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Clare Novices - MNB

Posted: Sunday 27 November 2011, 12:35PM by Daniel Worrall


Round 2

Who in their right minds would be wearing t-shirts and shorts in the chill of a wintry Saturday morning? Rowers, that's who! MNB aka 'das Boot' rowing in the Clare Regatta for the M1 Cup arrived bright and early at 7am for what would be a long morning.

Their first race matched them off against Churchill A boat. After a strong, affirmative start Sidney just ripped it out of Churchill, gaining a length just after the first ten strokes. This was a hands down victory for the men and woman of das Boot.

During an hour long interval, marshalling at Chesterton, the crew enjoyed the delights of jelly cubes and lucozade, purchased by one of their benevolent coaches. This prepared them for round two, which saw them head-to-head with Clare A boat.

By now the wind had picked up and Sidney were located on the towpath side, racing upstream. Unsheltered from the violent gusts and half-foot waves Sidney pulled off the start on a wrong foot. Sure enough, they managed to pull through and chase Clare A, but it was too late, Clare were too well trained. Already weather hardened rowers by the looks of it, Clare led on to finish first and evidently were only knocked out 3 rounds later in the final, by Lady Margaret A.

Nonetheless, MNB have had a good season, proving that they make an extremely well positioned B boat. Next Thursday 1st Dec will host the Junior Fairbairn Cup and I for one am confident in success for MNB.

Emma Sprints - WNA

Posted: Wednesday 23 November 2011, 9:11PM by Mollie Arbuthnot


After their stunning performance at Queens’ Ergs and some really promising outings, WNA were hoping to hit the racing scene with a bang – unfortunately, not everything worked out quite as hoped. A cox-box malfunction made things tricky, and the first race saw us crash not once, but twice. Despite protesting that it was just harmless bumps practice, albeit a term too early, this understandably resulted in disqualification.

However, after this disappointment the crew collected themselves admirably and rowed a really impressive race back. They pushed hard off the start and quickly left Corpus trailing behind; then, not content with just holding them off, they managed to keep widening the gap all the way to the finish line. They did themselves justice in this second race, proving that they really can row when they’re not too busy crashing into their competitors!

Edited on Thu, 24th Nov 11 by Mollie Arbuthnot

Emma Sprints - MNB

Posted: Wednesday 23 November 2011, 5:48PM by Daniel Worrall


das Boot

'Das Boot' otherwise known as men's novice B had a strong row down to the railway bridge start, intimidating every crew in their midst. Clothed in fancy dress, sleeveless, white vests and Sidney Sussex bow ties it wasn't just other crews these guys were scaring!

After a slight delay due to lost race numbers das Boot straighten up on the starting line, first in their M1 division. Their opposition was the even more strangely dressed crew of Tit Hall M1.

Once off MNB, stroked by Terence Goldberg, very quickly affirmed a leading position, gaining over a foot on each stroke. Not too long had they pulled away from Tit Hall did their opposition veer off into the bank, leaving Sidney victorious. Had this not happened, it is quite clear that NMB would have moved onto the next round anyway.

Round two, faced das Boot off against the home team, Emma M1. After an unprepared crabbed start it was apparent that the powerhouse of Emma M1 was just too far ahead for Sidney to deal with. But determination drove MNB on and quite sure enough after gaining slightly on them did Emma crash into bank. Despite this, Emma were swift to reset and 100m from the finish line we had a head to head race. Bow on bow, stroke on stroke, these two boats were neither closer to the finish. We could still pass through to the next round! 75m level, 50m level, this was going to be close. Unfortunately, an ill judged late square led to a crab and the race was lost, but MNB have much to be proud of. Special congratulations go to our cox Zoe Petkanas who kept our boys straight and well coxed despite suffering from bronchitis.

Edited on Wed, 23rd Nov 11 by Dan Worrall

Winter Head - M1 / MNA

Posted: Monday 21 November 2011, 11:32AM by Nick Taylor


Winter Head saw the first racing action for the senior men’s squad this term. As a 2.5km head race from the motorway bridge to the P&E it serves as a good warm-up for Fairbairns in a few weeks. Training in a squad this term, instead of fixed crews, meant we hadn’t had a lot of experience racing together as a boat, but with some encouraging outings in the week before we were hoping for a good race. Despite a scrappy row up we managed a good start and quickly hit a sweet rhythm with plenty of ‘free speed’ round the back end. After some good pushes out of some slightly scrappily rowed corners we hit the reach and really opened up, and despite having pushed hard for 1.5km we managed to keep upping the intensity through to the finish. The results put us a respectable 10th in our category, but more encouragingly we all felt we now have an excellent technical platform to add some power to in the coming races.

The second boat we put out was a novice composite boat mostly composed of rowers from Men’s Novice A. For nearly all of them this was the first sustained piece of high rate work they’d done. After a strong start they settled into a comfortable rhythm and quickly started gaining on the women’s crew in front. With some good pushes from bow four to get round the corners they easily caught the Wolfson crew on the corner just before the reach. Having to take a very wide line to get round them didn’t help things, but once they were on the reach they settled back into a strong pace. Despite a couple of crabs everyone stayed remarkably strong and lively to the end despite the length of the race. The results show they finished a very strong 16th in their division, but encouragingly their time over the 1st 1km would have placed them even higher.

Edited on Mon, 21st Nov 11 by Nick Taylor

Emma Sprints WNB/WNC

Posted: Sunday 20 November 2011, 10:32PM by Kate Harrison


Equipped with dalmatian onesies, face paint and back-combed hair a plenty, WNB or 'The Erg Animal' had a convincing row down to the start, intimidating their opposition Jesus W2 whose steering ability had evidently been hindered by the terror struck into the cox as the erg animal powered past.

WNB powered off to a fantastic start as the race began, and were easily ahead when Jesus veered across in a desperate attempt to injure the Sidney crew resulting in an almighty crash and the need for a restart. Once again Sidney meant business, but once again Jesus employed the tactic of 'bumper boats', sneakily pushing our boat out of the way and edging ahead into our station. Incredibly, the erg animal sprang to life and sought revenge, whizzing past Jesus and crossing the finish line 3 lengths in front. A huge congratulations to the crew for such a courageous comeback.

After repairing the war-wounds and damage to our boat, we set off for the next battle against a strong Queens crew. Once again, Sidney's calm and technical start saw them gain half a length on Queens which they maintained until the last 200m, when, in a devastating turn on fate, a couple of cheeky crabs saw Queens crawl past to victory.

Despite this near miss, the erg animal's spirit could not be dampened, I speak on behalf of the crew when I say what a fantastic morning was had by all, so well done WNB!!!
(Thanks also to our worthy competitors Jesus and Queens, no offence intended!)

The supersonic efforts of the second Sidney boat in the W2 division must also be mentioned. WNC lived up to their superhero costumes in two heroic epics against a fiercely strong Queens crew and Churchill crew. The fact they were beaten by an inch from Queens despite only having 7 rowers due to a crab is testament to their rowing and determination! Well done girls.

We look forward to seeing what adventures lie ahead...

Edited on Sun, 20th Nov 11 by Kate Harrison

W1 Winter Head

Posted: Sunday 20 November 2011, 9:22PM by Kate Snow


W1 on the far left going for the 2nd overtake

The first race of the year for the Sidney seniors saw W1 don their onsies (in november!) and head out for the 2.5km Cantabs Winter Head race.

After a long marshall we set off with a strong start coming under the railway bridge. We settled into our rhythm well and pushed through the corners down to plough reach.

At this point it became clear that we were going to have to overtake the city crew in front as the number of lengths between us fell. After a solid racing line round the corner (courtesy of Aimee Muirhead) we were soon counting up from bow til we drew past.

Pair pushes down the reach bought us into view of another boat, getting ever closer as we headed under the railway bridge. Again the crew came together and we surged past just as we came into the last 300m.

The results put us at 5th in our race division and 2nd in our bumps division - so well done everyone and thanks to Pete for all the encouragement from the bank.

Queens Ergs 2011 - Long Report

Posted: Thursday 17 November 2011, 6:56PM by Nick Taylor


Written by Mollie Arbuthnot

This year’s Queen’s Ergs saw the trademark excitement, drama and exhaustion which always marks the first competitive action of Novice term. As ever, Sidney maintained a big presence in what is the 2nd biggest erg competition in the U.K. sending 4 men’s and 3 women’s boats and recording the best set of results in current Sidney memory.

Octopussy, otherwise known as WNA, were the biggest success story of the night. Half a term’s hard training under the watchful eye of their coach Mollie Arbuthnot soon paid off on the night. Their heat saw them narrowly pipped to second place (a mere half second in it) by a strong Emma crew but a fantastic crew average of 1.58.0 saw them into the final at the end of the night. After a dramatic crew shuffle which saw Hannah from WNB stepping up to help out for the final, WNA were ready to make their mark. Now cheered on by Captain of the Boats Kate Snow (never known to resist the chance to support Sidney novices) the boat obliterated their previous time by pulling a 1.56.2 average second time round.

Unfortunately this spectacular team effort was only enough to secure them 6th place, but this is truly impressive given the traditional ‘minnow’ status of Sidney Sussex College. Special mention must go to Anna and Hannah who came 4th and 5th (out of 576 rowers) with times of 1.43.7 and 1.43.9 respectively. Needless to say WNA can’t wait to transfer this form onto the water and are eagerly awaiting the coming races.

The rest of the night saw plenty of success among Sidney’s novice contingent. MNA were unlucky not to get through to the final after multiple erg malfunctions hindered their otherwise stellar attempt. They still managed to record an impressive average of 1.36.4 and finished 7th in their division (out of 15) and are even more determined to prove their real speed on the water. Special mention to Dave Heywood whose time of 1.27.4, in what can only be described as the ‘guns and guts’ approach to a 500m erg, saw him come 21st overall. Das Boot (MNB) drew on their Germanic inspiration to pull an efficient yet powerful average of 1.38.9 in a competitive division. MNC saw themselves placed 8th in their division thanks to a time of 1.43.0, aided by a do-or-die attitude which saw everyone of them smash seconds off their PBs. Finally Men’s Novice Dark Horse (MND) got an average of 1:46.8.

On the women’s side, Erg Animal (WNB) lived up to their name by coming fourth in their division with 2:05.6 and WNC came 4th as well with 02:02.4.
Needless to say, bring on Fairbairns!

Queens' Ergs 2011 Photos

Edited on Mon, 21st Nov 11 by Nick Taylor

Queens Ergs 2011 - Initial Report

Posted: Thursday 17 November 2011, 2:19PM by Daniel Worrall


Pulling Power

So far this year we have had a successful novice term, starting with Queens' Ergs. Notable congratulations go to David Heywood from MNA who pulled a 1:27.4 500m, earning him the position 21/672 and Anna Barth of WNA who managed to come 4th out of 541 with 1.43.7!!!

Aside from the special mentions the standard of crews this year was particularly high:

WNA - 1:58.0,
WNB - 2:05.6,
WNC - 2:02.4.

MNA - 1:36.4,
MNB - 1:38.9,
MNC - 1:43.0
MND - 1:46.8.

Well done to everybody who took part. Let's hope we continue to achieve such a high standard this coming weekend with the Winter Head and Emma Sprints races.

Edited on Fri, 18th Nov 11 by Tom Smith

Welcome Freshers!

Posted: Friday 02 September 2011, 10:30AM by Kate Harrison



Firstly, a huge congratulations on meeting the conditions of your offer for a place at Sidney Sussex. Secondly, congratulations on finding the boat club page already!

If you're looking for a great way to make fantastic new friends, keep fit, and have bucket loads of fun... you've found it! Rowing at Sidney is friendly and inclusive, we believe that everybody who wants to row can row at whatever commitment level they want. So, if being in a 'banter boat' tickles your fancy, or you want to let those competitive juices flow in a college first boat, we have just the thing for you. The vast majority of people haven't rowed before they arrive at Cambridge, or indeed done much school sport (myself included), but as a 'novice' you'll be part of a boat of freshers of similar ability, so you can all learn together.

We understand that your first term may well be a tad manic, but rowing shouldn't get in the way with a fairly relaxed training schedule. Novices tend to have three sessions a week; one short land training session and two water sessions- a great opportunity to de-stress and get some fresh air on the river. We may also enter your boat for several races throughout term which are hugely fun!

So, if you think rowing might be for you, come along to the boat club squash after matriculation dinner in the knox shaw room for some free drinks and socialising. Also, look out for 'tubbing' in freshers week, which is a chance for you to have a little go at rowing in pairs and have another drink at the boat house!

If you have any questions or worries don't hesitate to get in touch with any of the vice captains; on the women's side Mollie and myself (womens-vice-captain@ssbc.org.uk), and on the men's side Matt and Daniel (mens-vice-captain@ssbc.org.uk).

We can't wait to meet you!

Edited on Mon, 5th Sep 11 by Tom Smith

W1 Day 4 - Blades!

Posted: Saturday 25 June 2011, 6:44PM by Kate Snow


The last day saw us chasing Emma 2 who had both evaded us last year and caused controversy over a fours race last term.

We knew this was going to be a longer race than the past 3 days but knew that we could (and would) grind them down over the course.

Finally the gun came and the chance to catch Emma was there. We took some distance straight off the start and continued to gain coming round first post corner. A shout from the bank that we were inside distance followed a fantastic corner (well done Aimee) and we pushed into the wash.

Before we knew it it was all over and we were being pulled into the side, greenery in our hair and the Sidney flag proudly waving from the stern.

Edited on Mon, 4th Jul 11 by Tasha Scott

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