Churchill First VIII – May 1999


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


May Bumps – First VIII bumped Magdalene, were bumped by Fitzwilliam and Christ's, finished 12th

We started May Bumps in 11th place, chasing Magdalene and chased by Robinson. On the first day, we had a good row and we closed steadily on Magdalene throughout the race, bumping them just after Ditton Corner.

Chasing Trinity Hall on day two, we never quite found our rhythm. We went down a little off the start, closed back to a length and a half by Grassy Corner, but then faded slowly over the remainder of the course.

On the third day, we rowed a lot better, closing to inside a length on Trinity Hall by Grassy Corner. Unfortunately, Fitzwilliam behind were too fast for us, and we were bumped just before Ditton Corner.

On the final day, we couldn't quite hold on in an epic battle with Christ's. We made a solid start but began to lose ground out of First Post Corner, and by the exit of Grassy Corner the gap was down to a quarter length. We raced past the excited crowds in Plough Reach, responding every time Christ's pushed towards us, and going around Ditton Corner the gap was still a canvas. Again Christ's came at us, and again we pushed them away, but every time they inched closer. By the Railings they had overlap, but we hadn't given up, and it wasn't until the second half of the Reach that they made contact. Although we couldn't hold on till the finish, it was a particularly thrilling race that more than made up for the miserable weather conditions.

(poor)Henley Royal Regatta

Churchill sent a crew to Henley Royal Regatta for the first time since 1996. The crew featured four changes from the May First VIII -- Rob Thatcher, Andy Jardine, Cory Sutela and cox Caroline Winn replaced Alistair Jones, Phil Robbins, Andy Gribble and Olli Martin respectively. We failed in our attempt to qualify for the Temple Challenge Cup.

Race results


Churchill Men's First VIII enjoyed an exciting term of rowing. On a personal note, I was delighted to have the opportunity to row in May Bumps again, and at Henley for the first time. Thanks to all our coaches -- Chris Lloyd, Stefan Butlin, Helen Rutkowska, Mike Barham, Kath Stott, Sue Brown and Chris Boswell.

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