College Rowing Preview: Lent 2010

The Tab takes a look at Lent Term’s college Rowing action.

bumps Cambridge rowing downing jesus Lent LMBC Peterhouse Queens' Trinity

The Tab takes a look at what’s in store for college Rowing this term.

Crews will be training for two events: Lent Bumps (23-27 February) and the Head of the River Race, effectively the national eights championship, held on the Thames on 27 March.

Races likely to attract interest in the build-up are the Winter Head-to-Head, two legs of 2k on the Cam next Saturday, and Pembroke Regatta on 13 February, a side-by-side knockout over 1.1k.

Robinson host a head race on 5 February for anyone who isn’t well and truly sick of racing the same stretch over and over again, especially after being antagonised by the inevitable screw-ups at Newnham Short Course the week before.

Any crews that don’t fancy sitting on the bank for two hours while the marshals shrug their shoulders at the chaos and try to arrange their next formal swap should go and race the Head of the Nene in Peterborough instead. Rumours that Newnham actually try to discourage people from entering (so that they can at least win something) remain unconfirmed.

Queens’ M1 (Men’s First Boat) are once again the ones to watch and have to be classed as favourites for the Head-to-Head. Their determination to dominate the Cam in every respect has, however, been tarnished somewhat by some frankly shoddy workmanship on the Motorway Bridge.

Trinity (FaT) look characteristically polished and will probably hold on to the headship. An awesome 53rd place in Head of the River last year will take some beating by this year’s crop though. After a victory of nearly half a minute in the Fairbairn’s VIIIs, and humiliating CUWBC (Cambridge University Women’s Boat Club) in the IVs, their women look unstoppable as well.

John’s (LMBC), on the other hand, look worse than in previous years, though the same cannot be said for certain members of their women’s VIII. Clare and Pembroke (4th and 5th stations, after an out-of-sorts Jesus slipped last year) both had absolute shockers in Fairbairn’s. Peterhouse could be alright but will need to find four people to fill the other seats in the boat.

Newnham have been on characteristically good form on swaps and bad form on the water: 15th in the Fairbairn’s IVs with no eight entered. Sidney Sussex finally looks like breaking free of the tag ‘Disney’ after solid performances from the men and women.

Several crews have already begun the term’s preparations in earnest, whether on the Cam or, in the case of Downing and Jesus, away in Soustons, South-West France.

While some of the Downing contingent took the opportunity to catch up on work in their spare time, taking exception when anyone so much as coughed in their common room, others took a rather different attitude.

After a heavy night in Soustons’ only bar, one lady Downingite spotted the Jesus men enjoying a session in the hot tub. Mumbling that she just wanted to “dip her toe in to feel how hot the water is”, and brushing aside doubts that it might be difficult unless she took her socks off, she promptly fell in fully clothed. Despite being escorted back to her room by two gentlemanly Jesus rowers, she is then said to have reappeared in rather fewer clothes than she had initially sported.

Allegations of late-night shenanigans have, however, been strongly denied.

The Tab’s crews to watch:

Queens’ M1 – Although starting at 13th station means that Queens’ aren’t going to be able to mix it with the big boys,  several wins are likely for this in-form     crew and probably blades as well.

Trinity (FaT) W1 – Dominated Fairbairn’s and CUWBC. Expect some convincing wins and a double headship.