Going into this race, we knew Churchill were quick and this would likely be a tough battle. At the start, Churchill drew out a small lead, with neither crew willing to settle for anything less than rate 36. By the Railway Bridge, the lead had increased to a few seats (aided by a couple of airstrokes from 4-seat), but we courageously held on despite the rate being unsustainable. After the bridge, Gurpreet called a well-timed push as Churchill began to die, and by the time we fatigued we had pulled ahead to win what was one of the most exciting races of the division. (Patrick Winter)
At Newnham Head the previous week, Pembroke had been 16 seconds quicker than us, so we knew this would be a difficult race. Pembroke quickly moved on us at the start and drew out a comfortable lead. A small window of opportunity opened as they hit the bank, but our push wasn't enough to capitalise on this and they remained in the lead. All in all a very strong showing from a boat that had been battling injury and illness all week, with plenty of experience gained that will be put to good use in Bumps! (Patrick Winter)
Having the misfortune of being one of the two crews who failed to get a bye into the second-round, we gingerly arrived at our early marshalling appointment half-expecting the race to be called off. In spite of the vicious cross-winds, the conditions were deemed safe...
After a quick chat with Ana to clarify our steering strategy (i.e. hold our line and wait for the wind to blow the opposition onto our side), the two crews were lined up and ready to go. A strong push off the start saw us take a healthy lead, and some slick rowing saw us steadily edge ahead as we neared the railway bridge. A final effort by Pembroke got them ever so slightly closer, but we easily held on to take our first win of the day.
After the fortuitous scratching of Girton M3 in the previous round, we entered the quarter-finals expecting a stern test from the red menace. Somewhat surprisingly, a strong start led to us opening up a 1/2 length lead, and both crews settled in for what was shaping to be a nailbiting race.
Unfortunately, our rivals were no match for the cross-wind, gradually veering towards the towpath side and causing us to steer into the bank twice. After we had come to a grinding halt just before the railway bridge, LMBC capitalised and set up a commanding lead, crossing the finish line first.
Some tense conversations on the bank followed, as both crews awaited a verdict. Reluctant to disqualify our opposition for their obvious misdeeds, the umpires came up with a novel solution - a re-row in the opposite direction downstream.
Thankfully, instant karma prevailed as Maggie crashed straight into a houseboat off the restart. After a chunky paddle down the reach, we were into the semi-finals.
Very impressive for M4 to reach the semi final of the M3 division - bring on the Getting on Race!! (H.J. Hampson)
As an M4 entered in the M3 division, it is safe to say that we did not expect to be gunning for a spot in the final. The only thing standing between us and an all-FaT finale were Pembroke M3 - winners of the M3 division at the previous week's Newnham Head.
Knowing they were easily faster than us, our strategy was simply to keep with them long enough so that the wind would hopefully blow them onto our side of the river and disqualify them. This went slightly pear-shaped when they absolutely gunned it off the start and immediately took clear water. The short turnaround after the quarter-final re-row took its toll on us with Pembroke's lead gradually increasing. A valiant push off the railway bridge was for nought as there was simply no juice left in the legs.
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