Posted: Tuesday 28 February 2012, 8:03PM by Daniel Worrall
There's nothing more unforgiving than being the head of a three boat rerow.
We had a nice row up to the start of our first race. Despite a few minor last minute changes everything was set for a bump on Downing. We were stationed right under the motorway bridge next to the cannon on a calm day - perfect conditions for a bump. The start was as rehearsed and the power was as anticipated if not more! Unfortunately, Downing managed to bump before we could get to them and we rowed on until awarded a technical row over down passed the railway bridge.
The technical row over turned into a rerow, since the two crews behind us had thought we had conceded back by Grassy and stopped there, which we hadn't. So we had to row all the way back and headed off in front of the W1 division. This time we really gave it some welly or as our cox Alex Bathurst likes to say, we gave it some beans!
Jesus II, who were chasing us, are fast and they have a quick start, so by halfway down the gut they had overlap on us. This was maintained for another good 300m until round grassy we conceded. Maybe a couple of seconds later LMBC II would have bumped a sandwiched Jesus II, but in the end Jesus II deserved to bump us, so well done to them.
Posted: Tuesday 28 February 2012, 7:33PM by Mollie Arbuthnot
W2 had a pretty nice row up to the start on what was, for Lent term, quite a nice day for rowing. The start under the motorway bridge was a little bit sloppy but this was rectified outside the Plough. We were being chased by a Clare Hall boat, whom we knew nothing about, and chasing Tit Hall II. We had good hopes of achieving a bump. After a good start - aided by starting very close to the cannons! - we pulled up on Tit Hall by a quarter of a length but never got close enough for a whistle. Then - Tit Hall bumped at the beginning of grassy corner. This meant that we settled for a strong row over - we had no direct threat from behind and no target to follow but we put in a good bit of rowing to our finish at the railings.
Seeing as how we are the same or faster than Tit Hall, we have high hopes to bump Peterhouse II tomorrow, as long as we can hold off our new chasers - Girton II. Which, obviously, we can.
By Adam Wills.
Posted: Monday 20 February 2012, 10:07AM by Kate Harrison
Like every crew in Cambridge this term, training on the river has been made considerably more difficult due to its freezing. As such, Pembroke regatta was W1's first crack at the whip in terms of racing this term.
Nevertheless, the row up and practice starts felt clean and fast (potentially facilitated by a few gusts pushing us down the reach). Our first race was to be against Hughes Hall W1. As we paddled around Ditton corner up to the start, it became apparent we would be rowing in conditions similar to what I imagine rowing around Cape Horn would feel like. After a timid 'go' from the Pembroke marshal, we got off to a terrible start as only half the crew had heard the signal. Despite this, we quickly regained composure and pushed up to a lead of a length or so fairly quickly. Hughes Hall put in a few strong pushes, particularly under the railway bridge where the river became calmer, but we held our lead and won convincingly.
After refuelling on some chocolate raisins kindly supplied by Lois's Mum, we set off to the start to race Homerton. Despite being a few places behind us in Lent Bumps, they looked to be a strong crew. This time round our start was much better, keeping out bow ball just in front. A blade crash incident gave us a half length lead, which we fought to maintain until they took a tight corner under the railway bridge and quickly gained the half a length back. As the finish approached they put in a big push and began to move through us. Unfortunately we didn't quite respond with a big enough push and so they took us by a nose at the finish line.
This outcome was a real shame, as we felt we were the faster crew, but we definitely took a lot away from the experience. With a hard week of training scheduled for this week, we have much to build on for Norwhich head on Saturday, and more importantly for bumps next week!
A big well done to all the girls, who put up with hours of waiting in the cold and who had to fight through ridiculous conditions on the reach!
Posted: Sunday 19 February 2012, 9:44PM by Mollie Arbuthnot
W2’s training this term has been blighted by the cold weather, which has meant that the river has either been closed completely or at yellow flag for what seems like ages. As a result, the crew turned up on a very windy Saturday morning with minimal practice, but raring to race!
They faced formidable opposition in Christ’s II, but had a great start and proved their strength in remaining neck-and-neck for much of the long reach. Christ’s started to pull away towards the railway bridge but Sidney didn’t lose their heads and kept pushing through to the end; unfortunately, on this occasion it just wasn’t enough to catch up with them again. Despite losing out in the first round, it was a strong performance from the girls which should stand them in good stead for the getting-on race this Friday (and, we hope, for Lents the following week!).
Posted: Sunday 19 February 2012, 9:02PM by Daniel Worrall
I was woken up early on Saturday morning to hear that our 2 man had broken his ankle. Not ideal! It actually turned out to be a bad sprain, which is much better, but either way 'not ideal!'.
Thankfully, M2's stroke Will Menz subbed in for the side-by-side race that is Pembroke Regatta -- Thanks Will :).
In true Pembroke tradition, it was just as tempestuous and miserable as last year, if not a little chillier and yet again running close to an hour late. But no one was in a hurry to get back to per-unit calculations or dissertations on work mobility in Dublin and we have new warm kit from JL Racing, so all was good.
Our start was good, considering our substitute, and we held opponents Emmanuel M1 halfway down the reach, who had gained a little off the first 3 draws. A little further down, we were level and could have seized it there, but Emma pulled off until the railway bridge. Here, we had the inside corner and ended up once again near on level; a powerful set of lifts had sent us on a good rhythm. But somewhere about 100m upstream of the railway bridge Emma found that little something extra and to our dismay took the lead.
We were knocked out of the first round, but I don't think any one of us feels the race went poorly. We had a firm technical platform and hit all the key points we were aiming for. I'm eager to see what will happen in a week and bit at Lent Bumps, because even with a replacement 2 man, I feel M1 are currently in a very strong position. We've sacrificed our mornings and our evenings, our free time and our rest from work. When the Lents come, then we will definitely give it everything we've got and given our firm technical base, we'll be able to find what Emma M1 found yesterday and we will bump Downing.
Posted: Tuesday 17 January 2012, 6:47PM by Kate Snow
After some minor issues at the start (with many thanks to Tasha Scott for a last minute sub in) we set off ready for the longest race that the Cam has to offer.
The previous years freezing weather (and river) saw the crew don woolly hats and layers for the race but balmy conditions meant the onesies were out again!
We soon settled into our rhythm, with some excellent coxing round the first half's trickier corners. A fast Clare crew behind us kept us pushing all the way down the reach, keeping distance for much of the mid part of the race.
Though they gained towards the end we were determined not to let them catch us and took it up for a true racing finish.
In fact we were so fast that they could not record our time (or they may have lost it) but a combination of our midway time and coach's estimate put us a respectable 10th out of the college 8s and 16th overall.
Posted: Thursday 01 December 2011, 9:31PM by Daniel Worrall
Novices really don't know what they are signing up for when they write down their names and contact details at the SSBC squash in Freshers' Week. There may be the odd public schoolboy rower who was trained for Oxbridge rowing from his mid-teens, but on the whole, not a single one of those freshers really can comprehend the journey that lies ahead of them...rowing-wise.
Beyond the fun knock-out races of the Emma Sprints and Clare Novices' Regatta there is one serious race to be done. For the cautious, potential and maybe-future-rowers of the boat club, the reality of a 2.7km race can be daunting. Perhaps the only comforting thing is that it is downstream...and maybe that the senior rowers have a longer and more painful race the next day.
Nonetheless, these guys are keen. They signed up to rowing in the first place and they stuck with it because it's novel and it's fun, so they are bloody well going to make the most of it! And that's why I as a student coach have had an absolutely wonderful time coaching novice boats; because sooner or later they realise that they actually love rowing!
So this ghastly 2.7km winter slog, turns into something quite amazing as novices who may have spent their entire summers eating pizza in bed whilst watching the box set of 'Friends', push their new-found muscular rower bodies to the limits.
MNB is muscley and they do like pizza! So, today as they pulled up to the start line, cox Zoe Petkanas straightened up her boat for the signal to go as I watched on tentatively from the bank. GO GO GO. And MNB were off. Draw 5, cross the starting line, straight into a push for 10. First bridge, first corner, second bridge, pass Sidney MNA (who had most unfortunately decimated the bank and what looked to be their bow section), second corner, another power 10, Sidney were rolling. We'd pulled off the crew behind and the strokes were rowing themselves, it was like clockwork. Under the new bridge, past Cantabs, squeeze round the corner under the Green Dragon Bridge and whack down some more powerful strokes past the P&E and onto the railway bridge. Pass under, straighten out and the end is in sight. Here MNB really had their finest moment. Racing down to the finish, those men were giving it more than they ever thought they had in them and sooner than ever, it was the end.
Sidney MNB crossed the finish line in a respectable 11:28mins, not bad for a boat with two last minute subs! Well done MNB and we hope to see you back for more fun in rowing week, next Lent.
Posted: Sunday 27 November 2011, 12:35PM by Daniel Worrall
Who in their right minds would be wearing t-shirts and shorts in the chill of a wintry Saturday morning? Rowers, that's who! MNB aka 'das Boot' rowing in the Clare Regatta for the M1 Cup arrived bright and early at 7am for what would be a long morning.
Their first race matched them off against Churchill A boat. After a strong, affirmative start Sidney just ripped it out of Churchill, gaining a length just after the first ten strokes. This was a hands down victory for the men and woman of das Boot.
During an hour long interval, marshalling at Chesterton, the crew enjoyed the delights of jelly cubes and lucozade, purchased by one of their benevolent coaches. This prepared them for round two, which saw them head-to-head with Clare A boat.
By now the wind had picked up and Sidney were located on the towpath side, racing upstream. Unsheltered from the violent gusts and half-foot waves Sidney pulled off the start on a wrong foot. Sure enough, they managed to pull through and chase Clare A, but it was too late, Clare were too well trained. Already weather hardened rowers by the looks of it, Clare led on to finish first and evidently were only knocked out 3 rounds later in the final, by Lady Margaret A.
Nonetheless, MNB have had a good season, proving that they make an extremely well positioned B boat. Next Thursday 1st Dec will host the Junior Fairbairn Cup and I for one am confident in success for MNB.
Posted: Wednesday 23 November 2011, 9:11PM by Mollie Arbuthnot
After their stunning performance at Queens’ Ergs and some really promising outings, WNA were hoping to hit the racing scene with a bang – unfortunately, not everything worked out quite as hoped. A cox-box malfunction made things tricky, and the first race saw us crash not once, but twice. Despite protesting that it was just harmless bumps practice, albeit a term too early, this understandably resulted in disqualification.
However, after this disappointment the crew collected themselves admirably and rowed a really impressive race back. They pushed hard off the start and quickly left Corpus trailing behind; then, not content with just holding them off, they managed to keep widening the gap all the way to the finish line. They did themselves justice in this second race, proving that they really can row when they’re not too busy crashing into their competitors!
Posted: Wednesday 23 November 2011, 5:48PM by Daniel Worrall
'Das Boot' otherwise known as men's novice B had a strong row down to the railway bridge start, intimidating every crew in their midst. Clothed in fancy dress, sleeveless, white vests and Sidney Sussex bow ties it wasn't just other crews these guys were scaring!
After a slight delay due to lost race numbers das Boot straighten up on the starting line, first in their M1 division. Their opposition was the even more strangely dressed crew of Tit Hall M1.
Once off MNB, stroked by Terence Goldberg, very quickly affirmed a leading position, gaining over a foot on each stroke. Not too long had they pulled away from Tit Hall did their opposition veer off into the bank, leaving Sidney victorious. Had this not happened, it is quite clear that NMB would have moved onto the next round anyway.
Round two, faced das Boot off against the home team, Emma M1. After an unprepared crabbed start it was apparent that the powerhouse of Emma M1 was just too far ahead for Sidney to deal with. But determination drove MNB on and quite sure enough after gaining slightly on them did Emma crash into bank. Despite this, Emma were swift to reset and 100m from the finish line we had a head to head race. Bow on bow, stroke on stroke, these two boats were neither closer to the finish. We could still pass through to the next round! 75m level, 50m level, this was going to be close. Unfortunately, an ill judged late square led to a crab and the race was lost, but MNB have much to be proud of. Special congratulations go to our cox Zoe Petkanas who kept our boys straight and well coxed despite suffering from bronchitis.