On 17th December CULRC sent two members to the GB December Trial in Boston, Lincolnshire. Rupert Price and Nicolas Kernick travelled up on the day before for a pre-paddle on the course. Conditions were beautiful on the river setting both scullers up well for the following day.
On December 18th, the two CULRC Trial VIIIs crews, “King” and “Ace”, raced in Henley-on-Thames. As on Boat Race day, the crews had to weigh in a few hours before racing, so a sweat-paddle started off what turned out to be a near-perfect day of sunshine and little wind.
The race was umpired by Sir Matthew Pinsent, with the crews racing in shells by WinTech Racing and Hudson, respectively. The start was marred by delays as two barges moved onto the race course just before the scheduled start time. They took so long that King and Ace had to continue paddling to avoid getting cold, while Sir Matthew eventually had to intervene and ask the barges to move out of the way.
Once the river was clear, the Cambridge crews could finally start. They were set off very close to each other, so a few unfortunate gusts of wind were enough to cause an early and severe blade clash. Sir Matthew called a restart, and this time there was a more than adequate margin of about 60 feet between the crews.
Last week the CULRC squad raced in Cambridge at the Fairbairn Cup. Organised by Jesus College Boat Club, the race runs from the JCBC flag-pole to the little bridge near the Lock (around 4.3km). CULRC entered two VIIIs. The VIIIs were originally planned to be of equal strength, but with a key injury to one crew the gap between the boats ended up being larger than expected. The quicker crew came 2nd overall with a time of 14:17.3 while the other crew struggled and came 8th overall with a time of 14:44.9. Crew photos are shown below.