First and Third Trinity Boat Club
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The Club's Results

Bedford Head, Lent Term 2023

1st women's VIII (Women's Eights (Band 2))

Coxed by: Emily Man

6th overall, 3rd in Band 2
Time: 5:57
Having gotten the worst out of our system the day before in an outing that was shorter than the time it took us to dismantle our boat, Bedford showed us that we are not the crew that paddled Newnham Head last week. We also didn't do a crew pasta. Still not sure why. I'm going to apologise now for having inevitably forgotten things. Given this is being written in a Wetherspoons in Bedford having missed the bus, I should probably keep my emotions out of this report. Waking up and meeting for 07:45 was just a throwback to morning outings, with the added joys of an hour and a half on a bus that was late- because of course it's English public transport under discussion here. There was absolutely no bitterness about M1 having a car and wanting us to share in the cost of it. Some amusement was had as it was pointed out that [redacted] x2 had gone to [other redacted]x2s rooms the night before and none of said people arrived from the expected direction. There was tiredness and excitement buzzing around the crew- for three of us it was our first off-Cam race. We knew we were better than last week with some really promising signs in outings and ergs this past week. The conditions were chilly in Bedford but not overly so, and other than a bit of mud it was all dry. Seeing M1 after their first race as we were just arriving reminded us that we too would soon be on the water. Putting the boats back together was a new experience for me, but it all went smoothly and we had QE1 ready to race in good time. Paddling to the start was positive, with bursts being conducted with lots of spirit and commitment, not to mention power. We were not marshalled long before our first race at 12:00 began, where we started strong and kept our splits between 1:53 and 1:57 as we settled into a sustainable rhythm at about rate 34. Hearing the sound of one catch as we went under tunnel bridges was really quite something, with the sound echoing off the walls. Unfortunately towards the end fatigue impacted our timing, reminding us that we still have things to work on. We committed and gave our all to that first race, finishing in 5:57 over about 1600m, meaning we improved by around 10 splits from last week. More amusingly, M2 were only 16 seconds faster than us. Unfortunately the division 4 results came in and we realised that Queens were 2 seconds faster than us, giving us new resolve for our next race. The between races trip to Maccies kept our spirits up as we got hot food/drinks and prepared to race once more at 15:00. I appreciated the caffeine. It was colder as we boated, and my splash jacket certainly stayed on after the amount of water than came from the 2 and 3 seats in the first race. Oddly enough, this race was far less splashy; I'll credit it to technique improvements. The splits were roughly the same although the fatigue level post-race was naturally much higher. We finished in 5:59, a good result given how much we had committed to the first race. More excitingly, we had the same time as Queens, who will be chasing us in bumps in just over three weeks time. Still, we cannot forget that they were overall faster than us and we need to continue to 'press down the legs'. We were the only FaT crew to be slower on our second race, suggesting we were the only crew to commit in the first one. Deboating and dismantling QE1 are a bit of a blur, fresh and dry clothing was very much welcomed and the focus was on just getting home. Unfortunately for me, on the way to the bus stop we were stopped by some women from Fitz, telling us we had left six blades and trying to communicate this to the people getting the trailer back was a nightmare. Being the only member of W1 not in the trailer, and therefore unable to collect blades, all I could do was hope someone picked up their phone. Thankfully they did. The reason I said unfortunately is because the bus stop that (most of) M2 were going to was not communicated, resulting in two of us missing the bus despite running across Bedford in 3-4 layers with bags of kit for over fifteen minutes. That's why I'm in Wetherspoons. Cider is not a replacement for being home an hour earlier, and running at that intensity after racing twice is not a vibe. When I said I wanted to get back into running, this is not what I meant. All in all, it was a good day. For a first off-Cam experience it could have been terrible but it wasn't. With twenty days until our next race, I for one am optimistic given the improvements we've made since last weekend. (Zara Bek)

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