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FariCup 2010

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The first Sunday of November was when two Jacobs crews took part in their second regatta of the season – FARI cup in Hamburg. The two crews had been preparing themselves physically and mentally in the past weeks for this endurance race – 7.5km on the canals of river Alster. This year was highlighted by a special première: for the first time in Jacobs rowing history a women’s eight started for the university.

Early on Sunday, quite some sleepy faces gathered at the porters ready to occupy the Jacobs van and couple more vehicles for the short trip to Hamburg, which some used to catch up on their sleep and others spend in dreaming about a real breakfast. The arrival in Hamburg was shocking and at the same exciting for many of the Jacobs rowers – the street in front of “Ruder-Club Favorite Hammonia”, the host of the regatta, was packed with trailers, boats (145 in total), positioned in every available spot and rowers, preparing them for the upcoming boat race. Once the boats (Frieda for the girls and Löscher for the boys) were ready, the crews took their positions at the back of the proceedings to the docking station, meaning roughly 20 minutes of holding the boats on shoulder or waist. Lars and his crew from the VRV seemed to have some experience in such situations and simply took a shortcut around the whole line of boats and into the water.

With both boats on water, the coxswains had to navigate their way to the starting position – the Bridge Sengelmannstrasse. While the rowers were moving the boats in a leisure tempo, the coxswains had a last chance to take down some notes of the sharp curves and narrow bridges throughout the race distance. However, the real challenge before the actual race was passing around all the boats waiting behind the start line, turning the boats and finding the exact position in the starting order. Fortunately, the weather, as well as the water conditions, was nearly perfect, with a lot of sunshine and a very excited crowd of spectators who eagerly waited at the boathouse for the boats to come back and reach the finish line.

Sitting in Frieda were five experienced girls who already rowed during the last season, and three new rowers who just started this summer. With the start number 103 the girls didn’t have a long waiting time and managed to have a good start into the race. With the awesome support of the coxswain Aenne, already experienced with steering Frieda, the race went surprisingly good and the boat reached the Alster with a steady stroke rate and even succeeded to sprint the last couple of minutes with a special embassy power 10, which soon enough will be included in the rowing textbooks. Their time of 29 minutes 54 seconds secured a third place in competition against other teams from Northern Germany.

The guys, with starting number 121, had the chance to keep a close eye on our well-known rival HSBA, which boat was supposed to start a minute later with number 122. Additionally, this was going to be a great test for them since the HSBA crew was exactly the same as the one that lost to Jacobs in the Hanse Boat Race just several months ago. The minutes of anxiety before the beginning of the race were quickly forgotten once the start signal has been given. Everyone followed Stephan precisely while keeping the balance of the boat perfectly, which seemed to be paying off – only 8 minutes into the race the crew managed to overtake the eight with starting number 120. Matse, who was steering Löscher confidently through the difficult turns of Alster, was just as good in motivating and controlling the eight rowers sitting in front of him. The last 2km was the time for the power sets and the crew crossed the finishing line (or at least the extension of it) with the great time of 28 minutes 40 seconds. This time was exactly 8 seconds better than what the HSBA crew needed to complete the 7.5 kilometers, which meant an early-season victory against them and the win in the Uni class of the regatta – another trophy for the Jacobs Rowing Team.

All the rowers and the coach were pleased with the performance of the two crews that day. It was invaluable experience for all of them, making them look forward even more to the last regatta of the semester – the Santa Claus Regatta in Mainz on the first weekend of December.

Eileen and Andrey

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