Fitz and Jesus Win Novice Fairbairns

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Fitz and Jesus are the novice champions at Fairbairns. Click here to read The Tab's minute-by-minute coverage of the day

The first day of the 2009 Fairbairns Cup saw victories for Fitzwilliam’s novice men and Jesus’ novice women.

Fitz, who began the season with victory at Queens’ Ergs, finished a comfortable 23 seconds ahead of their closest challengers Caius who just edged out Wolfson.

In the women’s division Clare Novices champions Jesus beat Christ’s and Downing to take the top spot.

The lower division titles were won by Emma II for the men and Christ’s II for the women.

The Tab provided minute-by-minute coverage of the races throughout the day. Read it below.



6.23pm: So the first day of Fairbairns is over, with Fitz and Jesus taking the men’s and women’s novice titles for 2009. Join us again tomorrow from 9.30 for our coverage of the Senior races.

5.29pm: RESULTS:

Fastest Men’s Novice VIII Fitzwilliam
Fastest Men’s 2nd Novice VIII Emmanuel II
Fastest Women’s Novice VIII Jesus
Fastest Women’s 2nd Novice VIII Christs II

Full results available here

4.57pm: I have been told that results will be available approximately 20 minutes. The tension builds…

3.55pm: We understand that the official women’s results may be posted within the hour.

Also, a coach for one of the big colleges told me that he thinks it’s between Selwyn, Fitz and Caius for the top spot in the men’s division.

Darkness is rapidly falling. Keep updating this page for the latest news.

3.04pm: A strong rumour is circulating that Jesus’ NW1 have WON the top novice division. The marshalls running the race are remaining tight-lipped about it as they double check the times before announcing the official results, but The Tab understands from others that  the other boats around them in the division are resigned to a Jesus victory. We await the official results.

Anglia Ruskin’s crash (see 1.55pm) made a Jesus win seem more likely.

3.01pm: The news from the Reach (where the course ends) is that a ‘massive grey barge boat’ has broken the rules of the river by moving onto the Fairbairns course. The division was momentarily halted and three lower boats were affected. A marshall told me that they were shouting ‘The river is closed. Please move. This is illegal, this is illegal‘ before the barge-man eventually took notice.

2.23pm: The second division of  the novice men’s and women’s races is about to push off. Christ’s II (men) will lead the division away.

2.03pm: Word has it that a member of Cauis NM1 (Novice Men’s 1) fell into the freezing cold river after the finish as he tried to get out of his boat. And before anyone messages me to say ‘that is just an unsubstantiated rumour’, I’d just like to say that the Cauis-guy-falling-into-the-river story is a completely unsubstantiated rumour.

1.55pm: CRASH ALERT! The news is that Anglia Ruskin’s women, hotly tipped to win their novice division, crashed under the Railway Bridge – just a few hundred metres from the finish. My source says they have asked for a re-race but probably won’t be granted it as there were no other crews near them. Will keep you posted.

1.37pm: At Fairbairns the crews usually get some indication of how they’ve done if their coxes time them. The word is that Jesus NM1 (Novice Men’s 1) timed themselves at about 10 minutes. Last year, in better conditions, the winning time for John’s (LMBC) was 9 minutes 33 seconds so make of that what you will.

But believe coxes’ timings at your peril! Last year John’s NM1 timed themselves as more than 10 seconds slower than Jesus NM1 but ended up beating them by almost 4 seconds in the official timings done by the marshalls.

Dont forget, you will hear the results of both men’s and women’s divisions here on The Tab as soon as they are confirmed.

1.00pm: No-one I speak to wants to predict any results. One coach whose just returned from following his crew gives me some scraps: “Caius looked good for the men. Wolfson won’t repeat Clare novices, they looked dead by the end. For the women its Anglia or Jesus”. There you go then.

12.20pm: As this women’s division has gone on the weather has gone from bitterly cold and raining to fairly cold and slightly sunny – expect some surprisingly good times from the boats starting at the back.

12.02am: The news from the Jesus boat house (who organise Fairbairns) is that results for this morning’s divisions should come through at some point in the afternoon. We’ll bring you them first!


John’s (LMBC) novice women, last year’s winners, lead off their division

11.45am: Sidney are truly having a nightmare today. Asked why they arrived at the start late, Sidney women’s 1st boat replied that they had ‘capsized the boat as we tried to put it in’. Good work.

11.33am: The women’s novice division is just starting. John’s (LMBC) go off first looking pretty solid, followed by a fast looking Anglia Ruskin. Clare Novices winners Jesus looked panicked off the start before settling down a bit.

10.07am: The men’s division has been rounded  off by the first crash I’ve seen  today. Sidney IV careered into a barge boat within 50 metres of the start…and then did it again!

9.16am: And they are off! The men’s novice division 1 is kicked off by last year’s winners St John’s (LMBC) who sweep past the start line at Jesus boat house up towards the footbridge and out of sight.

Loooking at the early starters Caius look the best off the line, rowing more together than anyone around them.


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  • Lee

    those John's girls won't win if they row like that (see photo above!). Only joking, I know the conditions aren't ideal today.

    My punts is: girton for the men, queens' for the women.

  • Caius

    and yes Charles Earnshaw, Caius Bowman, did fall in after the race.

  • JennyK


  • Harry

    Genius on the updates throughout the afternoon. Tab should do more of this with other sport too. I'm sure I'll read about these results from Varisty Sport in a few months time!

    • Mikey

      Agreed. Keep the updates like this coming.
      Wasn't huge on the Tab when it was released but for Sport its definately a lot better than Varsity

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