The 2009 CULRC Trial VIII’s Race produced a hard fought battle between the two crews “Maverick” and “Iceman”. Just like in Top Gun, the rivalry between the crews was fierce in training with each crew seeking to out-do the other in practice pieces. Also like the film, Iceman came out the victor, winning the race by a margin of 1 length.
The day of the race (Weds 16th December) was a cold snowy winters day, but mercifully with little wind. It was Maverick on the Berkshire station that took the initial advantage sprinting out of the blocks before settling at 38 strokes a minute. Gradually over the first 500m they built a half length lead over Iceman who had settled to 36 on Bucks. Leading into the 1km mark, Iceman pegged Maverick’s lead, maintaining the margin as Iceman’s cox squeezed both crews gently towards the Berkshire station. With 600m to go and Maverick still half a length up, Iceman made a move pushing the rate up into the mid-low 40s and swiftly gaining water on the other crew. This sparked the final sprint for the line and Iceman extended their new found lead out to 1 length by the finish in a time of 5:41.
The contest has given the squad the shared experience of match racing on the Henley reach that will be essential to us at the Henley Boat Races when we race Oxford on Sunday 28th March.
It was a pleasure to see so many of the friends and families of CULRC out on the banks supporting both crews on the day. I hope you enjoyed the experience and look forward to seeing you in March. I would also like to thank Robert Treharne Jones and Leander Club for use of the launches and Mike Williams for umpiring the race.
The squad will now enjoy a short break over the holidays before reconvening to fly out to training camp at Soustons near Biarritz, France on the 6th of January.