The Club's Results

Lent Term 2018

1st men's VIII

Cambridge Head-2-Head (1st division)

11th
Time: 14:46.2
Our first leg lacked guts but it was our first outing as a "crew" - we did have one 7-watt sub. Unfortunately we "accidentally forgot" to turn the telemetry on so won't know just how much Marcus quiched.

The second leg we really aimed to attack with guts and did move on Clare until we hit the wind.

It was a pretty choppy set of rowing but a good start. A lot of free speed will come with some miles together. At this time I am reminded of Julia Attwood's unrelenting optimism and am looking forward to hunting down some crews come Bumps.

Ra ra First and Third.
(Robert)
Although our first leg was in no way lacking in guts, it didn't have the confidence or the togetherness required to really make the most of the tailwind and the stream. Considering this was our first outing as a crew (and with Marcus kindly subbing in for Pete, with Jon jumping up to the stroke seat temporarily), it is hardly surprising that things were moderately rocky and uncertain. However, as I'm sure Jedge will agree, as he and I are the only returners from last year's Lents crew, there is a lot more power than we had this time last year, and equally a great deal of potential to exploit and develop over the term under Jacqui's expert tutelage.

After what can only be described as a grueling and time-consuming selection process, we finally have the 9 friends who are going to gurn 804 up onto Christ's and Peterhouse's sterns in a month's time. The awesome attack which we gave in the second piece, despite an horrific headwind, is a great testament to the commitment and drive in this crew. From start to finish there was a positive, constructive attitude from almost everyone in the crew, and that really does bode well. I can't wait for an awesome term with you guys. Let's go smash it.
(Forbes)
Crew selection was yesterday, which means that H2H was our first outing as a crew (with Marcus subbing for Peter). 

The first leg was rather scrappy, and we struggled to lift the rate to above 30. It also seemed at times that we were too aware of the fact that we would have to do another piece. 

We aimed to really attack the second piece, which I think we managed to do despite the horrific headwind. After spending most of first post reach trying to not lose our blades to the wind, we had an awesome lift around Grassy where we gained on Clare ahead of us. Then the wind hit us again on the Long Reach. 
(D. Lee)
^ top

Newnham Short Course (1st division)

6th
Time: 6:58
It felt really good to get down the seconds compared to last week.
We sat down the night before to write out a race plan and I think for the first time ever for me we followed the plan through the race. We possibly could even have done it without prompting from the coxswain... maybe we'll ditch her next time.
3 1/2 weeks to go and I'm getting a more and more positive feel about these Lents. Ra freaking ra boys.
(Robert)
This was the first 'full crew' race so a great opportunity to see where we were compared to our competitors early in the term. We went off well at 38 and found a rhythm at 34/5 which we held for most of the course. By the second half of the race we had put considerable distance into Catz behind us, and multiple pushes out of Ditton and along the reach meant a strong finish to the race. Not a bad result but more speed to come! (P. Robinson)
^ top

Bedford Head (Open Eights (Band 2))

3rd (+00:20) to Downing M1
Time: 6:22
A much better second race than the first thanks to the lack of an overhead crab for 200m of the race. Annoyingly it seemed that that was only worth 5s of time though.

Felt better in terms of loading and so hopefully we can keep working on that and shaving down the seconds between crews like us and the ones we're chasing. Ra ra First and Third.
(Robert)
^ top

Bedford Head (Open Eights (Band 3)), 1st Men's VIII

2nd (+00:08) to Jesus M2
Time: 6:27
Goose seemed insistent on not having an ability to use telemetry to measure his 8 watts and so overhead crabbed for 200m of the race, shearing his backstay in the process...

It was a pretty choppy row and definitely not our best.
(Robert)
^ top

Pembroke Regatta (1st division)

1st round
Beat Clare M1 (1/4 length)
We entered this race with nothing to lose, and a race plan to just go out of the blocks like a rocket to blow the race right open. We executed exactly this and quickly moved away from Clare. Coming to about 100m before the railway bridge we we're 1 foot away from breaking out to clear water. We didn't quite have the legs to do this, and with the advantage of the inside of the bend under the bridge, Clare started to move back on us. We attempted a muted bow six lift and to be honest the next minute of so was a blur of pain. We successfully held onto our early advantage to take the race, much to the shock of almost everyone on the bank (FaT included).

Results for the last 3 terms would have put us as the underdogs, but we have the power, and the determination and took the race to Clare, finishing the job and stunning the Clare bank party. A great turn around from losses to Clare in all recent races, just in time for the build to bumps.
(Jon)
Quarter finals
Beat Emma M1 (1/2 Length)
After the victory over Clare, suddenly the crew had a renewed sense of belief. It was like something had finally clicked, but we set that aside (as requested by Jacqui) to put our focus on taking the race to Emma. Those returning from Mays remembered all too well how Emma bumped us into Grassy, and we were hungry to make a statement about what the Lents crew was shaping up to be.

Again we excuted an excellent start and quickly moved away from Emma. Again as we came up to the railway bridge they started to move back. I think this time however we had that bit more confidence about holding them off and saw the race off in relative comfort in the end. It felt great to leave a big mark of overturning the events of last time we raced Emma directly. We came away from this race knowing that it was that 3rd minute we will need to work on for bumps, but we really took confidence from the huge step on so far we achieved this weekend.
(Jon)
Semi finals
Lost to Magdalene M1 (1 1/4 lengths)
As we came into the semi-final, we got to see just how little other clubs expected of us. At each marshalling point we were asked why we were there and Emma weren't. We took great delight in telling anyone who asked this 'because we were faster'. This really felt like the forging of a fast crew in the heat of battle. 

That aside, the race with Magdalene came on the back of a very close, and apparently contentious, upset where Magdalene knocked LMBC out. We took the race to Magdalene again, using our rapid start to take a seat or two out of them early. Sadly this time we didn't quite have the legs, and they started to slowly walk up to about half a length on us coming under the railway bridge. Again this was about the point where we let them move, and they took another half length or so up to the line. But this was still only just over a length overall, after two hard races for us. We can take heart from today's events. We shocked everyone with our raw speed, which put us all the way to the semi-finals. Even better, we gave a good race to crew who had just knocked out LMBC, showing that we are very much back in the league of the big boys and not to be underestimated. I can't wait to get to bumps with this crew and to see where this heart and guts takes us. We know what we need to do to get even faster, but things are heating up.

I also foolishly decided to catch up on my 55 minute low-rate pyramid erg after the race. I would not recommend this to anyone who values their legs. But the gain train has picked up momentum and who am I to stop us hammering our way to bumps.
(Jon)
^ top

Lent Bumps

Wednesday
Technical row over
The M1, W1 and M3 divisions were cancelled today due to snow and ice on the towpath. (Chris E.)
Thursday
Technical row over
All racing was cancelled today due to snow and ice on the towpath. (Chris E.)
Friday
Bumped by Robinson
There was too much hype. That's what finished us really. 

We were expecting to go up two, maybe three, and against all odds perhaps four these Lents. We'd made our mark in the sand at Pembroke Regatta by clearing out the crews that were near us in Lents. We should have done so much better.

Instead, the Beast from the East took it's toll on our crew. Not physically in terms of temperature, but rather, two days of excitement and hype being built up due to cancellation shook us. We had a solid paddle up but then it were as if all of the jitters from the last few days from not racing were released in our start.

Any inkling of a race plan went and although we splashed about we didn't rate high enough, we didn't squeeze harder enough, and we certainly didn't gun hard enough for it.

We lost this race mentally and shouldn't have. All that will be left are lessons learnt in Lent.
(Robert)
After a solid paddle down and some relaxed, committed pieces, the crew was excited for its first bumps race of the term. (especially after the ones on Tuesday and Wednesday got cancelled)

Crosswind into the bank meant that our 7 (and 5?) man missed their first few strokes, but we wound to 41 through the messiness into a decent start - but I feel that this start already lacked the aggression that we had perfected throughout term. We still held Robinson at about a length throughout first post reach, but the boat speed notably dropped in the gut when Christ's bumped out, as the crew realized that we had a long row ahead of us. I feel that we were so intent on getting Christs' before they get Peterhouse that we were simply not prepared mentally for this scenario.

What happened afterwards was inevitable - a crew preparing for a long row in bumps often does not do well. Robinson were a quarter of a length off around Grassy, which is when we finally started to react, but it was already too late - they bumped us coming around Ditton.

We are a fast crew that have improved huge amounts this term, and it is quite frustrating we won't be able to reflect this in our final results. But now we need to accept that we were simply not good enough today, and spring right back tomorrow (if it happens), and in Mays and beyond.
(D. Lee)
^ top

Head of the River Race (Academic)

166th, 74th in academic, 59th in university
Time: 20:17.6
The day started with a tragic paddle down to marshaling at Barnes bridge. However, the 2 hours of sitting around (or for me at bow, taking taps) under Barnes bridge while marshaling watching amazing crews row past(including the eventual winners, Oxford Brookes and Leander A), turned out to be an incredible educational experience as our paddling afterwards was suddenly the best we've done all term.

I think we hit 36 off the start and settled to a chunky rhythm at 33, immediately gaining on Imperial "E" in front us. The imperial cox turned out to be particularly stubborn and refused to give up the stream, which resulted in a set of prolonged and rather unpleasant blade clashes as we rowed through them. To be honest, the rest of the race from there until the mile post is a bit of a blur - apparently we ended up overtaking 3 more crews but for me that number could be anything between 1 and 5. I vaguely remember thinking "Oh this is actually the boat race course" as we came under Hammersmith bridge and then quickly being disheartened again as I remember how long it takes the blue boats to get to there.

We start winding it up as we come around the mile post and I think we took the rate back up to 35 in the final few hundred meters, ending the race in a committed fashion. The result might be slightly disappointing but it was undoubtedly affected by the blade clash and the slower stream, and leaves us hungry to return next year to redeem ourselves.


(D. Lee)

Bumps over and all focus shifts to HoRR. As seems to be a recurring theme with these races, the drama started well before we boated. With only two days to go, we found ourselves without a full crew, or a means of transporting the boats. There was a very real possibility we wouldnt make it to London at all. A frantic flurry of phone calls and messages thankfully resolved both issues (Ed is a hero!) so we were set. There could be no more problems, right?

Most of the crew elected to travel to London on Saturday, so we wouldnt have to get up early on Sunday. We enjoyed a lovely meal cooked by Joshs Mum, then went to bed, ready for what lay in store the next day. Well all of us except Pete, who was in Oxford having done Varsity fencing. This would have been fine, had he not overslept and remained in Oxford. We all woke up to a string of slightly panicked messages, trying to calculate whether or not a taxi would arrive on time. Much to our relief, it did.

Finally, we were ready to boat. The paddle up to marshalling wasnt our best, but was by no means our worst, especially considering it was *technically* a scratch crew. And its always satisfying to overtake crews rowing sixes full-slide, whilst youre doing legs only in fours. Being crew number 200 meant we marshalled by Chiswick Bridge, pretty much on the start line. Getting to watch the top division crews start racing was an exciting experience (Pete was practically bouncing off his seat when Brookes rowed past) and we took what we had seen in to our rowing the next bit of paddling was some of the best wed done all term.

At last, after a two or so hour wait, it was our turn to race. Coming under Chiswick Bridge, we built up to a solid rate 36 as we carried out our start. Before long, wed settled to a strong 33, and were moving Imperial E, the crew in front of us. Approaching Barnes Bridge, we shouted Imperial, move to your right. They didnt. Shortly following Barnes, the blade clashes ensued. Unfortunately, Imperial still refused to concede the racing line, but we pushed past them and soon they were well behind us.

From the Bandstand to Chiswick Pier, there werent too many other crews close, or so I thought. I knew KCL B were 3 or 4 lengths ahead and we made it our aim to catch them by Hammersmith Bridge. I hadnt yet spotted Royal Holloway though, who were maybe only 1 length ahead, but several to my right. It appeared nobody had told them that the best line is in the middle of the river, not tight round corners. What resulted was a sickening crunch as they ploughed head first into UL who, having finished racing, were returning to their boat house.

After a quick re-focus, we continued to chase down KCL, achieving overlap even before Dove Pier. Kings were the strongest crew we overtook, and hence we were still battling them going under Hammersmith Bridge. A shout of bow-ball from Jon spurred the crew on though, and by the time we past Harrods Depository, we had not only got decent clear water between us and KCL, we had also overtaken St Georges Medics.

From then on, it was a case of following our race plan through to the end. By the time we past the Mile Post, our focus was to take it up to the finish. A lift past Barn Elms was followed by another at Imperial College Boat Club. We tried to take it up every 100 or so metres to the finish and at this point, we potentially ran out of legs. We kept pushing as much as we could though, across the line.

The time overall wasnt as fast as we might have hoped, but we managed to finish faster than M1s of multiple other Cambridge colleges, and given that our training hasnt been focussed on this race, I think we can all be proud what we achieved. We all committed from the first stroke, and it was some of our best rowing, so a good race to end the term on.

(S.L.C. Maclean)
^ top


Facebook Instagram LinkedIn Twitter
If you have any comments or suggestions please email the webmaster. Click here to switch to the darker, gold on blue, design. If you log in as a First and Third member, you can set a preference for a color scheme on your profile.
^ top