Tail of the Cam

Chesterton RC ran the Head of the Cam race today (we really must improve our website some time). I got to help marshalling a couple of divisions, on First Post Corner and Grassy Corner, which was a good post as nothing tricky happens at those points. So I took an absurd number of photos (only div 1 up when I wrote this) in the sunshine, which was very pleasant.

The racing is head racing – i.e. just rowing the course, starting 30 seconds apart, no bumping or anything exciting like that. The first few boats in each division tended to be M1’s for the Mays at around 9 minutes, trailing off into various rather ropey town and university VIII’s (slowest at 13 mins), followed by IV’s, doubles and a cloud of sculls (best at 11:20). So afterwards, inspired by that and by our own Dave “James Bond” Richardson (13:38), and since the weather was still lovely, I thought I’d scull the course – not a thing I’ve done before. To put up my excuses first, I couldn’t take the racing lines and had to sit behind Selwyn for ~20 secs while they pondered going off. And my time was… 15:50, which I’m quite happy with for a first go. That would make me not quite last – I would have beaten a J15 for the Leys (incidentally, nice to see that Perse A beat Leys A by 5 seconds). Mapmyrun says it is 2.7 km and I did it at 10.1km/hr. Hmm.

Jesus won. Cue std.joke.

Rowing and Running

I was a teenage rower, and now am a middle aged rower, so most of my exercise comes on the river, or on an erg (disregarding the 11 miles a day cycle to work, which is definitely good for me too, but that counts as base load). So today I did 10 km, which took me a fraction less than 40 mins, and the end of it I was sufficiently tired to do nothing but pant for 5 mins, and then my arms shook while eating lunch. But a few hours later I am fully recovered, I think.

The contrast I’m trying to draw is with running, which I’m getting into a little bit. When I run 5 km, I end up not truely tired, but more feeling damaged: my thighs ache, my calves ache, but I’m still quite capable of moving. Perhaps I just haven’t learnt how to try hard enough while running. My time for 5km, incidentally, is a little under 25 mins, so 5 mins/km, which is worse than my 10 km rowing speed. But I’m not sure how the two compare.

I do wonder if I should hive off all the non-science junk onto a non-science blog. But no-one is complaining so far.

Sculling again

It is spring, the daffodils are out, the hour has nearly changed, and longen folk to go down to the river again. In fact I’ve been rowing all winter (Emma blogged our last race in rather different weather), but this Sunday was the Cantabs “taster” session for junior scullers; and my son and a couple of his friends gave it a go.

I’m pleased to say that they were all very enthusiastic and by and large got the hang of it. Next week they get to untie the bit of string and get the freedom of the Cam. These are virus sculls.

I also found out where Chesterton’s scull is – answer, in the four shed, rather inconveniently placed, something of a nightmare to get out. I also discovered that it works better when you put the strokeside blade in strokeside… I have a strong feeling that all the sculling I’ve done before has been with symmetrical blades.

Meanwhile, can you name the mystery sculler in the background?

Vile jobbery on the Cam

And I’m not talking about me being appointed captain of Men’s boats at Chesterton. No, the jobbery I’m talking about is the new house being constructed just by the Fort St George bridge. it’s been a while a-coming, and when first laid out I was impressed by how small the ground plan was – how self-effacing, and in fact rather wasteful, I thought to my self. But now it becomes clear that this is only because it is to be a 4-storey steel-concrete-and-glass monster, badly out of place. It will be a lovely house to live in, but far too prominent. A WP:RS (i.e. a woman cycling by) told me it was being built for a college fellow, which might explain how they got permission for it.

While I’m here, and totally unrelated, another view of cambridge river life is our esteemed club captain and partner and dog at nbkestrel.blogspot.com/.

And browsing that, I find Mind the view… …oops, too late. So James thinks it’s a block of flats. He might be right. Quite why he doubts that “the small city centre flats will be very profitable” I don’t know 😦

[Update: having looked again, I see that some of the neighbouring buildings are pretty bleak already; see here; Peterhouse is good, of course, but the dark brown square brick flats next door are yukky.]

Back to the river

i-a4d43b9e49611c411f84537470f56e05-DSCN3102-chesterton-blades.JPG First outing this year, on a day that fitted the description of english weather “all four seasons in a day”. Happily that included summer, since I was down to shorts and a tee-shirt in the sunshine portion. We couldn’t scrounge up eight people so went out in the IV of doom, which isn’t nearly as bad as it sounds, just a bit hard to sit. And… it was fun. And we sat it, sometimes. And we even went back to do an extra reach because it was fun. Even when I got a blister in my palm from being on the wrong side.

Sanity rescued from the jaws of madness

Not the Georgians and the Russians, though indications are they they too have pulled back from utter stupidity. No, this is far more important: rowing, and in particular the bumps. Background: those paying close attention on day 4 will have noticed the problem with Robs 1. It seems that the 10 minute delay on the start was a bit more than I’d realised: it consisted of the umpires telling Robs they had an illegal crew and couldn’t row, and Robs refusing to listen (they even had the man they’d bumped out standing on the bank, so they didn’t even have the excuse of no sub available). And the arguments became heated.

You can read some background (letters to the Cambridge Evening News) here.

So it all escalated to an EGM of the CRA tonight, with the AGENDA: To discuss the behaviour of Rob Roy Boat Club during Bumps week 2008 and to consider the proposal that they be suspended from the CRA for a minimum of one year and one day from 8.40pm on Friday 25th July with any additional sanctions, penalties and fines that the Bumps Committee, after further reflection, may decide to impose. Pedants and fans of adminitrivia will immeadiately notice that this proposal doesn’t have a named proposer; and indeed during the meeting itself it became remarkably unclear who was proposing it. John Jenner managed to say something like “people assume that this motion is proposed by the bumps committee; it isn’t; it is from one or two members of the bumps committee”.
Continue reading “Sanity rescued from the jaws of madness”

Day 4: at last, tabs 8

Our first proper “late” row, since we’re now proud mebers of division 2. Time at the start to say hello to Amelie before being rudely interrupted by the 4 minute gun. I was busily trying to plaster up my hand having torn a callus off and… oooohhh, it did hurt a bit. Meanwhile, back at the rowing. Tabs 7 were sandwich boat, but we knew we were faster than them, and anyway they were tired after rowing over; they faded away after about 20 strokes. So our aim was tabs 8, who we chased unsuccessfuly on the first night. But we knew that ahead of them was St Ives, who they had failed to catch the previous night; and we knew they knew that we were faster than them. So I don’t think they had much hope, and in the end after we got through the choppy water under the bridge smoothly and did a couple of pushes we had them, roughly at the first corner. All hail the mighty Chesterton M2, as our club captain put it.

[Update: the crew lists are at http://www.cra-online.net/bumps/results/2008/crews/chesterton.htm.

And 2009 wasn’t so good; read all about it.]
Continue reading “Day 4: at last, tabs 8”