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Peterborough Summer Regatta

Saturday 8th - Sunday 9th August

Previous event: May Bumps

1st Men's Coxed IV

Bow: Ben Leitch, 2: Stephen Kindness, 3: Callum McKenzie, Stroke: Jon Swain, Cox: Richard Gunning

Saturday: 2nd in heat 1 (3:38.1), 3rd in repechage (3:45.3). Sunday: 2nd in heat 2 (1:41.3), 3rd in repechage (1:41.0). 1st in banter.

Callum McKenzie reports:

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Saturday - 1000 metres

Heat 1 - 2nd

Fresh out of a solid week and a halves worth of outings to get the crew rowing together, practice starts and pieces, we had a moderate amount of optimism coming into this event. Disclaimer: we were initially just going to do the 500 m sprints on Sunday, but the lure of drunken camping bants on Saturday proved too enticing, so we decided to enter the Saturday 1000 m race as well. We had a really crisp start and came out onto our lengthen quite well, and from 250-500 m we were going pretty well as we were tied for 1st with Milton Keynes RC. Unfortunately as we hit halfway our bowman got a little too excited and thought we deserved to handicap ourselves to make it fair for the rest of the fleet and caught a tactical crab. This worked perfectly as we tactically moved down to a strategic 3rd place. As we took the rate back up and got back into a more sustainable rhythm (at this point I think we were all realising how bloody far 1000 metres really is, and how unfit we are) we entered into a battle for 2nd place with Poplar Blackwell. With 250 m to go we were still in 3rd, and Richard made some great calls to get the most out of us for a final sprint finish. We absolutely laid down the power and pipped them at the line by 0.4 seconds to claim 2nd. Nice! 1st place went straight to final, 2nd to repechage, 3rd/4th eliminated.

Repechage - 3rd

In the rep we were racing Twickenham RC and Broxbourne RC, and looking at the times from the heat races we were second fastest behind Twickers. Our start again was crisp and powerful. We got onto a lot better rhythm compared to the first race and coming out of 250 m we were tied for 2nd with Broxbourne. Twickenham were a big crew and just beasted it off the line to the finish (they won). Coming into 500 m we were still in a fierce battle to claim 2nd, and it became apparent that Broxbourne were putting in a good old punt (I think we assumed that we were going to walk through them). As we rated our sprint finish so much - as made evident from our heat race - we decided to employ tactical crab number 2. Our bowman expertly executed this again and the mission was a success. We were gearing ourselves up for the big one. About a length down coming into the final 250 m were wound it up and were going for the conciliation 2nd place (only 1st place went to the final), but unfortunately Broxbourne tasted blood and successfully dispatched of us. All in all though, we were happy with how we were rowing, considering we had spent so little time actually rowing together.

Saturday night

Camping bants - 1st place

We had been preparing for this one for a while, approximately 24 years (give or take a year or two). After a delayed food order from le Pub, we went off to the campsite to embark on our drinking voyage. 4 crates, 4 chaps - let battle commence. We all bunged into Jon's tent with teenage spirit and glee lurking in the air, tension akin to a romantic 13 year olds first kiss. That soon changed however as the 'teenage spirit' had turned more into old mans orchestra with the trumpet featuring for a particularly long solo (if you catch my drift...). 'Ride the buses' was the game, and we guzzled down a fair few bottles, just shy of a complete 3 crates. We decided to embark on the nights glare (mainly to get some fresh air) and extend our foursome to the friendships of our fellow campers. A quick eyeing up of the competition and it became immediately clear that Newcastle were our biggest rivals. Banter was being slung left, right and centre, shots fired! Shots fired! It was a fierce exchange of giddyness, however we clearly finished on top as we retired for bed. Well done chaps, we showed them who were the banter bosses!

Sunday - 500 metres

Heat 1 - 2nd place

Word must have spread round the organisers that our flagship event was the 500 metres, as they decided to handicap us by making our race for 9 am, following on from our victorious win the night before. Never-the-less, not to be deterred, we were on the line ready and raring to go, facing Peterborough City, Poplar Blackwell (the same crew we had our head-to-head duel with the day before in Heat 1), and Cambridge nines. Our start was very powerful and got up to a pretty high rate (42 ish on the winds, down to 38 on the lengthens). Nines were a very tidy crew (also being massive) and just ploughed on to win the race (and also the final). It became quickly evident that our race was for 2nd place. Out of the lengthens we got onto a really chunky rhythm and just powered on through, making sure each stroke counted. Today we opted against the tactical crab, deciding to go for clean race. Our bowman understood and successfully completed this objective. We left Peterborough for dust and we were a good length off Poplar Blackwell. We didn't let up as we approached the finish line and really powered on through. We stuck in a really solid race that was moving at some speed. Again, 1st to the final, 2nd to the rep, 3rd/4th eliminated.

Repechage - 3rd place

We were racing Globe and Broxbourne RC (the same crew in our rep race yesterday). Looking at the times for their heats we were all within 2 seconds of each other (with ourselves slowest), so we knew that this rep there was everything to play for and was going to be a very tight battle. Our start was again very solid (this became our most confident phase of our race) and we were all very close for the first 100 m. Coming up to half way we were rating at a strong 36 and Globe had edged out into the lead, with Broxbourne closely behind. We kept our heads in, trusted Richard's calls, and kept on ploughing through. The race finished as it had enfolded at half way, with us all finishing within 2 seconds of each other. As we crossed the line I think it is safe to say we were all shattered. We put in a really gutsy row (we were faster than in our heat race) and ended the regatta with our strongest row yet! This was very pleasing. Globe and Broxbourne both just had that little bit more and kept on inching away as they got into the meat of the race. 3rd place may appear to be a loss, but considering we formed this banter crew less than 2 weeks prior, we were all very happy with how far we had come and to put in a really competitive race. We packed up the boats, de-tented, packed the car and set sail for Cambridge. Nice one chaps, it really was a great weekend.

Uploaded Monday 24th August, 16:52

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Photos of the 1st Men's Coxed IV: click to view full size.


Callum McKenzie / Jon Swain (1st Men's Coxless Pair)

DNS

Callum McKenzie reports:

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So apparently you have to have heel restraints for the pair as well. And even if you bodge them on, then umpires will just rip them off, spank you on the bottom and tell you to try again. All of this faff with what was ample time to get to the start, meant we missed our race... balls. This was actually a huge shame because both Jon and I were stoked to see how we compared to other pairs, and we had some pretty nice outings as of late. We will certainly be entering more regattas in the pair!

Uploaded Sunday 9th August, 19:44

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Next event: Cambridge Autumn Regatta

Sunday 13th September

A 600m sprint downstream, from the Railway Bridge to Ditton Corner.

Callum McKenzie / Jon Swain (1st Men's Coxless Pair)

See the Diary of Events for details of other events coming up.