The Club's Results
Lent Term 2023
2nd men's VIII
36th Overall, 5th in Band 4A
Race day was to be a chaotic day.
The first signs of chaos came the day before as both Ronnie and Iwo had tested positive for covid and it had been decided they couldn’t race, after some asking around Bahdan with no convincing and Máté with assurances that no one else could do it agreed to sub. (Thank you both, you saved our day).
Our crew pasta was one of the best I’d had. Igor, Andrew and Andrey headed to Mainsburys to gather ingredients while Luke had agreed to host. Igor was cooking the pasta despite never cooking for himself and thinking water half way up the pasta was a good way to cook it. Andrey made delicious spiced chicken. The whole crew had a part to play in the preparations. We had great fun that night talking about everything from the boat club itself to Travisty being censored. On the way home we surmounted castle mound and posed for photos in a battle stance with Andrey poised to kill with a frying pan. We went home ready to race at our best the next day.
The day started off peacefully as we arrived at Great Gate at quarter to eight before heading to the bus stop Bedford-bound.
Kian perceptive as ever noted that two of the crew had arrived from different directions than they had gone off in in the night before. Despite the bus being ten minutes late we arrived around ten o’clock and made our way to the trailer. We put the boats together just as M1 were returning from their div happy at a race well done. We pushed off and rowed to the start line and after some ropey parking spun and started to race. We were mostly in time and no one crabbed and we finished with a time of 5:41. We returned the boat and headed off for a crew maccies with W1. Who were only 16 seconds slower than us in the first race so we resolved to gain further on them in the second.
We decided the Flash headbands that came with our food would give us free speed however Bomber told us we would be demoted to M4 and have to use Richard Church if we raced in them so we reluctantly took them off.
Despite being tired and Oli boaking just before spinning, we were ready to do it all again. Andrew spotted a fishing line caught on a tree and may have interfered with Kian’s parking to tap himself closer to it and retrieve it to stop any fish potentially choking on it.
We raced again more technically than the first time and managed to shave off two more seconds over the course, a fact we were very pleased with.
As W1 had gotten two seconds slower the second time, we had gained four seconds on them and achieved our goal.
Then the chaos began.
We took apart 804 and QE1 and loaded them onto the trailer unknowingly forgetting six blades. As Andrew and Zara returned to collect their bags James informed them they needed to sprint for the bus as it was leaving in five minutes. They set off and ran into three girls from Fitz who recognised them and told them they had our blades as we had forgotten them. As we sprinted towards the bus we phoned everyone in our contacts to tell them this until Emma finally picked up, got a hold of Bomber and rescued our blades.
After 10 minutes of sprinting we just missed the bus and phoned Kian to delay it at the next stop which unfortunately we were also unable to make it after another mad dash for about eight minutes. We headed to spoons for a quick pint and started to write our race reports while some of M1 were gurning over why the rest of the club ought to be paying for their car.
We made the next bus an hour later and returned to Cambridge after the woman’s side and some of M2 had already reconstructed our boats. A good thing as we had an outing the next morning.
The day had brought M2 together more as a crew and also had us bond more with W1 as we spent most of the day with them.
Bumped by Emmanuel II
bumped just after Newnham bridge.
from a long chat in our crew pasta the night before, we started the day off
with a crew huddle all pledging to hurt ourselves and to giving everything we
could to bump today and make a step to restore our damaged reputations, unfortunately
it wasn’t to be today.
We set off
very quick and within a minute had got a whistle on Darwin, unfortunately Emma
got a whistle on us at the same time. We both dug in and we surged forward to ¾
of a length off Darwin. Emma were just quicker and went all out, they got a
second whistle on us and went for it, they then caught us within another
minute. We were deflated however we felt happy knowing we gave all we could and
were caught by a faster crew. We had given a much better performance than on Tuesday.
Technical row over
Today was the third day of our campaign. In the morning the
message came out that the Cam had burst its banks on the far side of Jesus lock,
we thought it would be ok as it hadn’t reached the boathouse. At half 10 we got
the message that the Cam was burst beside all the boat clubs. I decided to skip
the second half of my (extremely boring) comms lecture to investigate. The river
was halfway to our boat house however the towpath was still passable as far as
the P+E. We pulled together as a club sourcing wellie boots for the crews to get
the boats into the river, with our captain buying four new pairs for us to use.
Xander later informed us that the water had risen so much over the hour I was
there it was over the top of his wellie boots.
There was a great sense of camaraderie within the club, the
weather had brought us all together. We assumed that the race would go ahead
and headed back to college, our boatman told us about an emergency pontoon to
help us boat. After kitting up those of us congregating in the bar had our worst
fears realised – the river was red flagged and all bumps were cancelled, a historic
We had mixed feelings as we wanted to race and W1&W2
were on track for blades however we knew that M1 had now avoided spoons. We all
resolved to give it our all tomorrow where we are going to reverse our fortunes.
After the outbreak of "Tobyvirus" left the majority of M1 bedridden, we were forced to scratch from HoRR. I had been very excited to race tideway, with my only previous off Cam race being Bedford Head earlier this term, and was hoping that somehow I'd get a chance to still row it. However, just as I was beginning to like the idea of a Friday night without a drinking ban, Luke began feeling unwell. As the only healthy strokesider in M1 I was given the opportunity to sub. With HoRR being much longer than Bedford Head or the Bumps course and thanks in great part to our underwhelming performance in Bumps, I have raced further with M2 than M1 this term.
Igor, after having been initially promoted to M1 for HoRR due to Krisztian's geography school trip, was so desperate to find a way to race on Tideway that he went to London with us, hopeful that a bowsider would injure himself on the way there so that he could sub in. Unfortunately for Igor the journey was uneventful and we arrived comfortably in time for push off from Furnival.
Overall the time from push off to starting the race was about 130 minutes - most of which was spent taking strokes in the queue to combat the strong stream. During this time our bow got close to a QMUL boat, whose stroke man accidentally knocked off our race number. Then, in a display of both mental and physical ineptitude, their cox grabbed the number and attempted to throw it to us - only for it to land nowhere near us and sink into the Thames.
We set off well and soon settled into a good rhythm at around 32 spm. The rowing felt far more together than during the paddle on the day before. There were a couple of minor crabs including one from me but they didn't upset the rhythm of the boat very badly. In the last kilometre we started winding it up which initially went well however, at a final up 2 call around 20 strokes from the finish, we seemed to all have different ideas of what up 2 meant leading to a few very messy strokes near the end. During the race we overtook no crews and were a way off from those chasing us until Corpus M1 kept going after the finish, not winding it down until they were close to us.
We were quite happy with our time of 20:08 at 1:30 average splits, making it FaT M2's fastest since 2010. Although this of course has to be taken with a pinch of salt thanks to the extremely strong stream on the day.
Full 2nd men's VIII results archive