Friday 27th March 2015, the eve of MUBC Men’s departure to London. “Tideway: quick it will be, if it is to be at all”, posted Hackett, head coach. Two hours later the Third VIII was scratched – conditions were not looking good at all.
Travelling down Saturday morning, the club was hit with even more bad news as one member of the First VIII had fallen ill. This meant that both the First VIII and Second VIII were going to be rowing with scratch crews. Luckily, seasoned rower Max Brittan was around town and able to play hero, filling the bow seat in the Second VIII.
Due to the blustery forecast, the race organisers delayed the race start by half an hour to allow the tide to help with the conditions, which came as a surprise to many of us as we were expecting the announcement to read ‘race cancelled’! So at approximately 12:15 MUBC boated from Putney Town Rowing Club, which was right next to the start – Chiswick Bridge.
Men’s Captain Jack Roe stroked the First VIII to an impressive 85th out of 330, with a powerful performance from start to finish, and a very similar result to last year. In the Second VIII, setting off quite a bit later, the conditions had worsened significantly – large waves and gusts of wind reaching 45mph made it interesting to say the least. Sheffield University set off quite a bit before us, but we quickly overtook with our cox Alice giving powerful calls keeping us focused. The result was slightly less strong but an experience nonetheless, with the crew consisting of three novices.
Finishing the race exhausted was one thing, but the row back to Putney Boat Club was mentally and physically punishing, with the wind keeping us in a stationary position for a few seconds despite rowing all eight! It felt like forever. Once we landed and de-rigged, spirits were high as MUBC was off to the sunny south of France the following day.
Until next year tideway…
First VIII: Emma Carter, Jack Roe, Ben Walters, Sam Thornton, David Bentham, James Bennett, Jim Miller, Jake Brown, Ben Coverdale.
Second VIII: Alice Campbell Davis, Tom Barr, Tom Anderson, Tom Davies, Dominic Rogers, John Campbell, Adam Finch, Jonathan Cryer, Max Brittan.