The Club's Results

Cambridge 99's Regatta, May Term 2013

1st women's VIII (1st division)

Coxed by: Yining Nie

Quarter finals
Beat Selwyn W1 (2 lengths)
Mother Nature clearly realized that regattas in the pouring rain are soul destroying and took pity on us. The blazing sunshine had us scrambling for shade and sunscreen instead.

Nines were running behind and so our first practice start was rolling, an interesting experience. When we got to the Plough and were informed that we were on Meadow side we complained bitterly about the general inferiority of the station, though only Yining seemed clear on what this was.

Our start was slightly hesitant, but relatively clean, and when we lengthened onto our rhythm we were 3 seats up. Selwyn stuck with us for longer than we had been expecting, given the margin between us at Champs, and we steadily rowed through them for most of the course.

Yining took quite an aggressive line, to the point where I was expecting either a blade clash or a warning from the umpire (but it turns out we didn't have any umpires with us, I guess they expected us to form a gentleman's agreement on the start line). The one advantage of Meadow side was the 1/3 length advantage at the corner under the railway bridge, and at this point we broke free of overlap and quickly took a length.

Yining had just started to call the final stages of our race plan when we heard an air horn blast and were told to wind it down. None of us had noticed the finish sign at Morley's Holt on the row up, which gave us a surprise short race.

Overall the row felt solid. The balance was still a little off, and the catches a little shabby but it got the job done. (Julia A.)
For once meadowside was good to us. "Okay girls, coming into this final bend, this is their corner so--" *HORN* was a surprise to all but welcome nonetheless. This was probably our best (and funnest) race in terms of getting our blades in the water, but the later races showed that we still need more consistency through fatigue, wind and wash. Inches to gain in the coming two weeks! (Yining)
Semi finals
Beat Magdalene W1 (easily)
This race was much the same as the last, aside from the margin.

The start was efficient, and I felt like I was able to lay down a fair bit of power. We were up by 3 seats at the lengthen again, but this increased to clear water in about 20 strokes.

Initially we lengthened to 36, but a series of strides brought us down to 30 by the finish. Being on Towpath side allowed us to hear more of Fordy's calls and we kept it technical in preparation for the next race. (Julia A.)
Final
Lost to Clare W1 (easily)
My hand and arm are still prickling from the stinging nettle injuries I sustained during marshaling for this race. A fair bit of time was spent here either trying to avoid the nettles, find duckweed or rescue blades.

Clare had just come off an hour's rest while we had had an hour's racing and faffing, so I suppose the marshals thought it only fair to put us back on Meadow side. Fordy had told us to really attack the first minute, and privately encouraged stern 3 to wind quite aggressively, but on the start line it became clear that the match-up was David and Goliath style. After the race I got a text from my mother saying "Never mind, you did well for being such a tiny skinny crew!" and Fordy said that the difference in size looked like the difference between a men's and women's crew. Sadly the margin was of a similar scale.

Our start was aggressive, and we held Clare for the first 10 strokes. After that point they moved away swiftly, and a combination of wash and loss of technique caused a drop in boat speed that we never recovered from.

Despite the corner advantage, we were so far apart on the finish line that I didn't even hear the air horn for Clare. I'm told the actual margin was 20s.

It's true that Clare are mostly irrelevant to us in Bumps, and that they're a big crew, but it's important not to become complacent or discouraged. Smaller and skinnier crews than this one have beaten university crews in the past, by being bloody-minded and refusing to accept 2nd place. We have two weeks to figure out what they did better than us. (Julia A.)

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