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Head of the Cam 2016

Saturday 23rd April

Previous event: Lowe Double Sculls - Following event: Cambridge Spring Head to Head

1st Men's VIII

Bow: Tim Tito Rademacher, 2: Jon Swain, 3: Stephen Kindness, 4: Matt Simpson, 5: Euan Beck, 6: James Henderson, 7: Callum McKenzie, Stroke: Ben Evans, Cox: Basma Khogeer

3rd fastest overall (2nd out of Mays 1st Colleges) in 9:02

Callum McKenzie reports:


With some people (me) needing to be elsewhere later on in the day, we decided to race in the first division. Turns out this is an unreasonably early time of day to race. I, along with a few of the other boys, were a bit unsure if our muscles had fully waken up. Nonetheless, we had a race on our hands. We started well, hitting 38 under the motorway bridge, and settled onto 35 up first post reach. A call for finishes entering into first post corner released a bit more boat speed and allowed us to sit back on the stroke letting the rhythm flow through. We did a good push up the gut and tapped it around Grassy, although not as neatly as one would have liked. Grassy to beyond Ditton corner was a bit of a blur, but it quickly became apparent that we had gained massively on the crew in front (a Masters crew who we gave a healthy gap on starting) sitting on a sustainable rate 34. A few scrappy patches here and there, with finishes going every now and then, but by in large the boat was moving quite nicely. Going under the railway bridge we were roughly a length of the crew in front and we could feel their rough water, which threw us off slightly. Turning around the final kink up towards top finish, we picked the rate up to 35/36 and were about half a length off, which gave us a nice sprint finish, where we had managed to go from overlap to finishing exactly level come the finish line. All in all, it was a solid row, lots of areas for improvement, however finishing 2nd college overall beating the likes of Jesus, Downing, Pembroke and FaT, with two potential M1 boys absent shows we have real promise this term and also highlights the depth we currently have in the squad. A few solid weeks training should put us in better stead for gaining speed up on LMBC (who won by 9 seconds). Cave Adsum.

Uploaded Sunday 24th April, 10:42


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

1st Women's VIII

Bow: Rosie Boxall, 2: Harley Evans, 3: Ariane Dupas, 4: Philippa Slay, 5: Els Alsema, 6: Anna Peel, 7: Edith Ross, Stroke: Ada Krzak, Cox: Julia Kelsoe

10th (6th out of Colleges) in 10:50

Julia Kelsoe reports:


With unusual punctuality (but here's to making it the new norm!), W1 made it to the marshalling area for Division 4 with plenty of time to spare. Unfortunately, most of the other crews were less punctual than us and the division started twenty minutes late. While this usually wouldn't be a problem, there were so many crews entered in the race that we were forced to bank on the non-towpath side of the Cam and a pesky side wind constantly blew our stern into the middle of the river. With some ingenious blade maneuvering from Ada and many, many backing-downs from Edith, we were able to stay as much in place as the wind would allow. When it was finally our turn to start, we had a semi-confident rolling start at the motorway bridge that brought our rate up to about 36 and then we lengthened into a more confident and more powerful 33 until First Post Corner. Prior to the race we had decided that we'd build into and out of each corner, and so we were able to maintain a steady 32 from First Post and through Grassy. On Plough Reach we had a reset to regain the length and power of our drive and were able to build confidently into Ditton corner. As we entered the Reach and realised that there was still about half of the race to go, I think we lost a bit of our momentum, but the girls were able to push through and maintain the rate at about 31.5. We built into the railway bridge through the legs, bringing up the power and rate to continue a steady 32 all the way to the finish. The crew for the race was very much a scratch crew, several of the W1 mainstays having been out of town, but everyone in the boat committed to the task at hand and performed well. That we could still come sixth out of the college crews (narrowly beating out Christ's) says a lot about the depth of our women's side. I think we are all looking forward to improving over the term and showing how competitive we can be in future races. Cave Adsum!

To explain the uploaded picture, I made the girls chocolate truffles filled with pistachio marzipan. I've come to realise that chocolate and/or cake serves as a really great motivator for W1 to push late in the races, so as long as we have races I'll try to bake something for them. But truthfully, I'd bake for them regardless because I feel like it's the least that I can do to show how proud and thankful I am of their efforts on and off the water. This is a great crew composed of incredible girls. I'm honoured to be able to yell at them almost every day.

Uploaded Sunday 24th April, 19:08


Photo of the 1st Women's VIII: click to view full size.

2nd Men's VIII

Bow: Gabriel Bliard, 2: Rory Fairhead, 3: Jordan Thornton, 4: Yihan Pei, 5: Ollie Russell, 6: Robin Elliott, 7: Fred Benham‑Crosswell, Stroke: Adam Harrison, Cox: Clement Chan

Winners of Mays 3rd Category in 9:44

Gabriel Bliard reports:


After the intense week of training camp, this was our first 'real' race against other colleges. We were all eager to see where we stood in comparison to the other crews. The result, I think, was an absolute success! The crew had been rowing together for a week (4 sessions) except for a few switches. During that week, the rowing was quite bad at times but improved constantly. From not sitting the boat to gliding quite easily on the water all pressing down , the change was substantial. The last session especially was very beneficial on rowing together thanks to tireless coaching from Gripper. This race is probably the longest race we will row this term. However, the crew built up the rate quite quickly and strongly. With a solid 32 strokes per minutes, we were headed for a good race. Overall, the rate stayed high, the pressure was constant and even Fred was optimistic about the rowing after the race! However, the crew still has a lot of improvement to make throughout the term: the last 300m were sloppy and rushed, which probably cost us that second behind FaT's M2. Also, some degree of control was lost at the corners which meant that the boat would flop around, also costing us some time. At the end, the control on the recovery was thrown out the window when most of the rowers decided that they didn't know how to row at rate 34 (another thing to work on...). But the power calls for the last 150m somewhat improved the concentration and disciplin, allowing us to brave a strong gust of ill-time wind. Now for some statistics : 9'44" for a 2.6 km race which evens out to a 1'52.3" split. We beat 2 M1 crews (Yeah clare!!!), Sidney M1 by 14s (bumped at lents) and Christ M1 by 6s. Sadly, 2 M2 boats were faster than us : LMBC (way ahead) and FaT, which we could have beat. Thus beating Queens, downing and Christs M2 (the last by 45s :D). Finally, we also won our division, which to be fair, was bound to happen. Anyway, this crew is getting better by the second, bumps are looking good!!

Uploaded Saturday 23rd April, 20:49


Photo of the 2nd Men's VIII: click to view full size.

Video of the 2nd Men's VIII: click to watch the video.


Clare M2, head of the cam 2016

A short video, showing how everybody is feathering in the water and how much I need to do some legs-only rowing :,(

3rd Men's VIII

Bow: Harry Perkin, 2: Jason Delp, 3: Ollie Dutton, 4: Toby Roeder, 5: Ben Jennings, 6: Jamil Jami, 7: Alistair Brown, Stroke: Jamil Mustafa, Cox: Lydia Bloomfield


Oliver Dutton reports:


M3 boldly strode out with another fighting fit scratch crew ready to go balls out to please our Lord and Master Fred. Despite a wealth of experience in the boat including Toby 'the Tank' Roeder who seems to have been rowing almost as long as the eternal Liv, enthusiasm and a can do attitude the boat was lacking in technical rowing skill on the row up but a few notes from Gripper and we were ready for rate.

Waiting along for our chance to shine PANIC appeared in the boat when our very own captain Ginger John appeared out of nowhere secretly rowing for a non-Clare crew. We quickly moved on from this betrayal and got down to business powering up to rate 30 off Newham bridge with the wind in our sails and 2.6km to go... 100m later DISASTER struck as three-man (yours truly) took his seat clean off the runners and considered sitting down and rowing arms only for the next 2.5k but quickly realised he was being a moron and put the seat back on while the front 5 seats were wondering why the boat was feeling so heavy. With the full crew back rowing the pressure was laid down nice and cleanly, far surpassing M3's patchy bumps career so far, and we flew round Grassy and Ditton and onto the straight line that is the Reach where we kept the power down, though once again temporarily with a 7 man crew as DISASTER struck 3man again with a lost seat. The lads rowed on honourably putting their all down even with a squeaky finish where DISASTER meant 3man did row the last 50 m arms only.

All in all despite only having only about 7.5 men rowing we put in a very respectable time, faster than many other M3 crews, so watch out for our glorious bumps campaign

Uploaded Sunday 24th April, 11:34