The Club's Results
Clare Novice Regatta, Mich Term 2022
A side-by-side knock out regatta for Cambridge College novice (beginner) VIIIs
Sat 26th November
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Beat Magdalene NM1 easily
Due to James attending a wedding that day (apparently not his own, even though we insisted that the only wedding that's a valid excuse for not showing up to the race would be his wedding), we needed to find a sub. Thankfully, Arsen Miković kindly agreed to sub for the race and one outing, after not rowing for two weeks. Even though we'd never technically rowed together as a crew before the day of the race, we were hungry to perform better than the week before when we lost to Emma NM1 in the first round of Emma Sprints.
We started pretty even with Magdalene. We quickly got a lead and were about half a length ahead after a minute. Seeing their boat (in peripheral vision, my eyes were definitely in the boat) gave us more confidence. We could feel how we were pushing away from them with every stroke. By the railway bridge we were a full length ahead of them and after that it seemed like they lost any speed they had. Quickly, we heard calls from Luke and Kian to wind it down and finished the race with a nice, relaxed paddle, saving our energy for the next race.
Beat Pembroke NM1 easily
After beating Magdalene, we had to wait about an hour for our quarter final against Pembroke NM1. Our enthusiastic race start and imperfect technique in the first race meant that by that point we were already completely soaked. This wasn’t helpful for our warmth given the single digit November temperatures.
We got out of the boat and a number of us jogged to the Green Dragon where they kindly let us use their restroom. (Later, we heard that someone from NM2 just knocked on the door of the nearest house and said "I am representing Trinity College, can I use your restroom", and that it apparently worked. In any case, the jogging helped with staying warm). Others took advantage of the extra kit carried by our bank party to get dry. After some refuelling and hydrating we were on our way to the second race.
With added confidence from the previous win, we had an even better start this time, gaining almost a quarter length 2-3 strokes in. After about ten strokes Pembroke caught a nasty crab and couldn’t recover for a while, while we easily pushed away. Even before we made it to the railway bridge, Pembroke was so far behind that we heard calls to wind it down and focus on technical paddling until the end. I can’t remember exactly what happened after their crab, but either Pembroke’s rudder fell off, they crashed, or both. In any case this meant we got an easy win and could preserve energy for the semi-final.
Beat Clare NM1 easily
By the time we finished the race with Pembroke, we’d been wet and cold for over an hour. It was getting harder to not freeze between races and with the encouragement of everyone in our bank party, we did some light exercise to warm up. Even with that I felt very cold and looked forward to getting back into the boat. We refuelled and discussed the previous two races in preparation for the semi final against Clare.
Our start against Clare was comparatively slower to our previous starts and the race kicked off with both boats being very even. This continued for about 30 seconds where nobody was getting a clear advantage. During this time, we focused on technical calls about lengthening the strokes, “one catch one finish”, getting in time, etc. This clearly helped since at some point something clicked and we started pulling ahead with each stroke. After a few strokes we were already a whole length ahead and this gave us the confidence to continue rowing steadily and evenly. By the railway bridge they were behind more than a couple of lengths. This time we continued pushing almost all the way to the finish, only winding down when it was obvious that the race was easily won.
Beat Trinity Hall NM1 after their DQ
By this point it was extremely hard to stay warm as we had been outside for a couple of hours. We had to change into dry kit, do jumping jacks, and run around to stay warm. Additionally Luke, Polly, and Thomas gave us all of their extra layers to wear, while they remained in t-shirts (thank you for keeping us warm!). Still, this didn’t seem enough for Arsen and me, as we were shivering even after a couple rounds of jumping jacks and some food (and, no, the two of us are not resistant to extreme cold - we are from Serbia, not Siberia). I was really looking forward for the next race to start - it was really exciting to be in the final, but more than anything I wanted to properly warm up.
Soon enough the race started, and Tit Hall had a slightly quicker start - they immediately got a quarter length ahead. In contrast with the previous races, this time our rowing felt much scrappier - it was probably a combination of feeling we were a bit behind and everyone being ready to empty their tanks for the day. In spite (or because) of this, we managed to not let Trinity Hall pull away any further, staying 1/4th of a length behind. At some point along the Reach all I could hear through the rowing was calls for Kian to keep the line as our blades got dangerously close to Trinity Hall’s. After a few near misses we clashed blades with them. This seemed to slow us down and they got to three quarters of a length ahead. Calls for power 10s came from Kian and the bank party as we appraoched the Railway bridge. By this time my forearms were seriously hurting and I felt like I was running out of energy. Dreading another race report by Rossoneri, I decided to completely ignore the pain in my forearms and push with everything I’ve got. Everyone seemed to be on the same page and we started gaining on Tit Hall again. The energetic rowing continued for a couple of strokes after the Railway bridge, when we unfortunately caught a crab. Even though we quickly recovered, the rowing didn’t feel the same afterwards. Perhaps we subconsciously gave up, but Tit Hall was consistently ahead after that and finished almost two lengths ahead of us.
On the paddle back to the boat house we were disappointed by what we thought was a loss and confused about what happened with the blade clash. Luckily, the umpires were fair and Tit Hall was disqualified for repeatedly failing to keep the racing line.
Overall, we were very happy with how the Regatta went. We showed a big improvement from Emma Sprints and displayed some of our best rowing as a crew this term. The Clare Novices’ Regatta cup is back in the hands of FaT for the first time since 2016!
“The race went horribly. I was horribly cold. I don’t remember half of it.“ - Anon.
Beat Murray Edwards NW1 easily
Another week, another race and another round of fun.
High praise must be given to the sub (Clare) from NW2 who rowed with both NW2 and us today; the rest of us could not be more grateful and I hope she got some rest after our races because she deserves it.
Our morning started with a bit of chaos as it was realised that we needed to be at the boathouse about 45 minutes to an hour earlier than planned and so rounding the crew up was eventful, but manageable, and nothing went seriously wrong. We still marshalled on time so no harm done.
We learnt after the races that strokes’ gate was set too low and that’s why seven got drenched. To be fair, the whole boat was splashy but it was definitely worse in the stern and I for one was glad to be in the bows.
Race One: Murray Edwards
This race gave us some confidence and it was nice to start with a comfortable win and a bit of energy conserved; the rowing was smooth and our starts keep getting better and better. Our spinning also is getting better as nobody ended up in the Cam today to save our bows, and due to the towpath being shut, most of the spinning was done without instructions from the bank.
Beat Newnham NW1 by 2 lengths
Race Two: Newnham
Navigating through the absolute chaos that is a regatta is quite entertaining and hats off to our cox, James, for some expert steering and alertness to keep us out of trouble. Probably a good thing as when I glanced at our coach on the bank, his body language was that of pure anxiety and at one point I genuinely did not think he would be able to take not being in control of us. I would say he should have more faith but after last week, perhaps not.
Racing Newnham was more of a challenge, we won by two lengths in the end but it did not feel comfortable in any way, shape or form. They gave us a good challenge and the atmosphere in the boat was a lot more tense.
Lost to Trinity Hall NW1 by 2 lengths
Race Three: Trinity Hall
Now, I’m not entirely sure what happened here but we did not realise we were racing Trinity Hall until about a minute before we were, as we thought we were racing Jesus for some reason. As a result, none of us were able to de-kit and there was a fair amount of confusion going on.
Congratulations to Trinity Hall for beating us by what was apparently two lengths (thank you Clare College for the spreadsheet) but I cannot confirm or deny as my eyes were firmly in the boat. We gave it our all and the pressure situation has taught us a lot to take into Novice Fairbairns.
Lost to Caius NM2 by 1.5 lengths
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