4 of the 6 CCBC boats were back in action day (after 2 opponents scratched), here’s how they got on:
We arrived at the boathouse feeling confident after our victory yesterday and after applying (the much needed) sunscreen and completing our group stretches, we set off down the river, ready to race against Lucy Cavendish NW2.
Our race started well but pretty quickly we had a blade clash with the other boat. However we soon got clear and held a solid rate down the reach. After catching an unfortunate overhead crab, we quickly recovered and were slowly inching up to Lucy Cavendish. As we reached the railway bridge, our cox called for us to increase the rate as we tried to close the gap between the boats.
We gave it our all but unfortunately Lucy Cavendish beat us by about a length. Despite this we were very happy with our rowing and our cox George Crimes sang us a celebratory Bob Dylan song as we returned to the boathouse. Special thanks go to everyone for whom today was their last day rowing. Good luck to all those racing tomorrow – let’s end with a victory!
With our crew having successfully made it through 3 days of rowing, it was only a matter of time until the small issue of a *global pandemic* began to cause us issues. Late last night, our 4 seat was texted by none other than the NHS itself and instructed to isolate.
Kieran’s quick thinking managed to find us a sub at late notice, with the only slight catch being that we now had 5 bow side rowers and only 3 stroke side rowers. With the greatest experience of having rowed stroke side “once or twice”, the responsibility fell to me to switch for the race.
After a wobbly row down (from me anyway) and pulling into the bank alongside a dead fish (a fantastic omen I’m sure), Radu put my nerves to ease by assuring me that “rowing itself is an existential crisis”. About to push off, we were then informed by a marshal that our opponents, Tit Hall, were not in fact arriving. We decided to race regardless, with our coach Tom emphasising that it was, if anything, a fantastic photo opportunity.
Ready to be immortalised in film looking like a slightly scrappy 80s girl-band, our instruction was to set off fairly easy, so as to reach the camera ‘fresh as a daisy’. A steady and controlled row saw us finish with no other crew in sight, and, to my surprise, crab-free.
The drama didn’t end with the ‘race’ though, as we faced multiple clashes on the paddle back (with Luke citing a new stroke-side power imbalance as the cause, which as an honorary stroke-side member I was more than happy to accept). Somewhere along this stretch of river we also managed to be caught by a fisherman, with Luke and Radu becoming entangled once we had pulled into the boathouse.
Personally, I consider today a win, as I left with a 100% stroke-side win rate, and the potential to have rowed in a different seat for every race of the regatta.
7/5/4 (average 5.3) Seat
Today was GREAT!
After the complicated race we had yesterday against FaT, we knew what we had to improve: less panicking and more focusing, lower rate and longer strokes. This is what we had in mind rowing up the river, stroking nice and calm, looking ahead (and not behind you as some of us did – definitely not me though, like imagine it was me, would be surreal), getting mentally ready to beat down Pembroke NM2.
Once we had marshalled/sunbathed, Alice (and our wonderful new coach Moose – sorry Ross) gave us some final indications, interestingly in a very confident way (like reaaaaally confident, but I quickly understood why). Loud enough for the Pembroke boys to hear (and to frighten them), Alice repeated once more to “sloooow down the start”, and our coxie David insisted on how we had to put only “60%” of power for the beginning.
The “attention, go” was said, and thus started certainly our better piece of rowing of the past weeks. We all diligently put in practice what we had to do, and it worked really well. Even though our start was calm (as planned), we very quickly took the lead. Once we put the power in, they slowly faded in the distance. Half-way through, we were already a few lengths ahead, and all we had to do was to calmly cruise until the end. Past the railway bridge, their bowball became a distant star in the Milky Way, and it remained so until the finish line.
Bring on our final opponents.
P.S. Huge shout out to our stern pair for pushing into Wolfson NM1 in 8s on the row home, with bow 6 shouting you on
A once again changed M2 line-up came into the race today with a first win under our belts and strong hopes that today would be the day we double that total. Our draw saw us paired against Darwin M1, a tough opponent but the crew relished the chance to take down such a foe. As we saw our rivals row past, the crew pushed off in high spirits and glorious sunshine to give it our all.
Once our warmup and marshalling was out of the way, the crew quickly settled into a comfortable and collected steady state for the row down. We managed to squeeze in a fantastic practice rolling start, picking up serious speed while also keeping our movements clean. We knew if we could replicate such a start, we were in with a shot.
As we lined up on the start line we were ready and waiting, heads in, fully focused. ATTENTION, GO! We were off and immediately our start felt fast, the fastest we had managed so far across these races. We held them until our start sequence was over and for the briefest moment it appeared we just might match them stroke for stroke, but tragically they found one final gear and began to pull away. While we ultimately lost by a bit over a length, we still produced our second quickest time over the course and know that whoever we face tomorrow we will give them a real challenge once again.
Stroke Seat and Men’s Vice Captain
Today, we set out to win. At the end, we did lose by a small margin, but we did it with style and dignity.
Our lightweight crew took it up to a solid rate 40 off the start, however, the lack of watts (and the few ergs we missed) could unfortunately not be compensated for with technique and rhythm. We lost about half a length, to which we hung on to for dear life. Each member of the crew pushing for each other. 700 m and now about a length down, our cox Kieran called “BALLISTIC”, the rate got back up to 39 and the splits down to low 1:30s. With each stroke we inched forward and marched step by step back into the race. We crossed the finish line about half a length after Christ’s, banging out another PB. With the same courage, determination and belief we are going to win tomorrows race, no matter what!