Christ’s was represented by all its crews in Newnham Short Course, a 2 km race from the A14 bridge to the Railway bridge. W1 finished 8th, W2 10th, M1 9th, M2 9th and M3 4th in their category.
W1 began with a very strong start, everyone moving together and gripping the water at the front at a solid rate 35. It felt good. However, after thirty strokes, cracks started to show and as we settled at rate 32, there was apparent difficulty in completing the strokes. We were racing as a scratch crew with two members never having rowed in the boat before. As to be expected, there was not the cohesion in the boat that comes from training together and this was demonstrated in the balance of the boat. As we ploughed on, the rowing felt scrappy. Nevertheless, a surge in drive towards the end of the race gave satisfaction in the last 200 m: a reset call spurred the crew to regain composure and apply the legs for a final push, finishing in a time of 8:07.
M1 struggled with injuries in the week between their last race, Winter Head to Head, and Newnham Short Course. We therefore raced with two subs from M2. We made great progress in moving together in our row up to the start line and had a strong start to the race, attacking all the way to first post corner. The changes to the crew, however, started to show as we came onto the reach, where we struggled to find a punchy rhythm. We finished with a time of 7:02, finishing 9th of College M1s. We had hoped for a stronger result, but given the disruption to the crew order, we are satisfied with the performance. M1 are looking forward to the return of their injured crewmates.
W2 were ready to build on their strong performance from last week, despite again having to use subs. We went into the race with a focus on maintaining the balance of the boat and putting the power down in the middle section. We made a good start, finding a good rhythm. A stride call from our cox, Will, worked well to make us settle into the rate, after starting off at an unsustainable pace. Each side pressed hard into their corners. Unfortunately, we flagged slightly in the final 500m after having pushed so hard until then. A reset call from Will restored our mindset for the final sprint and we finished with a time of 9:11. W2 will be working hard to maintain the power over the next couple of weeks to build on this foundation in preparation for the next race.
M2 came into Newnham short course a far more cohesive crew than at Winter Head to Head and it showed as we went off from the start under the motorway bridge with a more powerful and efficient rhythm. Buoyed by our newfound speed, our energy stayed high throughout the race with big pushes off each corner. From the top of the Reach, pushing into a headwind, the rate and the speed slowly built towards the finish line where, to the credit of the crew, we crossed the line at a similar speed to that which we started at. M2 finished the race in a time of 7:29, an improvement on our performance last year which can only bode well for Bumps later in the term!
M3 performed admirably in Newnham’s short course. The start was a bit sloppy, as the mostly ex-novice crew could not contain the excitement of the first race. An unsustainable rate of 40 strokes per minute at the start resulted in a lot of splashing. However, we quickly settled into a good rhythm and after a big push we finished with a time of 7:49 minutes. Encouraged by the result, we have high hopes to qualify for Lent bumps.