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Champs Eights Head 2017

Sunday 21st May

Previous event: City Sprints - Following event: Nines' Regatta

1st Men's VIII

Bow: Euan Beck, 2: Matt Simpson, 3: James Henderson, 4: Ben Evans, 5: Stephen Kindness, 6: Peter Rees, 7: Jon Swain, Stroke: Riccardo Conci, Cox: Julia Kelsoe

Winners of May 1st division (and fastest overall) with a time of 4:23.6

Euan Beck reports:


I think we were all looking forward to the race today. We've had a somewhat disrupted programme in the last few weeks, so it was going to be nice to have the full crew out in the new boat. The row down felt good and the boat was moving, but we were aware that we were travelling downstream in a tailwind. Our practice start as we headed up to our marshalling point was sharp, with a good transition into race pace, but we knew that due to the short distance this would be an all-out sprint and we couldn't afford to take it easy for a second.

The start proper moved off well in the low 40s. We reached Ditton pretty quickly and the head/cross wind didn't hit us until we were already on the Reach. The boat had a nice flow and we seemed to be moving well, and although it was tidy it probably could have been a few pips higher. As we moved away from the railway bridge we started to wind up the rate for the finish, and luckily we didn't spin on the spot, bringing the boat speed up as well. As we neared the finish we all emptied our tanks.

As it turns out we were the fastest crew by 0.3s - ultimately a small margin but still a win. The row felt good although I think we can all identify areas to improve and build on in the next few weeks. Let's go get it Clare!

Uploaded Sunday 21st May, 23:26


Photos of the 1st Men's VIII: click to view full size.

1st Women's VIII

Bow: Jamie Fox, 2: Philippa Slay, 3: Rosie Boxall, 4: Robyn Hamer, 5: Edith Ross, 6: Anna Peel, 7: Rosie Boxall, Stroke: Ada Krzak, Cox: Harry Ellison‑Wright

Winners! Fastest womens' college crew with a time of 5.15.9

2nd Men's VIII

Bow: Ollie Dutton, 2: Adam Harrison, 3: Alistair Brown, 4: Gabriel Bliard, 5: Fred Benham‑Crosswell, 6: Rory Fairhead, 7: Jordan Thornton, Stroke: Jordan Ward‑Williams, Cox: Clement Chan

9th in Mays 2nd division with a time of 4.52.8

2nd Women's VIII

Bow: Rosie Vince, 2: Marta Uncio‑Ribera, 3: Amelia Fitch, 4: Eilidh Thompson, 5: Rosie Ugur, 6: Ran Huo, 7: Abbie Currington, Stroke: Rachael Young, Cox: Ben Williams

3rd in Mays 3rd division with a time of 5.54.8

3rd Men's VIII

Bow: Amaru Araya‑Williams, 2: Michelangelo Chini, 3: Ruaridh MacDowall, 4: Toby Roeder, 5: Hector Epanomeritakis, 6: Alec Downie, 7: Will Broadbelt, Stroke: Geoff Macintyre, Cox: Izzy Rudd

2nd in Mays 4th Division, and 2nd fastest 3rd VIII overall, with a time of 5:05.6

Alec Downie reports:


The 3rd VIII has been a succession of scratch crews for much of term, and today was no exception, with an entirely different middle 4 from the boat for bumps. Nevertheless, we set off up the river on a beautiful day, fortunate to be in the 1st division and therefore miss out on much of the traffic. The row up was smooth and fairly assured, and a few practice starts went extremely well, with a high rate and lots of power. Although progress to the spin zone was pretty slow, it gave us time to enjoy the weather. We spun, and with a lot of stopping and starting made our way to the bottom of Plough Reach for the start. Our basic plan was to maintain a high rate to Ditton, then sharpen up around the corner and down the Reach, and to blitz from the railway bridge to the P&E.

The start was strong again and we hit a sharp 36, maintaining that high rate and speed to Ditton. Around the corner the wind hit us and we started to settle in, with Izzy keeping us on track with technical calls. We continued to hold the power down the Reach, keeping the rate at a strong 33. As we came under the bridge things were starting to fray and the boat was wobbling a bit. But Izzy called us to power through, your correspondent gave his war cry, and we emptied the tanks to the finish. We were behind Hughes/Lucy W2 and catching up with them quickly, so Izzy had to take a wider line into the P&E. We crossed the line as we were passing them.

Unfortunately, this blockage may well have cost us; when the times for the division came in, it turned out that we'd lost to Pembroke M3 by 0.9s. Still, we all were very happy with how the race went, and the result is very promising for M3's bumps campaign.

Uploaded Wednesday 24th May, 14:05


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

4th Women's VIII

Bow: Bethany Mason, 2: Georgina Brown, 3: Paola Velasco, 4: Julie Ramambason, 5: Olivia Brett, 6: Nina Cooper, 7: Jess Lindley, Stroke: Kerry Smith, Cox: John Clay

3rd in Mays 4th division with a time of 6.29.4

6th Men's VIII

Bow: Andres Bustamante, 2: Olly McMillan, 3: Martijn Lugten, 4: Ridhwaan Suliman, 5: Will Theis, 6: Austin Jaspers, 7: Nick Wise, Stroke: Richard Gunning, Cox: Ben Williams

2nd in Mays 5th Division, fastest (only) M6 with a time of 5:35.7

Nick Wise reports:


Miracle on the Cam

Michael Harmon investigates.

Cambridgeshire witnessed an historic event this past Sunday when Clare College’s turbocharged M16 rocketed to a dazzling finish in its first major race of the season. The spectacular showing was, in the words of veteran Clare rower and notorious King’s Parade punt tout Alec Downie, a “heartwarming tale of triumph in the face of adversity.” And adversity they did face. Sponsored by Abellio East Anglia but rowing with Greater Anglia tickets, this all-star cast of oarsmen battled through geese, locks, and a toxic political climate to ultimately attain a bittersweet second place in its division. Nonetheless, MI6 seems unstoppable as they cruise toward an invariably destructive bumps campaign.

Sunday’s showing has propelled the M16 crew into the spotlight, particularly the legendary coxswain Ben “Captain Sully” Williams, who heroically steered the unstoppable craft clear of disaster on more occasions than should be mentioned. Former MCR MP Olly “New-Z” McMillan called the race “long,” while an anonymous commentator who lives in Old Court and is working toward his fourth MPhil likened Ridhwaan “Backsplash” Suliman to “a tsunami with an oar.” Meanwhile, Austin Jaspers, who runs the boat’s IT department (occasionally from the U.S.), described the boat as “a freight train in water” and has been rumored to have personally warned Olympic speedmonger Usain Bolt to “watch out.” Suliman himself called the outing “better than m’office,” while strokeside powerhouse Richard Gunning had only this to say: “it is Wednesday May 24 at 9:00am, and formal booking has now closed.”

Speaking of behalf of the inconsolably sunburnt Nick "Has anyone had a go at the crossword?" Wise, resident skin care expert and resident Dutchman Martijn Lugtdienjsjij recommended members of the M16's growing fan base to apply at least SPF 50 in preparation for the next race. Regrettably, Will Theiss, a veteran of both New Trier and Yale College varsity rowing teams, declined to comment on MI6’s race results. Theiss’s floormate and Clare College astronomer Aneesh Naik, however, had this to add: “Of all the friends I’ve had in life, I can say without hesitation that Will is one of them.”

On her majesty’s orders, the M16 has defied the odds, finishing an entire race without abject catastrophe and beating the M4 by an astonishing 13 seconds in the process. There remains little doubt that these rising stars of the Clare Boat Club will be taking May bumps by storm, leaving their competition both shaken and stirred.

Uploaded Thursday 25th May, 11:47