Newnham Head was set to be M2(a)'s first race together following a productive training week of head injuries, late nights and later catches. However, crew captain Xander 'Judas' Povey was to be struck with a case of Covid-19 and forced into isolation, thus missing the race. His absence was a disappointment, but also foreshadowing of the shocking betrayal that would follow as he abandoned the funniest VIII on the Cam to join the slow and uninteresting M1(b).
Fortunately, M1(boring) were not racing due to over-testing among their crew which had led to multiple cases of Covid-19. This meant that fortunately James Brownlie was free to sub in and provide a small amount of additional speed to the crew.
The first half of the race was on the whole good with all 8 rowers taking strokes, Emily not asking people to make the boat fly, and only 7 different catches. Fordie's coaching was obviously paying off. This would not last however, as technique quickly broke down and Emily started specifically targeting seats for not rowing hard and proclaiming 'squeeEEEZEE' in a voice I can only compare to someone falling off a cliff. Also, in remarkably similar fashion to the 2015 2nd VIII's Newnham Head race, very early on in the race the cox box simply gave up.
Overall, there were 3 or 4 good strokes taken, most of them by Canadine, along the 2k course which, bolstered with the insane volume of free speed afforded by Canadine's wraparound sunnies, Versteegen's beanie and Westwood's bunny ears, allowed M2(agile) to close the gap on Lucy Cav's formidable M1. Halfway down the Long Reach the M2(attractive) boys had nearly completely overtaken the LCCBC M1 with just 2 seats to go before a clean gap emerged.
Now, the fair-spirited and sporting among you will surely be thinking how disheartening and discouraging this must have been for the poor LCCBC boys who I'm certain were all essentially novices. Westwood would certainly agree with you, and in the interest of competitive racing and second chances caught an almighty crab, nearly decapitating himself, killing the boat speed, and demolishing any semblance of rhythm that could have been identified in the boat beforehand (i.e. none.) LCCBC M1 pulled back 2 seats in what was becoming some seriously intense side-by-side Cam racing but the M2(avaricious) crew were determined they would overtake the Lucy Cav M1, and claim a splendid victory.
Unfortunately, the details of the rest of the race are lost to history. Some sources claim this was because Overall Captain Luke Barratt couldn't keep up with the unbelievable speed of the crew, despite riding a bike and so was unable to record the final 500m ("It was sooooo windy - and the bike was way too small for me which didn't help.") Less reputable sources argue it was because the battery died on the phone he was recording with.
What can be said for sure though was that M2(awesome) completely crushed the hopes and dreams of Lucy Cav's M1, secured a faster Newnham Head time than M1(bottle-jobs) - 8:17 versus DNS - and subsequently enjoyed pints in the Fort St. George. All in all, a positive start to M2(alcoholics) racing season.