Unfortunately only M2 got to race at Pembroke Regatta after all the other divisions were cancelled – here is their race report!
Pembroke Regatta and the first side-by-side race for Churchill M2. The morning was to start with reassembling the Baron, so we (most of us) arrived early to perform this riveting task. The spare time caused us to start doubting our race plan: get to rate 38 off the start and then wing it. Introduction of a gear change and three erg practice starts later, we were unstoppable! Getting into the boat, we started to be rained on, and not just by the subbed-out footplate forgotten in the boat. The next sign of trouble was the three boats queued in parallel under Green Dragon Bridge. Ignored by the marshals, we decided to abandon ship and stand under the bridge while the remnants of Eunice poured out around us. This was a wise decision, and we were soon joined by a marshal to keep us up to date on the growing lateness of the divisions in exchange for our shelter. Half the crew started to strategise while the other half consulted more mysterious forms of divination to determine the outcome of the races. Evicted from our bridge with the threat of a race actually happening, we jumped into the boat, bailed out the cox seat with Kieran’s Lucozade bottle, waited another half hour, and were off to row down to the start line. Our time there was mercifully short, preventing Kieran from managing to convince us all to scrap or at the very least throw the race so we didn’t need to marshal again. Finally, over an hour behind schedule and three hours since arriving at the boathouse, we were racing. Our start was fairly clean, with Pembroke “heavy favourites” M2 staying in peripheral vision until the end of the ten lengthen strokes. We continued to hold them for 200 metres. After this, it became apparent we didn’t need to throw the race. Their experience of rowing in yellow flag conditions started to shine through while we collapsed in the gusting wind. Our strokes shortened and the rate dropped, despite Vincent’s best efforts to keep us to the plan. However, we held it together, giving it our all to the very end. We reached the finish line to a mix of “empty the tank!” and the less traditional “I’m not sure where the finish line is!”. The important thing: we survived! (and Dan didn’t crab for once) Good practice rowing in bad conditions for Friday’s Getting On Race, and a useful reminder to bring many many layers. Thanks so much to Amy for subbing and for our bank party – Morgan, Tom, and Nii Djan – for keeping us sane while marshalling (and brownies)!