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It's 2017! In hindsight we were about as well-prepared for today's race as Donald Trump is to be President. Stuart kindly switched sides and Wagstaff subbed back into the five seat to fill Jon's still-over-100kg shoes. The term so far started with a training camp in Cambridge, complete with ergs, small boats (apologies to Lawrence whose capsize was almost certainly my fault), circuits, weights, socials and of course, outings. This week achieved two things; getting Basile involved in a return trip to Kuda, and setting the crews for the term.
Following on from training camp, M1 have been again emphasizing the steady state to set a platform before we hit the high-rate work closer to bumps. Rolling into the first leg of H2H we therefore had not much idea of what to expect, and unsurprisingly span the wheels off the start, rowing about as gracefully as a herd of elephants marauding down the 2k course. Bow-side's finishes were somewhere between the bottom of the shell and the river bed, and our much loved pause at the finish had somehow migrated to the front-stops region. Despite a shaky reach, we found some rhythm through the corners and finished off with a push to 34.
During the interval, a few decisions were made. Firstly we decided to rate-cap the next piece to try and find some efficiency, length and rhythm, and secondly we decided we were all a bit cold (somewhat unsurprisingly, given that our Friday outing was called off due to a frozen river). Doing our best to ignore the latter point, we lined up for the return leg. Despite holding a rate that was 2-3 pips lower that the downstream piece, we finished in a comparable time.
Overall we finished 9th out of the college boats, not breaking any records but definitely still in the pack. The next race is Pembroke Regatta in three weeks after a solid training block. Congratulations to W1 on a strong performance.
As ever the BCD post-Fairbairns was somewhat more eventful than the racing earlier in the day. However, seeing as my memory of the former is rather hazy I'll stick to writing about the latter. Having decided that bumps (and Henley?) is our ultimate goal, we gave high rate work little attention before deciding we wanted a top 5 finish in Fairbairns. Nevertheless the first half of the race went about as well as we could have hoped, cutting through town like a hot Empacher through butter. This was mainly thanks to Sid's Grand-Turismo approach to the corners and our less-lazy-than-normal approach to the catches. However, by the time we reached The Plough (coincidentally where Basile thought the race ended), our rowing had deteriorated in the way that the rowing of eight people who have been breathing a bit too hard for a bit too long tends to do. In the end we finished 7th out of the Cambridge College crews, and rather satisfyingly beat the second Oxford Lightweight boat who we hosted that morning. The best result of the day was that we were all just a bit disappointed, there's certainly lots left in the tank. Bring on Lent term.
For the first time in SCCBC history, 4 women's novice crews were entered to race in Fairbairns 2016. The only college to have 4 crews racing, we were prepared to storm THE novice event of Michaelmas. Looking slick in matching T shirts, hours of training behind them and 4 very keen LBCs on the bank, they were ready to race.
NW1 started strongly. Responding well to power calls, they soared round the corners, gaining on Christ’s ahead with every stroke. At the P&E they took no prisoners, driving straight past Downing and Christ’s. The final stretch after the railway bridge saw James call a final power 10, and every girl gave their all. The girls finished in an outstanding 5th place just short of 12 minutes, behind Jesus and FaT. A calm, collected and powerful row- you should all be proud.
NW2 had a shaky start but refocussed and got their heads back into the race straight away. Putting the start behind them they had powerful row which saw them pick up the pace quickly. The power 10 call pushing off railway bridge was incredible, and you could see the girls were giving absolutely everything they had left. NW2 beat a number of 1st novice crews in their division, commendable to a very strong technical row and commitment to the race.
NW3 quickly caught Darwin from the start, being forced to wind down before the Green dragon bridge. After the post, they strode past Darwin and then another boat. There was no stopping them down the reach! After the railway bridge, thinks started to spiral out of sync but due to the strength of the first row with added time due to winding down, the girls finished with an incredible time of 13 minutes 40 seconds.
NW4 caught up Sidney Sussex NW3 quickly, gaining 5 seconds from impeding. Overtaking them on the P&E reach, the girls pushed into the final stretch of the race with determination. A few bumps and crabs along the wary didn’t phase them, and they kept their heads in the boat and focused on all the technical points from the ergs. A great chunky row throughout the race and a final push to the finish left them placing ahead of second and third boats.
Congratulations girls and thank you all so much for such a great term. We hope you have loved every minute as much as we have and that this term has set you up for a long and successful career in Catz rowing!
Novice Women and Women's LBCS, Michaelmas 2016
Provisional result: 33rd on the river, 6th College M2
M2 and M3 had trained as one squad for the first 6 weeks of term, before splitting down into two separate boats. We spent this time working on a strong technical base. Most of this didn't really show for the first phase of the race, as we pushed the rate high with the result of a spirited but comparatively scrappy start. However, as we had our first push out of Green Dragon corner, we finally settled into a nice rhythm and began to make sustainable progress along the course. James, in only his first term of coxing, steered some beautiful lines, and we definitely emptied the tank as we came under the railway bridge, to the raucous cheers of M1 from the bank, with a time of 17:07. Thank you to all the coaches, coxes and subs who have helped out this term - bring on Lents!