After our successes in Uni IVs we were determined to transfer our speed, rhythm and control to the eight. Due to injury, Chris Smith, our coach, subbed into the seven seat for the race; allowing us to compare ourselves to the other colleges, but race for time only. We set off behind two off-Cam crews, who we were determined to chase down as their coxes attempted to get round the Cam’s tight corners! Our start was good; hitting forty strokes per minute and driving the boat speed up. Along First Post Reach we dropped down to our race rhythm a little too early, resulting in a slightly heavy feeling to our rowing. Nevertheless we were still moving rapidly and took the corners well, closing on the Imperial crew in front. On the Reach we faced the rough conditions of Imperial’s wash as they swerved across the river, blocking any clear water. We held our rowing together, pushing on from the Railway Bridge, and surging toward the finish line. We hadn’t rowed badly, but we all agreed on several ways in which we could improve before Fairbairns.
Result: 8:25 (1st College – time only, 2nd Overall)
We had only been rowing as a second eight for two weeks when Winter Head arrived, however the experience of our stern pair had helped us find a good crew rhythm during training. Our starts still needed some attention, but we were all excited about our first race of the year. Off the start we were absolutely flying; comfortably up at rate 36, getting the blades in right at the front and squeezing the boat forward. Unfortunately as we came into First Post Corner a crab knocked us off our rhythm and we never found the same speed we had before. On the Reach we kept the intensity as tiredness started to show; there was no point where our rowing fell to pieces. We held our own all the way to the finish line. It was a promising display from the second boat as we now focus on Fairbairns.
Result: 9:52 (9th in Nov. Student Division)
M1: [Bow] Andre Thunot,  Conor Burgess,  Alge Wallis,  Neil Paul,  Craig Lambert,  Paddy Buchanan,  Chris Smith, [Stroke] Lachlan Jardine, [Cox] Will Miller
M2: [Bow] Lee Nissim,  Erik Wannerberg,  Matt Folks,  Raph Scheps,  Mike Hoffman,  Nick Rabey,  Rutger Grisel, [Stroke] Will Miller, [Cox] Colette Bane
Winter Head was the first opportunity for the novice men to experience a real race, and also get a taste for how far they would be expected to row in Fairbairns. The crews were unfortunately placed near the bottom of their divisions as timing restrictions meant they had to enter the senior-heavy morning divisions. However, they did their best to fend off the cold during marshaling and were underway eventually. Both crews were unlucky enough to suffer from both crabs and seats coming off, so the results weren’t awe-inspiring. However, they definitely benefited from the high rate experience and practice in a race.
Novice M1: [Bow] Stefan Weetman,  Philip Smith,  Karolos Dionelis,  Jonny Foster,  Edward Bentley,  Fletcher Williams,  Nick Mulder, [Stroke] Tom Watson, [Cox] Megan McCluskey
Novice M2: [Bow] Giovanni Braghieri,  Ruairi O’Donoghue,  Ashley Chhibber,  Tom Waszkowycz,  Tim Woodman,  Joe Gladstone,  Chris Diamand, [Stroke] Oisin Huhn, [Cox] Neha Vaidya