The Club's Results

Foster Fairbairn Pairs, May Term 2012

Little and Large (Men's 2-)

Coxless pairs
in Amartya Sen
bow Peter Ford str Ali Abbasi
Quarter finals
Beat Harris-Wilkes (Peterhouse) by 13s
Time: 7:52
For Ali's third outing in a small boat, and my second attempt at bowside in quite a while (my hands were pointing out...), this went quite nicely. The bursts on the way down seemed to work reasonably well, we determined that while no faster than Chris Kerr we didn't seem to be slower either, and I managed not to crash into many things on the way to Baitsbite.

We sat around chatting to some of the other pairs about some other races which had apparently been settled by email argument, and then lined up on bottom station. We seemed to move away quite nicely, and although Ali seemed to be unwilling to take the rate particularly high, I was confident we were overgeared enough and with reasonable enough length this shouldn't be an issue. After some cautious lines round the corners (30s power differences are a bit scary when you're steering) we were told we'd moved up nicely, and when Emma called "5 lengths down" at 500m to go, it took me a moment to realise we were close enough she'd switched to literal distances. Apparently they then called a sprint, Emma told us to take it up, but their sprint disintegrated after a few strokes while we wound to the heady heights of 34 (at a guess) and we crossed the line in some comfort.

We then battle paddled back a couple of lengths in front of the Caius pair who had won the race after us, at the point they started lifting the rate into the mid 20s past the Tit Hall boathouse I decided it was time to bow out and came to a halt on the bank.

Onwards to tomorrow, where I suspect we'll need to keep improving to meet the challenge of the multitude of Caius pairs still in the competition

To see (among other things) just how much I quiched round Ditton (never done it without using rudder before...), see
and switch to the HR&Speed plot in "Player"

Video of us paddling afterwards: (Peter)
Semi finals
Lost to Whetnall/McPhail(sic) by "1 length" on the rerow
The weather alternated during the afternoon between downpours and strong gusty winds, but brightened up for just long enough that I made it down to only one thick long-sleeved top by the time we started the semi-final. The paddle down had been a little iffy, but I felt hopeful that the tailwind would suit us better.

We had a reasonable start and looked from my seat to be rowing away nicely from the Downing pair down First Post reach and through the Gut. Unfortunately some combination of scrappy bladework and a lack of legs from me (2 2k races in 90 minutes is a lot if you aren't doing any training!) meant I struggled hard to turn Ali round Grassy and we took the long route around the corner. Thomas called us as 2s up at the Plough, I called us a length down, and the same calls were made at the exit of Ditton. We wound reasonably effectively for the line, but presumably so did they, and it looked like they won the deadheat by feet at most.

With the rules requiring a 2s margin for races in the chase format, we did an awful practise start into the headwind under the railway bridge and paddled back to Ditton, lining up on the towpath station. As I expected, we started crisply in the tailwind, took half a length in the first few strokes, but then slowly got rowed down. With 20 strokes to go we were half a length behind, managed to pull much of this back with a frantic wind to the line, but were left "a few feet plus the stagger" behind. The Downing pair went straight on at the kink and for a few moments I thought they were going to park on the outside bank and leave us to it, (apparently they were hearing Thomas calling "Away" to us, more than the three members of their bankparty frantically telling them to come "Towards"! Maybe coded signals for next time...), but they came round at the last moment.

Thanks to Ali for some fun racing, if we can produce this with no practice (and still having never rated above 35) and me quite unfit I hope this can inspire a return to some FaT successes in the SBR 2013. (Peter)

1. Paddling home

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