Cambridge Autumn Regatta 2009

The last regatta of the season saw the Women’s Squad bow out in fine style, taking the honours in the CRA Eight with two of this crew in the other winning boat of the day, a Mixed Coxed Four. The other crews didn’t fare as well, but another enjoyable day’s racing at Cambridge.

Mixed IM2 4+
A bit of a scratch boat (they’d rowed once together) but a very powerful crew saw off another X-Press crew in their straight final. A good hard race from start to finish saw our crew taking the honours by a length. A couple of firsts as well, with Tim getting his first rowing pot at MKRC after his move from Star and Steph picking up her first coxing pot. The crew didn’t have time to catch their breath before four of the crew had to leap straight out of this boat into the Women’s Eight for the final!

Women’s CRA Eight
The first round saw a comfortable win (four lengths) over X-Press Boat Club, with a strong performance from the crew in their first race together. Crew positions were rejigged from St. Neots, with Helen J taking up stroke duties from Charlene, to allow more conventional rigging of the boat. The final saw Champions of the Thames putting up a harder fight but again the strength and technique of our ladies proved too much and they pulled away for a one length win. Deserved pots all round, all the better as, being a CRA event, it was non-qualifying, so no points! A notable first was Tim coxing his way to his first coxing pot – a good day for him following rapidly on from the Mixed boat. All credit to Jo and Lindy who’d just raced in the winning mixed crew.

This second win allowed Lindy to bow out on a real high before departing to Derby Uni, with two pots from the day. We’ll miss you!

Women’s IM3 4+
A narrow defeat for this crew, losing out by under a length to a Peterborough boat. A good result considering this was this crew’s first race and they had to wait an extraordinarily long time for the race and consequently were very, very cold. This delay was unfortunate as Peterborough had their steering fail at the start and had to row back to get it fixed. I guess the lesson is that if this happens again, go back with the competition and not sit around getting cold.

Women’s Novice 4+
Knocked out in the first round by the eventual winners, Maidstone Invicta. Definite progress by the novice ladies though, tough luck getting such strong opponents in the first race.

Mixed IM3 4-
Yet another new crew combination, with Pierre-Yves making his steering debut in a quad. Despite a good start, against a strong looking Guildford quad, we dropped behind and lack of practice on a river course led us to steer across to the bank. After rattling a few blades on some of the crews heading for the start we then clashed heavily with a double that obviously didn’t feel keeping to the bank was an instruction for them and had strayed into the racing lane. This stopped us dead and, although we got going and sculled very well after this, we were to far adrift and had an “easily” verdict against us.

Vet C 2x-
This was Pierre-Yves’ and my first outing since our win at Peterborough and a combination of lack of outings and a very big and strong crew from Poplar Blackwell saw us drop away (although we did hold them for the first couple of hundred meters) to finish 3-4 lengths down.

Despite a big entry from the Juniors, a mix up on dates led to the whole lot scratching. Sorry Cambridge!

Very pleasing was the large number of supporters we had, so real thanks to Tom, Barry and Rob for braving the cold and wind to come along and cheer us on!

The organisation at the event is getting better each year – the delays this year were down to “incidents” (such as the Peterborough four losing their steering and a couple of capsizes) and a large number of river craft. Particular mention to the arrogant house boat who “couldn’t hear” calls to stop because there was a race on the course – fortunately the single scullers managed to avoid this moron.

A couple of great examples of coxing muppetry illuminated the day – one junior coxed quad so busy chatting amongst themselves that they ignored all the marshals and umpires telling them to keep in but award of the day was the eight at the end of the day. Despite two eights coming down the course their cox thought the appropriate line was 90 degrees to the bank! Fortunately, he managed to just get out of the way – just as well it wasn’t a close race as the losing crew had to switch lanes. The idiot then, despite being told to keep in, let his stern drift out again, right in front of the next race. His excuse – he didn’t expect there to be any races on the course….

Results and Photos

Results on line at the Cambridge 99 website

Photos on line at the MKRC photo site, including some extra ones from Barry Rivett

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