Saturday dawned bright and clear and warm, which was rather a change from the cold of recent days. A splendid day for the Christmas Head.
Those are some of the crews, mostly from the second division. The first division was perhaps a bit more serious - certainly we put our best VIII into that, "Rage against the Machine" (had a Christmas #1, apparently). Crew: Steven A, Andy S, Tom W, James H, William D, William C, Chris W, Ralph H. We were to have been coxed by James T but alas he has been struck by the Lurgi and it was agreed that whilst we could cope with vomiting, the diarrhea wouldn't be much fun. But Freya stepped in and did a good job for us, and stroked our egos by telling us how fast we were.
And - hurrah - we won the IM3 category (jointly with Champs, in 7:02); Petr's IM2 folk won overall in 6:35. So I now have a rather low-quality medal to wear (alongside the one I got for last year's race - but we were humble novices that year; we're IM3 this year due to Andy S, who is the proud possessor of the Club Point. I think I should make a trophy for that) but no pot yet - I still haven't won a proper pot on the Cam.
My favourite crew - alas I don't have a pic of them, but (as you'll see) the pic wouldn't really have done them justice - was a lovely Ladies Nativity scene, complete with the cox clutching a fluffy sheep, all singing carols as they rowed quietly down the Reach - we'd both made the effort for get out early to get a chance for a bit of practice before the race, and so had the Reach to ourselves.
For division 2 we put in two mixed VIII's, the Cops and the Robbers. I was a Robber, obviously. The Rozzers didn't catch us, and we nicked their blue light in mid-stream. However they did get a marginally better time than us - 8:08 against out 8:29 - thereby winning the Novice MX VIII category. Completing the line-up, Andy and Tom won IM3 2- in 8:10 (well, they were the only entry); Steven and James were pipped by Downing for the Novice 2-.
And then on to the rest of the day, which ended up in the Spring drinking rather more beer than I'm used to.
In other news: being crippled again (I've done my right calf this time) and having the Head to do meant I missed Parkrun again but Maz was there holding up the honour of CSR with a 1-second loss to Dave Bettinson (results here) though in a time that would have won it the previous week (Maz is "unknown" at #2).
Thanks to: James T, for organising of crews; and Simon for same of costumes.
And as a special gift for those of you who have had the patience to read to the end:
yes, I was carefully selected to stroke the Robbers, which was good - I enjoyed it. Probably my first race as stroke. We rated a fairly constant 29 all the way and were, I think, fairly good for the first 2/3 before getting a bit ragged towards the end.
Sunday saw Paul and Sarah's stag row, about which the less said the better I suspect (heia-heia). But Paul and his little tuft of hair will remain in our memories forever.
- Christmas head