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A first win for King's

Photo by Marc0UK on Flickr

Chiara Ferrara (King's 2004)

In 2005 I was lucky enough to be part of the first ever King's crew to win the Fairbairn Cup, a rowing race that has taken place every year at the end of Michaelmas term for almost 100 years.

In King's terms, we did a lot more training than any of us ever had before. We were always the first boat out on the river and the last one out, going for that extra lock run. We felt brave enough to take on anyone - I recall once battle paddling with Caius M1 (and coming out on top!).

In the run up to the race we lost to Caius (W1 this time) by four seconds, so we knew we would have our work cut out for us come the Fairbairn Cup race.

For 4.3 kilometers we rowed better than we could have hoped for, battling big head winds, accompanied by our coaches and our number one fan, Stan the man. Stan, despite having had three hip replacements, turns up to every King's race and most outings, and usually brings goodies for afterwards. I am very glad that King's have finally honoured him by naming the new women's four after him. Their encouragement worked as after a nervous wait, we were delighted to hear we had beaten our rivals by an almost insignificant two seconds! I gave my cox such an over excited hug that I knocked her contact lenses out!

There are other notable King's women stories. For example, the fact that seven out of nine of us were in an a capella group meant we would frequently burst into a five part harmony version of Girl's Just Wanna Have Fun while waiting to race. That and our "if we win blades in the summer rowing bumps we'll turn up to Boat Club dinner in our underwear" joke bet in Lents lead to a rather chilly start to our summer dinner after unexpected success.

The Boat Club provided me with a wonderful group of friends, and 8 years later, I am still rowing!