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The Club's Results

Fairbairn Cup 2014

BPBC 1st women's VIII (Invitation VIIIs)

Coxed by: Richard Sworder

Time: 17:38.4
5 years ago, this crew (albeit with one difference) went out and blazed everybody, however our reunion row was approached with slightly less preparation that the previous effort, so nerves were high before the start.  We set off well rowing with decent precision, and about as much power as you might expect from a crew which had done little training (with a few exceptions).  It was particularly telling in the corners, as the quality of the rowing made it pretty easy for me to get round them all in reasonable shape.  In fact, I'm pretty certain that I made a better effort of the reunion row that I did the original...  We proceeded on, gaining steadily on the crew in front, and rapidly dropping our pursuers, and finished with a pleasing wind for the line.  In all the row was really pretty impressive - we finished ~36 seconds behind the top W1, and beat a few men's crews (Lol).

I'd like to thank all the girls for getting involved so this could happen, and Neil, TomO and Alex for bank partying etc.  It's all very much appreciated, and I for one had a great day.

10 year reunion anyone?
I can't remember when Raf first sent us all a Facebook message suggesting we stage a reunion, but I am incredibly glad she did. It was a pleasant surprise that so many of the crew were willing and able to make it back for a race I've heard described as 'sadistic' for bufties. We very much missed Julijana (and hope her knee gets better soon!) but were extremely grateful to Julia R for subbing in so gracefully. The anticipation and nostalgia had been building for weeks to such a height that I felt none of the nerves described by Swords until I came to backstops for the first few strokes of the race and realized how long it had been since I last rowed on strokeside, and more concerningly, at rate.  Around the Elizzabeth Way bridge, where others in the crew were blowing up, I decided that I had had enough practice on strokeside to begin to really start laying down the power.

Though not quite as slick as our rate 32, near perfect race in 2009, the row felt smooth and well paced. Swords kept us technical and motivated with terrifyingly tight corners and a few 'Yeah First and Third' calls. There were a few good moves to break up the monotony of the reach, before the welcome distraction of a Plough Reach Burn and the corners. We pushed up to close the gap on X-Press throughout the race, with steady and encouraging calls from the bank, sending me back 5 years. The wind for the finish possibly rivaled the original race for grit, though probably not in speed.

It was a pleasure to row with these ladies again, and to be reminded of what I consider to be the pivotal moment of my rowing career. I'm definitely keen for the next installment in 5 years time. Maybe by then my shoulders will have recovered,
(Julia A.)

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