University Fours 2018

M1: [Bow] Alistair Goodman, [2] Stan Szymanowicz, [3] Adam Townson, [Str] Neil Paul, [Cox] Matthew Else, [Coach] Will Miller, [Boat] New Empacher 4+

Result: Winners – Men’s Coxed Four (First Division)

Following on from a successful campaign in May Bumps in which M1 went up three, we returned at the start of Michaelmas hungry for more success. However, with a surprisingly low number of sign ups, we decided to focus on doing well in the four, especially with our brand-new Empacher waiting to grace the water for the first time. After a two year absence from the boat club, Will Miller made a grand return as the coach of our four. All six of us, firmly set our ultimate target as the Fairbairn Cup in the four at the very end of term but we knew we could have a good go at a few races along the way. We trained well for three weeks in the run up to University IV’s, putting in solid miles on the water under the watchful eye of Will. The boat was moving well, and we were all itching to be in the boat, squeezing in extra outings of an afternoons when we could in order to gain every bit of extra speed we could in the run up to University IV’s.

The draw placed us against Magdelene M1 in the first round. To us, this was the final – thinking that we were the two fastest fours on the river. The first day of racing arrived and everyone turned up to the boathouse feeling determined to win. We had a promising row down to the start and everyone was motivate to execute our race plan. We had a very good race and we managed to put 6 seconds into the Magdalene crew. This gave us the confidence that we could do some real damage over the rest of the week.

In the second round we faced Fitzwilliam M1. We knew a solid row was likely to be enough to send us though to the next round. We did what we needed to do and triumphed by a healthy margin of 22 seconds.

Both the semi-final and final races were on Friday, the final immediately following the semi. We faced Jesus M1 in our semi-final. Our race was not exactly our best – but a gritty final few hundred metres on the reach ensured to won by just 2 seconds. We spun around and had a little rest and took on some food and water in preparation for the final.

Trinity Hall M1 were our opponents in the final. Both crews had a strong first half to the race, with Trinity Hall having just under a one length lead coming into Ditton. However, all week we had shown that we had the fitness for a solid second half to the race. Matthew Melse, in the coxswains seat, took great lines throughout the competition and the final was no different. Trinity Hall went wide on Ditton and we had a huge lift coming out of the corner. Cheered on by support from bank, we capitalised and flew down the reach to victory by a margin of 6 seconds. An amazing start to term – we are all looking forward to trying to win more as we move forward. Long live back-end-send.