1100m Regatta organised by Pembroke. Results tree from the Pembroke website.
Round 1 - Beat Kings
As our first real test as a crew its true to say that nerves were a bit high for this race. However after a good row down the boat steadied nicely. Our start wasn't as clean as it could be and so neither us nor Kings got the advantage. However we we strode nicely to around a 37 and steadily pulled away from them until we were about 2 lengths clear. However the discipline dropped off a bit as we reached the line with such a clear lead.
All in all though it was an excellent start to our terms racing, especially as we obtained such a clear win over the crew chasing us on the first day in bumps!
Verdict: 2.5 lengths
Round 2 - Lost to Caius
Despite having rowed well against Kings we were still searching for our "best race". However against Caius, the tension which had dissappeared in the previous race, plagued us on the start. As a result we lost about 3/4 of a length in the first 15 strokes but once the boat settled again we held them at about 1 length for the remainder of the course. It certainly wasn't our best race but it did prove to us all that we had guts and determination - we never gave up and instead kept ploughing on at them. But if we'd had a bit more relaxation off the start, and confidence in our ability, I have no doubt that we could have won this race! Nevertheless a lot was learnt by all!
Verdict- 1 length
Quarter finals - Beat LMBC
LMBC are behind us in Lent Bumps, so although beating FaT was amazing, this is where the important battle was to be won. We would execute the same plan as with FaT: wind, lengthen, wind, lengthen, wind, lengthen.
After the first wind we pulled away and enjoyed sitting ahead with a cruising speed that was considerably higher than theirs. As Maggie did not disappear as quickly as Wolfson had, it also forced us to keep the pressure on and have a good, strong row to the finish. The rhythm felt the strongest and most controlled out of all our races that day.
Verdict: 1 and a half lengths
Semi-finals against Emma
By now we were all absolutely shattered. There was a bit of a wait before the next race but not enough time to get back to the boathouse. Apparently our opponents went back to the boathouse where they drank tea, ate sandwiches and did some cat yoddelling
Back to the race report. Emma were a bit of an unknown quantity as we hadn't really envisaged getting this far through the regatta. It was a case of executing what we knew worked well.
We pulled away off the start and their coach was sounded a little worried "You're holding on girls!" By this late in the day, however, it was tough to give it our all as we were so exhausted from the previous races against FaT and LMBC. We were unable to maintain the high stroke rate and so they pulled away from us going under the railway bridge. We weren't able to hold on to them and Emma moved away to a well deserved win.
Verdict: lost by one length
Round 1 - Beat FaT
After we told Martin we had drawn the headship crew in the first round, Martin seemed unfazed. Then he came out with usual stuff of "just row your own race" etc. After the outing on Friday, however, he decided that we were in with a chance and offered to buy us a bottle of champagne if we were up on FaT by half a length at the railway bridge, 2 for a full length and 3 for clear water.
To help us on our mission, this was the plan: Wind to 44. Get some lift at the end of the first ten strokes to settle into a rhythm to around 36. After 20 strokes, wind it up again, then settling at this new, higher rate. We would repeat this once more to get us to the railway bridge where the champagne would be ours. It was not going to be pretty.
On the way down to the start, Steph easied and said we were going to practise this newer than new race plan. It was tough, and about 30 strokes in you could really feel it. But to beat FaT, this is what we would have to do.
The underdogs waited patiently pondering how all of this was going to come together. Alice and Helena were looking forward to a race where they did not crash.
Steph lined us up perfectly with calmness and confidence. Attention....ROW!
We pulled away immediately. Our stroke rate was higher than theirs. We wound again, pulled away further. Easy. Once we had a comfortable lead and a couple of bottles of champagne under our belts, we decided we actually wanted to win. But we had annihilated ourselves in the first 500m. We clung on for dear life, power-ten followed by a wind followed by a lift, all the way to the finish. Most of what came after the railway bridge was a blur of pain, being unable to breathe, lactic acid, burning thighs. FaT came back and gained on us as we caught a cheeky crab just before the finish, but it was all over by then anyway. And, yeah, we beat the headship crew...?!
Round 2 - Beat Wolfson
After the absolute hell of trying to beat FaT, we had hoped that Wolfson would be a doddle. We were completely ruined still so it wasn't an easy race, but we were able to get back some efficiency in our stroke.
Wolfson were by far the most polite and sporting of the crews we encountered - it was a pleasure to race them.
Round 1 - Lost to Caius M2 by 1 1/2 Lengths
After a very effective and aggressive start, matching Caius stroke for stroke, M2 then had an unfortunate crustacean issue. However, managing to get back into a good rhythm, they rowed solidly to the finish, finishing a respectable 1 and a half lengths behind Caius II, who went on to win the entire division later that day. M2 clocked a respectable time themselves, which can only get better in the week coming up to Lents.
Round 1 - Opposition disqualified
Nervous as bankers before a bailout vote, M3 approached the Stump with adrenaline to spare. After too many tub outings and too many 'Michael Jackson' erg "innings" (as opposed to "outings") this young crew was ready to explode. And explode it did. Off like a shot the crew simply ignored its 3 weeks training and instead asserted sheer testosterone into the mix. Poor First and Third 4 had no idea what had happened. The FaT cox, shell-shocked by the crescendoing crescents, decided that ramming the TH Aura was a better strategy than rowing. Thus, he proceeded to rudder hard bow in an attempt gorge our wooden boat. "Nothing doing" thought Arjun, THBCM3 cox, and simply rowed through the attempt sprinting twenty strokes to a length lead by the Railings.
Totally out of control with no technique in sight, our crew simply enjoyed that wonderful sort of bliss associated with being 20, healthy, strong, fit and "who cares?" as it bludgeoned its way down the course - FaT4 sorry 2nd falling ever so far behind. By the end, Trinity Hall enjoyed a seven length lead as it crossed the finish line. "Who needs technique?" Well done M3!!
Quarter Finals - Beat Jesus M4
Confident and eager, the youngsters approached the start for race two against Jesus M4 with spit in their eye and petrol in the tank. Off like a shot, the crew employed a perfect start. Up a half length into the sprint, young Dan T (5 seat (& also known as 'Tim')) decided that the odds were too heavily in favour of TH and executed a perfect crab. In stunning form, however, the rest of the crew simply ignored the reasoning, kept the sprint, and held their own as Tim recovered beautifully. Back on target and aware (finally), the crew replaced hormones with training and rowed a wonderfully technical rest of the race - pulling a seat on Jesus 4 with each stroke.
Quite a sight. Finishing 'easily', the crew had matured. In fact, one reporter overheard 5 seat comment: "We really do need technique." Well done M3!!
Semi Finals - Lost to Queens M3
On paper, the semi-finals were a toss-up. Queens M3 and Trinity Hall M3 were virtually identical on paper. The pundits, watching intensely from the very wet towpath, simply wondered: "Which will blink?" Having enjoyed a hormonal victory and a technical victory, Trinity Hall seemed indecisive as to strategy as the start was called. Hormones won over at the start as the good guys sloshed through an attempted sprint. Queen's up by a deck. "Settle down boys! Technique!" called cox, and the game recovered. "Power Ten!" The Crescents pull a seat a stroke on Queen's. "I've got 7 seat!", the blood quickens as Trinity Hall feels its oats. "Long strokes, Men!" Queen's feels the heat, falters. And then, Blimey!!!! Mr. Asbo, still upset over the taste of cox Hannah last Mays, executes an "under-grounder" and grabs bow's blade with its beak. Unable to recover, the crew has to "easy" whilst bow recovers from the crab and petitions are drawn for the Queen regarding the behaviour of Swans. Back in form, the guys row their hearts out, clearly out-rowing Queen's in the final meters of the race. Alas, Queen's by a length. Well done M3!!