Cambridge Autumn Head - 2.6km heads race on the river Cam organised by Rob Roy Boat Club
Paddling down to the start the crew felt relaxed and strong, having no problems taking the rate up to 36 for a few bursts down the Reach. Arriving early to marshalling we watched crew after crew pulling up in their shiny new Filippis safe in the knowledge that our boat, despite its age, held the University IVs record. After a rousing speech from Martin on the importance of showing LMBC what THBC were made of, we pushed off and rowed to our start.
By the time we were under the motorway bridge, the crew was already striking at a strong 34, as per the race plan, and this seemed to continue effortlessly all the way to first post corner; by which time we’d already extended our lead over Emmanuel I behind us by two lengths. Feeding off this early success we pushed around grassy corner with our sights set firmly on the Emmanuel I crew in front of us, settling down to a strong rate 32. At the Plough we had our only jitter of the race – an unbalanced stroke – but this was shrugged off instantly and the crew regained their composure by the next stroke, piling on the power and preparing for the charge down the Reach.
As we rounded Ditton corner taking a beautiful line, Martin spurred on the crew telling us that we had narrowed the gap to Emmanuel I down to 5 lengths. Taking the rate up to 33, with bow pair providing plenty of cover we continued the chase into Emma’s wash, trying desperately to push past them. Sadly we hadn’t caught them by the railway bridge – although we had narrowed the gap to a length and a half.
Passing under the railway bridge the crew dug deep for a final slog to the Green Dragon – and retaining much of the momentum from the Reach we put the hammer down for two power tens, maintain composure and speed right to the klaxon. A well rowed race by all, with fast lines from the cox and great support on the bank from Martin, an encouraging start to the year!
Time: 10:34.9 Place: 3rd of 12. Men’s 1st Division.
We set off at a good rate, and strode well to our desired rating for the race. Between Grassy Corner and Ditton Corner we could see a Clare VIII gaining on us, which made us wobble slightly but we responded well and brought the rate back up.
Benefiting from a superb line by Lillian through Ditton Corner, we regained our composure for a great run down the Reach. By the railway bridge Clare were positioning for the overtake, which despite attempts to build our rate up, they achieved just before the finish.
The general sentiment from coach and crew was that, despite a slightly disappointing result, it was a good row from a scratch crew. Congratulations to our other boat for their more successful race, which bodes well for the rest of the term.
We had a good, solid row on Saturday and are quite pleased with our performance overall.
At the start, we wound it up to rate 34 over 7 strokes, keeping it high for 10 before settling down at rate 28/29 which we were able to maintain for the rest of the race. We had strong pushes coming out of the corners and passed the first measuring point on the Plough in third place.
Despite maintaining a good rhythm, we were tiring slightly on the reach which lead to some imbalance at the P&E. Nevertheless, we managed to compose ourselves and had a good, strong finish to the end, where we were unlucky by coming 4th behind Peterhouse by 0.1 seconds.
Overall, we were pleased with our performance and especially the balance, which is always an issue rowing in an IV.