After a few cancelled outings at the start of term due to extreme weather, the best possible weather conditions came at the perfect time for W2, who were ready for their first race of term, Pembroke Regatta.
As we rowed up to marshaling, there were nerves and excitement throughout the boat. For many of the rowers, this was their first race as a senior!
Our competitors were Newnham W2, a strong side, so we knew we had to provide a strong, powerful row to stand a chance at crossing the line first. Whilst our race start was somewhat disrupted by Newnham clashing blades with our bowsiders, we managed to battle through, reaching rate 40 by the end of the start! Our strong standing start and Newnham’s poor response to their’s gave us the lead from the off! As we pushed on down the reach, we maintained the lead. Focusing on keeping strokes long and powerful, Philip, our cox, told us we had their 4 seat by the time we were at the railway bridge. A final push and an up one on the rate kept us ahead at the line, despite Newnham providing excellent competition.
With our new-found confidence from our victory, we spun and headed back up the reach to race again. This time against Hughes Hall W1. Despite a clean start from W2, Hughes proved to be the stronger side, accelerating off our boat immediately after the start sequence. We managed to keep hold of them though as we chased them down the reach towards the railway bridge. Unfortunately, just as we came under the bridge, the rudder wire snapped! I looked at Philip, and we both knew the crew had to keep rowing to try to close down on Hughes. However, as we approached the corner, it was apparent our speed and loss of rudder control would not see us round the bend. Philip sensibly called to easy there to avoid damage to bow. We parked up on the corner, cheering on the other female and alumni crews (who we had seen downing VKs pre-race!) rowing past.
On our row home, we exchanged three cheers with Hughes and managed to avoid veering into the bank with bow/stroke side pressure calls!
Overall, a really strong race for W2 giving us huge confidence and a few tech points to think about for the Getting On Race at the end of this week! Thanks to Florence for bank partying and W1 for helping us maneuver and hose down Lady Fran after her minor injury!