Great to be on the river this Saturday 20 Nov for the Cantabs Winter Head. Several Champs crews entered and some great results. There were entries for men’s Argos/ Dreads crew, a masters mixed quad and W1, W2 and W4 who were in the Novice category. It was a lively event with crews from all over the place and such a joy to be racing again after all those months of no races due to the pandemic. So thanks to Cantabs for organising and making sure the weather was also kind to us!
Congratulations to W1 for winning Club A category in 10.28 and W2 for coming second in the Masters catagory with an adjusted time of 10.54.
Time to start gearing up for more winter events including a women’s masters crew entering Fairbairns, Christmas Head and then get ready for Winter League in the new year. We have a great new group of inductees thanks to the sterling efforts of Laura and Ana over the last few months and we really look forward to seeing them racing soon too!
A fantastic week’s rowing by a combined crew of Juniors and Returners saw them win their blades on the last night. The crew came together wonderfully well in a couple of weeks and we had a nicely balanced squad combining 7 Juniors with 7 Returners. We had to make some changes through the week to cope with Covid isolations and Latitude Festival! With only one outing for the starting crew before bumps, they very quickly found balance and rhythm and rowed beautifully all week. First night nerves were turned into real power off the start on chain 16 and we caught St Neots in about 35 strokes, well before the A14 bridge. Second night – same crew – even stronger – and caught a good looking X-Press 3 – again before the bridge, although it took all of 50 strokes. Third night we decided to set our finish line at the bridge as we were worried that City/St Mary’s (Kaura’s school crew that she refuses to join!) would catch the 9s crew ahead of them. Didn’t quite make it by the bridge and – caught them just after as they closed on 9s. So big final night – same set-up – can we catch 9s before they catch Chesterton 2. This was a real race: 9s closed on Chesterton quickly and it looked like they were getting away, but a fantastic series of pushes saw the girls catch them just after first post corner. Brilliant racing – brilliant coxing by Helen Lavelle. A really excellent week for a tremendous crew.
W2: Dev Squad: Due to being overbumped, 99s W3 ended up chasing The DEVastators on Wednesday, which left the Champs crew confident that they could hold 99s off. DEVastators had an excellent, smooth start and were able to settle into a strong rhythm as it quickly became clear that 99s were easily left behind. Rob Roy W2 in front quickly bumped City W3, so The Devastators had a good go at overbumping Ely, but by the Reach it became clear that they were not to be caught. It was a hugely satisfying row that gave Champs great race pace practice for the nights to come. (Bonney)
M1: The M1 crew lined up on the start apprehensive about the row ahead. Being in a city sandwich between city 3 and city 4 was always going to be difficult, especially looking at how city 4 had risen through the ranks.
A strong start held off the inevitable for a little time, but the M1 crew were bumped by city 4 just before the A14 bridge. Every cloud has a silver lining though and the crew had a solid row back cheered by fantastic support from the banks. (Simon Brice)
Weather Warnings Issued – Orange alert for BUMPY conditions by Becca Auster
The calm before the storm, a beautiful sunny afternoon – no rain, lightning or thunderstorms. A pleasant day really. The phone pings – “I’ve got a text!”, I shout to an empty room whilst sitting at my desk. Phew! No, not the Covid app but a picture from night 1, a real meaty sandwich of crews giving it their all. Yep, there goes the nervous excitement again. Seriously, we have to do this three more times?! Boathouse. A much calmer sky; a much calmer crew (well almost… apart from the secretly loving mumblings of “remind me not to do this again next year”). A solid row down to the start with a superb sub (Izzy) and Henley champ Carole at stroke. The race reports from our first night clearly brought the crowds in (ok, maybe the sunshine helped) and we were ready to put on our best performance.
Despite first night nerves, The DEVastators had a fast start and quickly gained on 99s W3, getting a whistle soon off the start. Rob Roy W2 were coming up quickly behind, and as The DEVastators got down to a canvas on 99s, Rob Roy overlapped just beyond the A14 bridge and managed to bump Champs a few strokes before they had a chance to bump 99s.