After the excitement of the IVs, jumping back in the VIII felt stable. We did our thing and it wasn't enough. Not a perfect race, not awful either, and we were at least within fighting distance of the crew ahead of us. Again, this just wasn't enough.
The IV had some weird issues; it felt so close to rowing well but having one practice outing wasn't sufficient. It was just a little bit unnecessarily rocky. Having said that, when we were racing we had a good start and a solid rhythm. We pushed well of the start and were broadly holding the field; our main race was with the IV in the outside lane (to Liv's left) and we were constantly trying to keep them at bay, being slightly up for much of the course. Sadly our pushes tended to disrupt the race rhythm and cause strange things to happen. When we got to within the final 500m we discovered why other people train for these events; the other IV put in an excellent sprint for the finish while we had nothing to move onto, meaning we failed to qualify for the second round by a frustratingly small amount. (John)
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