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The Club's Results

Cambridge Autumn Head, Mich Term 2023

2,600m head race upstream on the River Cam organised by Rob Roy Boat Club
Sat 14th October

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1st men's VIII, M8+ 1st Coll

2nd to Downing
Time: 10:08
The paddle down was pleasant despite the Cam overflowing a tad onto the hard, and the plan was clear: stay around 1:40 splits, and learn what an appropriate level of pushing would be.

We got to marshalling before the race precisely on time. Naturally, this meant that we were the first crew there and that we had rather a long time to wait. 
Lots of huddling was done, and photos of this may exist in some location. 

After we’d gotten back into the boat, Csongi and I played some chess. 
1. e4 e5 
2. Nf3 Nc6 
3. Nxe5 Nxe5        “Oh, you said c6.”
4. d4 Qh4               “Is that a legal move- can I do this?”
5. dxe5 Qxe4 
6. Qe2 Qxe2 
7. Bxe2 1/2-1/2. 
Black proposed indefinite postponement due to his anticipation of imminent coxing commands, and it was accepted.

The race was fairly good, actually, despite the vast difference between our anticipated splits, and our actual splits (see: stream was heavy). Never before have I been so happy to hear 1:48 shouted with encouragement from the coxbox. We overtook an IV on the Long Reach, and had a massive push from the end of the towpath to top finish - not that I think I contributed very much to it by that point, as I was but hanging on for dear life by then, having overcooked it slightly earlier on. 

0.3 seconds slower than last year hides a much more oppressive stream, and it really felt like we came together as a crew early on in the race. 

Some nice 36 to begin settled down to 32, and Bella’s commands kept people sane during the pushes.
(Thomas Frith)
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1st men's VIII, Time-only

we won TimeOnly?
Time: 10:30
We rowed with a CLAM on. We did not row together. I caught 3 crabs and took 5 air strokes. It was a miracle that we still made it over the line in but 10:30.

The conclusion was that we'd successfully put enough power down in the first race to leave us running on empty. A win, of sorts.
(Thomas Frith)
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2nd men's VIII, M8+ 2nd Coll

4th in Category
Time: 11:18
With Ben having an unmovable? supo and Gevorg not in the country we knew we were in for a good race. Thankfully Bálint and Yoko swooped in the save the day and sub into the boat. This was M2's first race this year and second outing, we were a very practiced crew. To top it all I hadn't stroked a boat since HoRR last March.

Once we pushed off and got past the absolute carnage of boats around the boathouses we got into a nice rhythm and got together as a (scratch) crew. We made good time to the lock arriving 30 minutes before race start and watched all the other boats try to park in the stream and nearly collide left, right and centre.

The race itself started well with a nice rate of 32 from bridge to bridge and all the rowers were backing each other up. On each corner we called for a big push and the power came back on. Once we reached the railway bridge we started to climb on the power and the rate to empty the tank. Despite (some) of the rate climb coming from rushing the slide we made it with a respectable time given the stream and the wind.

When we reached the boathouse we discovered that the boat may need a bit of work as when we lifted it to heads two hatchcovers fell out and on closer inspection of my seat one of the wheels didn't rotate.


(Andrew Farquharson)
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1st women's VIII, Time-only

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1st women's VIII, W8+ 1st Coll

2nd in Category
Time: 12:01
Is it a race without illness or injury? No.

Charlotte came down sick the night before the race and the sub search began... resulting in two different subs for the races. Not a bad result with 12 hours notice. Weishi subbed in for the first race, Maraia for the second (with me switching sides as per usual).

We got there extremely early for the first race and got to marshal in the reeds whilst holding onto the blades of Clare M2 to stop us all crashing into each other. 

First race- hit rate 33 coming out the bridge, settled to 32 and pushed out of all the corners well thanks to Maddie's excellent calls. Magdelene seemed to be catching us as we came round first post, giving us flashbacks to the day before when Bomber told us to not let them catch us when we were paddling. Despite a crab coming round grassy, we held together and looked good enough for Bomber to describe it as a 'good race for the first race of term'. We were happy with the time, especially given we did hold of Magdelene by some distance. 

Awaiting post race feedback I knew what mine would be given I could feel my shoulders burning. Who says all the power doesn't come from the shoulders?

Second race- Maraia graciously missed the Great Court Run to sub into the bow seat and I got shifted to two. Bomber gave us the target split of 2:12 and told us to gear up our blades. Paddling down to the start, we hit 2:15 at rate 18 which confirmed the stream had just gotten worse. Off the start we hit rate 34, settling to about 33 for the first half of the race. As we came onto the reach, Maddie told us to chase down Peterhouse because we were gaining and it seemed to breathe a second life into us. By the end, we hit rate 36 with splits 2:05. Bomber described it as superb. 

I then got co-opted into rowing in a novice outing.
(Zara Bek)
In the famous words of Bomber, ‘going fast is fun’. This is perhaps why our two races at Autumn head were not terribly enjoyable. We managed to battle the mighty Cam, comparable in the strength of its current to Horace’s ‘raging river Aufidus’ (Satires 1.1.23), and make it down the course in the absolutely rapid time of 12:01.4, putting down some insane 2:15 splits throughout (Maddie calling this, as we were gunning it down plough reach with all the vim and vigour we could muster, only made my heart sink down into my chest a little). Nevertheless, we all dug in and pulled away from Magdalene and took chunks out of Peterhouse’s head start on us. Feeling exhausted after our race, but rather elated to hear how well we had done compared to other W1s racing in our category (including Caius!!), some of us were rather hoping that the second race would be cancelled due to lack of a sub. (Un)fortunately, Maraia valiantly stepped in so we could race again. Bomber however, munificent in his mercy, finally allowed us to move the clams to give us a slightly easier time of it the second time around. We raced again and managed to beat our previous time by three seconds. The mentality in the crew was great, and we kept lifting out of the railway bridge as Maddie called for another two percent… and then another two… and then another two after that… I think many of us were questioning how many percent we had left in us by the time we made it to top finish, but everyone gave it everything and we were all incredibly proud of one another. Bomber too was absolutely overflowing with praise, barely able to contain his joy as he gushed ‘that wasn’t too bad, girls.’ Yeah FaT!
(Polly Shorrock)
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