Winter Head to Head

The start of Lent term has been a little frustrating, with a number of injuries in the men’s squad. So although our entry for the Winter Head to Head had us on paper as the college first eight, the reality was that this was the college second eight with the added muscle of Ruud and Finn – a scratch crew with the sum total of one outing on the water.

The plan had been to row at 28 strokes per minute and hope for the best. Having started powerfully at a rating of 32, we settled into a comfortable 31 strokes per minute and held it for the whole course. The crew behind was Trinity M2 and the crew ahead Queens M1 (the fastest college crew on the water last term). Trinity put in a big push off the start and closed the gap, but some strong and smooth rowing, together with tight steering from Alex, pushed them away.

The second 2000 metre leg was against the stream. We started off at a healthy 33 strokes per minute, settled at 31 and soon Trinity were a speck in the distance. The plan had been to wind the rating up over the Long Reach and the crew responded well to Alex’s calls, crossing the finishing line at 35/36.

It wasn’t the most beautiful rowing in the world, but it was gutsy and more importantly it was quick. Our time on the first run was 6 min 38 sec, with the second leg against the stream coming in at 7 min 43 sec. Out total time of 14 min 21 sec meant we were the 14th fastest college crew. More significantly, since this was a crew made up principally of the second eight, we beat every college second eight racing on the day, including Trinity M2 (14:48), as well as a number of first eights. We demolished both Wolfson M2 (16:21) and Kings M2 (15:13), the two crews ahead of M2 in Lent bumps. Furthermore we also beat Caius II and Johns II, the two crews ahead of M1 in Lent bumps!

With the rest of the squad now returning either from injury or university rowing duties, we have the makings of two very competitive eights.

Full results: