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The Club's Results

Cambridge Head-2-Head, Lent Term 2016

A timed headrace in two parts, length 2x2000m.
Sat 23rd January

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1st men's VIII, Lents 1st Division

2nd/15; 6:27.6 + 7:10.8
Time: 13:38.4
Polished, composed, sharp and well-marshalled are adjectives that could not be used to describe this race. This was a scratch combination and it showed through the finish timing and finesse, there was however a great deal of commitment throughout the boat and many encouraging signs. Given a couple of weeks to tighten up the rowing, we should be able add a lot more style and speed to our rowing.  A pleasing result which bodes well for the rest of the term and year. (Matthew)
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2nd men's VIII, Lents 2nd Division

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 I called a few times for 'platform' after the corners, which in hindsight should probably have been replaced by 'press the finishes'.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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Performance squad crew (b), Lents 1st Division

14th/15; 7:07.9 + 8:05.1
Time: 15:13
The performance squad showdown got off to a bad start when the Captain transferred himself at the last minute to the A crew - mumbling something about "fairness" and "the B crew is stacked" - and allocated himself the cream of the club's equipment, leaving us to row in a boat older than some freshers, and with blades bendier than a deep squat with insufficient core on the way up.

I was apprehensive: a completely scratch crew, comprising considerable brawn, was going to be unpleasant if we rowed badly and exhausting if we rowed at all well. We chose the latter, attacking the first half of the first piece hard.

We were rewarded with a remarkably level boat around Ditton, as the powerful dips down to strokeside balanced the dizzying centrifugal force of Juliet's tight steering. Grassy was therefore less successful, but we finished the piece in style, winding to 34 in a light tailwind.

By the second piece I'd finished remembering how to row strokeside, and could concentrate on more advanced points of finesse such as actually putting the blade in the water. This piece was more technically refined, but seemed slower, which was confirmed by the times: I suspect this was due to the headwind, getting cold, and committing well to the first piece.

Overall, a fun day out, beating the A crew and not far off the provisional M2.
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Performance squad crew (a), Lents 1st Division

15th/15; 7:12.6 + 8:08.3
Time: 15:20.9
We didn't push as much as we could. Everybody knows that. For me personally it might have been because I didn't realize how does the course of the race look like precisely so I didn't know how much of it was left. When I look back at it I think the cox also didn't stress this enough in the first race. When I heard "push harder for ten" I thought it will be about quarter of the race left but in fact it was only these ten strokes.
Things changed for me in the second race, probably because I knew the reach better. In comparison Fairbarns, the last race for me before this one, were in terms of coxing much more emotional and much more focused on the pure motivation.
Well I was pushing as hard as I could ... however given that this was my 5th and 6th 2k pieces of the day that likely isn't saying much. The only things I remember of the race are pain (lots of pain) and moving through a very dense cloud of water being constantly generated in the river frame by 7's backsplash, I call it the Michael-climate. (MC Row(e))
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1st women's VIII, Lents 1st Division

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2nd women's VIII, Lents 3rd Division

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4th men's VIII, Lents 3rd Division

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