The Club's Results

Mich Term 2014

2nd men's novice VIII

Cambridge Winter Head (Student Beginner VIIIs)

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Clare Novice Regatta (Cup)

1st round
Beat Magdelene easily
Brilliant race all together. It was my first sprint in which I rowed more than 2 strokes and I have to say it was exhilarating. An unfortunate crab at the start was soon dropped back in the water and we pulled out in front. Magdalene seemingly decided that speed would not be their method of victory and so aimed to charge at us; to no avail. We finished in a solid position with Magdalene giving a good effort. (Robert)
2nd round
Lost to Lady Margaret
With a strong and confident slap of spoons on the waters we pulled up to the start line, we felt powerful and intimidating. Unfortunately this was the highlight of our race as Maggie pulled away by about half a boat fairly soon: We lost confidence and our chances of beating them in that moment. It was still a fun race against the red boat and we look forward to beating them next time. (Robert)
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Novice Fairbairn Cup (1st division)

6th, Fastest NM2
Time: 10:43.4

We jumped in the boat, got straight and off we went. Our draw strokes went quite well, and our wind brought the rate up to a pretty decent 35 which, despite frequently called surges, refused to go away for the first minute or two of the race. Eventually we decided to settle on a reasonable 32 which we kept up for the remainder. Broadly, we had a very smooth row, with only a handful of fluffed strokes leading to our fantastic overall result (6th! You guys rock). On the way we passed a sheepish looking Jesus boat parked on the outside of Elizabeth Way, giving me my first opportunity to tell somebody to keep clear and not pull out. A variety of legs calls intermingled with the occasional call to sharpen up those finishes got us through to Chesterton where it became obvious that we were gaining on the crews in front of us. We were closing quite quickly on Peterhouse (as evidenced by them finishing 41s behind us) but not nearly so quickly as we both were catching Robinson (2'29'' behind). Overtaking crews is fun, it has to be said, and we used this to spur us on under the Railway Bridge and onto the final straight. We picked up the pace and on the whole kept the rowing together and pushed on over the line. Rob's main thought after the race seemed to be that throwing me in would make him really very happy - sorry to have escaped you there. Maybe next term. We pulled in, wandered around, chatted to NM1, and accidentally missed the end of NM3's race before pushing off and doing a lot more overtaking on the row home.

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Fairbairn Cup (Lower VIIIs)

Beat Jesus NM1
Time: 17:44.3

This was a longer and from my point of view much less smooth race than the day before. We put Jason and Adam in the boat (with a big fish little fish call designed to get them to stop quiching and start putting a bit of effort in) thinking that things would go a lot better with two senior subs in the boat. What ended up happening, however, was on the first draw stroke they got connected just that little bit earlier and managed to turn the boat a surprising amount. With the rudder hard over I let the start sequence look after itself, put the rudder hard over and bellowed for a bit of bowside pressure. Our angle lasted rather longer than I would have liked until finally we got straight but on the wrong side of the river (let's hope not too many people watching our race noticed), only 7's blade in the end clipping one of the barges. What with this stress over we settled on something like 30 where we valiantly stayed. While desperately trying to calm my nerves and get some race plan back in my head Dougall decided that what he wanted to do most, immediately before Elizabeth Way corner, was catch a crab - clearly he thought it would be embarrassing if we beat M1 and thought to nip that one in the bud. Luckily it was recovered quickly and we got back on some semblance of rowing, pushing off the bridges and gaining on Jesus who were ahead of us.

Sadly, this calm was not to last. Deciding that Adam had set a good precedent trying to screw up strokeside corners, Jason managed to break his seat on the approach into Chesterton. A decent effort from Dougall powered us round well enough for me to feel like my worry had been misplaced. Good job. A few tens of strokes out of the corner Jason thought he'd start rowing again and we promptly got back on Mission: Overtake Jesus. Some more surely indistinguishable shouting later and we were pushing off the bridge and trying to get the overtake before the end of the reach. Credit where it's due, Jesus did a sterling effort keeping us off, and we closed to with a handful of lengths round Ditton, Plough Reach, Grassy and then the gut (where I have a vague memory of trying to get the bump). Finally on First Post Reach I got to use the call Jason had been waiting for all race and asked (unnecessarily, it turned out) Jesus to clear the racing line. An enormous row for the last few hundred metres of the race (Ben's face illustrated the effort the boys had been putting into this race) and we crossed the line, about a length behind Jesus. A solid performance.

Standard Fairbairn's marshalling at the end gave us plenty of practice waiting, and we managed to be the last crew to leave the lock (Neil being Neil wanting to share some stollen with us). The delay at the far end as every crew decided to wait to let other crews push off and join the queue was really quite special. We might have looked a mite impatient.

Thank you to Emma S-C for giving Harry and me a lesson the evening before - from a personal point of view it increased the quality of the drivel I was producing no end, even though anything I thought of as carefully prepared went immediately out of my head.

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