"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
Cox: Chris Beans Jackson
Stroke: Rose Maloney
7: Vaish Sabari
6: Celia Gaier
5: Luisa Alamo-Gomez
4: Emer Daly
3: Catherine Napper
2: Mary Baron
Bow: Daniella Wu
The second race for some of us and the first for others was the Novice Sprints Regatta for which one crew of eight had been entered. Since Cambridge Head we had been focusing on the speed and coordination of our race starts to pull away from our competitors as fast as we could. Both at the boathouse and in the gym the girls have been practicing their technique to prepare for the races.
With a relatively early, cold start after Friday night schenanigans, all the girls were ready to cheer the Novice men before our race. It was all very nerve racking seeing all the other UH crews getting ready but with the atmosphere at our boathouse, our nerves settled and we started getting ready to race. We energised ourselves to take our favourite boat, “the Stämpfli”, onto the water, took the blades out making sure our gates were tightly closed and got ready to race. With layers piled on, cox Beans got us out from the shore to Surrey side to wait for our first race against the Royal Vets.
With adrenaline pumping through our veins, we powered past the boathouse towards Chiswick Bridge but were taken down by our competition. Although we had a disappointing defeat, we were through to the next round, hungry for revenge. We fired each other up, chanting before our race against GKT and it was worth it. We SLAYED, powering through the finish line watching our rivals paddle in after us. We did it and were ready to slay some more.
Last race was against SGH, time to give it our all although our tanks were nearly empty. If we went down we wanted to go down with pride. With the last bit of energy left, Beans coxed us to the finish line, sadly defeated but with one win in the bag. With a promising 3rd place, we were ready for next week’s Allom Cup ready to SLAY some more.
Men's Intermediate VIII
Sunday morning saw the intermediate men take on the intimidating challenge of rowing the first of many sprint races that we’ll be facing this year. Despite the eight in the boat having not rowed as a single crew, we were all feeling confident off the back of some promising training sessions throughout the weeks in the lead up to this race. As is always the case, tensions were high as we jostled for alignment at the start, but the call to attention soon saw us focus in, breathing steady, primed to seal victory within the first twenty strokes.
Suddenly the flag descended and we were off, launching ahead of George’s in mere seconds, willed on by the cheers from ever-shrinking crowd supporting us from the riverbank. As the rate continued to build we pulled further ahead, seemingly securing victory with every stroke. However, much to our dismay, it soon became apparent we had backed ourselves too much and soon we found our power dwindling as we sustained an unrelenting rate 37. Desperate not to relinquish the lead we had fought so hard for early on we pushed as much as we could muster, but no amount of effort could see us maintain our lead unless we dropped the rate. Steadily, George’s began to claw back from near-certain defeat, pushing the boat into further frenzy. Mercifully, we found ourselves crossing the finish line just as the last of our strength was waning, winning by a narrow margin.
Victory was bittersweet, pleased with the result but disappointed with our performance, as we knew we could do better. After a less-than-brief respite, we got back on the water with a renewed commitment to secure one race we could be wholly proud of and ready to give King’s a challenge. Thankfully, this time round we executed the race as we had hoped, giving King’s no chance for respite throughout. Unfortunately, our effort still wasn’t enough to best them this time, dropping behind in the final portion of the race and ultimately finishing half a length behind. Despite this defeat, we were ecstatic with our performance and are now keen to show what we can do in the weeks to come!