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Spring Head to Head - Results

Posted: Sunday 10 May 2009, 9:54AM by Lisa Meegan


M2 in Spring Head to Head

A busy weekend of racing for Sidney's crews began on Saturday 9th May, when M2, M4 and W2 took to the river for the Spring Head to Head - a 2km race downstream, followed by a second 2km race the other way. Once again there were strong performances all round.

M2 were third in their division, and just ten seconds off the win over the two legs, beating many crews around and above them in bumps, as well as some noteable college second VIIIs. In their first race of term, M4 also impressed, coming in just 1:10 behind M2 over the whole 4km, with a time that compares well with numerous other fourth, and even third, boats.

The day also brought Sidney's second win of the term, with W2 managing to just pip Jesus as the fastest second boat of the day, in a time that put them well ahead of many of the bigger clubs' second boats.

The results were:

M2 - 14:47 (07:03 and 07:44)
3rd in Men's Lower Division VIIIs

M4 - 15:57 (07:33 and 08:24)
12th in Men's Lower Division VIIIs

W2 - 17:10 (08:10 and 09:00)
1st in Women's Second VIIIs

Well done to all of the crews!

Edited on Tue, 12th May 09 by James Gill

Head of the Cam - Results

Posted: Saturday 02 May 2009, 10:12PM by Lisa Meegan


On a gloriously sunny Saturday 2nd May, three of Sidney's eights got their Easter term off to a strong start in the 2.6km Head of the Cam. Racing in the third division of the day, M1, M2 and W1 all put in strong performances relative to the crews around them in Bumps, setting the tone for what will hopefully be another good term for the Club. The event also saw Sidney's first win of the term, with W1 picking up tankards as the fastest crew from the 2nd Mays division - a great start to what will hopefully be a successful racing career for the new VIII, Mark Wainwright.

The results were:

M1 - 09:56
18th= overall, 2nd in Men's Mays 2nd Division VIIIs

M2 - 10:28
25th overall, 7th in Men's Mays Lower Divisions VIIIs

W1 - 11:02
10th overall (women's), 1st in Women's Mays 2nd Division VIIIs

Well done for everyone who took part on a solid start to the term!

Head of the River Race 2009

Posted: Friday 01 May 2009, 6:41PM by James Gill


Race report by Henry Scarlett

This year Sidney entered both men’s senior boats into the rowing calendar’s big head race, Head of the River Race held on Saturday 21st March on the Thames (rowed over the Boat Race course, but in the reverse direction from Mortlake to Putney, on the ebb tide). Sidney was one of 17 Cambridge colleges to enter the race and was, along with Trinity First and Third and Selwyn, one of only three college boat clubs to have a second boat participating.

The squad went down to London a few days earlier thanks to an invitation from Tideway Scullers School to use their boathouse as a base for training on the Tideway and a place to stay for the build up to race day. Here Sidney got to watch ‘The Great Eight’ (the eventual winning crew comprising the world's eight foremost heavyweight male scullers, six of whom were competing at the Beijing Olympics last year) in training, as well as the Blue Boats in their final week of preparations for The Boat Race. The few days of training spent training on the Tideway proved invaluable experience for the crews and allowed for the two coxes to be shown the course by a coach from The University of London Boat Club.

On race day both crews put in good performances in beautiful conditions with M1 and M2 going off as No. 305 with a time of 21:00.97, and No. 408 with a time of 21:11.75 respectively. M2 had a particularly good race, overtaking a crew, going up 50 places in the finishing order, and being only 11 seconds slower than and 13 places behind M1.

Overall, the squad had a great off-Cam time in what was a very different type of racing to what one experiences on home turf, but ultimately the club enjoyed more success winning in a pub quiz (to the annoyance of the local regulars) on the first night of Tideway training than in the race despite lots of fun being had in both events. Thanks must go to Bill James and Rich Mott for coaching, David Winch for support and photos on the day, and Tideway Scullers School for being such brilliant hosts.

Small Boats Regatta

Posted: Friday 24 April 2009, 5:13PM by Lisa Meegan


This week saw five of our rowers take to the river for the CUCBC Small Boats Regatta, the first time Sidney has entered in current undergraduate memory.

In the single sculls were Jakob Mauritz in the Fairbairn Junior Sculls, Tim Scholtes in the Peter Brandt Sculls, and Nora Staack in the Maiden Sculls.

After a comfortable quarter-final win which saw Jakob having to slow down to avoid overtaking his opponent in the chasing-format race, he was beaten in a quick semi-final by the competition's eventual winner. Tim also clocked up a comfortable first round win, but was narrowly edged out in his second race by a strong opponent who went on to reach the semi-final. After cruising through her first round race, Nora saw off tough competition in the quarter and semi-finals but was unfortunately beaten in the final by the stroke of the women's Blue Boat.

After an intense five days of training, Micheal Marsh and Craig Naylor reached the semi-finals of the Foster-Fairbairn Pairs, before being knocked out by favourites and eventual winners Jesus.

All five competitors thoroughly enjoyed their competition, each recording at least one win. This represents great progress for Sidney as we have not featured in small boats races for some years, and with a new found enthusiam for sculling in the Club, we will be hoping for a larger entry and greater success next year!

Mark Wainwright Boat-Naming Ceremony

Posted: Wednesday 08 April 2009, 11:06PM by Lisa Meegan


On Sunday 15th March, members of Sidney Sussex Boat Club past and present gathered at the boathouse for the naming of our new boat, the Mark Wainwright. The boat, an 8+ which will now be used by the 1st Women, was purchased from funds raised at the Club’s first Alumni Dinner in Michaelmas 2008, and with the help of the Know Shaw Fund. She is named in memory of Mark Wainwright, a student and keen oarsmen at Sidney in the late 1970s. The name was chosen by a group of his old College friends following their very kind donations towards the new boat, and the naming ceremony was well attended by Mark’s friends and family, as well Alumni and current Boat Club members. More photos of the day can be viewed in the Gallery section of the web site, and thanks must go to Andy Marsh of Girton College, our photographer for the day.

SSBC would also like to thank everyone who attended the Dinner last term and helped make this purchase possible. After a great deal of positive feedback, we have now decided to make the Alumni Dinner a biennial event, with the next Dinner to be held in November 2010. We will be sending further details to those whose contact information we have in due course, but in the meantime we are hoping to expand our database of Alumni contacts and provide further opportunities for our former members to keep in contact with the Club and each other.

If you would like to be kept informed about the Boat Club’s progress, and about Alumni dinners, social events and rowing outings in the future, SSBC would love to hear from you. In the newly created role of Alumni Officer, Dan Gorton is working hard to trace lost Alumni contacts and create a low-volume mailing list to enhance communication between the Club and its former members. If you would like to be included, please get in touch with Dan either by e-mail (see the Committee page for contact details) or by post (using the College’s address).

We look forward to hearing from you!

Edited on Wed, 8th Apr 09 by Lisa Meegan

Click here for more photos of the day.


Posted: Thursday 26 March 2009, 10:32AM by Beth Parker


The 7th of March saw the women’s first boat taking a trip out to London to compete in the Women’s Head of the River Race. It was the first time any of us had competed in this race and we were all very excited about rowing on a river that could fit more than two boats on it side-by-side! The weather conditions were perfect – a calm river and beautiful sunshine - so we were all looking forward to the race.

After spending well over an hour marshalling, we were finally racing and we set off a good pace under Chiswick Bridge. We knew this race would be difficult as we had been training for sprint races all term and 6.8km was definitely not a sprint! Even so we went off with confidence and had overtaken our first crew before Barnes Bridge.

Further down the course we began to overtake Royal Chester who we had been steadily gaining on. Unfortunately their cox would not move over to allow us to come by which resulted in some blade clashing. Our cox did well to keep calm and the crew did their best to keep concentration in the boat and not on the crew we were parallel to.

We remained with Royal Chester for a large part of the course which unfortunately meant that we were not in the fast part of the stream. Although we pushed hard and were slowly moving up, eventually it showed that we were a sprint crew and Royal Chester did a very impressive push to move past us. Although it was dispiriting it did mean that we could go back into the stream for the last part of the race.

We moved up 91 places to finish 155th out of 284 so we were pretty pleased and I’m sure that we’ll be back next year with high hopes for moving up even further!

Edited on Thu, 26th Mar 09 by Tasha Scott

W2 - Kingston HORR

Posted: Sunday 22 March 2009, 4:38PM by Tasha Scott


Time: 20:30 for 5300m

Race report by Tasha Scott

This year, W2 were deemed good enough to enter into their first off-cam race – Kingston Head of the River! With no previous W2 results, we had nothing to lose, and so we were all set for a fun day out in London, and a farewell trip in dear Roger Andrew.

First things first, everyone had to get ARA membership, negotiate the tricky plastic sticking part, and remember to bring the card with them. Slightly worrying was in the week previous to the race, Mhairi announced that her ARA stuff was still in Glasgow, and would that be ok? However, we all managed to sort ourselves out, and would be racing with a full crew.

Slightly hung-over, from a very scandalous bop on the Friday night, W2 and M2 gathered at the station the next morning. Group-save tickets were purchased before boarding what seemed like the slowest train ever to London. Getting to Kingston, we were taken on an extremely roundabout trip (due to Tim’s directions) to the river, only to find our boats were nowhere to be seen. So, we sat and ate, keeping our eyes peeled for Downing, who were trailering our boats.

Finally, an hour before we had to be on the water, our boats arrived, parked about a kilometre away. After putting the boats together we joined the large queue of boats converging to a single space of hard. Realising this would take a while, we decided to just put the boat in over a rocky bank, successful avoiding the rocks and most of the trees. In quite a panic, we all got in the boat and set off, crossing as quickly as possible.

Marshalling was quite tricky, as the stream carried us in the wrong direction, meaning bow pair were taking tap upon tap, especial as the Bristol University boat sticking rather close to us. Spinning round the buoy, we were unfortunate enough to have the same Bristol University boat mount our stern, rowing perpendicular to us and in all eights. It took a lot of rowing in opposite directions for them to separate from us, leaving our boat with a 50cm split along the seam of the stern. A marshal quickly appeared and spent a few minutes inspecting our boat, checking the rudder and deliberating as to whether we should race. It was decided that we should indeed race, so we set off to the start line all a bit flustered.

The word ‘GO’ came a lot sooner that we expected, as we had drifted pretty much onto the start line, but the nevertheless we wound it up well, and settled at a sustainable rating, on station with the boat behind us. They did creep up on us, and although we pushed off hard, managed to overtake us about halfway along the 5.3km course. After this, landmarks, random family members and Mhairi kept morale high and we carried on putting power down right to the end, crossing the finish line with a final burst. A great row by W2, and our last team effort as a crew.

Tired, and very glad the finish line was also where we boated from, we took the boat out of the water, dismantled it and loaded it onto the trailer. After a quick but chilly drink at the local pub, we all headed home. The journey back was rather uncomfortable and squashed, so everyone was glad to get home, shower, and go out for a W2/M2 meal. During the meal, we discovered our time, 20:30, which we were very pleased with, and which placed us in the middle of our division.

Edited on Tue, 24th Mar 09 by Tasha Scott

W1 - Day 4

Posted: Thursday 05 March 2009, 11:53PM by Lisa Meegan


Bumped Robinson - Awarded Blades

So this was it - up 3 in three days, and this was the one that mattered. We knew it should be possible - the previous day we'd bumped Pembroke II when they were just an canvas off Robinson, effectively making up 2 and three quarter lengths on the Robinson crew by the time we'd bumped - but Pembroke II had been a difficult bump and today we expected pressure from behind for the first time. One mistake could ruin the whole thing.

No matter how many times Sparky told me that "up 3 is a fantastic result for any crew", that "only lucky crews go up 4", and that I "can't be disappointed if we don't do it," I wasn't already a double blade winner, and I knew that if we failed, I wouldn't be able to help feeling that the whole thing was kind of worthless.

Friday evening had ended with Nick's world-record breaking attempt at "corniest e-mail ever" (I'll spare you the quotes), and if it was possible, I think Nick wanted a prow more than I wanted a blade! Our coaches had invested a huge amount of time and effort in us over the past two terms, now it was time to deliver.

No pressure then! After a stressful morning of Norovirus, subs and broken bike related crises, I was beginning to wonder whether the whole day was cursed. At the boathouse, my nerves were eased a little as we designed DIY stash for Nick, and on the row up there was more distraction as we discovered W2 had pulled off a fantastic overbump on Newnham II.

The row up was solid with two decent practise starts, and we kept Robinson well behind us all the way to the lock. At the four minute gun, the nerves really hit, and my anxious mood wasn't helped by our proximity to the cannon!

Never has the gap between the one minute cannon and the start cannon felt so long, but eventually we were off, producing what Abi would later describe as our best ever start. Suprisingly, Pembroke II were nowhere, disappearing rapidly backwards and looking in danger of being bumped by Anglia Ruskin. This eased the pressure a little, but by half way down First Post Reach I was very, very worried. For three days, Tim's shouts of "inside distance" and "well done girls, well done" had reassured me throughout the gaps between whistles, but today there was nothing, and Tim doesn't lie. Surely they couldn't be pulling away...?

Finally, around First Post Corner, we got the first whistle. After that, it all happened very quickly - through the Gut we seemed to progress rapidly to overlap, finally achieving the Bump on the entrance to Grassy corner - with a whole army of Sidneyites there to congratulate us, we couldn't have timed our bump better if we'd tried! For those on Facebook, Sam Kirsop's video probably tells the story better than I ever could (even if it does provide pretty damning evidence of celebration before clearing), although the night before when I'd played out the "W1 bumping Robinson to get blades" video in my head at least twenty times, not one of them had ended in chants of "EC Gill, EC Gill..." from the whole of Grassy corner!

A triumphant W1 rowed home with plenty of greenery and the Sidney flag flying at the stern (looking incredibly classy with a branch as a makeshift flagpole). Back at the boathouse, there were plenty of champagne bottles, cakes and crew photos to be enjoyed, and luckily I wasn't held to my promise of going in the river if I ever won blades!

This has been a fantastic term for Sidney W1 and we'd like to thank everyone who's supported us, in particular our coaches Nick Evans, Mark Jacobs and Pete Langley.

Edited on Thu, 5th Mar 09 by Lisa Meegan

W2 - Day 4

Posted: Tuesday 03 March 2009, 3:04PM by Lisa Meegan


Overbumped Newnham II

Report by Mhairi McNeill

There is a subtle difference between believing and expecting...

With Lisa's motivational email in our minds, a focused and excited W2 rowed up to marshal, determined after two long row overs to go home with greenery. We were chasing Christ's II one of the best boats in the division and knew that our chances of bumping them before they caught Clare Hall I were slim, so it was with gritted teeth we set our sights on the overbump on Newnham II. We learned on day three just how unpredictable bumps can be and hoped as we rowed up to marshal that both luck and strength would be on our side as we entered the final day of the competition.

Our practice start at the railway bridge went well and the crew pulled in to marshal in high spirits, nervous but excited for the row ahead. As M2 passed us unfortunately without greenery, our determination to get another Sidney bump only increased. The girls rowed up solidly to the start line with a good practice start outside the Plough and waited nervously for the four minute gun. With Motty predicting 60-40 that we wouldn't bump, it was clear that the task ahead would be a difficult one.

The final cannon saw us set off fairly well, seeing the chasing crew, Emmanuel III get progressively further behind. The impressive Christ's II were quick to bump out Clare Hall I just past first post corner; and squeezing through the clearing crews we increased the pressure, excited and hoping for the overbump!

"Four lengths, three and half!" yelled voices from the bank as we emerged from grassy corner into plough reach with the girls pushing hard; we still had a lot of ground to make up and we knew it. As we passed by the plough pub we were hit my an incredible wave of noise, people on the bank screaming "Go SIDNEY!". With the shouts of the crowd to spur us on, the girls increased the pressure once more, gaining to a length and a half entering Ditton. A length, a half, canvas.... the whistles became continuous within a matter of seconds. Before we realised what was happening, the Newnham cox's hand went up and shouts of hold it up came from the bank. Sidney Sussex II had overbumped Newnham II, just out of Ditton! (The marshal at this point fell off his bike.)

A triumphant W2 rowed home with greenery and the occasional squeals of 'We overbumped!' Back at the boathouse there were Sainsbury's cakes, Champagne and much W2 toasting before the cox and freshers were thrown in the river (which we can confirm is freezing in March!)

A fantastic end to W2's Lent Bumps and a great row by a great crew. Moving up four in our division, from 10th to 6th place, we secured W2's permanent place in the bump charts, not to mention being the first Sidney crew to overbump since 2001!

Edited on Sun, 22nd Mar 09 by Tasha Scott

W2 - Day 3

Posted: Saturday 28 February 2009, 9:52AM by Lisa Meegan


Rowed over

Report by Tasha Scott

A day’s rest had left W2 fresh and raring to go. We had high hopes that we would be able to follow Christ’s II up the chart and bump Clare Hall I. Having a full crew again made for a very solid row up, everyone focusing in on the task ahead. Both practise starts went well, building our confidence even more.

Arriving very early, never having had to row straight to the lock to marshal, we sat around for 20 minutes fiddling with cameras and suchlike, and making sure we were ultimately prepared.

The last cannon sent us off in a fairly together start, and before long we were hearing calls of ‘within station!’ from the bank. However, these soon changed to frantic calls of ‘go right, go right’, and we were extremely disappointed to find that Clare Hall had somehow managed to bump Christ’s right off the start. This was entirely surprising seeing as Christ’s II were pretty much our biggest threat in the division, and had previously bumped Clare Hall. We later discovered that Christ’s four had had an overhead crab, causing them to stop soon after starting, and giving away an easy bump and any blades possibilities they had.

So, after all this confusion, we carried on rowing, settling well. Not much further up the course we found that any overbump possibility on Queens II had gone yet again as they bumped Newnham II. This meant yet another steady row over for W2. Eventually we took it down and down again, sailing through the finish well ahead of Downing II (as an aside, Downing II managed to crash on the outside of Ditton, giving a lucky Catz an easy overbump just 20 strokes from the finish!).

Overall, an unfortunate day, showing the unpredictability of bumps, and especially lower division bumps. Perhaps tomorrow we can wreak some revenge on either Christ’s II or Newnham II. Either way we have a hard row ahead of us...

Edited on Sun, 22nd Mar 09 by Tasha Scott

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