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Robinson Head 2017

Friday 10th February

Previous event: Newnham Short Course - Following event: Pembroke Regatta

1st Men's VIII

Bow: Matt Simpson, 2: Adam Harrison, 3: James Henderson, 4: Rory Fairhead, 5: Stephen Kindness, 6: Gabriel Bliard, 7: Euan Beck, Stroke: Jordan Ward‑Williams, Cox: Julia Kelsoe

2nd overall with a time of 7:16.0

Adam Harrison reports:

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Coming off the back of a couple of weeks of intense training and some real progress in our rowing as a crew - resulting in us winning last weekend's race - I think it's safe to say everyone was feeling pretty tired in the run up to this one. This was the first week where we hadn't really made any significant upward progress during the week, but we were still determined to put in a good performance to see where we stood against some pretty strong crews that hadn't raced the week before. Downing and FaT were our only competition in the M1 category so we knew we'd have to fight.

The row up to the start was a little tense and maybe lacked a bit of focus from the standards we had been setting in other races and outings. Maybe this was due to the fact that Clare made up two thirds of the division, consisting of just 3 boats in total and which made it difficult to take this entirely seriously at times. That said, we kicked our race off from headship station with a chunky start up to around r40 (if I remember correctly) exactly as we had been practising in the few weeks before. We rounded first post well with some decent and unexpected power from strokeside and pushed into the gut, which has been our downfall in races all term. This time, it was smooth, with quick catches translating to slick, strong finishes. Then we hit grassy and BOOM! The boat glued down onto bowside. Maybe this was the fatigue eating its way in much earlier than usual, or maybe we just lacked a bit of focus, but we never really recovered and the rowing was scrappy for the majority of the race from there, with our finishes not at all consistent or together. Helped by James throwing out more of a trawling net than your usual crab line, we made it round ditton without much need for strokeside power and recovered some form of rowing mid-way through the reach, after some good technical calls from Julia, and we built the rate back up to a solid r36 to the finish.

All in all this was a pretty disappointing race as we all knew that it was well below our standards and what we are capable of. Still, we ended up only around 10s slower than Downing in 1st, so maybe it wasn't quite as big a disaster as we initially thought.

We've been developing some serious speed in the last few weeks, so we'll be working on regaining that progress over the coming days to show everyone what we're really made of come Saturday and Pembroke Regatta. Caius you better be worried.

Uploaded Thursday 16th February, 16:04

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1st Women's VIII

Bow: Katie Irwin, 2: Philippa Slay, 3: Tamsin Bell, 4: Robyn Hamer, 5: Edith Ross, 6: Anna Peel, 7: Ariane Dupas, Stroke: Ada Krzak, Cox: Harry Ellison‑Wright

1st overall with a time of 8:29.4

Katie Irwin reports:

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We were ready and raring to go for the Robinson Head. It was our first race of the term without any subs, and the previous two races had not quite gone to plan…we wanted to finish this one, and finish it well.

We soon realised that winning could be even easier than we had dared to hope; we were the only W1 entered! However, we were also painfully aware that anything can happen in a race, so did not dare to lose focus. After our rolling start from the Bumps Headship station, we held it at a high rate initially than dropped down to quite a consistent rate 33.5, after having working on maximising power and length instead of empty rating during the previous week's outings. Harry's 'get angry' calls and Gripper's shouts spurred us on round Grassy and down the Reach to finish at Peter’s post. We ended up with a time that would have beat last year’s winners, and although these comparisons can’t be made directly, it was indisputably the best race we’ve had this term so far!

Next time we row that course, it will be with the sound of a cannon ringing in our ears!

Uploaded Sunday 19th February, 22:47

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2nd Women's VIII

Bow: Rosie Vince, 2: Marta Uncio‑Ribera, 3: Rosie Ugur, 4: Olivia Brett, 5: Amelia Fitch, 6: Jamie Fox, 7: Abbie Currington, Stroke: Rachael Young, Cox: Alex Horne

1st W2, 2nd overall, with a time of 08:58.6

Marta Uncio Ribera reports:

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After another week of productive outings, we pushed off from the boat house and rowed down to the lock, doing a few bursts on the way. As we got closer, Alex’s focus calls helped us ignore the cold and the snow to make the most out of the last few strokes before “marshalling”, which in this case meant rowing up and down the lock to stay warm. Once we had had our necessary dose of race sweets, we rowed off focusing on rotating towards the rigger as Gripper had just told us. We built the rate up approaching the starting point, following the same calls we had practised throughout the week, and started the race. Trying to keep ourselves warm, we powered it through to the first strokeside corner and into grassy. Tiredness was starting to hit as we got closer to the reach, but not even a small crab around the corner or a half-loose footplate could stop us. Swinging back together, we were soon past the railway bridge and into the final metres of the race. With Gripper’s encouragement from the bank and Alex’s power calls, we were determined to push to the finish. We built the rate up to 34-36 and gave everything we had as we rowed towards the finish line.

Although there is still work to be done, we have definitely improved a lot since our first race together. As we were eating a delicious caterpillar cake, we found out we had been the fastest W2! To be fair, we were the only W2, BUT we were only 29 seconds away from W1 and faster than Selwyn and Darwin M2 by about 30 and 45 seconds! Bring it on W2, let’s keep winning stuff!

Uploaded Saturday 11th February, 0:11

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