Men's Novice VIII
Sam Jackson, Men's Novice Captain
Following on from a positive start at Cambridge head, a slightly changed crew embarked upon two weeks of intensive sprint training for the first UH race of the season, Novice Sprints. After several outings, the sprint start was coming together and the new faces to the boat had settled in well and found their rhythm. Come the day of the race, after some hectic RUMSBC last minute repairs to the Dilworth without our main two repair ingredients: duct tape and WD40, the boys were out on the water in good enough time to have a pre-race paddle. Before long, they lined up on the start line and when Jerry sent them off, it was one of their cleanest sprints starts. Full of testosterone following a crew meal with the novice girls the night before, the novice men started to pull away from their competitors, ICSM B and were holding them at half a length for the first half of the race. However, disaster struck in the rower’s worst nightmare: a crab! Following the crab, we found ourselves a couple of lengths behind the ICSM boat and the guys made a huge push to close the gap before the finish line. Unfortunately, whilst they made ground on ICSM, they were unable to get level before the finish line and so had to say goodbye to Novice Sprints. Perhaps if the course were a bit longer it would have been a different story. Nonetheless, the entire coaching team (Hannah, Adam and myself) were very proud of the effort that had been put into the race and there was some solace in the fact that we knew we were the faster crew. It then fell upon the novice boys to cheer on the rest of the RUMS crews, where M2 and W2 did a brilliant job in bringing home medals. With the disappointment of Novice Sprints now behind us, we look forward to Allom cup and hopefully showing the UH crews in that what we are made of.
Women's Novice VIII
With the crew changed up from Cambridge, it was all go for the sprint start practice for the novice girls. After surprisingly few crabs and some promising pieces in the two weeks leading up to the race, everyone was very excited for the first regatta of the season. With the novice races early in the morning, the girls braced the cold and were on the water straight away, beating ICSM B by a couple of lengths, with some very good rowing. However, they were narrowly beaten in the following race, having put up a strong fight against the other crews. With such a promising start, it can only improve from here, and it looks like we have a great bunch of novices.
Men's Second VIII
Will McCaughran, Men's Captain
After a slightly turbulent morning and temporary panic at the lack of race sub Mr Gunning, M2 boated into a howling wind and brutal stream. They left their stress behind on the bank and headed up to the start line, confident in their ability as UH's fastest seconds crew. With Kings College acting out Titanic near the finish line, marshalling went on for longer than anticipated but eventually alignment was reached and the race began. Described as "sweaty" and "not the best bit of rowing we've done" by Patrick, it was nonetheless very effective and after a cheeky blade clash at the start M2 stormed across the line at rate 35 at least six lengths in front of Barts. Overall a very good result preceding an excellent evening of karaoke! Also a special mention to Aubret for subbing in at the last minute!
Women's Second VIII
Livi Drewett, Second's Captain
W2's first sprint race of the year. We love sprints and we were ready to win. Hearing the intermediate women's category only had 3 crews in it and that we had a bye into the final was a massive confidence boost and we couldn't wait! Typical race day nerves were only exaggerated by our long wait at the start (due to the boat drama at the other end) but we knew as we paddled up that we had a good, strong crew who wanted a great race. The race had a fantastic start, we felt strong and pulled away after just a few strokes. The middle didn't exactly go to plan, with a rather large crab causing us to stop and re-start, and then some quite messy (but very powerful) rowing... But the end was ideal, we pulled away and ended up beating Barts by about 4 lengths! A medal ceremony with lots of "middle middle middle"s and then we all very much enjoyed wearing our medals to karaoke that evening!