Trial VIIIs

The annual CUWBC Trial VIIIs race due to be held this year on the Adelaide Straight in Ely took an unorthodox turn today, as a result of significant icing of the river.

The series of events has been enthusiastically described by Elizabeth Polgreen (CUW President), below:

At 7.30 in the morning the two crews arrived in Ely, bouncing with the
spirit of Christmas and ready to row. There was a small amount of
excitement when it was discovered that Santa had visited the boat
house. One member of the squad was disappointed to realise the
Empacher on the trestles was in fact ours originally and Santa had
only left Christmas Cards and candy canes. Perhaps if we’re very good
girls next year?

It then became apparent, as first Martyn and then Mat barged through
the changing room of dressing girls, that the lock on the boat bay
door had frozen. As had the toilet, the taps and the river. So we sat
back down by the radiator and sang Christmas songs whilst the coaches
went on an ice investigation mission in the launches. A Rudolph the
Red Nosed Reindeer and a Jingle Bells later (accidentally accompanied
by John with the box of spare nuts, bolts and chains) they returned
with bad news, the river was too frozen to go out.

So, plan B, we kept calm, carried on and packed up, derigged in
preparation for training camp and rejoined at Emmanuel Boat House for
a 5k team erg race.

The two teams theoretically were evenly matched with near identical
average 2ks for each crew so it looked to be an exciting race. The
teams retreated to different rooms to discuss tactics with their
captains and to mentally prepare themselves for the race.

Keep Calm, captained by Lizzie, opted for speedy change overs
occurring as soon as each rowers split dropped by 2 seconds from it’s
peak, and abandoned the idea of foot straps in favour of coxes
clinging onto our feet.

Carry On, captained by Penny, decided that footstraps were essential
to hold down their RAW POWER, and timed change overs to happen every
30 strokes.

From the word “go” Keep Calm pulled ahead, with some smooth change
overs, and a complete disregard for the front half of the slide. A
quick rethink of strategy was required, Carry On abandoned the foot
straps and shortened the time between changeovers to 20 strokes, but they failed to
make up the distance and Keep Calm sped across the finish line first,
leaving Carry On to carry on erging in their wake.

Superb erging technique was demonstrated by all, we look forward to
seeing Rob’s video and Martyn’s photos.

The victorious “Keep Calm”:

The opposition, “Carry on”:

Definitely an exciting day, despite of the lack of racing. The whole squad now looks forward to Trial VIIIs dinner and the (training filled) Christmas Vacation.