God save (me from) the Queens
True Cambridge is somewhere on the River Cam. Or at least, it is contested and replenished there. In the past weeks, the rowing regimen has gradually rifled up and up. All eight men rowing (finally)! All eight men “feathering” blades. Longer rowing sessions. Race starts. High rate exercises. And now, just as I’m becoming comfortable with what we do when we go for “outings” on the River, formal competition emerges.
Tomorrow, the gentlemen of the Selwyn College MCR Men’s Novice Boat, otherwise known as “Maverick,” will be racing in the Clare Regatta. There are reports that two inches of snow are expected, and a preparatory email INSISTED we be dressed as warmly as possible. And then we shed all but the essentials for the actual race. I am quite nervous about all this, but I am also SO excited.
Two weeks ago, the competition that began (and defines) all competitions, went off. It was Queens’ Ergs, named for the hosts Queens College. In this celebrated and raucous event. Over 655 men (and around 500 women) compete in groups of eight (technically their boats) to put together the fast 500 meter erg splits. So basically, you stand around freezing in a courtyard, then get led into a small gymnasium, then bang out in order the fastest 500 meter time you can. The fastest collective efforts go through into the finals. Which Maverick thoroughly managed by having all of the gents throw down TIGHT times. I threw down a 1:31, which is really quite competitive though a few of my team mates really put it in (1:27 / 1:29 /1:29).
How crazy was this? How much did it hurt? (good lord, SO mUCH) Take a look: