Thanks to the lovely Hannah Laidley (PCBC) for this race report – we now officially challenge Mark and Bomber to a ‘coach off’!
“Nines Autumn Regatta – Sunday 7th September 2014
Round One – MECBC vs Cantabs
It was a glorious day for a regatta (I just love regattas!) – and after only three training sessions we weren’t sure if our IV could pull it together for our first race, but we were quietly optimistic. Christina was of course vocally optimistic, but that’s what you get when your job is to keep talking. The row down was eerily quiet, not a marshal was in sight, and the only other boat was Henk-Jaap (PCBC) tail-gating us in his single scull. We told him to go away and pulled in to get race numbers. Elaine was so excited she could hardly keep her clothes on. At last, a marshal appeared and started giving orders. It was hard to have faith in her, since her first question was ‘Are you racing?’ (Why else would we be there?) and she had no problem letting kayakers and barges bump into the boats waiting to race. We waited in the reeds. We waited, and floated, and floated, and waited some more. But Cantabs never came. I suppose they must have seen us on the river earlier that week and decided it just wasn’t worth the humiliation of actually turning up. After turning down their kind offer to row the course with no opponent, we spun and headed for home.
Round Two – MECBC vs Xpress
6 hours and a couple of burgers later, we were back at the boat house for the final. We were all really exhausted from our first race, so less confident – but we were determined to give it our all and win Christina her first pot (and Reana her seventh). We found our opposition on the row down, which was a good start, and by the start line for our race we even got in some good bumps practice, knocking into the stake boat and Xpress knocking into us. The umpire/ person on the bank wasn’t too happy and suggested we avoid hitting other boats and stay on our side (the outside lane) of the buoys (pink milk bottles) for the duration of the race.
Emma led us in a confident start, and we held level with Xpress for the first third of the 600m course. Christina had us pushing for 10 strokes every time their cox did – so a lot. The whole thing was one long push basically. In the middle of the race we started to pull away, and by the railings we had clear water between us and them. We didn’t have many supporters on the bank, but their screams of encouragement were enough to pull us over the line in first place. Which meant POTS! I like to think that my Peterhouse expertise and our use of a Peterhouse shell made all the difference, but maybe it was just Reana’s race baking. I guess Mark’s coaching was alright – but he’s no Bomber. It’s been a pleasure rowing with you MECBC!