The Club's Results

Pembroke Regatta, Lent Term 2012

2nd men's VIII (2nd division)

Coxed by: Ellie Collins

1st round
Beat Wolfson II easily
This crew still had not spent much time on the water together, and we knew that it was going to be very windy. We got a taste of just how challenging it was going to be when spinning before the race and trying to get lined up at the start. We were racing on the meadowside station which in principle offered some shelter, but also meant that we had to watch out for the shallow water near the bank.
From the start of the race, there seemed to be a lot of water going everywhere, and this remained the case throughout the race. Each stroke was a matter of trying to get the end of the blade into the river and keep it there until the finish, with little attention to spare for what it was actually doing there.
However, it seems that we were more successful at this on average than Wolfson II, and so we steadily gained on them and were comfortably ahead by the railway bridge. Nonetheless, merely rowing to the finish line while avoiding any boat-stopping incidents was still far from a trivial matter.
I think our cox Ellie deserves a special mention for getting the boat pointed in the correct direction at the start and keeping us going along the course without any encounters with the bank, despite the awful conditions. (Chris E.)
2nd round
Beat Trinity Hall II by 3 lengths
For this race, the conditions seemed to be slightly better than in the first one, though still far from ideal, and we were on the more exposed towpath side this time.
This time the other crew was Trinity Hall II, and they gained on us off the start. However, once we had settled into as much of a rhythm as was possible given the not altogether flat surface of the river, it did not take us long to move back up on them and overtake, and we were 3 lengths up by the finish line.
This might suggest that we have a fair bit to gain for bumps by getting our start (which we had only had one previous outing practising) more coordinated, together and confident. (Chris E.)
Quarter finals
Lost to Downing II by 2 lengths
We knew Downing II were likely to be fast, so this was going to be a challenging race, and they will be chasing us in bumps, so it was especially significant.
We were on the towpath side again with conditions still very windy.
Downing II moved away from us off the start, and then continued to gain ground throughout the race, finishing 2 lengths up on us.
However, I think that we gave a very committed row, and made them fight for it. I did feel that we were probably letting the worst of the conditions affect us more than was necessary, and not properly taking advantage of lulls to get in some higher quality rowing. Hopefully, conditions will be much more pleasant for Bumps, but we have to be prepared to cope with whatever each day brings - and there is no guarantee that it will not be like today.
How well we do in Bumps will depend on how well we are able to take advantage of the final week of training: there is a lot that we can do to neaten up our rowing and improve the efficiency. This will give us more distance with every stroke. Combine this with a bit more work on the start and there is no reason not to be very hopeful about Bumps. (Chris E.)

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