The Club's Results

Fairbairn Cup 2012

A 4300m timed head race on the Cam for VIIIs
Fri 30th November

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1st men's VIII, Senior VIIIs

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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2nd men's VIII, Senior VIIIs

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BPBC 1st men's VIII, Invitation VIIIs

2nd invitational crew; 24th Senior VIII overall
Time: 15:14
Despite a deluge of late substitutions, this crew stepped up to the plate and delivered a stereotypical Black Prince row - really quite good out of the blocks, but with the length, power, rate and consequently speed steadily deteriorating over the course. However, the crew bought into the rhythm set by Neil which held us together to the end.

The result is hard to interpret, due to the dramatic difference in stream between the first and second divisions. Jon's claim that he bribed the lock-keepers to open the sluices for our race appeared to work against us - perhaps Boar's Head made a better offer? However despite them having the advantage of rowing in the first division we still thrashed the hapless hogs by 16 seconds.

Had we raced in equal conditions I have no doubt that Cantabs would still have soundly beaten us. As it stands, history will record that we landed the dubious honour of being the first Black Prince first eight to be beaten by the college seconds. (JPD)
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BPBC 2nd men's VIII, Invitation VIIIs

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BPBC 1st women's VIII, Invitation VIIIs

2nd fastest women's VIII
Time: 16:46
As much as coming second hurts, I could hardly be more pleased with the achieved: a scratch crew, with only three members that do actually currently row, no warm-up, not a single practice stroke before the start, yet beating every single college crew on the river and finishing a mere 4s short of a top town crew that has been seriously training for this event. To my knowledge, this is the highest finish position Black Prince women ever achieved in Fairbairns!
The race itself was pure joy: we kept it at a solid rate 30 throughout which never felt rushed for a single stroke; I never struggled to get out to full length, Fran set an absolutely lovely rhythm and despite the occasional wobble things never fell apart. We wound up to 33 for our final sprint from about halfway down First Post Reach and finished in style. I'm so proud of every single girl in the crew - it was a pleasure to row with every one of you and I hope to see you all back for the rematch next year! (Ulrike)
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1st women's VIII, Senior VIIIs

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BPBC 2nd women's VIII, Invitation VIIIs

25th out of 37 women's VIIIs
Time: 18:08
Having a BPBC 2nd women's VIII out racing was a major win in itself, and a historical first! Thanks to everyone of you for coming and racing with us, and for being so reliable and uncomplicated to organise! Beating 8 college crews and 4 invitational VIIIs on the way was more than I had dared to hope for - well done girls! Hope to see many of you back next year! (Ulrike)
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