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Peterborough Head of the Nene 2008

Saturday 2nd February

Previous event: Cambridge Winter Head to Head - Following event: Newnham Short Course

1st Men's VIII

Bow: David Hardeman, 2: Matt Causier, 3: Will Kerr‑Muir, 4: Ed Day, 5: Kenrick Turner, 6: Ben Evans, 7: Wanne Kromdijk, Stroke: David O'Brien, Cox: Abbi Fox (CUWBC)

5th out of 15 Senior 3 VIIIs in 19 mins 17 secs; 18th overall. 2nd fastest college VIII

Will Kerr-Muir reports:

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This was a great improvement over the Head to Head. Despite the conditions, the first half or so was pretty solid. When Warwick finally passed, the water got rough and we ended up with other crews all over the place, including an Eton VIII whom we bumped as they slalomed down the course. We held it together as Abbi, our sub cox, drove excellently through it all, although towards the end the technique lapsed a little as we tired.

Still, second fastest college VIII bodes well, and the general consensus was that we had more to give.

Uploaded Saturday 2nd February, 20:35

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2nd Men's VIII

Bow: Jan‑Henning Dirks, 2: Ben Simonds, 3: Tom Williams, 4: Phil Bateman, 5: George Gentsch, 6: Tom Nixon, 7: Andrew Ho, Stroke: Jason McEwen, Cox: Katie Siddle

12th out of 15 Senior 3 VIIIs in 20 mins 56 secs; 40th overall

Thomas R. W. Nixon reports:

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When thinking about the training plan at the beginning of term, making our first piece with the crew a 5k job hadn't been our first idea. Thanks to successive yellow flags, however, this is what faced us at Peterborough, but being the mighty Clare 2nd VIII we knew we could make an excellent race of it.

On coming up to the start we started to put some work down, and a few strokes before crossing the line we calmly took it up to rate 30. Over the first minute we kept the work high, settling into a comfortable race pace at r28. Starting to enjoy ourselves, we headed down the long straight river with Katie keeping us working hard but rowing well, when silence descended on the boat as the cox box died. Katie put her voice on full volume, but with the incredible headwind her voice only made it a few seats down the boat. Unsure at first, we quickly got our heads back in and commands started to be relayed down the boat. Moving on smoothly we were glad to see the only landmark of the course -- the bridge that marked the half way mark, next to which FaT I had banked up for a mid-race picnic.

Soon after the bridge we noticed Fat II bearing down on us. As they crawled up to try for some overlap we had a full crew push to keep them off. We became quite noisy as the call for pushes was relayed down the boat -- if only we hadn't lost the coxbox. Dismayed by seeing us move away from them again, FaT II really turned it on, and for the next few hundred metres there was serious sparring between the two boats. Both crews were pushed to the limit trying to get ahead, and the Clare Men gave a valiant performance, but despite our best efforts Fat II slowly managed to nudge their way down the boat. Even as FaT II moved away, we didn't give up and kept on it. As we came to the last 800m, however, tiredness got us and there was a brief spate of crabs which disrupted the balance and flow of the boat. Although we tried to reset, we never quite got the rhythm back, allowing another boat to edge past as we crossed the finish line.

All-in-all a sterling effort over a long course. The sparring against FaT was brilliant fun, and showed us how hard we can push when we need to -- if we can carry this through to Lents we will have an excellent run of it.

Uploaded Sunday 3rd February, 20:53

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