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University IVs 2016

Wednesday 26th - Friday 28th October

Previous event: Cambridge Autumn Head - Following event: Emma Sprints

1st Men's Coxless IV

Bow: Tim Tito Rademacher, 2: Matt Simpson, 3: Euan Beck, Stroke: James Henderson

SF: Beat Jesus M1, Final: Lost to Downing M1

Euan Beck reports:

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Semi Final: Jesus M1

I think we were all quietly confident on the row down. We'd been really happy with our paddling but we'd never actually rowed the entire course at race pace. Tim lined us up well for the start and we settled at what felt like quite a punchy rate 38. First post was sweet and we'd closed from 120m to about 2.5 boat lengths in the Gut. From that point I felt like we sat down for a bit, but in the second half of the Plough reach some good shouting from Jon and Gripper spurred us to close Jesus down, and when they ran wide on Ditton we seized the opportunity and overtook on the inside. Having gotten past them, we wound it down to conserve ourselves for the final.

Final: Downing M1

We all knew that Downing were going to be the major opposition for the competition - they'd already won the Coxless IV category at Autumn Head. We had a similar to start to last time and I think (although it was hard to tell with the distances) that we pulled away from them; again, Tim's lines through First Post and Grassy were impeccable and it seemed like we would be able to hold them. However, our attacking start was starting to take its toll, and after we ran wide on Ditton Downing made an excellent push out of the corner to close some of the distance between us.

Gripper was trying to get us to push on but unfortunately the calls fell on deaf ears as we were all already redlining. It was crushing to see them finish a few seconds before us but it was a hell of a race and I'm incredibly proud that the rest of the crew were 'hanging out of their arses' with me.

I'm very happy considering that we gave it our all and it was basically a side project on top of all the other rowing, but it still stings a little. Hopefully we'll have a chance to get Downing back soon!

Uploaded Monday 31st October, 12:36

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1st Women's Coxed IV

Bow: Ariane Dupas, 2: Philippa Slay, 3: Edith Ross, Stroke: Ada Krzak, Cox: Harry Ellison‑Wright

Wednesday: Beat Queens W1; Thursday: Lost to Maggie W1

Ariane Dupas reports:

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It’s by a lovely autumn day that the five members of our crew took Anna B’Too out for the first round of Uni IVs. We had had 2 outings as a full crew and the paddle to the lock saw a nice improvement in the balance of the boat. We banked up below the Motorway Bridge. The marshal came to us, asking whether we would accept Queens’ request to change position. The strong shake of Andy’s head behind the marshal’s face was expressing a very determined no. No it would be then! We were soon to discover why our wise coach refused. Chasing made it much easier for Harry to evaluate the distance with Queens’. After a fast start we settled into a good rhythm. Harry’s calls brought a good length to the strokes. And despite a weak rudder, by Grassy corner we were gaining on Queens’. By the Plough, we could hear their cox. And by Ditton corner we could see Ada’s blade caught underneath Queens’ bow! The wind has hit us coming into the reach while we were overtaking them by the inside. After a mess of blades, taps and back downs we were straight again and finished the race well ahead of Queens’. We were ready to face Maggie the next day for the quarter finals!

Thursday's race

Of the second day I can’t remember much apart from the fact that the reach was very, very, very long that day. The paddle down was much more relaxed than the day before. It showed in the race where we had the confidence to square early, keeping the boat sat and our strokes to a good length. We were ahead of Maggie and the distance was difficult to evaluate. We got hit by the wind coming on the reach again but Harry stayed sheltered from the stream, as close to the bank as possible. By the end, we could tell they’d won but not by much! It turned out later that they beat us by 2 seconds. 2 seconds! One stroke… Well, let’s train hard to make sure that we win Fairbairn cup by more than 2 seconds!

Uploaded Wednesday 2nd November, 14:01

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