On the first of February, at 7am, 20 novice men accompanied by 3 coxes departed from the university to participate in their first ever race.
When dawn rose and the winter dew had vaporised we arrived at Worcester rowing club. Pulling into a deserted car park we were met by a bitter wind. We lay trestles attempting to rig armed with only a few tools between the 5 novice boats. The resi was up to its old tricks with the big boy seven's seat missing the lower foot stretcher strip unattached and the four seat's sliders sodomized.
A fight against the clock arose as 10:45 drifted round and the section was yet to be checked over. Regardless we shouldered the trusty shell and- accompanied by the 1st VIII - head off for the landing stage.
The sight that met our eyes was an unstoppable brown torrent. We saw the novice IV was already braving the stream but getting very little progress. Due to the lack of other competitors in this category their race was unfortunately called off.
The two VIII's set off being informed by a kind Marshall to head up river as soon as possible as we were late to race.
Paddling up was a struggle, in 6's we were making no progress against the stream. Even at rate 22/24 the 2nd VIII struggled to travel upstream and the 30 minute paddle to the start line was both tiring and rewarding as we realised how much we had progressed since our last outing in the resi at training camp a mere 5 weeks ago.
As we approached the start line and tried to slot In between the mass of other crews we removed layers and prepared to smash the race.
Pushing off and spinning were providing a huge problem so we lost much of our run up to the start line. Regardless we pressed hard and got the boat speed up for the whistle. A minor hiccup occurred when 4's footplate came loose and we had to row 6's for a set of strokes while it was fixed. The rest of the race was good even though we crossed the line feeling we could have maybe put down more power.
This feeling was echoed by the other VIII however we were overall impressed with our technique and speed of the race.
The results of the time trial concluded these thought. The novice first VIII came second with a heroic 12:36.4 beaten by 67 seconds to Birmingham.
The second VIII destroyed the course in 13:00.844. Placing them in fifth place ahead of Birmingham's second VIII by a cool 0.052 seconds which some say was down to the seven man's huge calves. Overall it was a very enjoyable race for all crews involved.