NW2 arrived at the boathouse knowing they had business to do. We were early, we were focused, we were ready. After some crucial group stretching we set off on the now familiar route all the way down to the bottom of the course.
Our opponents this time were Clare College NW3. After some beautiful rolling starts and reassuring words from Coach Chris and Crew Mum Amy Rees reminding us to stay calm and relaxed, we inched up to the starting post.
As silence fell upon the meadows the winds began to howl pushing us into a tree and Clare were into a 45 degree angle across the river. It was a bit of a tricky situation and the umpire soon gave up and told us to start 100m down from where we should have – to no complaints from either crew.
After quickly refinding our focus, we started. We got off clean, Clare held with us for a few strokes until we hit the Power 10 and pulled away in style. We stuck to the race plan, staying calm and relaxed all along the reach then closed in on the railway bridge where I called for the final burn. We powered through the last stretch, opening the distance to a good 100m and as 7 Seat Eve Mayes accurately described – ‘smoked them.’
The crew rowed on home enjoying our first taste of victory and proud to see what we can do when we race calmly and cleanly. We shall return tomorrow ready again for our final two races and I’ll be sure to bring the lucky dates! Special thanks go to Emily who rowed her last race for us today!
Today was a big race for NW1. Our opponents – Caius NW1. A novice crew that is fully decked in matching unisuits and splash jackets, who have entered plenty of races this term, and have been bigged up as the ones to beat for many weeks, can feel prettyyy intimidating. But Churchill NW1, in our matching knee length neon pink socks and scrunchies, and with our pretty fiiine rowing, we knew we could take them on.
Our race began with an overhead crab, but if you thought being slapped in the face with a blade was going to phase anyone in this boat, you’re wrong. With the most impressive crab recovery seen in recent times, we were back in the race.
Soon enough our boat was overlapping with Caius. A power call from Luke moved us from ¾ of a length down to ½ a length. With ~200m to go we rounded the final corner and Caius, on the inside, had the better line, increasing their lead slightly. Churchill continued to give it everything they had at an intense rate 36, but it wasn’t quite enough to gain a narrow victory.
The race ended with Caius ¾ of a length ahead but we knocked 10s off our time from the previous two days – so whilst there was plenty of disappointment, we were also very proud.
P.S. The crew would like to inform you that any coughing observed after the race was not due to COVID-19, but due to the immense amount of effort exerted in the race.
P.P.S. NW1 would like to make a formal apology to Hei Li, who was recorded as a marshal in yesterday’s race report, when he was in fact an umpire.
Following the nail biting win of yesterday, NM1 set out with high hopes to face the NM1 of FaT. Old and (t)rusty Jim was put away in favour of the Canon, thanks to the ever generous M2. Things seemed in place for a fine day of racing as we rowed our way up the river past sweet Alice (the house boat, not Dyson). To pass the marshalling time, we cheered on (almost) every boat which passed us and were rewarded with a family of ducklings to warm our hearts as our hands chilled in the wind.
Finally the time came and we swiftly set ourselves up alongside the Trinity boat and the race began. We applied our strategic slow but steady approach to the first 300m and successfully baited FaT into pushing themselves to the point of no return to gain the early lead. Over the next 400m our strategic start paid dividends as we gained ground on our opponents. As the railway bridge loomed we prepared for the final ballistic call to deal the final blow. Unfortunately disaster struck as our 4 seat caught a crab which bruised his neck almost as badly as the bruises on one of our bank party’s neck.
This unfortunately sealed the deal and after recovering from the crab, FaT were beyond our reach. Nevertheless, we finished the race with our heads high and are looking forward to tomorrow.
I promised that I would write a race report epic enough to rival Indiana Jones if we won. I’m almost sad that I have no nail-biting last-minute dashes from the jaws of defeat. No going back for a lost visor. Although Medwards were gained a seat (or two) off the start, we regained the lead and pulled away so fast that we were 2 boat lengths ahead by the time we were halfway down the reach.
But it’s not over til it’s over! Even as we pulled further and further away, every girl in the boat put down all she had to secure a safe Churchill victory. As Amy so eloquently put “for context, Churchill are quick as f**k”.
Let’s keep it up girls- time to paint the river pink.
A focussed rowdown kept M2’s hopes high for our race vs Peterhouse M2.
Despite falling slightly behind on the start, our efforts were soon rewarded by Hei Li listing off Peterhouse’s seats as he passed them. About halfway through the course, they no longer had overlap, and with a footplate call we relaxed into a good rhythm. We continued steadily pulling away to the end of the course, winning by a length and a quarter.
Having shaved 10 seconds off yesterday’s time, and getting into the swing of racing, we’re ready for anything tomorrow!
The whole crew was relieved to wake up this morning to discover today’s opponent was Fitz, a somewhat more realistic target than LMBC M1 yesterday. The pre-paddle down to Jesus lock and back was neat, with many other clubs admiring our chunkiness.
Having established that today we were going to imitate the controlled, clean start of the winning 2017 German Henley crew, we steady-stated to Ditton and did some of our nicest practice starts yet. These were made all the better by the roar of “yeah churchill”s from our supporters on the bank.
Following a nice quick turnaround at First Post we were back at Ditton ready to go. The start went entirely as planned (indistinguishable from the Henley crew IMO) and we rapidly settled into a sustainable race pace with some fine technique. Although the opposition was strong and remained stubborn, we made several strong comebacks both as we passed our fans in the Meadow Enclosure, and also under the railway bridge with Kieran’s infamous BALLISTIC call.
Sadly at the end of the day they were the faster crew, though M1 remain unfazed and confident that we can defeat some big division 1 names in the last 2 days of racing.