The Club's Results
Lent Term 2018
4th men's VIII
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...
Lost to Clare M3 (Easily)
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!