The Club's Results

Cardinal's Regatta, Lent Term 2014

Canadian IV+ (Mixed IV)

Coxed by: Yining Nie

1st round
Beat Clare Banana Boat by 3 lengths
Inspired by the determination and stellar performances of the Canadian athletes at the recent Sochi Olympics, the Canadian contingency of First and Third decided it was time to bring our home and native land's sporting prowess to the Cam. We assembled a crew containing 7 headship medals, ie equivalent to Fletch in a single scull.

Decked out in what passes for national dress when you haven't signed up for the RCMP - plaid shirts and and mittens - we turned up on time and cheery. I had slaved for hours over a hot oven to bring the umpires of Catz a true Canadian delicacy as a bribe: gluten-free Nanaimo bars. We felt bad for Chris Kerr in his cast, so we gave him some in the hopes it might pay off later. However, this turned out to be a tactical error, as we were unaware that our punctuality seemed to result in being allocated an extra race. This left us critically low on supplies of bribes, though Erin was flawless in her delivery.

The races appeared to be under the guidance of the Overall and Men's captains of Catz, referred to by Simon as 'the Chris-es'. We quickly developed a favourite Chris, when the Men's captain  gave us a length head start, to compensate for having 3 girls trying to balance out Matt's massive catch, and because we 'gave them cake'.  

The start was a spastic wind to 46, and we quickly discovered a wardrobe malfunction in the making. It turns out that I have larger lats than a small man, leading to a lot of shrugging and twisting at the finish as I tried to make sure I could take the catch without ripping my shirt. We strode to 38, having taken a length or two out of the opposition off the start, and when (five strokes in Matt claims) it became clear we had control of the race, we began winding it down. I attempted to increase our lead by claiming that they were coming back, but Matt was having none of it. He had to think of his forearms, after all.  
(Julia A.)
Semi finals
Beat Churchill Ninja Turtles by 2 1/2 lengths
Confusion was rife at the start of the race, as we believed some of our opposition may have sunk, couldn't understand why we weren't in the final already, and had no idea why the cox of the IV in front of us at marshaling was stripping. Nevertheless, our rowing wits had not deserted us, and conscious of the fact that we may have shown our hand too early, we embarked on a campaign (pioneered by the mathmo boat of years past) of rowing terribly. Air-strokes were taken in earnest, Matt alternated between rowing with only 1/4 of his blade in the water, to with the loom almost fully buried, Danielle managed to get into anti-phase, and I attempted to turn the 'conveyor belt' of the hand heights analogy into a watermelon.

Sadly, our clever ruse was not enough to convince our not-favourite-Chris to give us any head start at all. Simon had told me that standard practice was to give a boat with too many women half a length head start, and that I should 'really press it if they don't give it to you'. Naturally he denied all this later, when it actually mattered. We strongly protested when the umpires declared they would set us off level, tossing phrases like 'Trinity May Ball ticket' and possibly offering up the beautiful Erin as a sacrifice.

Off the start we wound to our now casual 42, strode with length to 36 and then decided to stop killing Matt and brought the rate down to a firm 30, finishing a couple of lengths clear of the opposition. As our mid-race motivational call Yining started to sing 'O Canada'. The girls were disappointed that Matt didn't join in.  

At the end of the race we were told to stop, spin and row back up to the start for the final. We celebrated with some classic Canadian rowing - doing a sit up every stroke.
(Julia A.)
Final
Lost to Catz Animals after racing a 50% longer course
Alas, victory was snatched from our grasp by amateur surveying.  

Despite a clearly inferior bribe and better gender balance, the Catz Animals boat was set off level with us, in the unusual format of the Cardinal's final. We were told to row until the marshal, spin and race back. Setting off at 46 again, and with no visual reassurance of a lead, we only strode to 38. We mishandled the spin somewhat, ending up on the wrong side of the river from what we were intending, but managed to avoid capsizing and powered our way back to the 'middle' of the river.  

With adrenaline and indignation pumping through our systems, we demanded a re-row, but were refused. Apparently I was more strenuous with my objections than I intended, as my parents, who were spectating, teased me afterwards for the tenacity with which I questioned the fairness of a 'fun joke regatta'. What can I say? Old habits... I should have demanded a declaration of 2k times.  

We suspect the umpires might have realized their error in the placement of the 'middle' of the course, as they hinted we would be getting the best dressed prize. We were somewhat dubious about the legitimacy of the award, I thought the Ninja turtles were pretty good. In the end, Kate couldn't even eat her prize, as she's lactose intolerant. Sad times.  

We rowed back hyper-Canadian style for as long as our cores could manage it, and Matt pointed out how much more length we got that way. Perhaps, but it will require a term of serious core exercises to sustain it over the bumps course.
(Julia A.)

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