June Eights Regatta: Day 1

1st VIII – lost to Queens’ W1

Day 1 for the 1st VIII began with a decisive energy of nervous excitement. The row up was smooth but silent. The crew relaxed following a dose of jelly babies. Our opponents, Queens W1 came with a reputation for speed. At the start line we were keen yet calm, the voice of Cat talking us through the race plan hung over the boat. One stroke in, feels a little wobbly, stroke two, we were taking it back. Holding Queens for the duration of the reach, falling behind them only as we passed the bridge. Unbeknownst to the rest of the crew, bow had not sat on her seat for a single stroke of the entire race. Instead opted to shuffle up the slide. Despite the equipment failure, the crew was thrilled with how well we performed against a strong opponent. We are excited to race again tomorrow!

– Clementine Smith (2)

2nd VIII – lost to LMBC W2

After an inspiring visualisation exercise at marshalling, and with powerhouse Flo out of self-isolation, the 2nd VIII were feeling strong rowing up to the start line. Though Caitlin had abandoned us to sit an exam, we had super-sub Sophie stepping in to save the day! Unfortunately, a slightly frantic start had Maggie pulling ahead just half a length, and we weren’t quite able to make up the distance – although we rowed powerfully and certainly didn’t let them pull away any further! The meadowside under the railway bridge gave them an advantage, and even a perfectly-timed kill call by Namera couldn’t quite bring us level with them. Despite a disappointing final result, we’re full of adrenaline and ready to row even better tomorrow!

– Hana Khan and Emma Gough (Bow pair)

Following a very close 900m, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I had correctly timed the kill call for the first time in my coxing career, though this was sadly insufficient to claw back a paltry half-length lead.

– Namera Tanjeem (Cox)

1st Novice VIII – won against Wolfson NW1

For our first day of racing we went up against Wolfson NW1. With Thea and Beth stuck in exams we had the wonderful Anna subbing in, and Roma coxed their first race and made it to victory! This was our first win (against another crew) and we were absolutely thrilled about it. It was extremely nerve-wracking to be up alongside another boat and doing a standing start, rather than a rolling like we did in the getting on race, but we all kept our cool (very literally – half of us had girlie cool stash tops on!) and made it to the finish line without any major incidents. And for a first race we smashed it – in the end it was a victory by 2.5 boat lengths! Highlights included our now daily banana soreen time and Beth being recognised as the ‘crab girl’ with our mascot Sebastian back on her head after becoming an icon in the getting on race.

– Catherine Prior and Alice Wood (Bow pair)

We pulled ahead within the first ten strokes, and then I just had to keep us in a straight line from there.

– Roma Ellis (Cox)