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Deutsche Hochschulmeisterschaft 2011

Although none of us welcomed July morning the proper way at a Black Sea beach, the first day of July brought a different set of emotions for 11 of the members of the Jacobs University Rowing Team. Some of these found themselves sitting on long road trips as we all summoned in Bremen for the Deutsche Hochschulmeisterschaft Rudern 2011.

Bremen greeted us in the usual way: a lot of rain, cold wind and grey sky all the time. Although it was quite unpleasant, it also felt just like the good old Bremen with its awful weather making the spirit of our team even stronger.

The first meeting for the whole team was early on Saturday morning, when we had breakfast together at the Bremer Ruderverein von 1882 to discuss the strategies for the races and to pick up a gig boat we borrowed for one of the races. We had two kinds of competitions that day: the boys and girls coxed gig quads over 500m. But the structure of the regatta required several races for each of them, going from heats, through semi-finals, and finals.

The boys started in the first race of the competition, at 10 o’clock sharp, with Andrey as cox (back then we thought that we set the record for the heaviest cox in the history of rowing with that) and the crew: 4. Stephan, 3. Julian, 2. Kerst, 1. Ivo. They comfortably became second in their heat, which automatically qualified them for the semi-finals. There again they had a good race and qualified for the Final A, i.e. the one for places 1-6. In the final they faced some really strong competitors, including the university of Marburg, which had come to the race with a huge group of rowers and an even bigger determination to win every single race. The Jacobs boys eventually became fourth, in a very tight race with just 0.23 seconds difference from the third boat.

The girls race turned out a bit tougher. With Aenne coxing and rowers: 4. Mira, 3. Anne, 2. Anna-Lena, 1. Adriana, they were placed in the unfortunate lane number 1 for the initial heat. There the wind was the strongest, so the boat had to go through a lot of buoys along the way. This all meant that the girls became last in the heat and had to go to the repechage in which the non-qualified teams try to gain a place in the semi-final. But there the girls comfortably won and indeed went on to the semi-final. Surprisingly even for them, they became second in their semi-final, so they also got a place in the Final A. There the wind was too strong, so the start did not include the usual “Achtung…Los!” but just a flag, about which the girls were not alerted. With an unusual start and being tired after three races already, they only became last in the final heat, which still meant that they were the sixth best boat in their race.

The day was good even for our coach Lars, who became second with his coxless four in the Masters 1 km race.

At the end of the day everyone was extremely tired, but despite this we had a late outing in our eight Frieda to prepare for the race in mixed eights the next day.

The team spent a cosy evening together on campus, with a feast with pizza, salads and ice-cream before everybody passed out exhausted from the day.

The weather on Sunday was a bit more promising, although still cold and rainy in the morning. This was the day of the boats with mixed crews, which for us meant a coxed gig quad over 500m and a coxed racing eight (our lovely Frieda) over 1km.

The day started with the heats of the quads. The crew with 4. Julian, 3. Mira, 2. Kerst, 1. Adriana, coxed by Lars (maybe this is when we broke the world record for the heaviest cox) became third in their heat and qualified directly for the semi-finals. There Stephan stepped in the cox seat and did an amazing job motivating the crew to pull hard and qualify for the Final A in this race as well.

The start for the race in the eight was just 30min after that, so everyone had to rush for getting Frieda on water and going up to the start. Aenne coxed the crew with 8. Stephan, 7. Andrey, 6. Anne, 5. Mira, 4. Julian, 3. Johannes, 2. Anna-Lena, 1. Adriana. They were again placed in lane 1, which again turned out slightly unfortunate: it was quite difficult to orient the boat and to keep the person holding it at the start. Despite these difficulties, the crew had very enjoyable and successful race in which they managed to cross the finish line second, just behind the university of Marburg, of course.

Shortly after that Anne joined the eight from the University of Bremen, with whom she had been practicing this summer. In another very tight but marvellous to watch race, they managed to become third. So Anne got a bronze medal in the women eight of the Deutsche Hochschulmeisterschaft Rudern 2011, what is amazing after one year of rowing experience.

The last race was the final of the mixed quads. The cox changed for the third time, now with Andrey in the cox seat. Despite the exhaustion, everyone knew they were going home after that, so the crew gave out as much as possible, and achieved third place.

In the end the two awards from Sunday replaced the gloomy memories from Saturday. With participation in all the finals of the four decisive races, and 4th, 6th, 2nd and 3rd places in them, the Jacobs University Rowing Team obtained third place in the university placement, behind the universities of Marburg and Münster. This leaves us with the memories from an amazing weekend in Bremen and a lot of hope for next year’s freshmen class and our participation in the Deutsche Hochschulmeisterschaft Rudern 2012.

Weser Kurier 6/28/2011
Weser Kurier 7/5/2011
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