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  • Writer's pictureImperial College Boat Club

Hammersmith Head 2024

Last weekend we had three crews racing at Hammersmith Head, with all crews having a great time. Some great experience for the novices and some enjoyable racing for our senior men's crew.

Men's 3rd Eight - 3rd in Op Inter

At 3am rumours spread of a fallen soldier, Viktor had ODed on Ibuprofen, after hearing the piece was longer than 1873m. Preventing us from witnessing him blowing under Chiswick bridge. This turned the battle bus into the 7+ with rumours of kelvin rowing in his place. 

Upon hearing this tragic news the 3V scrambled to find a replacement, with everyone already on the water in 4s, they could only find a novice for their pre race paddle. 

2 minutes before boating the boys managed to convince the only member of the squad with a worse catch than the novice they had just had to row. After boating chaos ensued. A mess of boats on the water along with a blind KCS cox made it tough for the boys to get in a proper warm up, but thanks to expert coxing from kelvin they were set. 

While sitting by UL kelvin played a game of bumper boats with the City of Cambridge rowing club and Bristol uni, asserting his dominance over them, as the call of ‘Milo more watts’ became the norm for marshalling. 

As we paddled down to the start line, calls of “Yeahhhhh the mixed” fired up the boys. Rueben sent a seductive rhythm down the boat as the 3V roared into life. Cass the big (watts) Cock(ings), was going at maximum power, sending the boat down the river at a split of 1.24. Later Kelvin admitted to making this up, in front of him the silky smooth Callum set the tone of the race, it was to be a piece of art from the 3V. The constant abuse at me in 4 seat (Henry) about my sh** catch kept me alive after blowing at Chiswick (Viktor would be proud). The chant of yeah lightweights was yelled at 1/2 way inspiring new life into the 3V. 25 strokes after the 1/2 way mark Kelvin called last 1/4 which left me very confused. But nevertheless the boys started walking again, with Ruadhri going balls to the walls, chasing down City of Cambridge. Thomas setting up the bow with a long, very long and relaxed stroke. In the bows the power pair of Milo and Fran were accelerating the boat through the choppy wash, cheers marshals for that. As we approached Paul's, Kelvin yelled 50m left, knowing full well we had 250m left. The crew set fire to their quads and moved again, flying through the line. 

All told the 3V came home in 3rd, in inter, thanks to the line steered by Kelvin and MAXIMUM POWER. The countdown till the 3V returns at HORR begins.

Men's Novice Eight - DSQ(2nd) in Op Dev

We’re back for the second instalment of the novice men’s racing series. The weekend started well with practise on Saturday feeling strong, under command of our new Cox, full name: The Goat, Savindu. Come Sunday morning spirits were high, aided by the midweek spoons bonding trip, regardless of how we were all stood up by the novice women. However, disaster struck when our three seat decided to adopt the infamous 4 x 24 hour rest technique, and not show up for the pre-paddle. Then only minutes after we lost our two seat. Luckily the Reserves were raring to go, and both seats were filled in time, thus we set off for marshalling. Making our way up the river felt far smoother than Quintin, bar boat 213 trying to play bumper cars. After spinning we had adopted a good rhythm coming towards the start line, when the bozo in stroke seat tried to go Crab fishing. No damage done however and we flew through the bridge, beginning the race. Quite quickly a rate of 30 was adopted, higher than what had previously been discussed, but much to everyone’s surprise it felt good, and was stuck with. All was well until a 4x and an 8+ teamed up to try stopping us from overtaking. An Imperial sandwich nearly occurred but Savindu - The Goat - steered us to safety, and not long after we crossed the finish. Sadly the last minute substitutions resulted in disqualification, but time wise we came second in the category, losing only to a rather speedy schoolboy team that had snuck their way into Development group. A very promising second race, which bodes well for the upcoming BUCS head. Well done to all.

Women's Novice Eight - 12th in W Dev

Hammersmith Head was our second trial as a Women’s Novice 8 after all the training we had been doing in preparation for BUCS. The weekly (painful) 30min ergs at sr20 were finally going to pay off! At starting number 302, it was important that we kept our spirits up before the race – and Lottie, our lovely cox, did just that!

Firm Pressure! Build! Build! Swiftly we were on our way towards Hammersmith Bridge, hearing only the clunks of paddles squaring and feathering, and seats moving forward and backward. In the very least, we were definitely the crew that had the most fun out on the water that day!

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