Three matched crews took to the Adelaide Straight in Ely on Saturday for this year’s Trial VIIIs. With an even distribution of power, technique and experience across the crews, it looked set to be a close and exciting race.
And indeed it was. Eager to race but struggling with a crosswind, the crews lined up under increasingly exasperated starter’s orders: “It’s too cold for faffing – now get straight!” A fast start from all three crews meant that there was very little between them in the opening stages of the race, with no crew managing to gain more than half a canvas of advantage as they settled on to their rhythm and powered through the first minute.
By 500m, however, Big Fish and Little Fish had begun to open up a lead on Cardboard Box, increasing their advantage to about a length by the 1k mark. At this point, Big Fish had taken a slight lead on their smaller rival, but a move from Little Fish at 1k saw them close the gap again. This left the crews trading inches and seats almost to the finish line, but Big Fish handled themselves better in one last blade clash and were able to edge ahead in their build in the finish. Big Fish cross the finish line a third of a length ahead of Little Fish, with Cardboard Box a length behind them.
Such a close race showed the overall strength of the squad, and will prove to be excellent side-by-side racing experience when it comes to taking on Oxford just a few short months away. The squad is now taking a well-earned Christmas break (though training does not stop!) until their January training camp in Soustons in the south of France.
Big Fish: Priya Crosby (cox), Cath Wheeler, Helena Schofield, Martina Lagatierra-Wellington, Rebecca Pound, Caroline Reid, Lucy Griffin, Lenka Veselovska, Sarah Moir-Porteous
Little Fish: Chris Clark (cox), Charlotte McClean, Ellie Wigham, Holly Game, Christine Hoyer, Rose Tallon, Louise Gale, Emma Copham, Marthe Kloecking
Cardboard Box: Madelaine Scragg (cox), Emily Day, Fay Sandford, Annie Elkington, Fran Knight, Anna Railton, Christina Pettit, Christabel Lines, Olga Kasyanova