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The Club's Results

Emma Sprints, Mich Term 2016

1st Men's Novice VIII (NM1 Division)

Coxed by: Charlene Tang

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)
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!
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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