Clare Boat Club
☰ menu

Results and Reports by Event

Event:  Year:  Reset search 

Emma Sprints 2015

Sunday 22nd November

Previous event: Cambridge Winter Head - Following event: Clare Novices' Regatta

1st Novice Men's VIII

Bow: Tom Compton, 2: Jordan Thornton, 3: Will Broadbelt, 4: Jason Delp, 5: Felix Kreis, 6: Joel Teo Jin Wei, 7: Gabriel Bliard, Stroke: Rory Fairhead, Cox: Julia Kelsoe

First round: lost against Selwyn NM1; second round: beat Emma NM1

Julia Kelsoe reports:


Having arrived early at the boat house to put together our Cell M8s outfits, NM1 was psyched about our first race. Unfortunately, things began to go against us from that point onward. Lord Ashby, the boat we had planned to use for the race, was having some technical problems following the NM2 division…it seems that the NM2 rowers were just too strong for their riggers! Not having a way to quickly fix Ashby before our division’s marshalling time, we decided to take out Vera instead. Things appeared to be going well as we pushed off; however, it soon became clear that Vera’s rudder was not working properly—the boat could not steer to the left (ps: we did not hit the rudder as we put Vera in the water)! Two boats down and only minutes until marshalling, our fantastic coaches/bank party, Ben and Fred, decided that we should return to the boat house and get another boat. Thankfully, NW1 had just returned from their division and were able to lend us their boat and put up Vera for us as we hurried back onto the river (thanks girls!). Boat drama having slowed us down, we barely had time to de-kit before our first race against Selwyn NM1 began. That said, we were able to maintain our composure as we arrived at our starting position, and we had a decent start despite the fact that we barely heard the marshal say ‘go’. After about ten strokes, however, it seems that Selwyn’s affinity for running into Clare boats (see NM3’s race report below) struck again…our stroke side blades were completely caught up in Selwyn’s bow side, so the marshals called for a restart. A questionable decision on the part of the Emma marshals, given that in perhaps any other race Selwyn’s steering would have merited a disqualification, but we accepted the call and tried to regain our composure. With the restart, our start was not our best and Selwyn quickly took the lead. After about 100m, we were finally able to get our rhythm together and put down some pressure, slowing cutting back on the distance Selwyn had gained on us. In a stroke of luck (pun intended), Selwyn’s strokeman caught an excellent crab—verging on an ejector but he somehow was able to stay in the boat—consequently bringing their boat to a complete stop. We quickly caught up to Selwyn before they had the chance to regain their momentum, but then—surprise!—another technical problem occurred: the collar of Rory’s (our strokeman) blade popped off, making it impossible for him to put any pressure against his gate (or is it swivel?). Several crabs ensued as a result, and Selwyn was able to best us by a couple of inches. An unfortunate ending to an unfortunate series of events.

A bit disheartened but ready to prove ourselves, we looked forward to our next race against Emma NM1. Thanks to Fred and Emma’s boatman, we were able to fix Rory’s blade and head to the starting line. We probably could have been a bit more composed at front stops—several blades were not buried in the water—and have put more pressure down in our builds. Emma gained some distance against us in the starting sequence, but then our superior technique made the difference in the end. We rowed in time and were able to pull off a couple of bursts, allowing us to overpower Emma halfway through the reach. It was a solid row, and we only wish that we could have rowed similarly in our first race.

Uploaded Sunday 22nd November, 17:58


1st Novice Women's VIII

Bow: Lucrezia Baldo, 2: Sabine Hallamasek, 3: Enlli Lewis, 4: Niamh Gibbons, 5: Ariane Dupas, 6: Miriam Gordon, 7: Tamsin Bell, Stroke: Rachael Young, Cox: Alex Horne

First round: lost to Newnham NW1; second race: lost to Darwin Dalmations

Anna Peel reports:


Clare Boat Club NW1 Strategic Committee


Report of the session of the 21st November 2015

Following an intensive brain storming night, the Committee has voted unanimously to adopt the 'crab behaviour' policy. The policy watchword is to hide, as far as it is possible, the booming abilities of NW1, and therefore mislead the enemy, inducing them to disregard the threat represented by Rob's astonishing crew. The aim is to ensure a resounding victory during the best novice race of the year (undoubtedly CNR), where the crew will reveal itself to the enemy. Consequently, for the so called 'Emma Sprints' race, all members of the crew are strongly advised to catch at least one crab, miss the start... and row in the most disorganised way possible as judged feasible by the members themselves given their usual spectacular timing. Any other action intended to fudge the race will be welcomed.

Honourable secretary Ariane Dupas

/swirly illegible signature/

Uploaded Tuesday 24th November, 22:26


2nd Novice Men's VIII

Bow: Basil Langham, 2: Jamil Mustafa, 3: Alistair Brown, 4: Nicolas Levi, 5: Harry Bartholomew, 6: Georg Starke, 7: Harry Perkin, Stroke: Vikram Thakur, Cox: Imani McEwen

First Round: Lost to Fitzwilliam NM2; Second race: Beat Emmanuel NM2

Freddie Benham-Crosswell reports:


Report in fact written by Harry Perkin, the 7 man of this astonishing crew

On Sunday, the world stopped to watch the drama unleashed by Clare’s NM2. Whilst Djokovic vs Federer might have been more glam, for sheer novelty and surprise this was surely the global sporting highlight of the day. The underdog story couldn’t be better. This was a team which struggled until only recently to row in a straight line for more than a few strokes. This was a team which managed to hit every single boat along the Cam and suffered from being overtaken by what turned out to be Newham girls 3rd team. This was a team with a man mountain, Nicholas, who weighed more than bow 4 put together. Our competitors were fearsome to behold. The Fitzwilliam NM2 boat was made up of bearded graduates – grizzled veterans who had spent many an hour in the gym. Could we recreate the success of Mourinho’s Porto, Becker’s first Wimbledon triumph or Greece’s Euro success? The odds were certainly against us.

In fact the odds were right.

But that’s not the whole story... From the start, led by Vikram’s implacable timing and explosive strength, NM2 powered ahead, with a significant lead over our bigger competitors. Lashby reached broke new records as the bank blurred by and swans were trampled. Yet it was too good to last. Fitzwilliam were desperate so they crashed into us. Such was the strength and bravery of NM2’s number 7 (that happens to me), that in a moment of godly strength, he tore asunder his rigger in a collision which sent tremors around the whole of Cambridge. However, whilst one man was down, the team spirit lived on. A great man called Google search once said “When you feel you can no longer row with your legs, start rowing with your heart”. And so that is what we (everyone else did). And it worked. With Imani and Fred screaming, there was hope again. A photo finish later revealed that Fitzwilliam won by a paltry 5 metres – such are the fine margins in the competitive world of nm2 rowing.

Despite the injustice of our defeat, we remained unbroken. Our next race was one of the greatest sporting routs of all time. Despite Lashby our rigger being held together by our coxes’ shoelaces, we demolished them. We pummelled them. We triumphed. Halfway through the race and Fitzwilliam far in the distance, we simultaneously turned and with steely eyes declared “Vini, vidi, vice” (this bit was only in my head). The victory celebrations of mince pies and non-alcoholic beverages were not needed. We had conquered the unconquerable. We had defeated the undefeatable. Shakespeare wrote “Some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them”. Basil, Jamil, Alistair, Harry B, Nicolas, Georg, Vikram, Fred, Imani – today we achieved greatness.

Uploaded Saturday 28th November, 15:10


2nd Novice Women's VIII

Bow: Danielle Saunders, 2: Ella Rechter, 3: Vashti Davies, 4: Johanna Ritzer, 5: Lorna Wills, 6: Alexandra Saracho, 7: Philippa Slay, Stroke: Jess Lindley, Cox: Jing Jin

First round: beat Murray Edwards NW2, quarterfinals: lost against Darwin NW1

Ada Krzak reports:


Written by Jess Lindley

Having organised (slightly dubious) costumes on the theme of ‘PollinVIII’ for maximum representation of the Clare colours, the freezing cold Sunday weather conspired against Clare NW2, forcing us all to don many extra jumpers, socks, gloves and hats before we could brave the boat. Fortunately, the additions of biscuits and race glitter (there’s a theme developing here…) boosted our courage sufficiently and we set out for our first ever race on an actual river. The lack of novice-related queues meant that we breezed down to the bottom of the reach, marshalling in good time, and, even after we had put all of our extra layers back on, we had plenty of spare time for some last-minute tips from our bankparty, lots of photos and even some sunbathing. Leisure time finished, it was time to unleash the costumes (who needs tinsel, silly hats or onesies when you’ve got CBC unisuits?) and line up at the start for our initial race against Murray Edwards. Much tapping ensued from both crews, with poor bow and two almost doubling the amount of rowing they had to do, and then all eight of us waited at frontstops, with bated breath and butterflies, for the call to….

GO! And we were off, pulling ahead of Murray Edwards from the outset. Our start gave us an early lead, but it was once we settled down into the rhythm of the race that we really pulled away. The boat was calm, in time, and there was such feeling of elation as we sped away from the other crew that, on several occasions, our cox had to remind us to focus on the fact that we were meant to actually be rowing a race here….We powered up the reach, strong and in time, and, miraculously, not a single crab was caught. Thus Clare NW2 finished victorious, and completely without incident, in their first ever race.

Unfortunately, the second race wasn’t quite so smooth. We were filled with race sweets, fired up, but the imposing Darwin DalmVIIItians gave us the same treatment that we had inflicted on Murray Edwards earlier. Pulling away at the start, the lack of any boat in our line of vision caused a crew panic as we realised that we were losing, and, despite the best efforts of the bankparty to rally us on and our cox’s wonderful calls, (not to mention the magic of race glitter), we lost all sense of timing. Whilst not as dramatic as some of the races that day, a crab or two were caught, leading to desperate shouts from other members of the crew for the rest of the boat to KEEP ROWING as we came to almost a total halt in the middle of the reach. However, thanks to some fantastic coxing and a well timed build we pulled it back, ultimately losing to Darwin but finishing the race in time and intact. We rowed home beautifully, quickly forgetting both the bitter cold and the loss of the second race once we began the mince pies back atbh! A big thank you to Ada, Euan and Anna for their enthusiastic bankpartying, and to Jing for her wonderful yelling skills – YELLOW FIRE!!

Uploaded Monday 23rd November, 22:53


3rd Novice Men's VIII

Bow: Liam Klein, 2: Tom Hilbourne, 3: Shivam Sheth, 4: Andres Bustamante, 5: Florin Regli, 6: Ben Williams, 7: Eliot Lynch, Stroke: Wai Jun Mak, Cox: Izzy Rudd

First round: beat Selwyn NM2, Quarterfinals: beat Emmanuel NM3, Semi finals: lost to Christs NM3. 4th place

Lydia Price reports:



It was with fiery hearts and freezing cold hands that Clare NM3 approached Emma Sprints 2015. Donning their yellow bejewelled crowns, the crew began the day in the knowledge that bow was ill and seven dressed for a night out – clearly the day, which for all present was their first race, would be one to remember.

After a quick pep-talk from the crew’s adopted mother Lydia and the ever classy Olivier, NM3 made its way up the Cam. Being last in the draw gave ample time to examine the competing costumes and start to feel a bit chilly, but with the sun shining spirits were high. Finally the call from the marshals came, and the boat drew up level with Selwyn NM2. A tap here and a tap there to line up, front stops and then the race began. Selwyn had the upper hand at the first stroke, but it was too hard to call from then on. Unfortunately this was made irrelevant after Selwyn powered into the side of Clare, 20 seconds having passed. With no one injured and only pride bruised, the restart came soon after.

This time there was no early collision and a much better race ensued. Once again Selwyn pulled ahead over the initial strokes, but a strong rhythm pulled Clare back the lead. The feeling was made ever sweeter by the sight of the opposition boat proceeding to veer into the bank and Clare reaching the finish line far ahead. One down.

Realising that missing the Sunday morning lie-in wasn’t actually that bad and with the addition of strawberry laces, the next wait passed swiftly. Coaches and crews once again remained in anticipation. Next up was Emma NM3. Lining up to head back along the river, none from Clare could see the result going against them. Admittedly that was until each boat, shortly after starting, rowed into the middle of the river and so into each other….oops. Despite Emma continuing to row on and so ending up on the opposite side of the river, a good recovery from both teams meant the subsequent restart was once again quick. What happened next was not quite believable. Although this time the boats didn’t hit each other, there were so many crabs caught that Clare could have opened a seafood restaurant. For a large portion of the race only five crew members were rowing, two strokesiders having dropped out so the boat kept going in a straight line. Unbelievably Clare stayed ahead, thanks to the mammoth effort from the NM3 guys. The race finished with Emma at the bank and Clare on the wrong side of the river. Complete chaos, but Clare NM3 had its second win.

With so few boats left and LBC Fred dreaming of free cocktails, suddenly Clare were in the semis. This time it was Christ’s NM3 that the crew were up against, and somewhat remarkably the contest passed without incident. After a couple of crabs at the start however, Clare fell behind and was unable to catch back up, Christ’s consistency really showing through – credit to Izzy though for keeping everyone motivated and getting in return what was probably the best performance of the day for the crew.

All was not lost however, with 3rd place still up for grabs. A staggered start with Magdalene NW2 lay ahead, and Clare was determined to go out on a high. With wise words from Fred (“Yeah, just overtake them”), the crew started well and reeled in the opposition. Overtaking at around the halfway point and gaining more and more, Clare came so close. Another crab though hit hard, and with timing starting to flag this time the steering just wasn’t possible. Everyone in the boat could only watch as their tempo careered them into Magdalene, and despite attempts to continue from both sides the proximity to the finish line meant a technical result was called. Tapping agonisingly for the last few metres, Clare though felt like they had done themselves justice.

While even the journey back to the boat house did not pass without event, a Cambridge boat club member almost being decapitated in a collision, the crew members all continued with smiles on their faces. Mince pies awaited, and a 4th place finish out of sixteen means the future for NM3 looks bright.

A huge thanks to Olivier and Lydia for getting us there and to Izzy for getting us through – fantastic job guys!

Uploaded Sunday 22nd November, 15:20