of clear water. Realising at the Railway Bridge that we could and would row over, we seemingly unanimously became very angry at the prospect of this not happening, and it would appear that we absorbed their push into the Bridge as their bowball faded out of sight. This allowed us to regain some composure and rhythm off the Bridge with a nice little reset around the Kink.

And then with 40 strokes to go their bowball turns up on my left for some reason. We push again. 30 strokes to go and it's still there, eager to pounce forwards. But we sharpen up with 20 strokes left, I start steering even more evasively, and they slowly start to fall back, rowing over 2 metres behind us according to McKelvie.

I feel that this race has truly brought us together as a crew and shown how far we've come; that we know for sure that every other person in the boat will believe in us as a unit for as long as we believe in us; that we can say that we are a top 5 crew with confidence and pride - cheering from Downing and Pembroke on the row home would suggest so too. And for that I am most grateful to Queens' who put up an excellent fight!

I am so proud of you, boys; more of the same tomorrow, but let's keep them further away. (Penelope)
Friday
Rowed over
Once more unto the reach, dear friends, once more!

Also, I hope the Queens strokeman is OK. (Matthew)
Saturday
Bumped by Queens'
It was an unfortunate way to end what was otherwise a very enjoyable and in many respects successful bumps campaign. The racing over the first three days showed us that we can still compete with the top crews on the river, making LMBC work incredibly hard for their bump and producing two fantastic row overs ahead of Queens. However, those three days seemed to take their toll and combined with the worse weather conditions meant that we were outclassed on the final day by an impressive push from Queens coming into the railings.

Despite this disappointing end I have truly enjoyed the Lent Bumps and it has been very satisfying to see the crew come together and produce some of the great rowing we always knew we could. I have every faith that we will learn from our shortcomings and keep building on our strengths so that we can correct any feelings of disappointment come Mays. (Jacob)
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Head of the River Race (In3)

202nd overall; 53rd in In3 category; Halladay position 51
Time: 19:59.3
I saw some M1 hands after this 6.8km race...
One guy did not seem particularly bothered that his hands were absolutely shredded. I only noticed them by accident and was quite shocked.
Other (more senior) M1 hands made me feel sorry only for the wooden oar handles that they were gripping and twisting.
This is the best part of rowing when you: look pain in the eye and stand your ground (or in the case of the guy with the shredded hands: remain cool and not even notice the pain's presence). Big admirer. (Ahmad)
With the crew only having a week to transition from Bumps racing to HORR, this was always going to be challenge. Off the start, we lacked some aggression, surging to 31/32 (this rate was pretty much constant throughout the race). Reading University came up quickly behind, but some strategic blade-clash under Barnes Bridge nullified the danger. The potential consequence of this was only realised when they walked past en masse after the race, murder in their eyes.

Preceding Hammersmith, we rowed with decent composure and timing, and coming up to Hammersmith, I actually believed we could pull off a good performance.

We then decided to blow up spectacularly, just in time to emerge from under Hammersmith Bridge to a headwind and choppy water.

This destroyed our cohesion, and we never really regained this for any significant period of time after technical lifts. The rate wind never really happened, and this sort of gear shift must be developed for Mays.

Overall, rather disappointing, but it leaves a drive to come back massive and angry. Bring on Mays! (Sam)
A few things to take away from this race:
1) Commemoration feast was probably the most delicious but not exactly the most productive crew pasta we've ever had.
2) It helps being awake for a 7k race. For some people, this might even involve getting more than 3 hours sleep.
3) Blade clashes are not fun. But as long as they're even less fun for the other boat you're still in business.
4) Rate 30 was way too low for this race. Not quite sure why we did that.
5) We still need to learn how to row in a headwind. Doh. (Yimin)
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