Cock-Up Costs Clare Victory at Head of the Nene

First and Third dominate the Head of the Nene. Clare have a mare. Read more here

Clare First and Third head of the nene nene Rowing Trinity will gray

First and Third (Trinity) once again proved themselves to be a cut above the opposition at Saturday’s Head of the Nene.

The race, held at Peterborough over a 5k stretch, attracted some of the top college eights, alongside entries from bastions of schoolboy-rowing such as Eton, Abingdon and St. Paul’s. Crews from universities including Cardiff and Warwick were also on show.

FaT M1, in the absence of Queens’ and the in-form Downing, were comfortably the quickest college crew clocking in at 19:15, followed by LMBC on 19:39 and Tit Hall on 20:07.

Clare, who start on 4th station in Lents, look destined to plummet after a poor showing here, recording a mediocre 20:28. Magdalene, starting 11th, seem sure to take out Fitz, after the crews recorded times of 20:22 and 21:03 respectively.

First and Third M1. Photo: Tim Sherrington

Jesus, who start behind Pembroke in 6th, mysteriously pulled out at the last minute, just as they had at Winter Head-to-Head two weeks before. Illness was once again blamed, though rumours of a debauched cocktail party that very night, including smashed bottles, vomiting and even violence, suggest that this may not be the full story.

In the women’s event, FaT W1 (22:06) showed complete supremacy, beating the next-best college crew (Clare) by a whopping 41 seconds and sweeping up the winners’ pots for the Women’s IM3 division.

However, the story of the day was a monumental cock-up from the Clare Secretary, who entered their women’s VIII into the “Open” Novice category. As anyone who has ever been near an ARA race knows, “Open” is really just a way of saying “Men’s”. Funny at the time maybe, but perhaps less funny when they found out they would have won the Women’s Novice Category, if the entry had been done by someone with even a shred of competence. Egg on the face and drinks all round.

First and Third M1. Photo: Tim Sherrington

LMBC 7-man Will Gray, famed for his snazzy lycra, took victory in the IM3 Single Sculls, finally giving some substance to the dubious chat coming out of the LMBC stern for the last few months.

Elsewhere, the fastest time of the day was recorded by the Eton VIII, a rapid 17:59, while a special mention must go to the Worcester University Women’s Novice VIII after a less-than-speedy 29:41.

As for the Lents, next weekend’s Pembroke Regatta (Sat) and Bedford Head (Sun) should be able to establish a firm pecking-order amongst the top crews.

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