The Club's Results

Lent Term 2018

4th men's VIII

Cambridge Head-2-Head (3rd division)

113th
Time: 20:16.5
M4's first row as a scratch crew - not quite the ideal result but the crew showed plenty of promise and room for improvement. (D. Lee)
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Newnham Short Course (Lower VIIIs)

4th
Time: 9:19
M4's second race a crew showed a lot of commitment and a huge improvement in time-wise.  (D. Lee)
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Pembroke Regatta (1st division)

1st round
Beat Jesus M4 (2 Lengths)

Coming off a dismal showing at Newnham Short Course two weeks before, we'd had several outings and were making steady improvements in terms of timing and technique but still lacked fitness and stamina overall.

The morning was cold, just above freezing but thankfully not windy. We were running behind schedule and things got more exciting when Hadi realised just after we pushed off that he'd forgotten his lifejacket (which he announced over the coxbox to the amusement of crews we were passing). A quick stop near the Elizabeth Way bridge for Charlene to throw Hadi his lifejacket over the railings and we were on our way. Rowing to the marshalling area proceeded smoothly and we got through some decent pieces and practice starts.

Queuing before the start line at Fen Ditton, a thick layer of fog covered the ground and the surroundings looked drab and grey. Meanwhile Hadi was busy trash-talking our first opponents Jesus M4 over the coxbox. The effect of this show of bravado was probably somewhat diminished when we couldn't sit the boat properly at back-stops despite our best efforts. The other crew was a good bit bigger than us as usual, and didn't seem to make any attempt to respond -- more the strong silent type perhaps, or just not in the mood for banter.

Hearteningly, our boat felt much more sat at front-stops right before the race started and remained mostly sat while we were rowing. We were neck-and-neck with the opposing crew at first but then unexpectedly pulled ahead within the first 30 seconds or so. Spurred on by this initial success, we made the most of the opportunity and pushed hard, maintaining a solid lead for the rest of the race down the Reach (the other crew stayed within sight but a good distance away). Apparently their #5 had caught an overhead crab which gave us our early advantage, though it still took quite an effort from all of us to keep them at bay. We eventually won by two boat lengths.

Visibly tired but in high spirits, we spun and headed back to park and wait for our next race. A bank party of three postdoc ladies was there to fuss over us with offers of water, tea, and biscuits. Rather fancifully, I imagined that this must have been the sort of hero's welcome received by airmen returning from a hard-fought battle and I basked in that glorious feeling for a brief moment. But there was no time to lose: after many cycles of compression going up and down the slide, I really needed to empty my bladder yet again...

(T.P.K. Lim)
In the rush to get to marshalling, a certain cox had dismissed the necessity of a life jacket - this resulted in a heroic attempt to throw said life jacket over the railings by the Elizabeth Way bridge. Thankfully, my hand-eye coordination was somewhat present given the early hour. All 8 to marshalling - only to realise the majority of our division would be another 15 minutes at least, so we took our time to reflect on what exercises we had fit in on our row up and get ourselves into 'the zone'. This evidently had some effect on the guys - after a chill paddle up and a minute faffing around, they set off to a strong start. As is always the case with side-by-side racing, Jesus M4 attempted to invade the middle stream and we retaliated with domination. Jesus were rewarded with a crippling crab from which they never quite recovered, evidently psychologically damaged by us leaving them in the dust. Spurred on by Hadi's demands, the men never let up and we emerged victorious. (C.S.L. Tang)
2nd round
Lost to Clare M3 (Easily)
The sun had come out properly by now and the temperature reached a more comfortable 4 or 5 degrees, for which I was most grateful. Less happily, my forearms had completely seized up and felt rock-hard by the end of the first race and there hadn't been much time to recover. I spent most of the second race struggling to control my oar and trying not to crab. As far as I could tell, most of the others seemed fatigued as well and our rowing felt less powerful and coordinated than before, and quite rushed and desperate. We were overtaken from the start by the significantly faster opponent crew and lost the race by a large margin.

We learnt later on that it had been the first race of the day for our opponents Clare M3 as they had drawn a wildcard. It felt unfair that they were so much fresher than us, but in all honesty they appeared technically superior from what I could see of their rowing before our race (and they were also again bigger than us).

On the way back, we saw that one of the riggers in an Emma boat had come off. Freed from its restraints, the offending oar was proudly on display; its owner brandishing it and at times holding it vertically like a mast. In the ensuing (unrelated) traffic jam we were also treated to the spectacle of Cambridge '99 attempting to throw scones from one boat to another, most of which of course landed in the river. A dropped scone, rescued as it floated by, was sent on one last ill-fated flight and promptly disintegrated upon recapture.

It was a beautiful day for a light paddle down the Cam and we rowed back to the boathouse at a leisurely pace with a good morning's work behind us, looking forward to a well-deserved rest.
(T.P.K. Lim)
(Attempt #2)

Emerging victorious, the men eventually spun and made their way back up to the start. Having been denied a practice race start, we settled for a wind-up piece - the most beautiful rowing seen this term.

To our surprise, we were met by 3 smiling faces upon our arrival - Trisna, Barbara and Manon welcomed us with much appreciated gifts of tea and Leibniz. The same 3 men as before the 1st round gave into the call of the wild and took the 3 minutes to seek shelter in the shrubbery. Discarding warm kit yet again, we set off to face our next opponent.

Hadi made a decent attempt to break the ice with a little chat - however, Clare were unaffected. Unfazed, we came to the start line being a bit more alert than previously. A strong start from the men, however, the the opposing crew soon pulled away, being a bit on the larger side. All finesse seen on the row up was soon forgotten, however, they men continued to give it their best effort. All in all, a successful morning on the river - if anything, brilliant motivation for crew attendance at weights and circuits.

Satisfied, we started to make our way back to the warmth of the boathouse. However, we soon discovered that the disorganisation of the Pembroke marshals had further disintegrated into chaos. Evading Emma's attempts at Bumps practice, we navigated our way through the carnage and made it back just before 10ams - though whether those in question made it to said lectures is debatable... and now - onto Bumps, M4!

(C.S.L. Tang)
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