The anxiety and excitement surrounding the getting-on race had been building ever since we had achieved a good time in the Newnham Short Course race – we had even surprised ourselves. This time, we couldn’t see a term’s worth of intense training go to waste. We had something to prove – W3 are a serious and competitive crew. We were coming back with a vengeance.
We have never raced in bad weather before and the sun certainly didn’t disappoint. However, the closure of the river the previous day due to storm Doris had left its mark in high winds for our race. Nerves were building.
In our paddle up to marshalling we were rowing reasonably well. An encounter with a rather narky bank party put a few of us off before the big moment but this only added to our determination; we wouldn’t let that crew catch us in the race.
We were really together in our standing start but the high wind and pressure gave us a few tricky patches. We stooped down to a rate 27 but we had been working on bringing this down for weeks. In every single stroke we all gave it our all and finished off with 2 power tens that brought us speeding through the finish line.
We were exhilarated to have finished but for some reason this race had seemed so much harder than the others – we were all in pain for the final few strokes. We had no idea how well we had done, other than that we had done our best and were proud of each other.
The wait for the result was worse than exam results, but now we’ve got on, the River Cam better watch out for our W3 – we’re getting stronger every day.
Bethany Cross, 4