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Cambridge Winter Head to Head 2016

Saturday 23rd January

Previous event: Christmas Head - Following event: Newnham Short Course

1st Men's VIII

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

7th in Lents M1 divison (6:34.3 and 7:25.5)

Callum McKenzie reports:


There has been some good promise in training up till date. We have had 3 outings in our (nearly) full line up and the boat has been moving along very nicely. The first 2k of the race started well but lacked a bit of punch in the first half of the race. We had Emma start behind us and up until plough reach/grassy they appeared to gain ground on us. A brilliant line around grassy from Basma followed by a call for a big push got our arses into gear and we were starting to really motor along. By the time we finished we had managed to gain back the distance Emma had put on us and pulled away by a pretty good margin. We had a little debrief and felt that we paced the race slightly, so we were going to hit the second leg a lot stronger. The 2nd 2k started a lot more punchy than the first which was encouraging. We pushed well out of first post corner however technique was starting to falter, resulting in the boat moving around quite a bit. We maintained the power up plough reach and as we came around Ditton corner we were hit by a very unexpectedly stiff head wind (considering we had barely seen any wind up till this point). A little surprised by this, we kept on chugging along down the reach trying to use as much momentum as possible to cut through the wind. As we approached the finish line we took it up a few pips and just went full out for the line. We had pulled away from Emma very comfortably by this point. All in all, given how we placed in results, we had very ambivalent thoughts. The race was a solid-ish performance but no where near our best. If half the crew didn't get absolutely smashed the night before for Burns night, we didn't have an hour test the day before and Riccardo wasn't busy cycling to the outer hebrides we could have placed higher and put in a better performance. Most importantly though, there is some seriously great promise with the crew and squad this year and we will be getting our heads down and boshing out some serious training.

Uploaded Tuesday 26th January, 21:43


1st Women's VIII

Bow: Charlotte McGarry, 2: Ada Krzak, 3: Rosie Boxall, 4: Robyn Hamer, 5: Edith Ross, 6: Anna Peel, 7: Anna O'Brien, Stroke: Lydia Price, Cox: Julia Kelsoe

6th in Lents first division (7:51.4 and 8:41.9)

Charlotte McGarry reports:


The first race of the year proved to be a solid platform for the new W1. Whilst the start of the first leg was a little sluggish, chugging on down the reach at rates south of 28, motivation came in the form of eight red and green blades getting suspiciously close to our stern. ‘Push them away girls!’ came the call from the bank, and to the satisfaction of everyone in the crew, that’s exactly what we did. Despite nearly being overtaken after a particularly generous corner at Grassy, we kept the focus and technique for the final stretch, resulting in a stellar sprint finish in the mid 30s.

The race home was equally tight but again, Clare W1 proved their worth by holding the distance across the whole 2k course, and even overtaking a boat of seniors at the top of the reach. It was encouraging to see that every time that Girton us moved into us, we responded well to our cox’s calls and had the dynamism and power to push off them. Now it’s just a case of harnessing that power for the whole race.

Job well done girls. Onwards and upwards (and for the love of god, away from Girton!) from here.

Uploaded Monday 25th January, 12:14


2nd Men's VIII

Bow: Alistair Brown, 2: Iwan Williams, 3: Harry Perkin, 4: Toby Roeder, 5: Olivier Grouille, 6: Rory Fairhead, 7: Ben Leitch, Stroke: Adam Harrison, Cox: Clement Chan

10th in Lents M2 divison (7:29.2 and 8:20.7)

Ben Leitch reports:


For the first race of term, with a scratch crew, it wasn't entirely awful. We started off quite nicely with a good rate or around 33 and maintained that for the majority of the first leg. It got sloppy though and, as concentration began to wear off, catches were flung left, right and centre, early/late finishes knocked off the balance of the boat and Magdalene overtook us just after Grassy. With them in front, we relaxed a bit and actually had a nice end to the first 2k. The second leg was more relaxed, but that meant the rate went down. Although this was a better row, the power wasn't there throughout and, a tactical crab (love them) from our six-man allowed Selwyn to overtake us in the last 500m. I'm pretty sure we gave it our all, but it was just too messy to let the boat run under us, which left it feeling laboured and, well, just a bit shit. Onwards and upwards!

Uploaded Monday 25th January, 11:25


2nd Women's VIII

Bow: Els Alsema, 2: Katie Wilkinson, 3: Philippa Slay, 4: Johanna Ritzer, 5: Olivia Jenkins, 6: Elizabeth Wlodek, 7: Ariane Dupas, Stroke: Hanmin Wang, Cox: Joel Adams

4th in Lents third division (8:26.1 and 10:00.4)

3rd Women's VIII

Bow: Vashti Davies, 2: Jess Lindley, 3: Sabine Hallamasek, 4: Niamh Gibbons, 5: Katie Irwin, 6: Alexandra Saracho, 7: Josie Newman, Stroke: Ran Huo, Cox: Lydia Bloomfield

2nd of 3 W3 boats (9:25.4 and 10:48.8)

Anna Peel reports:


Jess Lindley reports:

Our race experience began with crisis aversion. Interesting directions as to where to park, plus seemingly every boat from every boathouse stationery at the P&E resulted in a very fast cycle by our coach to quickly locate a spare bow ball and duct tape. We then amused ourselves watching the carnage that ensued for the next half hour, safe in the ever-comforting knowledge that however bad the first 2k was, there would be twenty minutes’ freezing wait at the top, and we would then have to do it again.

We were not disappointed. The first half of the first race felt a little as though we might have all just had six weeks off consuming large amounts of mince pies – who knew that there was a direct correlation between weeks off rowing and crabs caught in races? - but as Trinity Hall overtook us on the first corner (yep, we were on the inside…), we pulled it together and the boat sat – albeit the most wobbly sit ever. We maintained a good rate to the motorway bridge, and then began to wait…and wait…and wait. Many taps were taken by bow pair, much backing down ensued, and many complaints about exactly why we were doing this in January could also be heard (mainly from bow pair, who were exceedingly reluctant to remove their hats and gloves). However, the time for the second race eventually rolled around and we set up a nice, balanced rate 28, calm and steady, although, as was proved when we were overtaken not once, but twice, not particularly fast. Having already raced 2k that day, however, we were all more focused on keeping in time and forcing our numb feathering hands into co-operation. Some fantastic coxing from Lydia kept us all motivated (especially her 1.8k cry of ‘NO. You are NOT going to let the rate drop!’), as did our bank partying from Roz – thank you very much and here’s to the next race, when, hopefully, it will be a little warmer!

Uploaded Thursday 4th February, 0:22


Claire Watkins / Holly Game (Girton) (Women's Double Scull A)

Fastest W2x in 17:30.7

Claire Watkins reports:


First leg.. we may have forgotten how to race. Maybe that's why you train? Who knows. Anyway, we had a lovely piece at maybe r27, but I can't imagine it was that fast.

Second leg.. Got told not to go in front of Queens W2, left a massive gap, caught them by First Post, they wouldn't move over so we sat around behind them for ages, finally got round at the Plough, crashed, overtook them again inside Ditton... without all the drama, this one would have been much better, a nice racy ~32 and a good sprint for the finish. Surprisingly fun race anyway,might do another one sometime.

As a bonus, we were the fastest W2x anyway.. Would have been a little embarrassing to lose to the Masters crews. Disappointingly, not enough entries for a pot :(

Uploaded Sunday 24th January, 18:51