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Peterborough Head of the Nene 2007

Saturday 3rd February

Previous event: Cambridge Winter Head to Head - Following event: Bedford Eights and Fours Head

1st Men's VIII

Bow: Will Kerr‑Muir, 2: Ed Day, 3: Philip Garsed, 4: Ben Evans, 5: David Hardeman, 6: David O'Brien, 7: Chris Baker, Stroke: Joel Jennings, Cox: Mary Flook

11th out of 18 in S3 in a time of 17:07, 6th fastest college VIII

Will Kerr-Muir reports:


Probably the best race of the season so far... After a solid impromptu practice start 500m before the actual start, the real thing was no less beefy and we settled to a (perhaps too) comfortable 32. The random wash in the middle was fairly well dealt with - despite the boat bouncing all over the place - and the rhythm for the most part held together as we flew past Trinity Hall. The whole VIII shouting for more power terrified them into multiple crabs and we pushed away easily - a sign of things to come in bumps.

Next weekend at Bedford we'll need to build on the solid foundation and use the confidence to put down more power, and put it down effectively, especially on a course similar in length to bumps. With several bumps targets racing and after our return to real oars it's time to up the pace.

Uploaded Wednesday 7th February, 12:24


Chris Baker reports:


This race was dedicated to our good friends the Macons.

Being keen to show how much we had improved we boated early, and had a very productive warm-up, additional entertainment provided by W1 trying to hold off our low rate/pressure paddling, and a passing team thinking that we were a mixed crew due to excessive hair. Waiting at the start we found Winchester School behind us, our inside source informed us that it was not going to be easy to beat these schoolboys.

The race itself started well with a one minute burst to get to the start line opening up a huge 200m lead on Winchester before we had even started. We then took it up again and for the next ten minutes gradually inched into Bedford School RC, using the solid rhythm we had been working on to good effect. Then it got a little choppy, great practice for bumps we thought. Up ahead Trinity Hall had become intimate with the bank, this combined with boats overtaking each other created somewhat more wash, and upgraded the situation to f-ing choppy. Even stern pair were be thrown around, so one can only imagine how much fun bow pair were having bouncing up and down. To a large extent the rowing held together, which should stand us in good stead for bumps conditions.

Meanwhile Trinity Hall had managed to get going again, albeit directly in front us, and thus provided perfect practice for the first day of Lents. This time round we prevailed, taking over a foot a stroke from them and finally rowing clean past. Admittedly we were aided by their three collecting a couple of crustaceans, but this was after we had already pulled in front and shouted a lot of "encouragement". The powerful rhythm continued until the finish, leaving the crew satisfied with our row.

I say satisfied, as excuses aside, sixth fastest college is not where we want to be. At Bedford next weekend we hope to unleash even more of our potential, this crew is still moving up.

Uploaded Tuesday 6th February, 14:07


Photos of the 1st Men's VIII: click to view full size. (see all six photos of this crew)

1st Women's VIII

Bow: Steph Caird, 2: Mila Roode, 3: Natalie Hope, 4: Jo Robinson, 5: Helen Withers, 6: Holly Marsh, 7: Catherine Smith, Stroke: Em McFadden, Cox: David Jones

8th out of 21 in S3 in a time of 19:17, 3rd fastest college VIII

David Jones reports:


After a pretty neat warm-up row down to the start, we arrived at the marshalling point on an unseasonably warm Saturday afternoon with the Sun shining and blue skies, and were even quite pleased to be sat around at the start for a while!

We had a solid start, and settled into a pretty nice 32, overtaking the attractively attired by not very fast Stoke Rowing Association within about 45secs... We were fairly pleased with the rhythm and kept up a solid 32 for the first 6 or 7 minutes, with technical focuses on each minute to keep things neat. However, we then hit some rough water which seemingly came from nowhere (wind speed ~1mph...) but persisted for the rest of the course, and affected our rhythm quite badly. Towards the end, brute strength was winning out over technique and it got a bit more scrappy than we would have liked, but the result was still fairly respectable: 3rd of the colleges, 18s behind FaT in 1st place, but 25s ahead of Pembroke in 4th. (And notably also 2s ahead of our very own 2nd Men ;) ! )

To add an extra touch of excitement, Em then spotted a stray seal bobbing around watching the crews row through the finish, as verified later by a BBC news article, despite initial scepticism from some of the crew!

We're now looking forward to building on the good points from the first 7 minutes of this race to go on to a strong performance at Bedford.


Uploaded Tuesday 6th February, 12:22


Photos of the 1st Women's VIII: click to view full size. (see all ten photos of this crew)

2nd Men's VIII

9th out of 10 in Novice VIIIs in a time of 19:19, 4th fastest college 2nd VIII

James Michael reports:


After finally finding the correct coach, the dragon-slaying Men's second boat (along with the other Clare crews) embarked to Peterborough. A certain member of the crew who shall remain nameless was rather hungover, and others slept on the short journey. The boat was assembled reasonably quickly upon arrival, and after carb-loading at lunch we embarked on the row up. This was rather eventful, as several of the other boats on the way up decided to get acquainted with the bank- seemingly more used to the Tideway, although the Clare coxes agreed that the Nene is extremely large compared to the Cam...

The race itself was rather eventful. After hanging around for seemingly ages at the start line, we went off with a strong build to rate 34- the highest we've been- about 5 or 6 lengths behind the University of Warwick first boat ahead of us. The crew was rowing well in the initial half of the race and we made up about 2 lengths on the Warwick boat, through a combination of neat cornering and gutsy rowing on the part of the crew. However conditions rapidly deteriorated into large chop when coming under the bridge at the ~3k point, and bowside managed to crab simaultaneously, throwing the boat around and adding some 40 seconds or so to our time. After our first-ever standing start, we were soon back into it, and had some pieces of good rowing on the way to the finish. The tiredness set in, however, and two much faster crews- one of which being Eton who had overtaken 4 other boats- came up. However the crew chowed their determination and pushed to the finish where we felt proud and exhausted.

Overall this race, whilst not the fastest performance, was one ot be proud of. The large crab added a large amount of time on to our race, and was a large blow. Nonetheless, the crew now have broken the psychological barrier of 5k and can feel justifiably proud of the race.

Thanks must go to Phil for coaching, as well as Richard for also coaching and provided much-needed bank party support on the day of the race.

Uploaded Monday 5th February, 19:42


Photos of the 2nd Men's VIII: click to view full size. (see all eight photos of this crew)