Head of the Cam

On Saturday 27th April, Christ’s were represented by three student crews and 3 alumnus crews in Head of the Cam, a 2.6km race upstream from the A14 bridge.

This was the first race of term and W1 had benefited from just two outings before launching into the race. We were a mixture of women who had rowed in W1 and W2 last term. As we rowed down to the start, we hit enormous waves on the Long Reach. Indeed, small boats had been advised to pull out of the race due to the extremely high winds. Fortunately, the rest of the course was more sheltered and therefore calmer. It felt like a surprisingly relaxed race, with the focus largely on staying together and honing our racing technique. In the future, we will need to build the physical resilience to push harder and maintain higher rates throughout races. This was a good start to the term as we finished 5th with a time of 12.39.

M1 entered Head of the Cam having completed only one training session. The crew has changed slightly since last term due to two injuries. We made a good start under the motorway bridge, but it lacked real aggression. This is where we lost time relative to the competition. We were hit by  a strong headwind as we came onto the reach. The crew resettled onto a lower rate and rowed long under these difficult conditions. We found calmer water as we came under the Railway Bridge and made a decent push for the line, finishing 7th out of the college M1s. The crew were pleased with their gutsy row on the reach, but recognised that a more punchy start will be needed in order to compete with the quicker college crews.

M2 had only had one outing before racing Head of the Cam but with a mostly unchanged crew from Lent, we were reasonably confident of a good result. Our start was aggressive and ambitious but upon rounding Ditton corner and starting down the Reach, the headwind became a hindrance which we could have dealt with better. It was not helped by the fact that we had to overtake down the Reach and take the less sheltered water but nonetheless, under the Railway bridge we were able to regain our composure for a strong finish. We managed to finish top in the Mays 3rd and lower division which bodes well for our Mays campaign!

Among the alumnus crews, Crustaceans W1 finished with a time of 15:02, sadly not earning a prize for coming first, for lack of any other competitors in their category! Crustaceans M1 finished with a time of 11:18 and Crustaceans M2 finished with a time of 12:34.