5 Churchill crews raced for the last day of the June Eights Regatta, here’s how they got on:
TLDR : “Naughty girls get disqualified for hitting other girls. The end.” – Rowan S English
After yesterday’s calm “photo opportunity” paddle down the reach, we arrived at the boathouse ready for a proper race. The row up was uneventful, except for Radu kindly sacrificing his feet to the Cam to pull us in. As we spun, we began to hear LMBC (our opponents) screaming their infamous culty “death death death” chants.
The race began well, we started calmly and wound up to a steady rate 33, but things quickly got spicy: crunchy water made a comeback. Multiple hard blade clashes occurred, and LMBC began to pull ahead. A little shaken, we carried pushing on. As we went under the railway bridge, Tom’s “move” helped us gain on LMBC and then pull into the lead. A sudden crab from our stroke couldn’t stop bow six securing our victory over the last 10 strokes, winning by a length.
We left feeling ecstatic, and gave LMBC three big cheers as we rowed past them. However, much to our dismay, they didn’t cheer back. We rowed on and upon our arrival we were regrettably informed that we were disqualified. Despite this we were very happy with our rowing and thought it was an amazing race to finish.
P.S. LMBC can’t hack the crunchy water.
Stick to the race plan – a tale of NM1 victory by Rowan English
It was the last day of the regatta and NM1 knew what they needed to do. Follow the race plan. Our supreme leader Alice formulated this genius: slow and controlled off the start, then walk through our competition to the finish line. We lined up against the daddy of all opposition: Pembroke NM1; ready to beat them to the finish.
The start went off slow and controlled, just as planned. Pem went off hard and gained a length on us, increasing to a length and a half with half the race left to go. We were a length down under the railway bridge, then we turned on the NM1 engine room. We gained almost a seat a stroke as we came down to the finish, executing the race plan perfectly. We crossed the line with three seats and bathed in glory. A beautiful finish to a more than excellent week of racing. Moral of the story, stick to the plan boys.
This Indiana Jones Race Report that writes itself. Half a boat length behind Pembroke on the reach and a lesser crew may have lost faith. But not W1. Spurred on by a rousing chorus (screech?) of “Yeah CHURCHILL!!!” from the bank, our girls kept their heads in the boat and on they powered.
The Kill was on.
First one seat, then two and Pembrokes lead was lost. Pushing away from the railway bridge, a combination of crew determination and excellent lines (shoutout to Danny!) saw Churchill snatch the lead from the jaws of Pembroke. But Pembroke weren’t going to give up without a fight and every stroke was a full effort power stride on both sides. Every single stroke counted and as Churchill crossed the finish line and the final whistle sounded, our girls left with a truly well desrved win.
Well done girls!
This being the last race of the year, anticipation was high. We were racing against the Jesus mixed boat, a boat whose race time was within a second of our performance on Tuesday. This race was set to be a nail-biter. Who would have the advantage? We eagerly discussed. Would it be Jesus, whose more experienced rowers were sure to have better technique? Or would we win, carrying on M2’s noble and time-tested tradition of flying and dying and hoping for the best? Would they win, spurred by the confidence of their previous two wins? Or would they be over confident, and fall behind a keener crew? Only time would tell.
As we got into the boat, we were buzzing with anticipation. On the row down, there was no immediate sign of Jesus, and perhaps from the uncertainty about who we were up against, we took a bit of time to keep our heads in the boat and settle into our rhythm. After a bit of carnage and a near head on collision between two Queens boats, we pulled onto the bank, for the last time before our race. Jesus finally rowed by, a single sharp thwack echoing with every stroke. This race was sure to be a tough one.
Finally, we pushed off! As we rowed down to the starting point and aligned ourselves, the anticipation was building. Then, Attention, Go! We were off! We wound up the rate up to a breakneck speed, but to no avail, Jesus pulled ahead. As we moved on to our draws and lengthens, we kept up our breakneck rate, but they kept just holding us off by a few seats. Finally we made what was meant to be a gear change but with little effect – we were still frantic, and Jesus was cool and controlled. We eventually settled into a sustainable rate, rowing cleanly and precisely, but unfortunately this was not enough to stop Jesus from pulling ahead. As we approached the finish line, we gave it our all, but it was clear that Jesus’s experience had won them this race. Still, this was a race full of excitement and anticipation, where we eventually managed to row together with precision. With a different crew from usual, this was a result to be proud of, and as good of an end to the term as any.
Who won in Div 1? WE WON IN DIV 1!
After three hard days of racing, getting closer and closer to victory, Churchill M1 gathered again for the final dance of the year. Our determination rose to new highs as we acknowledged that Daniel, Thomas, Sam and myself are going to hang up our footplates after today. With our hunger for success more present than ever, we set-off for our pre-paddle to Jesus Lock to prepare ourselves for the hunt of Trinity Hall.
Rowing smoothly and controlled we set a new fastest time for our warm-up sequence and momentarily pit-stopped at the boathouse. Then followed Kieran’s favourite part of the day: marshalling, or, as he’d call it: double parallel parking in reverse. As we were moving to the start, we did our usual training burst in front of the amazing Churchill supporters on the Meadow, whose cheers filled us with confidence.
Spin, line up to the line and the race is on.
Stroke rate: 40-something. Heart rate: 200+.
We powerfully went through the motions at the start and then we all noticed something shocking. Something new. Something none of us remembers seeing before. We weren’t losing! Not even that, but as we settled into our rhythm (to read: we kept doing the same thing but Kieran said ‘Rhythm’ and that seems to be done thing) we started walking on the other crew, gaining more and more with each stroke. Closing in on the Railway Bridge, we heard the call we’ve been dreaming of all term: BOWBALL! With the finish line in sight, all 9 of us went fully ballistic to never give the opposition any chance of a comeback. AND WE WON! The first positive M1 result in the first division of Easter Term rowing since 2016! But do not worry, there is more of this to come, as our future Men’s Captain has a masterplan to make sure we never lose again in Div 1.
To cap the day off, some of us mixed the sweet taste of victory with the questionable taste of Cam water. Do not recommend.
Massive thanks to our coaches: Rob, James and Christian for making Churchill M1 ‘not bad’; to our captain Thomas for juggling outing schedules and being extremely lenient on erg requirements (Ergs don’t float – Myth Confirmed). And to everybody who showed up to cheer for us from the bank: YEAH CHURCHILL!