The Club's Results

Fairbairn Cup 2012

1st men's VIII (Senior VIIIs)

Coxed by: Michael Thornton

6th in College VIIIs
Time: 14:16.5
In many ways this was our first race against the other colleges this term; we were in selected VIIIs, and everybody would be racing in the same division. Caius M1 hadn't race on cam all term, and all we could really tell from previous races was that Downing had been 6s faster over 2.5k with an overtake. Since then we'd swapped stroke and 6 gaining us both length and rhythm, and so it was, in our minds, all to play for.

We had a gutsy race plan. Attack the first minute, push off everything remotely landmarky and bomb it from the motorway bridge. Our technical focus was simple: rhythm off the back end, blades in, legs down. We put everything into executing the race plan. An inexplicably effective up 1 down 1 and an unexpectedly close Green Dragon bridge made us hopeful, but it just wasn't enough to get top 5. And yet there is nothing we could have done differently to make up 15 seconds. It was, we all agree, a fair representation of where we currently are.

But, don't expect M1 to go down 1 up 1 in Lents. I know, from a brief encounter with Black Prince M1, that, as a senior squad, we have so much free speed to gain by simply doing less. If training camp and next term are approached with the same willingness to achieve as Fairbairn's, I will expect nothing less than up 2. How much do you want to help LMBC on their way to spoons boys? (Thornton)
I think "nothing we could have done" is a little strong; while I don't claim to be 15s slower than the unfortunately ill Barrell, even in top shape I've never been in the better half of a Fairbairns VIII. I was far from in top shape when Ali asked me at breakfast how I felt, but it seemed easier to drop me in than disrupting the crew with someone less experienced.

A lingering cold meant my feeble attempts at training had petered out a few weeks before (and still left me with a hacking cough a minute into the race), I hadn't rowed in an VIII which was more than 25% male in a long time, and it was my first M1 race on bowside in almost two years.

In spite of all this whining, I think I gave at least a passable impression of a 5-man, and had a very enjoyable row with M1. As Thornton says, it felt like a crew with some obvious flaws, but with the potential to move a lot of boat when they get fixed; combined with the strong performance from M2, I very much look forward to seeing what this group of people can produce in the coming terms. (Peter)

1. M1 returning from ra...
2. M1 just below the st...


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