Novice Women at the Fairbairn Cup

For the first time in SCCBC history, 4 women's novice crews were entered to race in Fairbairns 2016. The only college to have 4 crews racing, we were prepared to storm THE novice event of Michaelmas. Looking slick in matching T shirts, hours of training behind them and 4 very keen LBCs on the bank, they were ready to race.

NW1 started strongly. Responding well to power calls, they soared round the corners, gaining on Christ’s ahead with every stroke. At the P&E they took no prisoners, driving straight past Downing and Christ’s. The final stretch after the railway bridge saw James call a final power 10, and every girl gave their all. The girls finished in an outstanding 5th place just short of 12 minutes, behind Jesus and FaT. A calm, collected and powerful row- you should all be proud.

NW2 had a shaky start but refocussed and got their heads back into the race straight away. Putting the start behind them they had powerful row which saw them pick up the pace quickly. The power 10 call pushing off railway bridge was incredible, and you could see the girls were giving absolutely everything they had left. NW2 beat a number of 1st novice crews in their division, commendable to a very strong technical row and commitment to the race.

NW3 quickly caught Darwin from the start, being forced to wind down before the Green dragon bridge. After the post, they strode past Darwin and then another boat. There was no stopping them down the reach! After the railway bridge, thinks started to spiral out of sync but due to the strength of the first row with added time due to winding down, the girls finished with an incredible time of 13 minutes 40 seconds.

NW4 caught up Sidney Sussex NW3 quickly, gaining 5 seconds from impeding. Overtaking them on the P&E reach, the girls pushed into the final stretch of the race with determination. A few bumps and crabs along the wary didn’t phase them, and they kept their heads in the boat and focused on all the technical points from the ergs. A great chunky row throughout the race and a final push to the finish left them placing ahead of second and third boats.

Congratulations girls and thank you all so much for such a great term. We hope you have loved every minute as much as we have and that this term has set you up for a long and successful career in Catz rowing!


LBCs out.

Novice Women and Women's LBCS, Michaelmas 2016

M2 Fairbairns 2016

Provisional result: 33rd on the river, 6th College M2

M2 and M3 had trained as one squad for the first 6 weeks of term, before splitting down into two separate boats. We spent this time working on a strong technical base. Most of this didn't really show for the first phase of the race, as we pushed the rate high with the result of a spirited but comparatively scrappy start. However, as we had our first push out of Green Dragon corner, we finally settled into a nice rhythm and began to make sustainable progress along the course. James, in only his first term of coxing, steered some beautiful lines, and we definitely emptied the tank as we came under the railway bridge, to the raucous cheers of M1 from the bank, with a time of 17:07. Thank you to all the coaches, coxes and subs who have helped out this term - bring on Lents!

M3 Fairbairns 2016

Provisional result: 42nd on the river, 5th College M3

For only the second time in recent years (that is, since online records began in the late 1990's), SCCBC were fortunate enough to enter 3 Men's eights into the Fairbairn cup. M2 and M3 had trained as one squad for the first 6 weeks of term, before splitting down into two separate boats. The strong technical base we have worked on showed, and M3 produced a solid but relaxed row, finishing in 17:47. Thank you to all the coaches, coxes and subs who have helped out, and I look forward to seeing how we build and improve for bumps next term. FTW!

Clare Novice Regatta - Day 1

The sun was shining on a cold November afternoon, ready for the first river race of Michaelmas term for the novice women. Warm up complete, NW2 were ready to make their debut. A strong and steady row down to the marshalling point settled the nerves. 
Round 1: Catz vs. Clare. On the whistle NW2 soared ahead, leaving Clare fumbling at the start line. Down the reach they sped, maintaining a strong rate 30. With Clare disappearing into the distance Catz kept the power down driving towards the railway bridge. It looked powerful. We were set to win by some distance. Then…a crab hit. The blade got caught in the rigger and it couldn't be recovered. Then...another crab. The boat stopped dead. Clare moved past, but Catz quickly reset. Refocused, they picked up the pace and gained distance back on Clare, who were now meters from the finish line. Unfortunately there was too much distance and Catz narrowly missed a heroic comeback.
Despite not getting the result we hoped for, the girls rowed to the highest level we have seen this term. Every single person should be proud of their performance today. We can certainly look toward next Thursday with confidence that we will see some very strong rowing. 
Fairbairns; there’s a storm coming, and it’s looking like beautiful shades of claret and rose. 

Sparring on the Tideway

Sunday, November 13th arrived. Every other college crew was tucked up in bed, enjoying a relaxing break from their undemanding training regimes. However, the Men of St Catharine's were not among them, as we arrived, decked out in the finest stash Powerhouse and Godfrey have to offer, at the University of London Boathouse, 6am sharp.

Jon, having been up since 3am the previous day stretching in readiness for this outing, mumbled something that sounded a bit like "where's my Pro Plus," then proceeded to jolt awake as a certain Chris Quarton wandered into the changing room. Despite not having rowed for a year, Chris played a crucial role in what was to follow (even if he was sitting at three). Thank you very much to Chris for subbing in last minute! Other Chris (Eddy), as self-appointed food, rest and warmth officer (my role is slowly dissolving into merely writing race reports) arrived wearing his normal 9234329012 layers and slightly indignant expression at being roped into another of my schemes. On this occasion, this may have proved to be wise as today we were sparring with UCL.

Wading out into the tideway with our borrowed Stampfli shell and wheel-less oars, we couldn't help but stare at the scale of the river, with virtually unlimited room for activities. Rowing up towards Richmond we were feeling remarkably at home as Sid had us rowing square blades with pauses. It took us a little while to realise we weren't stuck behind a novice crew on a river about 10cm wide, at which point Sid explained we kept catching up... a promising start.

As dawn broke, we spun and lined up along aside the Men from UCL. Over the next 45 minutes we battle-paddled with a crew that not all that long ago made the final day of HRR, and incredibly found ourselves taking down seat after seat. Yet it was never going to be that simple, as Sid's intuitive Cam coxing led to us taking a wonderful racing line round the corners. Unfortunately, as those readers who did GCSE geography will know, this is not the best option on a river that wide, and the rather smug UCL cox sailed past. After shouts of "isn't it a bit shallow here (#!?)" from the bows, something clicked and Sid began to bully the other crew out of the stream, allowing us to come back and claim victory for the day.

The true toll of a 20km+ battle paddle showed as we headed back to the boathouse, but that's a few extra miles on the clock and Fairbairns is fast approaching. Also we're all now back to full fitness thanks to super-sized malt loaves (what a time to be alive). 

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