Entries are now open for our annual Catz Cardinals Regatta, taking place on Thursday 13th March.
Please see our page here for more information!
2014 will see the third incarnation of this annual event for all College Members who were involved in rowing or the Boat Club during their time at St Catharine's. It provides the chance to reconnect with old friends and to celebrate the club's successes with the current crews. There will be gentle outings in tubs as well as some sessions in eights and races between current and alumni crews. The day's activities are followed by a dinner with both current crews and alumni. The evening will begin with drinks in the SCR from 6.45pm followed by dinner in Hall at 7.30pm.
Booking is now open at the College Alumni and Development Office events webpage. Please note that it can take a few days for your name to appear on the list of attendees after booking.
For more information contact James Wagstaff on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Quite a few people spent the first three days of this week dismissing Catz M1 as lucky - there were suggestions that we'd only escaped Kings on Wednesday and Clare on Friday by taking advantage of the melt-downs of Trinity Hall and Girton, but I'm inclined to say that you make your own luck. You have to be there to take advantage of these situations, and it was through our own hard work that we were in the right place at the right time. Still, it's always nice to finish on an unequivocal high, and against Peterhouse we pulled off the classic Catz bump.
The row-down was probably the best of the week, although the spectators outside the plough seemed to rattle us sightly. The start was reasonable, if not spectacular, but Girton came nowhere near, as Clare flew up towards them. Around first post we were holding station solidly and although Girton got away from Clare they never came inside station with us. I forget exactly where we started to get whistles - the whole race is something of a blur - but they came gradually, boosted by massive support from Grassy (thank you so much to everyone who came to cheer) until rounding Ditton at half a length down we decided to finish the job, and cruised smoothly in to claim our blades.
There's no real way to do justice to those kinds of moments in just three paragraphs, so I'm barely going to try. All I want to say in closing is how proud I am of everyone involved - all term the whole crew gave absolutely everything that was asked of them, and I'm incredibly happy that we've got the reward that we deserved for that. The wheel rolls on.
Bumped Hughes Hall I
This was it. After the overbump on the first day and the following swift bumps after that, we were going into the final day +5. Now was a chance to go racing with a first VIII, and show that we were worth a place in the second division. We knew it would be a tough ask, and so set the race plan up accordingly - row a long race, make sure that they could see that we weren't going anywhere, and seeing if they would crack under the pressure.
After everyone overcame their fear of getting their feet wet putting the boat in, the row up to the start was very relaxed, given the circumstances. After a small delay at the start of the division to fix an ARU bowball that was never in danger of needing to be used, we were off on possibly the most relaxed start of the week. We moved slightly inside station on Hughes, and the stride was the most composed we'd pulled off all week, but Hughes pulled back out to station coming into Grassy.
The plan started to kick into action. No panic that we weren't getting whistles or closing lengths on an overbump like earlier in the week, just sit there at our steady 35-36 and grind them down. We moved inside station coming around Ditton, and it was fantastic to feel the lack of headwind that had been ever-present earlier in the term. Belinda called for the push for the whistle out of the corner and we got it at the end of the spinning zone. This was the time to go.
With the bank party screaming that we were moving with every stroke we started to close in. Two whistles came at the kink, and we got three under the bridge, but we knew we were rapidly running out of time. Hughes put in a big push and took six feet back out of us, prompting a cry of "they're getting away!", which in turn brought a rate increase and the final push. Three years ago we let them escape from overlap, and it wasn't happening today - the push worked and we made contact at Morley's Holt, less than 200m from the finish.
It was a fantastic row, and the best bumps race that I've been involved in, a real duel over the course rather than being finished in two minutes. Huge credit to Hughes for a fantastic race.
This victory gave us a chance to row as the sandwich boat at the bottom of the second division. Alas there's no happy ending here, as while we were inside a length of Pembroke II and closing just past the motorway bridge, the Christ's II cox decided that their spoons were enough and Pembroke didn't need some as well, clearing in "the most ridiculous manner ever" (Scales 2014). After the technical rowover was awarded, a long row back with the flag and a trip into the river rounded off the day well.
Up 6 is an incredible result, and testament to the crew in what has been a fairly frustrating term with a lack of water time. The adherence to the land training regime really showed in the latter stages of the overbump and the final bump. Many thanks to Dr Ivan Scales for his time trying to make us be effective in the little training we actually got to do on the river.
Well done to Pieter and Tom (thrown in at the deep end on the wrong side of the boat!) in only their second term of rowing, Alex and Belinda in their first set of bumps, and the second-year stalwarts Scott, Dan, Anthony and Stephan who got to enjoy their revenge for last year and then some! Onwards and upwards to division 2 next year!
We were chasing Sidney today, who we had managed to gain on in sixes earlier in the week so we knew we could get them. We thought it would be a longer race than yesterday, but we were ready to grind them down. Unfortunately just after the start, incompetence above us struck AGAIN with Queens catching a boat stopping crab and Sidney getting them back before the motorway bridge. Just our luck!
We powered it down for the overbump, but unfortunately they bumped out too. Nevertheless we had an extremely strong row-over, with CamFM pointing out that we ‘have really good technique, unusual for their division’.
Up one this week is a great result but not one which reflects the speed and strength of the crew. Every day but one W2 experienced the misfortune that sometimes comes with being in a lower division, yet the crew stayed positive and strong. The fact that a boat never came within a length of bumping us is pretty solid and a better representation of W2 this Lent. Everyone involved should be really proud of their performance this term; the team has gelled really well together & developed into brilliant rowers. Bring on Mays!