John’s Salvage Pride In Uni Fours
LMBC show strong form for Fairbairns by winning both the Blue ribband events in the Uni Fours.
LMBC had a successful week in the university fours, winning the women’s coxed event and the men’s coxless, whilst Caius won the men’s coxed tournament.
This year’s University Fours regatta tried to run each event on a single day as far as possible, in order to reduce the time competitors had to spend away from academic work.
However, this change meant that crews had to race up to four times in one day, rowing upstream into a stiff headwind – fitness was crucial and there were few close results.
The men’s second division races on Monday saw some of the closest racing of the whole week, with the Clare Hall first four beating the Jesus second four by under 2 seconds in the final.
The LMBC Coxless IV out on their own.
Tuesday saw the first three rounds of the women’s first division, with a strong Lady Margaret four dominating all their races- their closest margin being a two length win over Downing in the semi-final.
The other half of the division saw some more interesting racing; most notably in the semi-final between Sidney and Emmanuel, Sidney were disqualified after repeatedly cutting into Emmanuel’s water on the corners and causing several blade clashes.
Sidney had also been involved in controversy earlier in the competition, when a First & Third rower lost her oar and her request to have the race re-started was denied.
The final, held two days later on Thursday, saw LMBC defeat Emmanuel easily.
The preliminary rounds of the men’s first coxed fours were held on Wednesday and, somewhat counter intuitively, the two ‘second’ boats entered (from Magdalene and Caius) were the ones that qualified for the final on Friday.
Somewhat unexpectedly, given that their cox had a full view of the river ahead from his seat, Magdalene crashed into the bank in the final and were overtaken by Caius who rowed away to a massive 23 second victory.
The theme of crashing into the bank was continued in the women’s second division on Thursday, as one of the Downing rowers missed a stroke on the start and their boat slewed straight into the bank.
However, unlike Magdalene’s M2, Downing W2 were able to disentangle themselves and catch up with their opposition from Clare. They went on to win the whole competition, beating Trinity Hall -who showed an admirable adherence to tradition by turning up in a dodgy wooden boat– in the final.
In contrast to the men’s coxed fours, the coxless fours competition – which in previous years has been decided by who crashed into the bank the least number of times – proceeded without incident.
Jesus withdrew owing to conflicting academic commitments, giving their opponents Clare a bye to the final, while Lady Margaret beat First & Third in the other semi-final.
After some recovery time, having first emptied out a considerable amount of rainwater from their boat, LMBC rowed away from Clare to win the final by a comfortable margin.
With Lady Margaret having dominated the two blue riband events, they are sure to put in a good performance at Fairbairns well as later on in the year.