Written by: Alistair Goodman.
Video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CVA6gqMe7g4
We went into Fairbairns with high ambitions. With determination to put “stay on your side” Caius back in their place, and show the rest of the corrupt capitalist colleges who’s boss. Our entire rowing careers had been building to this point. Months of carb loading on Sainsbury’s £4.50 pizzas, weeks of no lifting, and all of bow 7 staying t-total for the two formals in the week before. Our stash had been ordered, 8, size 12, woman’s t-shirts in lilac, a snug fit. We were ready. A standard 4:30 (7:03) meet in the bar, to depart on our journey to glory. First stop, Maccys. Sausage and egg mcmuffins would fuel our victory. The long nervous walk to King’s Boathouse was completed in silence, in boat order. On Ed.
We arrived to a nervous wreck of coaches, besides Hrutvik, who remained militant as ever. He slammed us on the ergs, got us rowing at steady state, and whispered the words “carpè diem” to his eight loyal soldiers.
15 minutes from push out, and it was time to get the boat. We slowly and carefully slammed it down into the river as usual, pushed off, and began our journey down to marshalling.
Each novice crew that we passed would turn silent, staring in awe at our smooth steady state – and the chest hair sprouting out of Kozzy’s ‘stash’. We drifted up to the start line listening only to the gentle “kushum” of our perfectly in time strokes.
After giving Emmanuel (the boat in front of us) a minute’s gap, we began. 3 draws, 5 winds, and 2 lengthens later, we had reached our rate. 34. We stormed off down the river, in the hope that we had what it takes to become the Fairbairn 2016 champions.
After a clean few minutes of rowing, we had reached the King’s boathouse and were greeted by the NW1 crew cheering us on. Sorry ladies, but no smiles from us today, we had our heads in the boat, and were on a mission. Besides Jacob, who probably glanced over.
Another painful few minutes went by, and our minute men Emmanuel were in our crosshairs. Roars from the bank party spurred us to catch them. “You’re gonna take them on the reach!” wailed a hopeful men’s captain.
But it wasn’t hope driving us today. As sure as it was spoken, we pulled level to Emmanuel at the P&E; our legs were burning, but we knew what needed to be done to take the medals. Calls from the cox drove us on, “POWER ONE, POWER FOUR, POWER SIX, POWER TEN” with each of the four calls that Jacob managed to get into the “power ten”, we put more distance between the two boats.
500m later and we crossed the line. All the outings, ergs and preparation had paid off, and we finished with a very respectable time of 10:12.8. Sadly, it was not enough for us to take the victory, or even beat our rivals “Stay on your side” Caius, but finishing 5th out of 69 was still a result we could be proud of. Bring on Bumps.
Cox: Jacob Toop-Rose
Stroke: Edward Miller
7: Mike Tallent
5: Alistair Goodman
4: Danny Jenkins
3: Daniel Larby
2: Shuowang He
Bow: Bobby Chan
Coaches: Jacob Toop-Rose, Lewis Couch, Hrutvik Kanabar, Joe Gaffney and Adam Townson