HCBC started this Hilary Term strong, eager to get back on the river in racing position. Our W8 entry for IWL C placed in Division 3, and despite just missing out on the top 30 results due to a gate mishap, are setting themselves up for an exciting term.
IWL C – W1 – Jemima
IWL C was a bit of a whirlwind! Waiting in the boathouse before our division, nerves were high; the W1 crew had been set only 4 days beforehand, we were still trying to distribute the right kit, and we had had merely one practice outing beforehand. The new crew is made mostly of novices from last year (and even from last term) so for a few of us it was the first ever race, but Penny and Amy, the stroke pair, were very reassuring. With (fairly) nice conditions, we set off to Donnington bridge with bated breath.
As the timer went off, we quickly unwound and began to build our rate, with Bridget, the cox, keeping us in check. We tried to focus on striding out together and began to settle into a great rhythm when disaster struck as we were passing the Hertford boathouse – in bow seat, Lottie‘s blade had come free of its gate! We had come to a complete stop in the racing line and had to wait to fix it before rolling up and finishing the course. This we did, and with some style too – we entered a head-to-head with Linacre (who had passed us during our blade-induced break) along boathouse island and almost overtook them before passing the coxing stone. We breathed a collective sigh of relief, that we had finished the course, that we had recovered our racing rate, and that we had looked so put together while doing it!
Back at the boathouse, excitements arose at the thought of our next tango with IWL D in two weeks – next time, we would not let anything get in our way.