Newnham Short Course – 1st February 2014

W1 – 6th of 20 first women’s boats – 10:29

Thankfully by the time of the race W1 was back to its full crew with a full recovery from last week’s unfortunate ceilidh injury. Undeterred by last week’s Winter Head2Head results, we were ready to set the record straight. But if we though last week’s steam was tough, little could prepare us for what the Cam had in store for us this time. Parking to marshal was challenging enough as we were met by a myriad of boats all at the mercy of the Cam’s unrelenting stream. Indeed after what seemed like an eternity of backing it down and some clever maneuvering by Phil we were finally parked and in prime position to watch the ensuing carnage reminiscent of bumps. The next forty minutes consisted of frantic cries of “HOLD IT UP” and near-miss decapitations as coxes struggled to control their boats against the stream. When we got down to the lock and were lining up to start we knew we were up against some of the worst conditions we would ever face. In spite of this we got off to a clean start and settled into a comfortable rhythm quickly, picking up speed with each stroke. Gaining considerably on the Pembroke W1 crew in front of us, we closed the gap to a length and a half. But as we hit the reach and were fully exposed to the elements, an unfortunate but elegant crab allowed the crew to widen the gap. Nevertheless a crafty wind and we were back up to full speed, ploughing down to the finish line with some interesting pain noises erupting from the bows. All in all a tough but tidy race gaining us a respectable 6th in our division.

W2 – Scratched at the start

A TRAGEDY IN 6 ACTS

ACT 1: THE FLOOD

On the morning of the second of February, shortly after midday, the noble women and (quite frankly heroic) cox of King’s W2 sallied forth across Midsummer Common to assemble at the boathouse. On arrival, it was clear the waters had risen; a submerged bank, the edge marked by one solitary Churchill oar lent an air of mystery to the occasion. On walking the boat out, clad in the finest of mismatched wellies, this air of mystery was quickly overridden by a general frustration with the cold, the wet, and the fact that Churchill and Selwyn were very much in the way.

ACT 2: SURVEYING THE FLOW

This in turn paled into insignificance, when, on spying a Caius boat that were apparently gunning it downriver without even moving their blades, we realised just how shitting fast the water was moving. Our cox turned pale, his face a mask of pain and anguish as he directed us toward the river; the edge; our fate.

ACT 3: PUSHING OUT, ASSEMBLING TO MARSHAL

After literal minutes of intense struggle, the boat and crew were afloat, belatedly pushing out, out into the current. Despite his best efforts (and a fairly terrible rendition of Nicki Minaj’s ‘Starships’) our cox could not lift the creeping feeling of impending doom from the boat as the current buffeted us downriver, boats spannering to our left and right.

Once parked, just past the traffic lights (a major feat in itself given the speed of the river – the girl who pulled us in was almost lost forever) we were to appreciate in full some of the interesting steering as the boats around us danced and span in the wind. Darwin’s Firestarter – even on a good day, one of the most reliably sideways boats on the river – was particularly impressive, though there’s a FAT men’s boat that also deserves honourable mention.

ACT 4: THE RESCUE OF JESUS

In our banked state, we were called upon to rescue a stray Jesus W3 – a scratch crew, lost and helpless in the middle of the river, surrounded on all sides by the stern faces of unsympathetic crews and heartless coxes. Pulling their oars toward ours, we allowed them to parallel-park upon us – a sweet and friendly boat, it could be said that their presence was all that kept us alive in that dreary, 5-hour (20-minute) wait for out division to start.

ACT 5: THE END OF THE RACE

Our division, however, was never to begin. Pale, weak and broken, a marshal came to us in our darkest hour with the news that, due to the inclement (frankly, apocalyptic) weather conditions; today was not a day to race. With barely disguised elation, we span. We span like we’d never span before, our coxes shouts of ‘Back it down, girls’ ringing in our ears, and as we inched upriver, against the push of the current, there was the sense of a weight lifting, birds singing, and a ray of sunshine breaking the blackened clouds.

M3 – 5th of 9 in the Mays Lower Divsion

Our adventure begun well before the race started, with high waters obscuring the bank of the river, while a valiant M3 struggled to take out the boat. We continued with the unorthodox pushing off method of nearly knocking over the coach and spinning twice before setting off down the river, believing it would give us more momentum for the warm up. This was certainly true as we rowed so fast that we ended up spinning immediately before the weir, but after our earlier practice this was no challenge. The display of fearlessness was sure to strike terror in the other crews’ hearts. Over the time taken to pull into the bank we became experts on backing down and our cox an expert on manoeuvring though labyrinths of boats.

On our rolling start, we wound up slightly below the target racing rate, but our cox was quick to call lifts and keep morale up, so we pushed hard against the powerful currents. However, the fact that it was our first race together quickly showed, as we struggled to keep rhythm and technique up and were rewarded with one and a half crabs before the last meant  the whole of bow side had to stop rowing and we needed to re-set the boat.

None of us let this mishap get to us, though, and now the true grit and determination of our crew shone through,  the new rate we set barely dropping upon hitting the reach, where the wind buffeted our blades and the waves rocked our boat. Our cox, Roxanna, at some point bit her tongue and was screaming at us with a bloody mouth, giving us all the motivation we needed to keep up the pace through this period as we used the energy we gained from the rest, and we ended up finishing on a much stronger note than we started. And despite our accidents we still didn’t come last, so the other crews must have been really bad.

M4 – Scratched at the start

After an ‘interesting’ row down with a scratch crew averaging out somewhere around M2.34, King’s M4 was becoming concerned about the increasingly poor weather conditions. After some playful banter with the Newnham marshals, friends from passing crews in the previous division began to row past, all advising us not to race. Some W3 crews even managed the elusive ‘rowing treadmill’ after getting stuck battling against the wind and stream. At this point, we decided it would be unwise to proceed. Next came the daunting task of spinning in the stream. However, our genius of a strokeman (Mark), instead suggested that we just remove the boat, walk it around on the bank, and pop it back in. Enthused by his ingenuity, we proceeded to show off our boat maneuvering skills to all around. Then we rowed home. Not a bad way to spend an afternoon…

Winter Head to Head – 25th Jan 2014

M1 – 3rd fastest crew of the day

A quick warm up and the inevitable delays caused by the temporary traffic lights were all M1 had time for before pulling in to marshall at the top of the first division. The crew was confident, but we were all aware that this was only our third time together as a crew. Nevertheless, with a surprisingly strong stream helping us along, we started strong, winding right up and above our race pace. We were perhaps a tad keen and took a while to settle onto a cruising rhythm, but once we did the boat really flew around the corners and on to the motorway bridge to mark the end of the first leg.

We knew it would be a lot tougher on the way back up with the stream and the wind against us, but after a short break whilst the rest of the division finished, we gritted out teeth and wound up strong and fast. We settled down as we approached the corners, where Will kept us safely out of the stream as much as possible. On to the long reach, things were getting a tad sloppy and our rhythm wasn’t quite together, but we managed to power through to a reasonably solid finish. It would later turn out that we had coped with the unexpectedly strong stream much better than most crews. Sadly this wasn’t quite enough to secure us the win, but we recorded a respectable combined time of 13:19, placing us third fastest behind Downing and Robinson.

M2 – 5th of 8 in Mays Div 3 category

The weather on the day was a lot milder than the last race had been, but there was still a strong current and wind. With only two outings under our belt, and a grand total of 5 novices in the boat,
it was all set to be quite a trial by fire. After a long wait before the start, with stern pair fighting against the stream to keep us from drifting too much, we were finally able to get started. The first leg flew by, with the combined effects of the current and wind giving us more speed. Things really came together on the long straights, with only a few minor hiccups around the corners, and we developed a good rhythm which resulted in a strong time for the first leg.

After spinning and waiting for the rest of the division to finish we pulled in to rest, refueling with some strawbs courtesy of Ollie. Being slightly more wet than at the first wait, starting our second leg was at least a way to get warm again. This time, we were battling upstream, but despite the fatigue from the first leg we made a good start for the first 500m. Slowly, the constant battling against the wind, the current and already being tired meant we began to lose our flow, and we let our speed slip. With some inspired calls from our cox (something to do with Downing and dying, although I’m not implying a link, necessarily…), we got back together for the final straight along the reach and put down what we had left to finish strong across the line.

W1 – 3rd of 9 in Mays Div 2 category

Due to a dramatic last minute ceilidh-related injury, it was something of a motley crew that approached the starting line of the Winter Head2Head. Even before the race commenced there was a grueling 20 minute period of constant backing-down. If we knew one thing, it was that it was a relentlessly strong stream we would be doing battle with.

The first 2km race went off to a less than ideal start; nevertheless, by the time we reached grassy corner we had found our rhythm, and our confidence. Thanks to some utterly inspired coxing from the renowned Phillip Smith, saving us vital seconds, we gained steadily on the (men’s) crew in front of us, right to the climactic conclusion.

As we waited for our second test of strength, courage and commitment, we were treated to some interesting displays of faffing courtesy of a men’s crew who shall remain nameless (for the purposes of this report they will only be referred to as FTT). Coming up to the start of our second 2km, we couldn’t help but notice that this same crew would be racing immediately ahead of us. Undeterred we got off to a very clean start, although the stream and wind were stronger than anyone had expected, we managed to keep the pace up. Some minor inconsistencies aside we rowed our best we had for a long time, managing to keep long and control our slides. All was well, until we rounded grassy to be greeted by the sight of the FTT crew taking the unorthodox approach of parking along the reach. Some quick thinking from the resplendent Phillip Smith saved us from an unintentional “bump” though we did lose vital seconds as we had to veer around them. All in all, a good row, under the circumstances.

W2 – 2nd of 4 in their category

W2 were slightly apprehensive upon entering this race. So early in the term, very few outings as a team and even a sub from M1 (Craig). Nonetheless, as is expected of King’s, we rose to the occasion.

We set off firmly in the first race, with the current (unusually strong for the Cam) and wind in our favour. A race strategy of lower rate but very firm pressure was suiting us well. We were solidly gaining on the crew in front. Good corners, solid catches. The crew in front gave up the racing line, an overtake was almost inevitable. But then, calamity struck, a blade popped out of its gate. The crew remained calm. With 5’s assistance, all was fixed but, so close to the finish line, the overtake was lost.

After the spin, we refocused our efforts and prepared. Despite the wind, current and fatigue now against us, we rallied. The race was solid. The rate occasionally dropping but returning within strokes. We turned onto the reach, keeping close into the towpath to give shelter. The crew in front gave up its line, again. With bellows from the cox commanding (and even scaring young children on the tow path), we powered over the finish side-by-side with the other crew. Exhausted, but pleased, we returned home to the tune of “White Horse” by Tay. Knowing that it will never be “too late to catch [the crews in front] now”.

W2 would like to formally thank Mr Lambert for stepping up to the plate when his College needed him. Henry (VI) would be proud.

Pembroke Regatta – 16th February 2013

M1
Round 1 – Lost to Caius M1 by 3/4 length
The final of Pembroke regatta effectively came in the first round. King’s M1 squared up against Caius. Off the start, it was all pretty level with King’s up by a seat at best. Caius pushed into the first corner and came out a few seats up. The next corner favoured King’s and those seats were clawed back. Unfortunately coming out of the last corner Caius put in a burst and pulled away. They crossed the line with an official margin of 3/4 length. A solid row but not a victorious one.

M3
Round 1 – Beat FaT M5 easily
The river was still, the sun was bright and the stage was set. M3 were the first crew to race on the men’s side and they faced the mighty FaT M5. Attention. Go! For a moment, it was unclear whether either crew had was actually moving as torrents of water were flung everywhere. As the mist cleared, King’s were had edged into an early lead. By the first corner they had clear water and went on the win “easily”.

Round 2 – Lost to Caius M3 by 4 lengths
Round two; Caius M3. Moral was as high as ever, but this would be no push over. The start was slightly more composed than the previous race but Caius were half a length up off the start. King’s held it in contention until after the spectators had seen them where Caius pushed on to a comfortable victory. Not a bad row by the spirited M3, but still a long way to go before any silverware adorns their mantels.

W1
Round 1 – Beat Magdalene W1 by 2 lengths
As usual, this competition, coming so close to bumps, was an excellent opportunity to sort out standing starts and get a good look at the competition. This was especially key for the King’s girls as their first draw was against the crew directly behind them on the first day: Magdelene. Fortunately, the jitters of the side-by-side race failed to throw the girls and we managed to pull away fairly immediately, eventually beating them by a good length or two.

Round 2 – Lost to Christ’s W1 by 1 length
Christ’s had just had surprise success against the Caius women. Whether it was confidence from this victory that fueled them or simply superior technique, this crew managed to pull away in the same manner as we had in the previous race and unfortunately it was we who were left trailing by the finish line. However, the girls were not disconsolate by this defeat as it allowed us an early exit from the river in freezing conditions.

The crew has gone from strength to strength on the final weeks leading up to bumps and hopefully this will anticipate good results when it comes to the Lent competitions.

W2
Round 1 – Lost to Jesus W3 due to snapped rudder cable
We were feeling extremely confident in the run-up to the regatta, as we had been doing lots of work on our standing starts and had a calm, powerful start under our belt, which we knew would count for a lot in a side-by-side sprint such as this. Rowing up we did a fantastic practice start, just as relaxed as those in training. As we were up against Jesus W3 we were not too nervous about how the race would go.
Before the start the Marshals insisted that they give the calls to bow pair for straightening up, but weren’t very successful at doing so – as we set off they began whistling immediately at us for encroaching, which was quite distracting. The start itself was not as good as the practice one, being more rushed, but everyone was still together and getting their blades in, and we soon began to pull away from Jesus. This helped us relax and we were just getting into a solid rhythm that would have won us the race easily when disaster struck – the rudder cord snapped. Tim our cox tried desperately to keep us straight but there was nothing to be done, and we had to hold it up before we crashed into the bank, leaving Jesus free to overtake and get the win they did not deserve, and us extremely disappointed.

Crew lists:
M1: [Bow] Mike Hoffman, [2] Neil Paul, [3] Craig Lambert, [4] Conor Burgess, [5] Joel Wilson, [6] Paddy Buchanan, [7] Andre Thunot, [Stroke] Lachlan Jardine, [Cox] Will Miller
M2: [Bow] Tim Woodman, [2] Jonny Foster, [3] Karolos Dionelis, [4] Erik Wannerberg, [5] Fletcher Williams, [6] Tom Watson, [7] Lee Nissim, [Stroke] Kert Putsepp, [Cox] Colette Bane
M3: [Bow] Ash Thomas Simkins, [2] Phil Smith, [3] James Temple, [4] Tom Beeby, [5] Ed Bentley, [6] Bjorn Osterberg, [7] Chris Diamond, [Stroke] Joe Gladstone, [Cox] Emma Sewart
W1: [Bow] Naomi Fenwick, [2] Brioni Aston, [3] Felicity Eperon, [4] Alex Hayes, [5] Beth Wratislaw, [6] Liz Dzeng, [7] Matilda Greig, [Stroke] Ellie Re’em, [Cox] Nicole Samuel

Bedford Head – 10th February 2013

Unfortunately, the conditions at Bedford this time around were not so favorable and the whole day saw continual rain, which left everybody cold and wet. Despite this, the girls were in high spirits and the assembling and disassembling of the boat was easier this time around due to the experience of the Michaelmas race. Unlike the last Bedford experience, many of the best Cambridge colleges also ventured off –cam to test their mettle in new waters. Considering this, we did incredibly well to come 5th out of the women’s 8’s, well among the best of them with a time that equaled our personal best, forged at Bedford the last time.

W1: [Bow] Naomi Fenwick, [2] Kate Erin, [3] Sarah Williams, [4] Brioni Aston, [5] Beth Wratislaw, [6] Ellie Re’em, [7] Matilda Greig, [Stroke] Alex Hayes, [Cox] Nicole Samuel, [Coach] Roger Thorogood

Robinson Head – 8th February 2013

M3
This was the first test for the young M3. All of the crew are former novices and nervousness was rife; especially amongst the bank party. After a brief team talk they were rowing focused, relaxed and almost well to the start. They wound the rate up comfortably before the start and they were underway. Battling to overcome the slow flow of the Cam, they made it out onto the reach. Despite a relatively low rate, some were practicing their rowing faces for the getting on race; their next race and aim for the term. By the railway bridge they were flagging but, amazingly, they were still rowing well! The boat remained almost sat and more strokes than not were in time. Nevertheless, crossing the line with no crabs or mishaps was a relief to all. They came 2nd out of the crews needing to get on; a very promising result.

W3
On a Friday afternoon Kings W3 rowed down for their first head race of Lents. W3 went off at a steady pace, with the wisdom that everything is easier and life is a lot nicer at a lower rating. The boat was sat and the race was comfortable, no crabs and no scary moments. The results did not do their effort justice as there were no other W3s in the race but it was a good effort from all of the girls.

Crew lists:
M3: [Bow] Ivan Tchenev, [2] Oisin Huhn, [3] Stefan Weetman, [4] Tom Waszkowyz, [5] Ed Bentley, [6] Bjorn Osterberg, [7] Chris Diamond, [Stroke] Tom Beeby, [Cox] Neha Vaidya

Newnham Short Course – 2nd February 2013

W1
Well into our stride by this point in term, the girls rose to the challenge of this 2k with confidence and enthusiasm. This distance suits our crew very well as it gave us time to settle into the strong rhythm that we have been working on over the winter and pull back from any dips in power that inevitably occur. The result; 4th out of the 16 college crews proved our worth and we were pleased to see that we came out above some of the oldest rivals.

W2
This first race for W2 was a controlled, tidy row that we were pleasantly surprised with. Although we were definitely putting down power we could have been more aggressive, but a time of 09:32 achieved cleanly is a solid base to build on. We hope to improve the time when we row the same course in the Getting on Race, to secure our place in the Lent Bumps.

Crew list:
W1: [Bow] Naomi Fenwick, [2] Kate Erin, [3] Sarah Williams, [4] Brioni Aston, [5] Beth Wratislaw, [6] Ellie Re’em, [7] Matilda Greig, [Stroke] Alex Hayes, [Cox] Nicole Samuel, [Coach] Roger Thorogood

Winter Head to Head – 26th January 2013

The beginning of the Lent term saw incredibly cold weather conditions yet the head to head proceeded as planned and since King’s W1 raced in the first division, we managed to race both pieces with very little waiting around in between.
The race down river started with a little reluctance as a short warm up and temperature in the minuses had frozen limbs somewhat however it soon wound to a nice quick pace. After the first 500m the pace settled and the resulting rhythm was satisfyingly regular to the end. As a result, the time for the first race was pleasing (although sadly it not match the personal best established at Bedford).
The way back was noticeably harder, although the start was equally peppy, the overall tiredness of the crew soon began to tell and so the rhythm dipped to a rather heavier stroke. Nevertheless, the crew put absolutely everything into the final 500m and this commitment meant that although the second time was over a minute longer (against the stream), it put King’s at the top of the second division. Such a result promises good things for the lent bumps as it shows that we have earned our prospective place in the first division.
Credit must be given to the two ex-novices who experienced a baptism of fire during this difficult race and yet kept up their effort and technique throughout. Without them, there would have been great difficulty in putting together a W1 crew.

Crew list:
W1: [Bow] Naomi Fenwick, [2] Kate Erin, [3] Katherine Russell, [4] Brioni Aston, [5] Beth Wratislaw, [6] Ellie Re’em, [7] Matilda Greig, [Stroke] Alex Hayes, [Cox] Nicole Samuel, [Coach] Roger Thorogood

HoRR 2012

 We all knew before heading down that this race was something of an unknown quantity. With a crew that had only been together for a week of whom less than half had any tideway experience it could have proved very tricky if the conditions were bad. However, despite the torrential rain, conditions were almost perfect for a race, with virtually no wind. Off the start we hit a good early rhythm, overtaking our first crew within the first 30 strokes or so, but also being passed by Leeds University first boat at a similar point. Whilst we managed to hit a good rate of the start, it quickly dropped down to a more sustainable level , and as we were constantly spurred on by Chris telling us that we were closing on the crews ahead we held a good pace for the first part of the race. As we neared Hammersmith Bridge, we were closing fast on UCL 2, and could feel ourselves moving up on them, taking more out of them on each stroke, timing our overtake perfectly for the crowds watching from the bridge! After we passed them, despite closing on another crew in front, we struggled to push on from this point as we started to feel the effects of the long course. As we got more tired, the rowing became more scrappy and as a result our speed dropped off from this point onwards, despite the aggression and determination shown by the crew. In the end we finished a slightly disappointing 254th, but with plenty of positives to take from it we can build towards taking those lost places back next year.

Photos:

    

HORR 2010

Crew Lists

M1: [Cox] Electra Lacey, [Bow] Chris Lynch, [2] George Stagg, [3] Patrick Goodbourn, [4] Paul Thomas, [5] Chris Smith, [6] Adam Bristow, [7] Cornelius Halladay-Garrett, [Stroke] Andrew Viquerat.

Results Summary

Crew Start Position      Time            Finish Position
M1 326 19:06.76 164

Bedford Head 2010

Race Reports

M1 8+ (report by Cornelius Halladay-Garrett)

Bedford Head was our first off-Cam race this term, and, with bumps only a few weeks away, was our chance to get some good race-pace practice. Being only 2km, we didn’t really have an in-depth race plan; we decided to just go as fast as possible and see what sort of result we could achieve.

We got off to a pretty good start, achieving a rate of 44 coming out of the wind. We quickly settled down into our race pace rhythm of around 37 strokes per minute, and started to slowly close the gap between us and the boat ahead. The first 1000m were technically pretty good, although lacked a little of the power we’ve had previously. A lift call coming under the half way bridge saw the rate come up and the boat speed increase. However, the increase in power made us lose a little bit of rhythm, and the boat didn’t feel quite as stable as it had. By this stage, we were quite close to the boat ahead and were rowing in some choppy water. Still, it’s all good practice for Bumps!

A final burst 200m from the end saw a really good response from the crew, and we really accelerated towards the line, coming home in 6:22, putting us 6th in the IM3 division. There is still more to work on until Bumps, but I think the result was a reasonable one.

Crew Lists

M1: [Cox] Lizzie Lawn, [Bow] Chris Lynch, [2] Rob Raine, [3] Ildar Gaisin, [4] Adam Bristow, [5] Patrick Goodbourn, [6] Paul Thomas, [7] Cornelius Halladay-Garrett, [Stroke] Andrew Viquerat.

W1: [Cox] Jenny Shaw, [Bow] Chloe Kroeter, [2] Fiammetta Luino, [3] Ariane Welch, [4] Helen Spriggs, [5] Yvonne Hackmann, [6] Georgia Clements, [7] Clare Kitteringham, [Stroke] Sarah Williams.

M2: [Cox] Electra Lacey, [Bow] Ollie Francis, [2] Elliot Carter, [3] Josh Keeler, [4] Andriy Gordiychuk, [5] Ildar Gaisin, [6] Joe Jones, [7] Simon McKeating, [Stroke] George Stagg.

Results Summary

Crew Category Time      Position    
M1 IM3.8+ 6:22 6th
W1 W.IM3.8+ 7:32 9th
M2 IM3.8+ 6:43 17th