M1 2nd in May’s 1st Division 8:54

After a second mini-training camp on the Cam through the week the new look M1 was selected and looking to lay down a marker for the term. Fierce competition for seats ensured that everyone in the crew deserved their place and even though we only had one outing in combination before the event we believed we could have a good result.

The Head of the Cam course is over 2.6km and all the big boys were present including overwhelming favourites Caius, 2nd on the river Downing and an LMBC boat completely changed from the Lents. The row up was jovial, the novelty of rowing in the sun meaning the crew was excited and looking forward to the off. With wind conditions unusual for this time of year being a tail-cross it was expected to be a reasonably quick day.

From the start the crew wound to the now traditional 34 and over the first 500m the boat felt like it was really motoring. The catches were sharp and views from the bank party suggested distance to Caius was reasonably constant. Heading into the corners the lack of rowing together in combination led to small differences meaning the boat didn’t quite send properly and LMBC who were chasing appeared to take great distance out of us. Out of each corner the crew lifted and really focusing on moving the backs together increased the boat speed allowing the boat to move away.

Hitting the reach the rate had slowed slightly as the crew tired but under the control of Bronwyn Jones the crew consistently lifted, really allowing the inherent power to be layed down even if it didn’t quite have the finesse we would have liked. From the railway bridge the crew started to lift for the finish. Although the rate didn’t really increase the effort going down definitely did and the split reflected that as the crew powered over the final section of the course.

The view from the boat was that it felt alright but wasn’t quite together. Time wise we were hoping to be near the top but not expecting too much. It was therefore a pleasant surprise to clock an 8:54 coming second only Caius beating us. This meant that we managed to put a marker down getting ahead of both Downing and LMBC at the start of term, this bodes well for the next race once a little more training together has been carried out. Stroke – James Edgley 7 – Matt Edmondson-Jones 6 – Rob Emery 5 – Matt Chipping 4 – Jack Robinson 3 – Mark Varley (c) 2 – Tom Bury Bow – Peter Mildon Cox – Bronwyn Jones

M2 2nd in May’s 2nd Division 9:20

After a 4 day training camp in Norwich and a mini camp back on the Cam it was becoming second nature to jump into a scratch crew and make the most of the outing, but nevertheless it was a tall order for the M2 which pushed off to race Head of the Cam, having never rowed together before. With 23 years of experience and some big names in the boat we had nothing to lose and everything to prove, so we gave it our all. Off the start Jamey pushed the rate up to a strong 36; it felt slightly unnatural but the commitment was there from the guys to back him up. Out of first post we settled onto 31 and pushed hard out of the corners. We held strong down the reach, though the legs were hurting, not being used to such long pieces on the water after the Easter break. As we passed the P&E Emily called some great pushes to keep us going to top bumps finish.

We clocked 9:20, making us the fastest 2nd boat only 26 seconds off Queens’ M1. It’s gonna be a good term for M2.

Crew: S: Jack Amey 7: Luke Chapman 6: Helge Dietert 5: Greg John Steele 4: Duncan Wallace 3: Calum Jeffray 2: Hamish Houston B: James Helliwell C: Emily Baxter