Having not coxed a race since 2008, I must admit I was slightly nervous about my first 8s outing on the Cam being a race. This was probably the last thing I should have been worried about as we assembled a scratch grad boat with some very last minute subs.
The row up to the start was reasonable. We remembered how to row and even dared to sneak a couple of bursts in. The rowing may not have been pretty, but there was certainly a lot of power going done. This was probably helped by our bass boosting courtesy of Fish.
As we spun at the top, the fact that 6'1'' (ex)lightweights aren't meant to be coxes was very clear. It turns out that I was larger than the boat was wide and my right leg had gone numb from the lack of blood supply. Anyway, this aside we were pretty keen, and all were relieved when we realised the Radegund Mile was, believe it or not, a mile in length and not the 2.6k some had feared.
On the drift towards the start line we had a brief interlude in our bass boosting as Fish's dad hijacked control of his spotify leading to a brief break form our otherwise clinical focus on winning this most prestigious of races.Â
Before the start we had planned to give Clare Hall W1 an extra long gap after we'd been entered with a predicted time of 7:50. However, in noticing the start was during Grassy, I forgot about this fact and we started with them about half way down plough reach.
The build for the start was solid. As was most of the rest of the rowing. I don't honestly remember a lot about it, other than there was no lack of power. Down the reach I took a slight detour via a the heavy stream, but a refocus brought us back in to the stream and with a lift we started to reel Clare Hall W1 in with some speed.
As we came under the railway bridge the gap was about half a length, at which point we unleashed the gain train (in the absence of our bass boosting) and quickly moved up to overlap. Unfortunately Clare Hall also had overlap on the crew in front and both crews moved away from the towpath (where they should have been) and blocked our way through. Despite multiple screams out to Clare Hall we had to wind down early as we succeeded in making bump number 1 of term for the grad boat.Â
We then rowed home, bass now fully boosted. This was particularly amusing as we got held up outside Emma Boathouse by a crew failing to land. This was less than ideal as they were in the process of naming a new boat. We feel that we only helped to add to the party atmosphere, with a few heads turning to enjoy our glorious presence.
All in all a respectable result for a crew with minimal preparation. Also I didn't crash into anyone so will call this a success.