M1 4+, winners of IM3 4+ in 3:26 at Peterborough Regatta (note Will’s t-shirt…very accurate :))
M1 headed up to Peterborough last weekend to race in the 1k sprint regatta. We took an eight, four and pair to race in IM3 and I ended up subbing in for a Rob Roy novice double too.
Arriving just in time to bundle out of the van, rig up and jump on the water, the first race of the day in the eight perhaps didn’t go so well. With Churchill in our heat we thought we could lay down a marker, having set some pretty quick times over the course in training. However, for one reason or another we ended up rowing very short and sloppily as we settled out of the start and while we were level for the first 500m, they finished 3/4 length up. Still, that was just the heat and the final was yet to come.
In between the eight and the four a bit of inter-club swapping happened. Dave B-R subbed into the Churchill 4+ as one of their guys felt a bit off and I subbed into a Rob Roy double scull (my first sculling race since I parked on Grassy with Vicky!). As it was, the Churchill 4+ qualified for their final and in our race we moved easily away from the field to paddle home at rate 24. I was terrified that I’d cause the junior to lose a race he should easily win. Apparently, he was chuffed he didn’t come last!
The next Selwyn boat to race was the four. Lining up on the start line with a few technical problems (the seats jammed at 3/4 slide because the sliders were worn down) and having fumed and cursed our way to the start line we imagined we were about to get eaten in the heat. So it was surprising when twenty strokes into the race we had clear water! Rowing at 3/4 slide we held onto our lead despite a good push from Milton Keynes at the finish. We qualified fastest in 3:32 and with some quick repairs to Richard Budgett, felt confident about the final.
Meanwhile, the pair had gone out for a paddle of the main river to get used to rowing together. Unfortunately, Nick and Nigel found the pair difficult to steer straight due to the setup, and despite efforts to change it, we couldn’t get it just right. Perhaps Nick should have steered, given his fantastic efforts at the wheel of the CUSU minivan, and his natural homing beacon towards the nearest McDonald’s drive-through. In the heat the pair got away well but as expected, drifted across lanes and so wound it down to not affect the race.
Next up, Dave BR in the Churchill 4+ came third in the Novice 4+ finals. I can’t remember much of the race details. We’ll have to get him to debrief us on their tactics and capabilities before bumps!
Now, the big one…the IM3 8+ final. Well, its tough to know what happened really. We rowed up to the start with much more confidence than the heat, but the start was sloppy and we were down very quickly. Leicester and Churchill, two crews we were expecting to beat, got ahead and stayed ahead, as we came in a length down on Churchill. Congratulations to them, but we didn’t have time to moan. We had to jump straight into Budgett for the 4+ final.
Rowing down to the start line we had to get back into the underdog mentality that had worked in the heat – hard when you qualified quickest. Off the start we got another good getaway, striding to a long, punchy rhythm at 34. But we weren’t alone, De Montfort Leicester got away quicker and were 1/4 length up on us. Each push we did was matched and as it came to 750m it looked over. But Will screamed at us to finish it properly and in the following 200m we took a length out of them, finishing confidently ahead in 3:26. It was a great race and a good boost after the eight.
My final race in the double almost resulted in an unlikely win! The double from Deben RC appeared to have actually met each other before the race (surely unfair?) and sculled very well. This didn’t stop us taking a length lead into the 500m mark but as the mistakes started to creep in given my inexperience in a sculling boat they moved through us, winning by a length. Still, second place was not too shabby for a first row together and I think Callum was pleasantly surprised.
Overall it was a fantastic day of racing, and a good preparation for bumps. Short, sharp 1k pieces, and the amount of times you get to line up on that stake boat (six in total!) are great for confidence and experience before bumps. I’ve definitely felt the difference in the last couple of outings since. We’re now back with our full crew in the eight having had a couple of subs because of exams. Time to fine tune the little details before next week!
Hopefully Danny will give us a little piece on his racing at Met Regatta on Saturday and Sunday for the Dev squad, where he won the IM3 8+ in a very impressive field.
Peterborough also run a summer regatta in August, to which it would be great to get an alumni boat to. We could hop on the nines trailer on the Saturday, have a practice outing, camp overnight, then race on the Sunday. Its only 500m too so don’t worry if the legs aren’t quite what they were! Get in touch with the committee, or on the Facebook page if you’re interested in doing this!
Over and out!