The Club's Results

Mich Term 2016

1st men's novice VIII

Emma Sprints (NM1 Division), 1st Men's Novice VIII

1st round
Unbelievably easily
It was apparent from the first two strokes that our guys were going to leave Emma NM1 behind in the dirt. It was rather amusing to see the consternation on our boys' faces when they were more than four lengths up and still thought there was a chance they could lose. A great start to a great day. (Forbes)
This was a display of total domination from NM1. With 3 efficient draws, and an alert cox who gained a great position, First and Third were soon significantly up on Emma. They trusted the length of their strokes to cover much more distance than their opponents, who were rate-chasing, and put in a strong performance for their first race. 

With much more to come, and first race nerves calmed, it bodes very well indeed for Clare Novices.
(J. Armstrong)
Quarter finals
Beat Christ's NM1 by 1-2 length
This was a slightly harder race for the crew, as, despite having a less clean start than us, Christ's held us for a large part of the race. Still, the crew held it together and that was what made the difference. (Forbes)
A good stride had NM1 easily up on Christ's, who posed slightly more of a challenge than Emma with a solid middle segment. But our boys pushed on through to deny any attempt at a response to their pace, rowing more efficiently with cleaner strokes than the first race. 

By this point, not only the marshals, but several other bank party were impressed indeed - this struck fear into the inner hearts of Caius, whom we were to engage next.
(J. Armstrong)
Semi finals
Beat Caius NM1 by 3/4 length
This was undoubtedly the most eventful race of the afternoon for NM1. Both crews had clean starts and surged forwards. However, we had the edge in our technique, and we gradually edged away from them. By 250m down the course, we had a clear lead approaching a length. However, the stroke man then had a sudden overhead crab, which led to a slight change of course and pace. There was a subsequent clash with the Caius boat, but 7 and Stroke together recovered from the crab, and the boat corrected course. Happily, we then pulled away from Caius again, this time to victory. Our crew's prowess was noted by the marshals, who quickly dismissed Caius' challenge. A good row, which really demonstrated how this crew can work together and pull through regardless of the obstacle, an ability they have all shown since Queen's Ergs. (Forbes)
Caius were seeking a rematch for Emma Sprints 2015, when a lack of focus had lost Caius NM1 the semi final from almost a length up to First and Third NM1. 
Caius were all about the power, but FaT used theirs with much more effective application in the water, with that beautiful length which seems to be a trademark of this year's crew. 
Being half a length up fairly quickly, a double crab from stroke lost little distance due to a lightning response from 7. Caius thought this was payback for falling off their seat last year, but missed the chance to make a committed move. With rudder disruption due to the crustacean interference, there was a blade clash, but NM1 held firm and regained their rhythm to roars of "MOOOVING" from the FaT cavalry on the bank. 
An appeal from Caius was dismissed as FaT clearly had the upper hand throughout - a potent statement of intent against the big QErg victors.
(J. Armstrong)
Final
Beat Queens' by 1.25 lengths
This was the hardest race for the crew. Queen's held us to the end; however we pulled away consistently, to the point where we were almost one and a half lengths off them by the end. It was really encouraging to see everyone trying their utmost, after a tiring day of racing, to squeeze the boat onwards and push off Queen's. This effort was ultimately successful, and the victory was both hard fought, and well earned.

This race in particular is a good indication that this crew should do spectacularly this term. The attitude was just right, everyone kept their head in the boat and put all their energy into maintaining good technique through the pain, and pushing themselves for the win. Emma Sprints will be excellent practice for Clare Novices, which will be the real test of this crew's mettle before The Fairbairn Cup. Great row lads!
(Forbes)
Before halfway, it looked like it might be fairly close between these 2 crews. Queens' had a concerted start and initial stride sequence, but lacked the drive and momentum of our boys, which saw them walk on to the finish line untroubled. 

All throughout this regatta, NM1 had their heads in their own rowing, and it is that single-minded focus which distinguished them most from other crews, because it is that which has pushed them leagues ahead from outing to outing. It is rare to find a crew with such incredible retention of change or motivation to make each stroke best. 

Aside from staking a strong claim to victory at novice Fairbairn's, NM1 are now targeting getting as close to M1 as possible in senior Fairbairn's - massive indeed.
(J. Armstrong)
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Clare Novice Regatta (1st division)

1st round
Beat Sidney Sussex NM1
Never underestimate the opposition. Even if they look as bad as this. They might have been bluffing, but on this occasion they weren't. (Neil T)
Quarter finals
Beat LMBC NM1
Matt was cross with me for awarding a B+.
(Neil T)
Semi finals
Beat Fitzwilliam NM1 (by a length)
I have little to add to the other reports apart from pure 'hype'.

However, I must note that, as a member of the previous year's NM1 who were cruelly defeated by Fitz on two occasions (CNR and Fairbairn's), watching this confident crushing of Fitzwilliam College's First Novice Men's VIII. This utter obliteration was the most satisfying wave of pleasure I have experienced for some time.
(Forbes)
Final
Beat Caius NM1 by 3/4 length
This was a sterling performance from NM1 in their natural habitat: the dedicated row. After a fairly decent start, they started to pull away from Caius, when an overhead crab from the 5-seat looked set to determine the end of this race. As the bank party had flashbacks to the previous face-off between these 2 crews, when stroke had caught a boat-turning crab, 5 and 4 lacked no speed in their determination to crush any crustacean disturbance and resume the rhythm. The failure of Caius to capitalise on this incident allowed for NM1 to push through, but a few strokes after the crab the result looked almost guaranteed. While Caius were clearly breaking, possibly because they sensed the phoenix NM1 surging through, our boys pushed hard, trusted their beautiful long strokes and took it by around 3/4 length. Magnificent. (J. Armstrong)
The plan was to test ourselves by giving Caius half a length or so advantage by way of a tactical crab. Unfortunately we found ourselves still level afterwards so immediately caught another for luck. Having switched to all eight we smoothly got back on terms and rowed through them. Never in doubt (honestly, it really wasn't). Well done boys: one race from history (and Life). (Neil T)
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Novice Fairbairn Cup (1st division)

1st
Time: 9:47.3
We won. After 33 years of contending Novice Fairbairns, we won fastest NM8+, and thereby capped perhaps the winningest term of any FaT NM8+ in history.

We have enjoyed our share of glory these past few days, and though songs may yet be written of our great battle-paddles, against the dainty men of Jesus or our dearest bete noire Caius, my report shall be prospective. I step for a moment from the rushing stream of our campaign and in the stillness note a churning, a premonition not unlike that known to Margaret of France, when she met her own Black Prince in victory:
... I know well the Fates
Are neither kind nor careless; without pity
They carry out immutable designs,
And sacrifice the bravest and the best
To shape the world according to their whim.

'Tis well I know it; then, when first I saw you,
As you did paddle to the Boathouse that day,
Splendid and modest in your darkling shell,
Socked with gold laurels, on a sprightly slide,
While trumpets sounded and the L.B.C's spake,
And jewelled banners fluttered in the wind

A beaten Maggie behind you, and the glory
Of conquest all about you like a cloud
Then, when the shout of FAIRBAIRNS rent the air,
And you, in Black Prince, to that swaying crowd
Eclipsed the glory of King Charlemagne
And all his knights, and seemed a new Achilles,
Most chivalrous, most princely among men:

Then when I brought you garlands, then, when love,
Like instant lightning flashed from you to me,
I did foresee the inevitable end.

EDWARD: Nay, cease talk not of that.

MARGARET: I did foresee
The inevitable end. I knew that summer
Might stay awhile with pomp of bees and roses
And harvest moons ; but there must come a time

When petals fall, when the green woodland dies,
And nothing but bare boughs remain. I fear
No sudden storm, no unexpected whirlwind;
But the pale progress of decay, the blight
Of Autumn; Summer dying, leaf by leaf,
And rose by rose; the red moon, like a wizard
Luring chill vapours from the leafless woods.

I fear no unforeseen catastrophe,
But the slow dawning of indifference;
The gradual ebb and listless march of autumn
That surely will invade thy soul the season
When the fierce passion of thy heart shall wane
As wanes the living fire of summer days
To the pale mockery of winter suns.

The Black Prince, M. Baring (1903, with minor revisions....)

It is my hope, then, and sincerely held (moreso than purpled prose may here show), that though our moment's end is nigh, the coming winter yet shall find us rededicated to our craft.








(A.J.O. Lewis)
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