W1 Bedford – 10/02/19

Crew: James Zimaras (cox), Billie Meadowcroft (stroke), Lea Gansser-Potts (7), Ulrika Andersson (6), Kathryn Van der Byl (5), Pippa Sayers (4), Katy Relph (3), Charlotte Hallam (2), Kate Attfield (Bow)
After an early departure and a rigging session in the rain, the QCBC fleet arrived just in time to the start line of the Bedford’s Eights and Fours Head. We rowed through the two low rail bridges with our characteristic “chunky paddling”, and James called for the first draw: the race started. A confident rhythm was set up as we pushed onto and out of all of the consecutive bridges, that we had mentally mapped as the corners on the Cam. A rate of 31 strokes per minute carried us through the first half of the race, and although the water felt bouncier than what we are accustomed to, the crew reached round their riggers to go and get the first few inches of the stroke that we have been working hard to make the most out of in the weeks leading up to the race. We came under the low arched town bridge as James called for strong finishes. As a response, the echo of our feathering under the bridge marked the start of the second section of the race. Our tried and tested “new rhythm, new race” call set us up nicely and we braved the straight wide part of the river that we know our boat runs beautifully on. A level head and confidence in our ability saw us under the suspension bridge in no time at all, and we started increasing the pressure as we felt the finish line approaching. A sequence of ‘up two on the rate’ brought the whole crew into gear as we wound up and attacked our finish sequence. Using our last drops of energy to lever ourselves through the finish line, we clocked a time of 7:06 which left us in third position and a mere 8 seconds behind the winners – Jesus College BC. All in all, despite the wet and cold conditions, this racing day was a huge success for the QCBC W1 crew. We executed the course to the best of our ability and concluded our Head’s racing season on a high. The next obstacle is to learn to sprint…