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Nines' Regatta 2012

Sunday 20th May

Previous event: Champs Eights Head - Following event: Peterborough Regatta

2nd Men's VIII

Bow: Chensong Gao, 2: James Hynard, 3: Nick Wise, 4: Mike Ashford, 5: Sean True, 6: Jonathan Waite, 7: Pete Davies, Stroke: Jordan Ward‑Williams, Cox: Rachel Wijsmuller

Semi-finals! First round: beat Wolfson M2 by 2 lengths. Semi-final: lost to Christs by about a length.

3rd Men's VIII

Bow: James Littlewood, 2: Joe Hughes, 3: Matija Marijan, 4: James Nisbet, 5: Guy Norman, 6: Matej Jovanovic, 7: Adam Sanders, Stroke: Tom Watson, Cox: Ed Mills

Runners-up! First round: beat FaT M5 by 3 1/2 lengths. Semi-final: beat Corpus M2 by 1 1/2 lengths. Final: lost to FaT M4 by 1/4 length.

Tom Watson reports:


We started good, and we got better, right up until the final few strokes of the very last race, when bad luck struck. There's little to be said about the first two races (that Ed hasn't already), so suffice it to say that the first real competition we had all day was when we sparred with M2, and I reckon we gave a pretty good account of ourselves.

The last race was gutting, but at least we know that we could, and probably would, have won it. They were quicker than us off the start but we didn't let that phase us and responded with some of our best rowing yet. It paid off around the inside of the bend, and thanks to Ed's line after the railway bridge we were ahead coming in to the finish. They'd pretty much exhausted their push as well.

Unfortunately, sometimes it's just not your day, and one unbalanced stroke killed off our speed and let them claim a close victory. There's no reason to be too downhearted - it could just as easily have happened to them. Based on the Champs Head results FaT M4 is one of the better boats in the division, and with better luck we'd have won pots off them. Looking at the boats around us for bumps, we ought to have a lot to celebrate come BCD.

Uploaded Sunday 20th May, 21:46


Matija Marijan reports:



Uploaded Sunday 20th May, 19:17


Edward Mills reports:


It would be easy to dismiss today as a failure, after the disappointment that we all felt at the final. To do that, though, would be a misrepresentation of three very strong races, which came off the back of a week's solid training together.

Our first race was against FaT M5. Suspecting them to be a rugby boat, we were prepared for them to have a quick start, and so it was: as a result, we weren't alarmed by the quarter-length that they had gained on us after the draw strokes. Then, though, our winds came into play: by the time that I made the stride call, at the exact same moment as their cox, we were level again. Coming up the Reach, we steadily extended our lead, and had got that crucial length on them by the Railway Bridge, which effectively eliminated their advantage around that corner. Once we were straight again, we found our rhythm and rowed in long and strong for a convincing win.

The second round pitted us against Corpus M2. Once again, they took it out of us slightly off the start, but we came back at them to have a slight lead going into the Railway Bridge. This time we had the bend in our favour, and opened it up to a length by the final straight. We eventually took home the victory by a length and a half. Anton also tells me that we under-rated them convincingly throughout, which suggests that our second row was significantly more technical than our first.

Before the final race, M2 joined us for a practice start going down the Reach, in which our winds and lengthens allowed us to hold them for the length of the piece. As for the final itself, it was probably the most intense race that I've ever been in. Neither crew made any real impression on the other for the first part of the course, but several pushes on the legs and heels gave us a lead going into the Railway Bridge.

As it was, though, their push through the bridge, and their meadow-side advantage, managed to peg us back level, before they forced their way through to a quarter-length victory. It was so close that they were taking photo-finishes on the bank, just to be sure. I don't think that there's any one reason why we lost in the final; instead, several small hiccups took it away from us. My steering was far too aggressive coming into Morley's Holt; we didn't quite keep our cool when we realised that they were coming back at us; and a crash down to bowside on one stroke robbed us of boat-speed. In any other of the day's races, none of these would have made a difference: we wouldn't have panicked; my steering wouldn't have obstructed them; and neither FaT M5 or Corpus M2 would have been able to catch us. As it stands, though, we have to hand it to FaT M4 for an excellent race; they thoroughly deserved their win. They're in our division in the May Bumps, and we need to remember that we haven't yet felt the net effect of all our triallists' returns filtering through to us.

All in all, an excellent day's work. Now, back to the books ... and thanks again, dudes.

Uploaded Sunday 20th May, 16:50


Photo of the 3rd Men's VIII: click to view full size.