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The Talbott Cup 2017
Tuesday 14th March
3rd Men's VIII
1st in the third division, beat Downing M3, FaT M3, and Jesus M3
Sergio Rossoni reports:
On Tuesday, M3 met with smiles on our faces. The second part of this Lent term had been a great journey for all of us; winning the Pembroke Regatta, bumping 4 boats in the bumps, winning two informal races against M2 just the day before… all odds were in our favour. The row over to the Reach however, did not reflect this confidence. After trying to fix our shaky boat and shouting us through the untidy bursts, Gripper delivered a pre-race speech reminding us that, despite Pembroke Regatta and the Talbott Cup being so similar, victory was far from being ours.
With Gripper’s words in our heads, concentration and adrenaline came upon us when we lined up with Downing. Our start sequence reflected this, with powerful but nervous strokes which nevertheless managed to pull us ahead of Downing. Leaving more and more of a distance between us and them, we crossed the line with about a boat length between us and them. We knew however that that first race was the easiest one of the day.
Our second race was against FaT M3, which could count on the support of the organisers. At the start line, the whole boat was more relaxed but as focused than the previous time. Our fast starting sequence managed to get us ahead in only a few strokes but the advantage was small and FaT 3’s sequence was still being developed. Shouts from the bank were heard. "Clare have gone too early, draw, draw, draw…" a few hundred draws later, our advantage had solidly built up to a safe distance. Their hopes that we’d tire vanished soon after a few power strokes from our part, which managed to get us to the railway bridge and past it, to the finish line. Their cox’s call for the last stroke of their starting sequence was covered by our victorious cheering.
All thoughts were now for the last race of the Cup. This was against no less than Jesus M3, the only boat in bumps who managed to avoid being hit by our bow. Thirsty for revenge, we started our row to the starting point with the most gloriously sat roll up we could have ever hoped for. The fact that Jesus 3 could not see us did not matter, that single stroke was enough to give us new energies and confidence. Our start sequence was once again strong and controlled but, as we expected, it was not enough to put a distance between us and Jesus 3. Before we could panic for how insistently the other boat was holding their position, Izzy’s call for long strokes managed to put a seat’s distance between us and them. That was enough. Using that achievement to motivate us, Izzy asked for a second seat’s distance, which we were able to give her with only a couple of power strokes. Confidence built up and the distance between Jesus 3 and us was getting bigger and bigger. However, despite we were rowing with all our efforts, they were still not giving up. Whistles from the bank were telling us that our advantage was reducing steadily. Little use was the call for a 90 s burn, as our strength was already being deployed at 110%. A single whistle from the bank. Race finished? Bow 3 stopped rowing and looked around to find out the finish line was still a few meters away. The realisation came as Jesus 3 was steadily approaching. Quickly getting back into the rowing pace, we managed to hold onto our lead until another whistle - the final one - told us the race was finally over. Later that night, eight full Talbott Cup tankards were smugly filled in Trinity bar. (Even later that night, Hilbourne’s message to our group chat. "Right I might be very drunk but here we go…")
Uploaded Tuesday 21st March, 15:58