A new academic year and a new MECBC W1. Crew announcements had occurred on Tuesday and with only two outings under our belt, our first weekend together also saw us on the river for our first race of the term – Autumn Head 2014.

With only two rowers back from last year’s successful Mays First VIII, we had many new faces excited to experience their first taste of representing the Club in the First VIII and racing in Octopussy. In a term traditionally dominated by novice-traffic, we were looking forward to a chance to enjoy 2.6 km of uninterrupted rowing and set ourselves a benchmark to work from for the rest of term.

Super keen as we were, we were a tad on the early side to marshalling and Christina had to negotiate reversing around Chesterton corner to avoid being run down on the finish line by boats from the division before ours! For the race itself we had a moderately-strong wind to contend with, but despite this we went off quickly under the Motorway Bridge. We pushed up hard on the boat we chased along First Post Reach, to the extent that they were being told to prepare to give us space to pass. Unfortunately, over the second half of the course in particular, the fact that this was W1’s third outing of term became all too evident in our stamina, technique and togetherness.

On this particular day we know we didn’t show the best of what we’ve got to offer as a crew. But our sights are now on Winter Head and Fairbairns later this term – W1 will be back and ready to show the Cam what we can really do.

Emma Heydon, stroke