On Saturday 1st June, an M1 VIII and IV+ went to Peterborough regatta, a multi lane 1km course. Here’s how they got on:
After Champs Head, M1 had made a big improvement in the start sequence, so this 1k race was a good test of the improvement in a competitive condition.
The first several strokes in the start were a bit messy and failed to establish a solid rhythm. Until the halfway point, we struggled in a bad rhythm and were third out of the four crews. However, in the last 500m the farthest crew in Lane 1 came into my view stroke by stroke, and we attacked hard. Even though our rowing was not as good as expected, we made the final by a narrow margin (0.3s!) to Peterborough City. The passion and tenacity was great, but the start sequence less so.
Our position was Lane 4, which meant our time in the heat was the slowest among the finalists. However, we were committed to row hard, while at the same time reminding ourselves of the more technical points of the start sequence (which we practiced repeatedly during the warm up). The start this time was really solid and quick, and according to Kieran (our cox), we kept the second position in the first half. ‘A quick and sharp start makes the cruising pace better’ – we succeeded in this to establish a good rhythm with a surge in the drive, rowing at a high-rate and consistent rhythm throughout the 1000m course. Even though we were left by the other crews in the sprint, this race made us more confident on our progress and I believe our performance was surely a positive one for May Bumps.
It is true that we were helped by the nice condition throughout the day (sunny, warm, and with a gentle tail wind), so from now M1 needs to continue to improve our speed and consistency. But everyone in the crew believes that we can!
Hideaki Matsumae, 6 seat
It is worth noting that this year M1 had to compete in a higher category than the previous year and as such were unable to defend their title this year. However, they did complete the course 8s faster than last year’s crew.
After witnessing an incredible finish from the 8+, our 4+ got ready to boat, and headed back out to the starting line (with 4 men who had just completed a fantastic first race and a coxswain fresh off her bike after watching that race) ready to take on the 4+ division. After backing onto the starting line and getting to attention, we shot off down the course. Initially trailing behind, we pressed on, slowly inching up on the bow ball of the boat in lane 3 and trying our hardest to hold on to our spot. At 500 meters we had a few inches on them and did our best to keep at it, but in the last 250 we slipped back just enough to end up losing our spot in the top two by less than a second. Despite the loss, I was proud to race with these 4 incredible M1 men, who did their best to hold on till we passed the very last red buoy!
Angela Harper, Cox