Churchill First VIII – Lent 1999


First VIII (Smart Alec): Phil Robbins (bow), Niko Loening, Adam Candy, Boaz Ben-Amitai, Ewan Main, Richard Gregory, David Sampson, Alistair Jones (stroke), Olli Martin (cox).


Newnham Regatta – First VIII finished 2nd

The first race of term was the Newnham Regatta, held on 30 January over 1790 metres on the Cam. It was difficult to know what to expect from our new crew, but we put in a steady and solid performance. We completed the course in 6'12", second overall and just 2" behind the overall winners, Trinity Hall.

Head of the Nene – First VIII finished 17th

The second race of term was the Head of the Nene in Peterborough, held on 6 February over a 4.9 km course. All crews faced a very stiff headwind throughout the race. We completed the course in 16'53" for 17th place overall and 4rd in the men's S4 division. The time was 24" behind the men's S4 winners, 1st & 3rd Trinity, and 6th among Cambridge College crews.

Pembroke Regatta – First VIII lost to Caius

The third race of term, and our final lead-up race before Lent Bumps, was the Pembroke Regatta in Cambridge, held on 13 February over a 1.1 km course. In the first round, we raced the highly-rated Caius I crew, and we lost a tight race by one length.

Lent Bumps – First VIII were bumped by Jesus, Christ's and Emmanuel, finished 8th

We started Lent Bumps in 5th place, between two very quick crews, Caius and Jesus. On the first day, Jesus made a very strong start and we were unable to resist their challenge, succumbing by Grassy Corner.

Pursued by Christ's on day two, we made a better start, and we were still a length clear by Ditton Corner. However, they made a series of strong pushes at the beginning of the Reach, eating away at the gap, and they had overlap by the Railings. We resisted for a further twenty strokes, but they eventually made contact.

On the third day, Christ's ahead bumped Downing, and Trinity Hall behind were bumped by Emmanuel, so we rowed over comfortably.

On the final day, we lined up 7th, ahead of Emmanuel (on course for blades) and behind Downing (on course for spoons). We made a very strong and smooth start, and we closed quickly on Downing. We had them at one length going into First Post Corner, and half a length in the Gut. Going into Grassy Corner, we were just over a canvas behind, but they dug deep and halted our progress. Emmanuel behind had started slowly, but their challenge gathered pace throughout the race, and they began closing quickly as we struggled to finish Downing. The three crews raced past the excited crowds at the Plough just feet apart, but Emmanuel managed to overcome us before we could make contact with Downing. It was a disappointing but thrilling end to a wonderful race.

(pot)Cardinals' Regatta – MCR VIII beat Trinity Hall, lost to Queens', won Best Fancy Dress Award

A Churchill MCR VIII competed in the just-for-fun Cardinals' Regatta on the Cam on 12 March. The prizes for best fancy dress are as hotly contested as those for fastest crew!

The mixed crew consisted of Siobhan Wilson, Angie McConnell, Meghan Gray, Anna Sloan (our sub from Newnham), Ewan Main, Niko Loening, David Sampson, Boaz Ben-Amitai and cox Chris Saville.

Disguised as a huge caterpillar, we beat Trinity Hall II in the opening round, but lost out to Queens' III in the second round. However, we did manage to win the Best Fancy Dress Award!

Race results


The results from Lent Term 1999 were not overly satisfying, but we enjoyed an exciting and productive term. Thanks very much to all our coaches -- Chris Lloyd, Mike Barham, Helen Rutkowska, Conrad Dirckx and Mary Young.

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