W1, M1 and M2 competed at Cantabs Winter head this past weekend, Winter Head race, a 2.6km time trial over the Bumps course. W1 finished 6th in their category, M1 finished 7th and M2 came 5th.
W1 raced as a IV+ in Winter Head. This was a surprisingly enjoyable race – for sure, the pain sometimes seemed too hard to endure but the confidence in the crew made it worth it. We moved well together and the row was smooth throughout the race. As usual, we needed a few strokes before truly settling into our rhythm and the start was somewhat rocky. As a consequence, First and Third W1, who were the next boat to set off, gained some ground on us during the first hundred metres. However, once we had settled into our race, we held them off well for the duration of the course and used them as a target to push against. They never caught up with us. This race has highlighted that we do have the endurance and strength to hold off other crews over a long distance – we need to sharpen up our start as this is the critical moment in a Bumps race. We finished with a time of 11:12 and thank our sub, Elisavet.
M1 have made great progress over the last couple of weeks, developing a strong rhythm in our paddling. We were keen to test this at pace. We made the strongest start of the term and attacked the first post reach. We struggled to maintain the pace in the middle section of the course but found our punchy rhythm in the last section of the race, finishing with a time of 8:42. Whilst hoping for a stronger finishing position, the crew is coming together technically at the right point in term. M1 are now preparing to make the necessary tweaks over the next couple of weeks before Fairbairns.
M2 went into the race confident that we could put in an admirable performance after having spent the weeks since Autumn Head improving noticeably outing upon outing. We made a powerful and clean start before settling down into a strong rhythm that we had been developing over the past weeks. With pushes off each corner our momentum seemed to build and build as the course went on, despite some of the cleanliness of our earlier rowing gradually giving way. The final 500m were a testament to the commitment of this M2 crew as there was the feeling that everyone was going to leave everything they had in the water, resulting in our strongest finish this term, and a time of 09:08. M2 will be working over the next couple of weeks on maintaining the commitment but also keeping the rowing clean in preparation for Fairbairns at the end of term.