The Club's Results

Mich Term 2014

BPBC 1st men's VIII

Cambridge Winter Head (Invitational VIIIs)

44th
Time: 9:19
We pushed off at the marshalling time, but thanks to some excellent pleading, including the lines: 'we're really fast', 'Someone was held up in traffic' and 'please' were allowed down for the division anyway. With a raceplan of 'set off at 34 and then sag to 32' we were pleasantly surprised to find the rate was holding nicely down the course. Along plough reach we had the enjoyment of watching KCL fail to get round Grassy. The overall sentiment at the end was that the boat was pleasantly rowable, and that all available power had been applied. Further training in the pub will however be required to meet the 10 outing requirement. (Thomas)
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Fairbairn Cup (Invitation VIIIs)


Time: 15:25.6
For BPBC M1 the pressure of regular cheating, warm-up races and in some cases 2k tests was a sharp reminder of all the fun that rowing can be. There were still a few introductions to be made on the start line, but we pushed off full of anticipation that we'd acquit ourselves if not admirably then at least better than everyone who raced at the Snowflake Regatta this year (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XDvMBPZ5Bik). A fully functional cox box being obtained literally seconds before the start (sorry M3....), we settled into a surprisingly long and strong 32 off the start. Unfortunately by Emma footbridge I'd realised that my gate was done up too tightly, and that the next fifteen minutes would be spent in a mixture of square blades and desperate early squaring whilst trying to avoid my forearm from blowing. Thankfully the rest of the crew were unencumbered by this impediment, and were able to turn their attentions to actually pulling hard and using their legs. A lift coming out of Chesterton, plus further pushes down the course, came off rather well and appeared to result in a positive change in boat speed, rather than the more traditional temporary cessation of negative change. We were clocked at 15:25, which put us somewhat behind the better college crews (Jesus were top with 14:21), but ahead of all the second VIIIs and only 17s behind FaT. (RTT)
It is more pleasant to row Fairbairns having done some training than no training, not because you push less hard, but because you know better how to pace yourself.
The cheating was a good opportunity to remind myself what reasonable rowing was and on the start line there was reasonable confidence that we could produce a solid result. In order to prevent any real benefit from the cheating we did decide to randomise the crew order from previous outings, with the only rule being that you weren't allowed to have rowed before this year in that seat.
More sessions were, however, required to fulfil the 10 outing requirement for the term though, so perhaps CUCBCBC should disqualify us.
The actual race was very much limited by our fitness, rather than our technique, while the boat was not perfectly sat I was happy that the balance was not preventing the application of POWER. We set off happily, with BP2 nipping at our heels. Coming down the reach we caught the Xpress crew ahead of us, and despite taking an age to come past remained firm and took the racing line through Ditton, with BP2 then surprisingly dropping off into the distance.
We came through the line with enough time to spin and park so Emma could head off and relieve her babysitter. We then pushed off an rowed home, attempting to irritate a Jesus women's crew, who insisted they needed to go infront of us, despite being far slower. Certainly an education for our Sub-Cox, whose name I can't remember (sorry), in how to be 'assertive'.
(Thomas)
This is the most seriously I have ever taken a race; I had been on a two-year warm-weather training camp and had been tapering since October. In the spirit of inclusivity, Black Prince fielded a diversity VIII, where all were welcome: short, tall; weak, strong; good-looking, ridiculously good-looking. We arrived at 11, introduced ourselves to each other, started our alcohol ban, warmed up our excuses, and were ready to go.

Once we had all gone (our bladders aren't as strong as they used to be), we got in the boat and set off at approximately the time that Jesus (or his representatives here on earth) wanted us to. At this point, a few of us came to realise that the 'two-stroke practice' gag isn't as funny as we first thought, as the boat was inappropriately set up in various ways that would have been easily rectified if only we hadn't been bloody racing. That said, I'd rather be slow than have to marshal.

Our pace felt pretty sustainable initially, until it transpired that the race finished by a different road bridge. Fortunately, some of us had practised setting off too hard on an erg earlier in the week, and I had already worked out what I would say to myself when I needed to dig deep: 'when they ask you in the pub, just say you were pushing at your limit - they'll never know'. Experience has taught me that apathy is a more energy-efficient route to having no regrets than emptying the tank.

The rest of the race was a blur or, more accurately, I'm losing interest in reporting it. We took an eternity to overtake a crew down the reach, who eventually turned out to have dispiritingly white hair.

At the end of the race, we unfortunately didn't hear the marshal's instruction not to spin until it was too late to abort. I noticed that the other Black Prince crews suffered similarly. Obviously hearing declines with age, and we felt very foolish and are thinking of suing under the Equality Act 2010 for the distress caused. I also think Jesus women need to realise that 'the marshal told us we could go before you' doesn't cut much ice at Fairbairns if you're Jesus women.

Overall, a good row, with just two things missing: Jane and Coker. (BJ)
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