Race ReportsThis page lists race reports. For general news see here and here for alumni-related news.
M1 Champs Head 2010Champs Head was a shorter head course than we were perhaps used to, and the concern was to make sure we approached it with enough conviction. This was definitely achieved, maybe at the expense of the discipline we'd shown in the Head of the Cam, but nonetheless approaching the course as a race rather than a timed piece. Conditions - especially the choppiness of the water - were not ideal, but we powered over the course fast enough to again earn Second Division pots.
M1 Head Of The Cam 2010Head of the Cam typified what Easter rowing should be like - warm, dry and successful. Although very near the beginning of term the new M1 - with Simon Neville replacing the bed ridden Chris White for this race - had moved on a lot since training week. Everyone was determined to give this first test our best shot. We did not disappoint. The entire crew put what we had learned into practice and produced an aggressive but smooth row. We beat every target that had been laid down along the course. As each fell, we drove on to get the next. I personally have never seen the Motorway bridge to railway bridge go so quickly. As we came within sight of the finish there were hints of exhaustion and raggedness, but they were pushed aside and we retained our powerful rhythm across the finish line, to win the Second Division pots.
M1 Head Of The River Race 2010The Head of the River Race on the Thames had undoubtedly been the main focus of our term's training after Bumps. We were aiming to consolidate everything we'd worked on as a crew over the term. For those who had not rowed on the Thames (or the tidal bit) before it was truly eye opening experience, as we took part in an event alongside some of the best crews in the world.
We attacked the race with the aggression we'd lacked at Kingston. Darting in and out of other crews, we pushed through the stream and settled into a strong rhythm at rate 34. Smooth, relaxed, strong. Once or twice the rate dropped, but as soon as this happened everyone pulled together to keep the rate where we knew we capable of holding it. The few times the cox said 33, the stroke man reportedly shook his head as if to say 'Not on my watch!' although he may simply have been trying to get the hair out of his eyes.
With some excellent steering, we avoided clashing with the crews around us and moved forwards to within sight of Hammersmith bridge. At this point Leander had to cross to return to their landing stage. Our cox's cry of 'Don't you dare, don't you dare. Leander, get out of my way!' gave us just the push we needed. As we pushed underneath the bridge, everyone was hanging on but determined to see it through. Cruising well into the second half, every pair in the boat was called on to show what it could do. Riding along five boats abreast, we ate up the water to the finish line and emptied the tanks, determined not to leave any lost seconds on the water.
Many of us felt the time awarded did not reflect our performance, but it did not detract from the fact that it had been a very good row in exciting conditions which everyone in the boat could feel pleased with.
M1 Kingston Head 2010Kingston was always meant to be a practice race and I think it's important that we learned a lot from the experience. It was not a particularly good race and no one in the boat could honestly claim we attacked it properly. Bomber's advice that we approach the race in three parts was perhaps taken a bit too literally as two crabs slightly impeded our process. Once we actually settled into some uninterrupted rowing, we sped along (possibly the result of having had two breathers along the way) and our final five hundred metres was very respectable. Oh, and Matt White saw a parrot, which was also very exciting.
M1 Lent Bumps - Fourth Day: Bumped MagdaleneThe final day saw part two of the Peterhouse-Magdalene challenge. A drizzly foreboding had settled across the river as we rowed down to the start. It was, in retrospect a race that was meant to be. The heavy rain and hail simply added to the drama. A rumour ran through the ranks that Magdalene had forgotten their lifejacket, and we'd just have to row past station, but lo, another lifejacket was produced.
We rowed as we knew we had always been able to row. Once we had settled, every 30 seconds we moved on, getting stronger and faster. Finishes were strengthened, the catch brought forward. The motorway bridge saw us inside station, along First Post Reach the whistle for half a length came. Girton behind us made a push but quickly disappeared into the sodden haze. As we soared round Grassy and onto Plough Reach the crowds - undeterred by the rain - raised the club's battle cry. We knew Magdalene could hold us, we knew the risk of the previous day repeating itself. We refused to listen to such thoughts. As we came out of Ditton, we had never rowed so smoothly, every stroke getting faster, the whistles getting near frantic as we closed in. Out onto Long Reach, and we finished the job. As we pulled in we saw about half the college waiting, a fairly typical Peterhouse bank party, ready to celebrate.
Afterwards at the boat house, several Magdalene rowers came round to offer their congratulations. Everyone in Peterhouse would like to thank Magdalene for their sportsmanship and for two days of truly epic rowing.