Emma Sprints 2014
by Elinor George, LCCBC President on 26 November 2014
Both NW1 and NW2 took to the water on 23rd November for their first race on the River Cam. After only being in the set crews for 2 weeks, the girls had worked hard to master race starts, timing and balance – now was the time to put it altogether at high rate.
Unfortunately, the weather was absolutely horrific – with icy cold winds and torrential rain, the crews had their work cut out during the racing and the waiting in between. One of the most important things though for the race is deciding on the costumes. NW2 had gone for characters from Winnie the Pooh, complete with the cox as a jar of honey. NW1 had opted for Noah’s Ark, with frog, elephant and zebra all making an appearance. There were, however, the compulsory additions of waterproofs, which were sopping after only an hour in the rain.
NW2 were up first starting of against Emmanuel NW2. Despite clashing blades early on, the crew managed to disentangle themselves from the mess and were powering down the course. It was a nail biting race but our bow ball just made it across the line first, meaning the girls were up to row again in the quarter-finals. Next up was Kings NW2 and after a strong start, Hughes/Lucy were gaining a comfortable lead to cross the finish line with 4 lengths to spare. Then it was on to the semi-finals, and after being out in the rain and the cold for nearly 3 hours,, the conditions were taking their toll – teeth were chattering, arms were shaking and hands were reddening. With only two more races left, the crew took up position for the 3rd time that day against Jesus NW1. Although NW2 gave it everything they had, Jesus powered away. For third place, it was us against Murray Edwards NW1. Again it was a tight race, but a combination of the terrible weather, and losing a footplate, meant that Murray Edwards won by a length. They came fourth out of 16 other boats in the division which was a great result!
NW1 division were next to race. They had a tough first opponent – Darwin NW1 had won the Women’s final at Queens’ Ergs last week. After a strong start the two crews were neck and neck, and it was only till Darwin caught a crab (where the blade goes behind the rower and is left dragging in the water) that Lucy/Hughes were able to finally pull ahead. Darwin tried to catch up with Power 10 after Power 10 but our boat just made it across the finish line and were awarded the win. After a little bit of a wait for the next round, NW1 were up against Emmanuel NW1. Unfortunately the River Gods had a sense of humour and there was another crab, this time in our boat, as well as another foot-plate issue. But the crew still kept close by Emma and only lost by a few metres.
Both crews won at least one race and were only knocked out by a crew that went onto the final – Jesus NW1 won the W2 division, whilst Emmanuel went onto the final of the W1 division.
The girls rowed really well and with Clare Novices and Fairbairns left, there’s plenty of time for more racing glory!