The Club's Results

Cambridge Head-2-Head, Lent Term 2016

2nd men's VIII (Lents 2nd Division)

Coxed by: Sayana Turpin-Aviram

9th/11; 7:09.8 + 7:59.1
Time: 15:08.9

It's hard to write race reports on races that don't go well without resorting to complaining, but I'll give it a go. Crew selection had been mostly finalised a few days before the race, and this was our first outing as a crew. This explained in part the lack of togetherness in the rowing and the tremendous difficulty that we had in sitting the boat. More frustrating, however, was the fact that we had no idea how to improve any of those aspects of our rowing, and the row-up consisted in crashing down on strokeside on a large fraction of our strokes. I was a little bitchy about it and called for an increase in focus for the race.

The lack of focus and togetherness pervaded the first part of the downstream leg, during which we spacked around at an extremely ineffective, rushed and not pressed-out 30-31, before taking it down to a slightly less rushed, yet still fairly ineffective 28 after Ditton. Finishes were still not pressed out, and I don't think that we had more than 5 continuous approximately sat strokes in a row, though we had a few nicer bits around Grassy and the exit of First Post. I called a few times for 'platform' after the corners, which in hindsight should probably have been replaced by 'press the finishes'. Down First Post reach, we saw Magdelene M1 overtake a flagging Clare M2 crew, and we realised that our next leg would be difficult, trying to hold them off over the course.

After the usual 20 min faff at Head to Head, we were off again. We quiched massively down First Post reach, until people realised the Magdelene M1 had gained about 5 lengths in 600 m, and we decided to get our act together a little out of the exit of Grassy. Their rate of progression slowed, and I actually began to feel some semblance of togetherness as we finally started to apply some pressure in the water. The rowing became messy, and then frenzied after the kink when it was obvious the Magdelene had had a big push and were going for the overtake. After some of the least effective strokes that I have ever taken down that last stretch of reach, they drew level with us - on the line. The row back wasn't awesome either, and I continued to complain from the 5 seat - sorry guys...

Lessons from Saturday's race: 1) Focus during the whole outing 2) Work together 3) Work at a constant high level of power output, not only during the start or pushes 4) Press out finishes -> 5) Sit the boat.

We need to get our act together over the next few weeks. Downing II (2 ahead) look set for spoons again, and we'll need to row the long race on Day 1 to hold off Corpus M1. On a positive note, we will gain a lot more speed by just rowing together, and rowing hard. I think that we can improve significantly this term, and be very competitive come Bumps.

(Neil I.)
Ok, who thought it would be funny to switch me to bowside? (MC Row(e))

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