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Radegund Mile Head Race, May Term 2023

Head race from the Newnham Bridge to the railway bridge organised by the St. Radegund Boat Club.
Sun 7th May

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3rd men's VIII, College VIIIs

Time: 8:41
M3 were unlucky with their 7-seat being called up/convinced up to M2 the day before Radegund, leaving them without a full crew. They were even more unlucky that their cox was ill on the morning of the race, fortunately Naman came to the rescue and M3 were able to race (at the expense of the M4/W2 mixed crew, but that's not M3's fault).

A good crew pasta the night before kept spirits high, and M3 were determined to put into practice all they had learned under the watchful eye of Luke. I can't testify to how they usually row but I suspect handle-heights will be on the agenda for the coming week after the paddle down. 

Marshalling was chaos, but also not our fault, leading to the race starting slightly late and with us being unable to pull in. Jun built a nice rhythm as we got started, although when the call to wind it up came, there was a blatant flouting of Luke's aim for the crew of rate 32. We went off at rate 35/6 and settled at 35 for the vast majority of the course. In hindsight, that was probably a little bit too ambitious. But the crew stayed together and the timing was good, even if the power dropped off a bit in the middle. 

As we came down the reach, the boat behind us was starting to gain serious length on us (and they did beat us by about a minute). With the advancing crew on our stern, we lifted the pressure and held them off as we passed under the railway bridge and finished the race. That sort of mentality will benefit M3 well in bumps; they do not give up and they have a real sense of togetherness (outside of the boat). 

Sometimes the rowing could have been described as stern pair and bow six, but fortunately this was saved for the paddle up rather than the race. I'm confident M3 will be quicker with another week of training and their rightful 7-seat back. 

(Zara Bek)
After losing our beloved 7-seat to the vicious crew of M2, we were fortunate enough to convince Zara, a member of the glorious W2, to sub in. We did not expect though to loose another valued member of our crew: our cox, Bella. The crew pasta and the celebration of the coronation lifted the crew's spirit, so we were ready to race.

The paddling to marshaling was a bit mediocre, but we got at least 3 good strokes (even if not consecutively). The marshaling itself was horrible, but that did not make us less focused.

We started off the race quite well, listening to Luke's advice to keep it technical and not to blow off, even if 3-4 strokes/min higher than previously discussed. Even though our rate was high, we could keep the rhythm, and actually put some power down on the Reach. As we finished the race everyone seemed quite happy with the performance, however, during crew brunch we saw our time, which was a tiny bit (45s) over our expectations.

Overall it was a pretty fun race.
Huge thanks for Zara and Naman for subbing in!
(Bálint Tóth)
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