Report: XPress Head 2022

Rounding up SSBC’s 2021/22 race reports, Fizz McNally shares one final race in which W1 obtained headship as the fastest women’s crew on the river: Xpress head.

This race was midway through easter term, and everyone knows how tricky it can be to motivate a whole crew in Cambridge exam season. After a few more tough races than the crew was used to earlier in term, the realisation occurred that, to have a shot at double blades, they would need to complete the ‘Mays step-up’ that other boat clubs do… Without blues returners. The creation of a high-level, competitive Mays crew from the same Lents crew can only be achieved through the remoulding of rowers.

The crew pulled together, experimented with new techniques, layed down the hours of training and talked through the psychology behind races and anticipation of results. They entered Xpress head as a throwaway race, the final challenge they could set themselves before bumps. There was only one clear objective- ‘sprint off that start’. The crew did, moved together, and passed the finish line with a time quicker than any other women’s crew on the river, including all mays division one crews entered. A reminder that your training has paid off is never unwelcome. And we welcomed it fully.

Fizz McNally, 3 seat