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It’s been great this term to see the men and the women take to training on effectively the same training plan. The gains made on both sides is a testament to the great work Silvia does and continues to do giving direction to both sides. With the help of all of our alumni coaches it is an excellent way to see the club move in unison and we thank all of those who put in the hours to make sure we move forward as a club.
Whatever happens in bumps, success of failure, the few days will not define us. We are a club looking for bigger things than simply moving up or down a few places against small competition and I hope we can build on the determination, camaraderie and talent we have to make sure we can become a club recognised both on and off the Cam.
The end of this term marks the end of an era. Admittedly a very short era: the era of the potato field. It’s been tough not having a boat house and we are forever grateful for the battle Roly puts up to make sure we have a safe place to boat from and that the equipment is in a useable condition despite having no workshop. I’m hoping by the time we reach next term we can step into our new boathouse and into a brighter, more modern future for all at CCBC – with some new equipment to boot.
CCBC Overall Captain, 2015–16
After a productive Michaelmas term and a solid Christmas training(/bulking/resting) period, M1 returned to Cam eager to jump back in the boat. The term itself has been another quiet one race-wise, with M1 taking the “Dan Jones” approach of keeping our cards close to our chest. However, we have more than made up for it in training routine. Several long outings with patient and quality coaching have paid their dividends, with the crew taking advantage of the closed river by hoping over the lock for several constructive outings.
After a rather shaky start to term, things started to pick up once Dan Jones returned to the crew. Bringing to the boat the same drive, aggression and consistency that brought us huge success last year, we picked ourselves up and made considerable progress in every outing. This was coupled with solid gym training, the benefits of which are showing in the erg scores and the powerful race pieces that we are able to sustain rather comfortably.
The progress made over the last few weeks has been astonishing, with 5 weeks of training culminating in the best rowing done this term right before the start of bumps.
Lent bumps itself could not have gone better. During our warm up on the final day, it was clear that there were no nerves at all in the crew. Only the knowledge that a professional job was required to win our blades and send Kings to spoons.
Following bumps, training turned to focus on Head of the River Race. After a last minute change to our line-up due to an unfortunate illness, M1 travelled to London to race on the tideway. Our rowing improved throughout the course, and we rowed through Hammersmith with a really strong rhythm, holding off neighbouring crews whilst underrating them. A pretty solid race overall, with some excellent bits of rowing once we settled into ‘race-mode’ as a crew.
Men’s Captain, 2015–16
W1 have come a long way this term. It has been a journey for the whole boat; novices and seniors alike have come a long way. We can now proudly say that we are a W1 that has earned the name. With commitment and determination, this boat is now unrecognisable from its beginnings at the start of the term and I am very proud of every single member of the boat.
Our first race of term was Newnham Head. We set out with the aim of finding our limits and pushing through them. Although we didn’t quite hit that red line we were aiming for, it was a solid race and we came home in 3rd place, beaten only by Jesus and Clare and faster than Emmanuel W1 amongst others! We knew that we had a long way still to go and so kept on pushing to improve.
I have heard the saying many times that good crews go up and lucky crews get blades. Unfortunately W1 found out how true that statement is on the final day of Lents. We had a strong start and had a whistle on queens well before the motorway bridge. We kept gaining through the stride and got up to 3/4 of a length. But then we caught a boat stopping crab which we couldn’t retrieve. Murray Edwards came up on us fast after that and we were bumped. Nevertheless, it has been a successful bumps campaign for W1. We have bumped 3 times, got inside the top 10 in the first division
(albeit briefly) and we achieved what we set out to do: to row every day to the best of our ability and make the most of every stroke we had.
W1 went to WEHoRR with the aims of enjoying the experience and taking a little bit of pink to the tideway. We had a number of changes in crew order in the run up to the race and ended up with yet another different crew order on the day of the race. We got off the water happy with the race we had rowed and knowing that whatever the result we had given it our all. The results speak for themselves. Shocked silence followed by cheering and shouting was the response when we found out we had come 79th overall and 2nd fastest Cambridge college, behind only the headship crew, Jesus – with only 18 seconds in it!
W1 have been a pleasure to captain this term. It has not been easy and the training has been intense for all of us. But there has not been an outing or gym session where we have not had a smile and a giggle. Thank you for being so awesome – this term wouldn’t have been the same and we wouldn’t be where we are now without every single one of you.
We also need to say a big thank you to all of our wonderful coaches this term — without them we wouldn’t have got very far. And to Roly for keeping us on the water, pushing us off for bumps and trailering boats.
CCBC Women’s Captain 2015–16
With a crew consisting of entirely novice rowers it was always going to be a term of learning. Poor organisation at the beginning of term resulted in a very late start, many crew disruptions and subs made it difficult to get a continuous crew going, and of course yellow flag after yellow flag cost us 4 or 5 outings. Nevertheless the improvements made by the crew as a whole, and individually, have been significant, and it’s been a great pleasure and enjoyment to train.
In terms of races, other than bumps, we only competed in Robinson Head this term. In what I can only describe as a glorious pink ‘man sandwich’, with Anna coxing and Kathryn subbing in at bow, we were firmly instructed to go at a whopping rate 24 by our coach Eddie, who viewed it more as a training outing than anything. This reflected in our time, but what our time did not reflect at all was our ability as a racing crew. The aim was never to win the head, but indeed, to learn from the experience in preparation for bumps, and I believe that’s exactly what we did. I guess by the time you’re reading this it’ll be evident how valuable an experience it really was…
We had possibly one of the most bizarre Lent bumps campaigns ever, and we certainly went out with a bang… on Saturday, already -5 down from previous day’s overbump, we were determined to regain something by bumping Clare Hall M1. We went out for the sprint and early bump, however I soon realised the chase was over when I caught a glimpse of our number 3 floating through the Cam in front me, 15 strokes into the race. The chaos that ensued was enormous, with FaT M3 holding it up extremely fast to catch hold of our rower, before multiple collisions destroyed Peterhouse’s rudder and sheared off Robinson’s whole rigger. It was a bit scary for a moment, but our rower is safe and was able to get back in the boat for the row home, which is the most important thing. FaT were then awarded a technical bump, and we got our well-deserved wooden spoons. Regardless, it’s certainly been an eventful first bumps for all nine rowers, and we’ve got a lot of take away for Mays.
M2 Captain, 2015–16
W2 started off the term with the aim of getting on for Lent Bumps despite not officially having a cox. After two weeks with Eddie of working on individual technique and as a crew on slowing the slide, we entered Pembroke Regatta for our first race experience as a boat and with Michelle drafted in as a cox. We turned up early on Saturday morning, prepared for a long morning of racing, but unfortunately lost our first race against Pembroke W2 due to an unfortunate overhead crab. However once we restarted, we settled into a good rate and at no point did the power drop off or disappear so we returned to the boathouse slightly disappointed about the result but encouraged by our performance from the restart.
We then switched our focus entirely to the Getting On Race. With Giorgio coaching us and having gained Michelle as a permanent cox, we progressed well both on the water and in the gym. I've been really proud of everyone's determination to improve at every chance and give every ergs session their everything.
Our Getting on Race, although not our tidiest rowing, showed both ourselves and the other boats around us just what we were capable of. We settled at around rate 28, sat up tall into the wind and gave it everything we had. Especially well done to Michelle who had to cox us through it without a working speaker system. I then spent a very nervous Halfway Hall refreshing the Lents' start order until an email from Giorgio told me that we had got on!
Bumps itself was a largely uneventful affair, rowing over every day except the last. We managed to hold Trinity Hall off until the Gut where they gained overlap and then the bump.
Thanks a lot to both Eddie Powell and Giorgio for all their coaching and time they've committed to helping us improve and getting onto Bumps!
W2 Captain, 2015–16