This term has been a very promising one for the club, with both W1, M1 and M2 building solid crews essentially from scratch, and producing decent results. The novices have performed very well and have shown exceptional promise, with some great race performances. CCBC is looking strong and has widened its base of members this year considerably, and all crews are looking forward to an exciting Lents in the new boathouse.
The main focus for the crew this term was regrouping after the summer vacation and building a strong platform from which to move on in January into the Lent Bumps campaign. For three crew members it was their first time rowing in a first boat, and it was the first time in some time that W1 had not been coached by Boatwoman Kate Hurst, who has been out with a back injury. The focus of training, therefore, was ensuring a smooth transition of crew and coach, with Stephen Mathews taking over the role, and getting the crew moving together well. This we certainly achieved successfully, and despite some crew changes and a composite coxing arrangement, the crew managed a very solid performance in Autumn Head, where we placed 5th, and Fairbairns, where we placed 9th, with strong clubs ahead of us. The race was paced excellently, and an overtake of a FaT boat in the last third helped push us over the line. The crew is looking in a good position to take the gains made this term in to the next, as there is likely to be a good degree of continuity in the crew. Everyone is, of course, duly excited to finally be in the beautiful boathouse, when full training including ‘strength and conditioning’ will be able to resume, and our rowing can be taken to the next level now we have consolidated as a crew.
Coming into term with only a couple of returners from Mays’ M1 there was only one goal in the beginning, to build a new M1 from which to build for bumps in Lents and Mays. This was achieved early in term with a strong cohort from Mays’ M2 and an experienced fresher, after which we got to working on getting together as a crew. While it was not an easy task we finished a very promising 5th in Autumn Head. Unexpectedly due to several seniors wanting to row and experienced master students joining Christ’s we then also managed to get an M2 on the water. It is truly incredible and very promising to have had an M2 eight settled for Michaelmas already. During the weeks towards Fairbairns both crews were trained by Al Taylor who with great patience and skill helped both crews to come together. In Fairbairns M2 performed very respectfully finishing 5th amongst all M2 crews on the river, despite having our great secretary subbing in on short notice. M1 set off very confident about our race plan, holding a consistent speed throughout the race. We worried it was the wrong tactic when Catz M1 moved on us within the first 2k but around Ditton we moved away from them and moved quickly on Peterhouse in front of us who we later clashed blades with due to them not moving out of the way. Despite this we finished 7th of all colleges after a very well executed race plan. These are all incredible results and with a strong cohort of men’s novices and many joining us for camp we are sure to be a club to be reckoned with in bumps.
This term was a bumper year for recruitment for the club, with 55 novices rowing in 5 boats (3 men’s, one women’s, and one mixed grad boat), meaning more than one had to be a larger squad. The Lower Boat’s Captains dealt incredibly well with the demands on their time that this entailed, and the coaching of crews this year seems to have been of a particularly high quality and consistency. Peterborough was a particular success among the novices this year – as in an unheard of turn of events the sun was shining! Despite, or perhaps partly due to, one novice on the men’s side being ejected in to the water mid-race, which he took with good humour, the racing at the end of the day was enjoyed greatly by all. This foreshadowed what was a great deal of success for the novice boats in the races entered this term. NW1 made it through to the quarter final of Clare Novices and then placed a very respectable 12th in Fairbairns, as did NM1 in their division. NM3 placed first out of the NM3s in Fairbairns. NM2, however, were the major success story of the term – having reached the quarter final of Emma Sprints, won Clare Novices, and placed as the fastest NM2 and 5th fastest NM1 in Fairbairns – an outstanding result! Most of the novices appear keen to continue rowing next term, and 12 will also be joining us for training camp in France, which is going ahead as usual this year and looks set to be a great trip. The future of CCBC certainly looks bright!
Caitlin and Anton