With what had promised to be a bitterly cold day brightening up, W1 paddled Octopussy (complete with a couple of new pairs of shoes) down to Jesus Boathouse and the start line. Nerves were high, with this being the first time some crew members had ever faced the senior Fairbairns course.
After two strokes we built up to a strong rate, and settled quickly into a sustainable rhythm. Utilising the joint experience of the Michaelmas line up, we battled past the one minute mark, and kept going strong down the Reach. With Newnham nowhere in sight behind us, and as we made a gain on Pembroke W1, Murray Edwards strode to the finish line, bringing it up a couple of pips on the legs past First Post and towards the motorway bridge.
We definitely did ourselves proud, although on reflection we realised that we had saved ourselves a little too much for the final stretch of the long Fairbairns course. Nevertheless, Fairbairns and the rest of the term were celebrated in style at a fabulous Fairbairn Dinner.
Leanne Hagger, 3