The Fairbairn Cup is a head race organised by Jesus College Boat Club and raced on the Cam in the ninth week of the Michaelmas term. There are divisions for both novice and senior crews.
The mighty Black and Whites took to the river with the most delightful Fairbairns conditions in living memory. Boyd by a practice outing at Henley and an early morning warm up row the Black & Whites were off to a great start. The crew spanning matriculation years from 1969 – 2012 reeled in a slower FaT crew and was able overtake them on the Long Reach. Next they took for the other THBC Alumni Eight in front of them with an aggressive line going into Grassy Corner they cleared the crew coming out of the Gut. With a mighty push for Martin's '10 strokes' for the line the crew's time beat Selwyn M1 and Hughes Hall M1. The Black and Whites are looking to Pembroke Alumni Regatta in February to build on this enthusiastic platform.
Knowing that they would be racing twice that day, a subdued crew arrived early to warm up and stretch out. A boathouse full of alumni crews lifted the spirits of all there, and the crew rowed up to marshalling with style and confidence. A long wait in the cold took the edge off the start, but the knowledge that this race was just a warm up for the main event (the IVs) the crew took it in their stride, settling into an easy rhythm quickly. The corners went by quickly, the crew shrugging off any jitter or wobble effortlessly to come quickly round first post corner as if the race were nothing. A final push at rate 34 down to the motorway bridge saw the crew finish as the 9th College VIII, not a bad result for the fourth outing in an VIII this term! A very promising start to next term.
The final race of term was a mixed bag for Dreadnought, with a disappointing stretch from Jesus boathouse to Chesterton, but one of the finest rows of term from Chesterton onwards. Tiredness from the earlier VIIIs race and the knowledge of a less than competent crew in front may have held the crew back in the first half, resulting in a mediocre final finish of 8th place, but the second half time was up there with the best IVs on the river. The start was strong, with the rate coming up to rate 34 and staying there for the first 200m, but a small blip after that unsettled the crew, with the rate dropping down to 32 all the way to Chesterton, a technically very sloppy row. The support of this years novice crop from Chesterton footbridge raised the spirits of the crew, and with Martin's encouragement the crew wound it back up to rate 34. Flying past the P&E the crew fed off each other to conquer the Reach (usually our weakest point) this strong finish was something to be proud of, but as we crossed the line the crew knew that our first half had truly let us down. Having learnt the importance of an aggressive start the crew can look forward to success in the IVs in the future, with great progress this term thanks to the dedication of the crew and our excellent coach Martin. Row Hall!
8th in the college IVs.
4th in the Women’s College IVs – time of 13.18
12th in Women’s College IVs – 15.11