Race ReportsThis page lists race reports. For general news see here and here for alumni-related news.
Emma Sprints - Novice WomenDue to bad weather conditions, the Emma Sprints Regatta (18 November 2007) was cancelled just before the novice women were due to race. Even though we never got the chance to show the other crews what we were made of that day, I would just like to thank the girls who turned up on the day ready to race. I'm sure we really would have intimidated our opposition in those matching white bunny ears!!
Winter Head - Second Men Top College Crew In DivisionUni IVs had left a bitter taste in our mouths and we were determined to do better in Winter Head on Saturday 17th November. Not only had we intensified our land training, but we had taken part in outings in Sir John with the first four, found time on Thursday afternoons to squeeze in some runs up and down the reach and even teamed up with the novice men for an VIII outing in torrential weather conditions. Confident that we had taken a step up with our fitness and that we had used every opportunity to get out on the water, we looked forward to a good race. With only a couple of weeks to go before Fairbairns we knew we had to prove to each other that we could perform well over the race distance.
Again we started well and on this occasion we were able to maintain our momentum well into the race. We had a good run through the corners and the boat was moving well when we reached Ditton. Thereafter we were not as consistent as we might have been, with some variation creeping in to our length and rating on the Long Reach. Nevertheless this was a competitive performance and those who watched on the bank agreed that we had moved on considerably from our indifferent performance in Uni IVs. We were the top college crew in our division, finishing 3rd of 9 with a time of 10 minutes 21 seconds. Our time to the 1000 metre mark was faster than any crew in our division.
Uni IVs - A Push To Improve For The Second Men In Uni IVsTaking place half way through term, a solid performance in the Uni IVs competition was the target during the first few weeks of training after the Long Vacation. The race, over a 2000m course from the Little Bridge to the Railway Bridge, is a real test for any crew which has only been rowing together for a few weeks. We were unlucky to be drawn against Churchill I for our first round heat on Monday 29th October, and even more unfortunate to be the chasing crew. Despite this we started well, and gained on our opponents in the opening stages. However we failed to establish the solid rhythm we needed to carry us over the course and with no crew behind to push us on it was not long before we began to fade.
Churchill, a very capable crew, were ready to punish our lack of professionalism and soon overturned our early advantage. We lost by 12 seconds to Churchill with a time of 8 minutes 10 seconds. We were disappointed to be a full 18 seconds slower than M1's time. Our performance was nowhere near as polished as we would have liked. We knew we had the potential to achieve good results as a crew. It was clear at this stage in term that we needed to make the most of water time to iron out technical differences in our rowing and that our fitness needed to improve if we were to be competitive in Fairbairns.
Senior Fairbairns - Second Women Race FairbairnsThe Second Women's IV started out as a low commitment boat, with an aim to have fun rowing; the term 'Gentlemen's Boat' does not exactly apply, but the spirit of the name is accurate. When we decided to enter Fairbairns, we realised that we had to take our training more seriously, pushing harder with the outings than before and doing some land training. We were unlucky with injuries and University commitments, such that we had to draft in substitutes from the Lower Boats Officers, who had not been rowing, but the race looked set to go ahead with some last minute outings.
On the day, nerves set in and the crew were all very worried about having to row so hard down a stretch of river that none of them had been down at pace since their Novice Fairbairn races; but despite some trepidation we set off to marshal.
Our start was a little shaky, but rhythm calls and focus on working together set the boat going at a good pace, the power going on at the same time from all members and the boat moving smoothly. However, the fact that both our substitutes were on the same side, and an injury half-way down the Reach from one of our original crew members, meant that we had some difficulty on corners, and we eventually crashed around Ditton Corner, and had to stop to allow the crew behind us to pass. When we had freed ourselves and could restart, calls from the bank of 'Ten strokes to go' pushed the girls on past the finish line.
The thirty seconds we lost in stopping cost us a place in the final finish order, but we still came 19th and managed a row that was by far the best of any we had in the term, and was a great improvement over the last few years' inability to produce a racing Second Women's IV at all.