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  • Writer's pictureDavid Simmonds

Quintin Head 2020

Quintin Head marked the first runout for the fleet of ICBC 8s. Imperial had seven 8s racing down the Thames on what turned out to be a comparatively warm and fairly chaotic head race experience. The 1st mens eight began the race in pole position and were followed down by a further 4 mens 8s, 2 senior and 2 novice, the womens 1st eight and another mixed senior and novice womens 8. Here are the experiences of each of the crews, many of whom are new to the senior squad this year.

Novice Mens 1st 8 - Callum Williams (1st year – Physics)

Considering it was our first race there were many positives to take away from this experience. Having been warned about pacing we set off at a sustainable rate making sure to get into our rhythm as soon as possible. Whilst it never quite clicked it was good to experience the physical requirements of a race. All the boys thoroughly enjoyed it and we’re hungry for the next one.

Novice Mens 2st 8 - Daniel Ritchie (1st year – Chemistry)

This was the first race for all of the novice crews and it was great to get a head-race under our belts. After a nippy hour on sat on the water, we got going. Our race plan was to not capsize, finish in one piece, not blow the doors off. We just about managed this (with the odd crab and air stroke) and Hannah (our legendary cox) made sure we paced it well throughout. Lots of room for improvement but couldn’t have asked for much more on the day, and chuffed to come in only 18 seconds behind the 1st Novice men’s.

Mens 1st 8 – George Shaw (1st year – Mechanical Engineering)

Quintin head was the first opportunity to race in 8's this season. With entries from Brookes, UL and Isis we were set to have tougher competition than previous years. The 1st 8 were progressing well session upon session and two freshers; George Shaw and Jake Smith, had their first chances to race for ICBC due to illness during fours head. As we push onto fixtures and BUCS head we are searching for a more powerful and dynamic catch to develop our rhythm and boat speed. A special shout-out goes to Milford Killian-Dawson for providing post-race snacks in the form of Haribo strawberries.

Mens 2nd 8 – Lucas Rowley (1st year – Civil Engineering)

The Imperial College 2nd VIII had a good run down the track on Saturday at Quintin Head. The boys completed the course in 14:31 which placed them at a respectable 17th place. This year Imperial faced a particularly fierce set of competitors and managed to respond well to the pressure. The crew managed to get off to a quick start winding up to rate 36 going under Hammersmith bridge. The rhythm set by Stroke man Dave Simmonds and Jonah Harris at 7 was a good platform for the middle four (Lucas Rowley (6), Jack Powell (5), Dan Lee (4), Briac Turquet (3)) to work off. With Oxford Brookes ‘C’ setting off Infront and University of London ‘B’ rowing behind the crew had their work cut out for them, but throughout the race, cox Annelise Perkins made sure the crew were focused and confident in themselves. As the crew approached Barnes railway bridge a strong headwind hit the bow pair (Evan Fisher (2) and Ed Bentley (Bow)) but after a few strokes, the crew kicked on and maintained a good speed through to Chiswick bridge. Annelise called for a sprint past the bridge which took them to the finish line.

Men 3rd 8 – James Cochrane (3rd year – Biosomething)

Despite a few last-minute changes to the crew in the lead up to the race, we managed to get the rhythm together with a few days to spare and boated with a healthy amount of optimism. We went off the start strong and settled into the race around the St Pauls bend. However, cox Catrin soon came up against an early obstacle in the form of a slow crew that wouldn't budge. After some' raised voices' were exchanged we found a way through and pushed off them towards the crossover and onwards. The rest of the race went fairly smoothly and we finished up with a slightly bumpy wind to the end. In conclusion, a decent effort that we were pleased with.

Women 1st 8 – Ffion Llewellyn (2nd year – Aeronautical Engineering)

Leading up to Quintin Head, our first race in the W8+ of the year, we developed and bonded as a crew. This resulted in a smooth race with the boat moving well throughout. We thoroughly enjoyed racing right on our doorstep and the race has now set us up nicely for the forthcoming season!

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