Newnham Short Course 2018 - W2

It had been a tumultuous morning, with one of our rowers stricken down with the dreadful flu that has been on the news of late. The search for a sub ensued. Fortunately, Rosie came to our rescue! It was a bleak mid-winters Saturday afternoon and W2 plus Rosie assembled at the boat house, ready to conquer their first challenge of the term – Newnham Short Course. After a quick pep talk, we started off with a front stops and back stops build. It was in this early stage of our race preparation that we faced our second major obstacle. Unfortunately, Newnham had failed to invest in sturdy card for their race numbers, opting instead for mere flimsy paper. The result being, a soggy, mangled number, unreadable by those on the bank. We had barely made it to the P+E when a disgruntled marshal asked us to fix the number on our bow. It was at this moment that we had to inform them of the flaws in their numbering system. All things considered, the criticism was noted, and hopefully next year we’ll be seeing numbers made of card!

We eventually made it to the start line, after a short but freezing wait, we were off! We did a rolling start, Matt Temple style, consisting simply of “five builds”. We settled into a steady rhythm and managed to sustain this for the first half of the race. As we approached the reach, Fiona screamed “Medwards we’re coming through!” And from here on, our rate rapidly increased as we saw an opening in our peripheral vision. With some motivational pressure calls from our cox, we quickly found ourselves lining up with the crew and eventually overtaking them. We were now in the last 500m of the race, and as our energy waned Newnham Short course was no longer feeling quite so short! But we made it, and in a time of 8:26, enough to win us the W2 division and earn ourselves some gorgeous medals in the process.

St Catharine's W2 - 1st Place - Newnham Short Course 2018

Emma Sprints

Today saw the first on-water race of the novice women's calendar as our two boats of cats from Catz competed in Emma Sprints.

Unconvinced by the apparent importance of race starts in sprint events, the trusty LBCs had taken the executive decision to build from backstops in what can only be described as excellent long-term planning for Fairbairns domination. However it was quickly decided after NW2's first race that short-term Emma Sprints domination would also be quite nice, and the crews adapted well to an unpracticed start from front stops. In NW2's first race, they understandably lost some early ground to a strong-starting Eddy's NW1, but held a really nice, co-ordinated rhythm over the length of the reach and, until thwarted by a broken seat, were reeling them in. In their second race, they had a stronger start and were about level with Downing NW2, then pulled away as Downing caught a crab. We then caught a nasty crab ourselves but excellent coxing by Raunak meant we managed to stop the boat and reset quickly. We had about a length to catch up on Downing with 300m to go and were eating up the water between us and them coming into the last 200m. Then disaster struck as Robyn's footplate at stroke came out, but the girls adapted brilliantly and Katy at 7 kept a strong rhythm going which allowed us to hunt down Downing with just 7 rowers, squeezing past them with about 10m to go to beat them to the line. Incredible scenes.

NW1 prepared for their races with all footplates tightened and tightened again and all seats securely in position. They started well in race 1 and were looking strong against Downing NW1. We would have gotten away with it if it wasn't for that pesky footplate, as unfortunately the stroke footplate once again took on a life of its own and decided it no longer wanted to be involved in the race. The girls powered through well to the end but were unlucky that, this time around, Downing could not be beaten with only 7 rowers. In their second race, Lucy Cav NW1 had a strong start and pulled away early on, but the girls set a strong rhythm, hitting r28 while still maintaining solid technique, and comfortably held them for the remainder of the race.

Today's sprints showed a lot of promise, as the strongest elements of our races were those that will be carried through to Fairbairns: the good timing and chunky rowing once we had settled into our rhythm. Well done to everyone for a fantastic effort with some nice technical rowing and excellent accommodation of the various challenges that were thrown our way!

SCCBC Promo Video

A video compilation of some recent highlights from SCCBC. If you're joining St Catharine's in October 2017 and want to try rowing, check out the Get Involved pages, find us at the freshers' squash, and stay tuned for information about our annual freshers' BBQ!

Race Report M2 - Day 4

Day 4 - Result: rowed over

Starting positions: Queens’ M2 - St Catharine’s M2 - Christ’s M2 - Peterhouse M2 - LMBC M3

Held station with Queen’s off the start, up to Plough Reach. Christ's, knowing that LMBC would outpace them over the course, pushed very hard off the start, and closed in on us, to within half a boat-length. But we thought only of Queens’ ahead, and made our first move on Plough Reach - they defended well and we were still on station with them around Ditton Corner and onto the Long Reach. After 200m we unleashed a second offensive, and gradually began to close the gap, to a boat length under the Railway Bridge. We then threw everything at them, grinding them down - to two whistles and half a boat-length as we passed the P&E, then just a canvas as we headed towards the finish. James called for the kill and we had overlap, but Queens’ saved themselves across the finish line (and collapsed) - narrowly denying us the final bump, in what was a worthy, epic battle. The greatest respect to an incredible Catz M2 crew, for giving everything over the term and in every race, deservedly making this such a successful bumps campaign!

Pugwash Mays day 4 - Part Two

I still haven't been blocked from posting on the website, so I'm going to make the most of it. Plus I think this stuff is worth talking about.

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