"It’s the weekend after Novice Sprints where some of us proved to ourselves that winning was through team effort and Beans motivating us not to give up. Our novice captain Rosa, had warned us that this weekend of racing would be harder than last week, but we were ready to take on any challenge.
An earlier, colder, start this week but with the sun out we got the boat out and paddled to the Middlesex side for our first race against our close cousins UCL B.
We patiently waited for the start signal, adrenaline rushing through our veins….“GO!” Beans yelled the tactics of our start as we pushed down on our foot plates as hard as we could, but UCL B pulled ahead of us. As they pulled ahead by at least a boat’s length, the power and speed dropped as emotions started to creep in. It definitely wasn’t a great race but we discussed what we could improve for our next race: focusing on power rather than speed especially during the ‘settle’.
Sadly race 2 was cancelled because our rival crew hadn’t turned up, which fortunately meant we were straight to the repechage! With a positive outcome from a rather disappointing race we made use of our time to recharge before race 3 against UCL C. We were hungry to win but most of all we wanted to give it our all.
As we got ready for race 3, the officials told us the UCL C team were nowhere to be found so we waited almost 20 minutes in the freezing cold, Surrey side, patiently waiting for our cousin boat to paddle up to the start. This was our last race, our last chance to give our all.
As soon as the “GO!” was given we put down every bit of power in our legs until we saw the red flag of the finish line. Unfortunately, we were defeated but exhausted ourselves and claimed 3rd place for the novices.
It may not have been our best day of racing, but every race is more experience for the upcoming races in the New Year!"- Celia Gaier, Seat 6
"We got out pretty early for this race and managed to do some sprint starts beforehand, which we think made a huge difference. Our first race was against Royal Holloway Novice A team, who looked very professional with their full kit. This gave us all a bit of a scare on the start line, however, we had better timing than them in the boat. We had a great start, much better than our starts at Novice Sprints, which gave us the opportunity to be in a competitive position to win the race. We managed to do this, and we comfortably beat them and kept them off the entire way. Half an hour later we had our second race against the UCL Novice A team, who were a really great crew. We had a better start than them at the beginning of the race and kept them off for the first 300ish m, however they pulled away from us and beat us. That was their first race of the day, so we can only imagine what could have happened if that was also our first race. Speaking to the UCL crew afterwards they were really shocked as to how good we were in the boat. Our crew as a whole had a great day and we raced really well, easily our best sprint race day so far. Even though we did not win any medals, none of us were disappointed with our performance, we couldn’t have really done any better and we are all in a great mood for UH head." - Arjun Lakhanpal, Seat 4