Due to some seasonal flu we ended up with a change in the boat, i.e. a different stroke, at short notice and we were all slightly nervous before our first proper race (we’d all had mixed feelings about our first racing experience; in Emma Sprints we had crashed into a tree) – especially as we were told Fairbairns would be the race we’d be entering as novices and leaving as seniors. It was a rather cold and windy day and by the time we were manoeuvring the boat into the marshalling zone, we were more than ready to get going. Before we knew it, we were racing and rowing those 2k away. We were particularly proud, when we realised afterwards we didn’t catch a single crab. After crossing the finishing line, a mixture of elation and exhaustion accompanied us back to the (not-)boathouse, while we celebrated by singing ‘Row, row, row your boat’ in sync with our strokes. We placed 13th in our division – a result we were all proud of, and thus the race definitely made a fitting conclusion to our first term of rowing.