1st Novice VIII race ’99s Spring Regatta!

Race report by the 1st Novice VIII

Crew rowing in a river

Our first race!! It was a very sunny day (we had to put sun cream down the partings of out plaits ☹) but we had ribbons in them – yellow for bow side and blue for stroke side – so overall it was a win!

Our first round was against Maggie NW1. We had a great start keeping up with them until a seat got jammed; then there were a few crabs, and then the stroke seat came off the tracks completely. Despite only seven people rowing over the finish as Thea held her seat, we rowed straight and together showing that the setback would not defeat us.

Next, we found out that we had a row over!! After the chaos of out first race, we took it as a practice race and did the best piece we’ve ever done down the Reach, getting close to the race in front of us! Then we had a great singalong to Don’t Stop Me Now and we managed to get other boats to sing along with us, and if that doesn’t get us a Rowbridge I don’t know what will. [Note: it did!]

Winning against ourselves got us to the plate final, which was against Darwin NW1. The start went really well and we were starting to pull ahead; unfortunately we crabbed, causing the rudder effect to steer us straight into the bridge. Cat and Alice definitely thought they were going in the river, but luckily everyone stayed in the boat! We quickly got going again and were gaining on Darwin, but they still beat us as the race was too short to make up that much ground. We still finished strong with our heads up high across the line though.

Overall a lot of Soreen and jelly babies were consumed and a lot of tape used up, but it was great to get some racing experience!!! The crew were slightly disappointed as we all knew we could have placed higher if not for the unfortunate events, but we now know what to do when things go wrong and that we are very efficient at sorting out issues like this! Despite this it was great to race for the first time and a bunch of us did order unisuits after getting home, so clearly this hasn’t put us off rowing forever!

Group of people in Newnham kit standing in celebratory poses in front of racks of boats.