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.