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Over the last two weeks, M1, W1 and M2 all raced over the Tideway course (River Thames) over a distance of around 6.5km. Both weekends had wet, windy and choppy conditions. W1 raced at the Women’s Head of the River Race (WEHoRR) on 14th March, getting a time of 23m 36s placing them 176th out of the 300 crews entered which was a great effort.
M1 and M2 both raced at the Head of the River Race (HoRR) on the 26th March with M1 getting a great time of 19m 59s, placing them 183rd and 43rd in their category. M2 approached the race with none of its members ever having rowed on the Tideway and, given the conditions, the aim was to survive so a time of 21m 45s, placing them 305th out of 345 crews and 38th in their category was not bad.
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Last Saturday (14th February), the day before the Bedford Head, saw M1, M2, W1 and W2 take on Pembroke Regatta which was a 1000m sprint down the Long Reach.
Both M2 and W2 had unlucky draws with W2 facing Jesus W2 who eventually went on to win by 3 lengths over Newnham W2 in the final so it was always going to be a tough race. However, W2 had a very gutsy row and kept pushing until the end. M3 also put in a good race but were knocked out by First and Third M3 who beat them by a length. M2 had a similarly unlucky draw with HEC Paris M1 who were an experienced crew. However, despite losing, M2 were leading for 750m of the race down to the end of the Reach but annoyingly ran out of power just as the finish came into sight in what was an incredibly close race.
W1 had a tough draw with Newnham W1 who got a very good start gaining the psychological advantage. W1 managed to hold their ground for the first half but tired in the second allowing them to pull away. The overriding success of the day has to go to M1 though who were semi-finalists amongst the most prestigious crews on the Cam. M1 beat First and Third M1 and then Emma M1 in their first two races, only being beaten by Jesus by half a length in the semi-final.
Last Sunday (15th February), FCBC had its first off-Cam race of the term with a trip to Bedford for M1, M2 and W1. After enduring the X5 bus, it turned out to be a very successful day. The Bedford Head is raced on the Great River Ouse and was a 2km time trial.
M1 posted a time of 6:31 in the IM3 division in their first race and a time of 6:20 in the Novice division, winning that category and coming joint 9th in the whole event out of 170 boats.
M2 only raced once but rowed a much improved race to previous Head races to post a time of 7:02, placing them joint 40th with a lot of positives to take away from the race.
W1 raced twice, posting a time of 7:40 in the IM3 division (84th) and then 7:20 in the IM2 division, winning this category placing them joint 53rd out of 170 boats.
Next up is the Getting on Race for Lent Bumps this Friday for M2, M3 and W2 then bumps itself next week on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
The newsletter for Michaelmas 2014 is now available here if you want to relive a truly epic term for Fitz rowing
Dan Smallbone (of NM1 fame) will be doing an erg marathon along with two other Fitz freshers (Paddy Harlow and Nick Stride) to raise money for The Brain Tumour Charity. On an erg, a marathon will be the equivalent to 42,195m.
The Brain Tumour Charity is a cause all three of the guys feel very passionately about and any donation would be greatly appreciated however big or small. The charity is at the forefront of the fight to defeat brain tumours and is a national charity funding pioneering research, awareness and support.
The marathon will be on the 26th February next year and you can donate here.
The annual Christmas Head race took place on Saturday 13 December and two mixed Fitz crews took part, racing from the P&E to Goldie Boat House.
The two boats, ‘Fitzmas’ and ‘Santa’s Little Billygoats’, both put in good performances for scratch crews with’Santa’s Little Billygoats’ recording a time of 7:40 and ‘Fitzmas’ 7:51.
Novice Fairbairns (2700km) took place on Thursday 4th December with all five Fitz novice crews taking to the water and Senior Fairbairns (4300km) on Friday 5th December with M1 and W1 taking part.
NM1 and NM2: The ongoing rivalry between NM1 and NM2 came to an epic conclusion as both crews put in fantastic performances. NM1 were at a slight disadvantage having had a late drop out but still came in 12th place in division 1 with a time of 10:58. NM2 however managed to overtake Girton and post a time of 10:49 placing them 9th overall and 9 seconds ahead of NM1 as well as being the second fastest second boat.
NM3: As their first and last race of term, NM3 put in a solid performance in what was an eventful race. With a crab on the build to the start, followed by a crash into the road bridge, a seat falling off, shoes falling off and many more crabs, they managed to post a time of 12:54 placing them 18th out of 45 boats with some solid rowing towards the end.
NW1: Despite last minute boat changes, NW1 had an incredible row with no crabs and no blades coming out of the gates leading to a great effort in posting a time of 12:33, placing them 13th in Division 1.
NW2: NW2 had a good start but then caught a crab near the very beginning. This was followed by an amazing recovery nad restart with a solid row towards the end. All the girls have come a very long way, and held their technique together even when they were tired. With a time of 13:24 then placed 28th overall and were 8th among second boats.
M1: With most of the crew running on 2 hours sleep and caffeine following on from the ball the night before, in combination with the earliest division of the day (who would do that to us!?), they posted a solid time of 15:11 coming in 15th place. This placed well amongst first boats and was up 7 places on last year with around 40 seconds off the time.
W1: With a similar story to M1 in terms of sleep, they put in a great performance to post a time of 17:55, placing them 12th in division 1. This again placed well around first boats and was up 4 places on last year, taking 25 seconds off the time.
It’s been a good term Fitz! With M1 and W1 both winning their divisions in the Winter Head and both posting solid times in Fairbairns, as well as the mens novices dominating Clare Novices and Emma Sprints, it looks like it’ll be a good year!
Clare Novices took place on Thursday 27th to Saturday 29th November with three Fitz novice crews entered.
NM1: Sadly due to a few marshalling errors were disqualified from the competition (they did win Emma Sprints though..)
NM2: Entered into the Plate (2nd boats) Division they won the Clare Novices Plate! NM2 beat Emma II in their closest race to kick things off, then Darwin II, FaT III and LMBC II in the final. Strong rowing over both days and they pulled away at the start in each race, so the result was never in doubt in any heat. (Click the hyperlinks to watch their races).
NW1: They lost their first race against Christ’s I but not by far although their bow’s seat had come off at the start so they were rowing with 7!