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Fairbairns 2015

Thursday 3rd - Friday 4th December

Previous event: Clare Novices' Regatta - Following event: Christmas Head

1st Men's VIII

Bow: Ben Leitch, 2: Matt Simpson, 3: Fred Benham‑Crosswell, 4: James Henderson, 5: Euan Beck, 6: Stephen Kindness, 7: Callum McKenzie, Stroke: Jon Swain, Cox: Basma Khogeer

6th fastest Cambridge college, 8th college inc. Oxford crews, 10th overall inc. Lightweight crews, in a time of 14:40.8

Callum McKenzie reports:


We have had some pretty good training this term, and ultimately it was nice to put in a solid result at Fairbairns to reflect that. We didn't have the ideal week leading up to this race. CNR + BCD + two day post-BCD hangover + crappy 2 boat rule meant we only had 1 very questionable outing in the week before the race. There wasn't much of a worry with forgetting how to row, or losing fitness, it was more of a mentality step off and loss of training intensity. However, we didn't dwell on that too much and had a good crew chat the night before the race going over what we have covered this term and what we wanted out of this race. After toying with a standing start or running start in training, we opted for the running start and kicked things off with a smooth r34. Going past the boat houses was a bit of a blur, but we made sure just to commit early on and get the catches in, as we had a fairly healthy tailwind. We rounded Green Dragon bridge very tightly, thanks to Basma, and once straight we wanted to keep the power there. We haven't been the best crew balancing the boat around the corners, so it was nice once we got onto the straight to let the boat run underneath us and have a bit more of a stable platform, where we settled onto a nice r32 rhythm. As we got to the bottom of the reach the pain was setting in quite firmly and out of Ditton we pushed again, making sure we were at full length. Our race plan was that once we got round First post we would sprint for the finish, going for the mentality of rather blowing before the finish line, than finishing knowing we could have taken 10 more strokes. We committed to this very well. We took the rating up to 36 and just ploughed our way down. We tried to make sure to keep length, but to be honest I am not sure most of us knew what was going on at that point, being ~13 minutes into the race. The finish seemed to last forever, no-one knowing where the line was past the motorway bridge (about 70 metres?), and waiting for the siren to sound whilst going full pelt in the water was a horrible experience. In my opinion we had a solid, committed row, with a strong finish, however at times we lacked a bit of composure and fluidness. That said, I was very pleased with our result. Placing 6th college crew is the best we have done in a very long time (at least 10 years - as far back as the website results go), and we were 3, 4 and 7 seconds behind First and Third, Jesus and LMBC respectively, and were 10 seconds clear of 7th placed Kings. I feel that if we had better preparation into this race we could have picked up those seconds to place slightly higher - however that is the curse of post-CNR BCD! All in all, we are in a good place at the moment and are very much looking forward to smashing a few sterns come Lent bumps!! Cave Adsum.

Uploaded Monday 7th December, 14:04


1st Women's VIII

Bow: Edith Ross, 2: Ada Krzak, 3: Charlotte McGarry, 4: Robyn Hamer, 5: Claire Watkins, 6: Anna Peel, 7: Chrysoula Litina, Stroke: Lydia Price, Cox: Jordan Sandberg

4th college women's crew, 5th women's crew overall, in 16:33.8

Claire Watkins reports:


Marshalling was cold. Cold enough to make me wonder what sort of idiot volunteers to do Fairbairns as their 5th outing in the last 5 months... Sadly Roz was struck down by medical problems and not available, so they got me. We raced in the back of the mens division because of availability later in the day, so we left ourselves a healthy gap behind the last "senior" mens boat.

In my opinion, we had a really good row - there was a nice rhythm, the power felt consistent and didn't drop off, and we had no problems keeping the rate where it was supposed to be. As ever, the course is a bit of a blur in my head, but I know we found an extra gear coming out of First Post Corner and managed to hold onto that to the finish - credit to Lydia for completely going for it and trusting that everyone would follow!

With no idea how we'd done compared to any women's crews, the results were a pleasant surprise, and give the crew something great to build on going into Lent Bumps!

Uploaded Sunday 6th December, 17:43


2nd Men's VIII

Bow: Ollie Dutton, 2: Jamil Jami, 3: Quentin Gouil, 4: Iwan Williams, 5: Olivier Grouille, 6: Jack Atherton, 7: Ben Jennings, Stroke: Adam Harrison, Cox: Clement Chan

4th fastest M2, 27th overall, in a time of 16:14.5

2nd Women's VIII

Bow: Els Alsema, 2: Elizabeth Wlodek, 3: Rosie Vince, 4: Harley Evans, 5: Josie Newman, 6: Hanmin Wang, 7: Anna O'Brien, Stroke: Emma O'Hare, Cox: Joel Adams

3rd W2 out of 6, 28th women's crew overall, in a time of 18:59.2