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  • Writer's pictureDavid Simmonds

Head Season Round up

After the conclusion of the pre-term training period, the head season kicks off with the small boats in the winter term. First of which was the wet wild and windy Pairs head. ICBC turned up to face the challenging conditions with 9 crews and came away with 3 Pennants: Lwt2x, OpC2- and OpInt2x. Casper Woods proving once more to be the fastest bowman on the tideway, holding his title in the OpC2-. With pairs head proving to be an encouraging start to the season the squad’s focus moved towards fours head of the river.

With our freshers becoming more integrated into the squad, fours head was the first opportunity of the season for the full senior squad to take on the tideway. Fours head being one of the rare occasions we get to take on the competition from Oxford and Cambridge our M4+ Acad Champ boat got stuck in and split the Goldie and Isis crews battling to take top spot. ICBC came away with a win in the 4x- Acad Champ and two further podiums, with 2nd in W4- Acad Champ and 3rd in M4- Acad Champ. Following a successful first two heads of the season the scullers of the squad were struck with disappointment at the cancellation of Scullers head just before the squad broke up for Christmas.

Spring term begins with squeezing training around the much of the squad’s exams. Following the end of exams the squad prepared for fixtures, with the men’s squad taking on Kingston rowing club and the women’s squad taking on the competition from next door, Thames RC, despite a case of upset tummy within the crew. In both fixtures ICBC came back victorious, providing a valuable warm up for the races to come.

Quintin Head is the first big head race in eights, and the first run out for the novice rowers who took up rowing only 4 months prior. 7 eights wore black, blue and silver down the tideway and came back victorious, with the top M8+ claiming the Overall and Open Championship Pennant with the 2nd eight also in the top 10 and the 3rd eight achieving a top 50 finish. The W8+ also put in a strong performance to finish 2nd in the W Senior category.

ICBC 1st 8 on the way to victory at Quintin head

The following weekend bought provided further useful racing experience with fixtures against Henley RC for the women and Goldie/Oxford Lightweights for the men. A few weeks later, on the 24th February the senior squads look on Oxford. The women, following strong performances in Quintin and previous fixtures, took on the Blue Boat from OUWBC. The men took on the other half of the reserve boat race with a fixture against Isis. The Boat race fixtures proved to be challenging as always and once again gave the crews great racing experience to build on.

ICBC W8+ take on OUWBC Blue Boat

The squad were this year relieved of the long journey up to Newcastle to compete at BUCS head, this time travelling to Gloucester. The joys of the shorter journey time were unfortunately short lived due to the challenging weather. However, the mud and rain did not stop IC bringing home the win in the MC4+.

In preparation for the WEHORR and HORR the 2 men’s eights, 1 women’s eight and an alumni eight travelled across the channel for a weekends adventure in Amsterdam for the Heineken Roeivierkamp. The weekend was enjoyed by many but some of the biggest battles were against Storm Garreth and the hangover that followed on the way home.

Storm Garreth continued to wreak havoc the following weekend, causing the unfortunate cancellation of WEHORR. The pinnacle of the mens squad season comes with HORR. The 1st 8+ were the fastest tideway crew, finishing 8th place overall, and second in the university category, with 6 seconds behind the top Brookes student 8+. This also marked the third consecutive year IC take a top 10 finish. The top novice eight also claimed a 3rd place in the academic novice category. Following the race the whole club celebrated the first 100 years of ICBC with all members enjoying what the club is past and present at the Centenary dinner, held in the Hurlingham club.

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