During the row down, the boat was slightly unsettled and unbalanced – not the impressive low rate firm paddling that we’ve been working on in our outings. The weather was cold and windy and the river was chaotic with boats and colours from so many different clubs and universities. But we started the race well, winding up to a 29 rate which we kept quite consistently throughout. As we got to the reach, Emily called for more pressure on the legs and the boat started moving really well with lots of cover. Unfortunately we were unsettled from our rhythm by a couple of experienced crews overtaking us and then hitting the dirty water they left behind, so the end of the race was not as composed and powerful as we may have wanted. Overall, the race was a good experience for us in our preparation for Fairbairns, highlighting both technical and fitness points that we need to focus on for the next couple of weeks.