Christ’s put out four crews to race in Champs Head on 19th May over a 1450 m course from the Plough to the site of the former Penny Ferry pub.
The women raced as a mixed W1/W2 crew. Building on the significant progress of the past few weeks, the crew looked forward to the opportunity to prepare for a Bumps sprint in this short 1.4km race. We worked on honing a powerful ratio during the race and feeling the rhythm. With a mostly set boat, we were able to make the most of our catches and apply power in the water. The effort did not pay off into the result we hoped for as we finished 12th in the Mays first division with a time of 5:52, although it was an admirable position given the composite nature of our crew.
M1 had been making good technical progress in the run-up to Champs Eights Head, in particular in their approach to the catch and connection at the front end. We prepared ourselves for a short and aggressive race, seeing the race as perfect Bumps practice. We attacked the start as our cox, Holly, took a tight line around Ditton. The crew held their technical changes down the reach and emptied the tank in the final 300m after the Railway Bridge. M1 finished ~30 seconds off the winning time, produced by a very strong Caius crew, but fared well against the crews around them in Bumps. Champs Head will be our last race before May Bumps in a months time. The crew recognises the strong competition and is focussing on making their final preparations for the Bumps.
M2 went into the race looking to imprint ourselves on our main Bumps competition. Having made excellent progress over the previous weeks, we were confident of doing that. Our start was somewhat frantic and not hugely under control but after coming out of Ditton corner, we rallied ourselves and got back on track down the reach, setting consistently good split times all the way. Under the Railway bridge we took the rate up and pushed for the finish line only a few hundred metres ahead, crossing in a time of 4 minutes and 54 seconds. Our sprint finish paid off and we finished 5th in our division.
M3 are still yet to race together as a full crew, but Champs Head came close with just one sub. After an unsettled start, the crew started to find a good rhythm that enabled us to gain on the boat ahead, and finally overtake them at the finish line. The pace seemed to reduce slightly as the piece went on, but some longer bursts ahead of Bumps should help improve crew stamina. The results are promising as we finished 5th in our category, and we hope to put on a good show for bumps this season.