M1 - 3rd overall After a hard four day training camp, the first challenge of the Men’s Lent 1st VIII campaign came in the Winter Head2Head race on 21st January. The crew saw three changes to the Fairbairns VIII at the end of Michaelmas and with only one outing as a unit under our belts, there was a risk of putting in an underwhelming performance. The two 2k pieces went well however, rowing the distance with power at a comfortable rate 32. This certainly bodes well for the rest of term and serves as a strong platform to build on before Lents. Our times of 6:37 downstream and 6:56 upstream amounted to a total of 13:33 and a 3rd place finish behind Caius (12:57) and Downing (13:10). C: B. Jones S: P. Mildon 7: L. Bargery 6: M. Varley 5: G. Steele 4: H. Dietert 3: J. McMillan 2: J. Brubert B: L. Chapman

M2 - 2nd in Mays Division M3 The race was actually our first crew outing in an 8, with James subbing for Rob. At the start, the rate came up nicely. Soon, we lengthened to r31, which we comfortably held during the entire race. Surprised how stable our platform was, we passed most of the race distance feeling good. Corners were no problem, with good lines at Ditton and Grassy. 400m before the motorway bridge, we brought the rate to 33/34, but that’s when it became tense and the stability was gone. Encouraged by that good start, we tried to keep warm until the start of the second leg. Again, we rowed at a steady r31. We struggled a bit to push out of Grassy onto the Plough reach this time, although the corner itself was fine. Then, a hefty head wind at the reach made us work hard. Our cox Braj demanded a push on the second half of the reach (a few hundred meters before the finish line), and the crew’s response was fantastic! Boat speed increased dramatically, which was strong evidence for the available power in the crew.

Overall, we finished in a time of 14:35 (7:08 leg1, 7:27 leg2), 6s behind the Boar’s head and 9s behind the winning “Mays Div3” crew, Hughes Hall M1. We were 9s away from winning our division, let’s get pots next time! C: B. Srigengan S: J. Jaros 7: T. Watts 6: N. Bookbinder-Ryan 5: H. Houston 4: J. Amey 3: J. Robinson 2: T. Bury B: R. Siinmaa

Boar’s Head BC - CRA  IM3 8+ winners

A last minute crew confirmation saw us managing to get an VIII together and entered just in time for this race. In standard form, we had a very scratch VIII out, with representative Boar’s from 2003 - 2012, as well as the welcome addition of Paul Knights in the 2 seat. With no pre race session, we had the stanard row down to the railway bridge as our warm up and practice. Rowing in 4’s and 6’s was decidedly scrappy, so it came as a surprise when a call to all VIIIs rowing picked up both the platform and the pace. With the whole crew now twitching the hull, the 500m VIIIs rowing we had was very productive, well sat and in time, allowing us a calm rate build to 24 before we had to marshall.

Going off 3rd in Division 2, we did not have many strokes before hitting the start line. Our rolling start therefore placed us at race pace a few strokes after the start, though this worked well as we built up to r33 before settling at around 31. With the unusual asset of being able to race the straight 500m of the reach at the beginning of a race, we capitalised on this by setting up a great platform and hull speed for the corners. Moving round Ditton, a combination of John’s line and the work of Emil and Tom saw us round cleanly onto Plough reach, and with a similar fine line round Grassy we were set up for a quick push in the gut, which the crew really responded too. The final drive down First Post reach was maintained at r31, with a strong call on a fluid rhythm keeping us together until the Motorway bridge.

Our downstream leg clocked a time of 7:07 (vs. QCBC M1 6:37 and QCBC M2 7:08).

On the return leg our primary focus was on ensuring consistent power from Ditton corner to the Railway bridge. The strong headwind was sheltered by the bankside trees through the corners, but coming onto the reach we put in a strong double push for 10. These 20 strokes set us up well for a maintained r30 up to the finish line.

Upsteam leg clocked a time of 7:22 (vs. QCBC M1 6:56 and QCBC M2 7:27)