Bumped King's II
Kings faltered as they saw the bright golden glow of the gradVIII storming towards them. We bumped by the motorway bridge, I think we just about fitted in the stride. Tomorrow things seem to have been messed up by this double overbump! I guess it's up to us to get revenge on Corpus for the Vth's.
And why did Jesus have ETANIMOD written on their backs?
Neil means the "motorway bridge".
ETANIMOD is an anagram of NEMATOID, which means 'parasitic worm-like'. Hope this helps.
Good luck boys! Hit 'em with blinding brilliance :)
Double overbumped Sidney Sussex II
Absolutely amazing row. From the 6 seat I couldn't tell how far we were off Sidney, and initially thought we were simply being encouraged. Rounding Ditton into the reach we were more than 8 lengths distant, but closing with each stroke.
As the calls got more emphatic and louder ("No, REALLY, you're going to get them!!!"), and random people on the bank starting joining in, I started to believe we might actually do it.
According to the bank party, Sidney's bow had already crossed the finish line when we smacked into them, cutting it a little fine with barely a stroke left in the race.
Just wrote a huge report then lost it, oh well, here I go again.
Great result! Worse start than yesterday and Corpus bumped out very quickly, they were soon followed by Selwyn, meaning we were chasing at least a double overbump, but we kept plugging away. Grassy didn't go to well, and I had to draw my blade in to avoid the bank but we had a good drive down plough reach and a good Ditton which meant we were at least within sight of them.
When you're told that you're gaining you wonder if that still means the other crew is just a speck. We had a massive lift in the reach and when we heard a four length call we knew it was a possibility. This was accompanied by someone jumping around maniacally on the bank, a sure sign it was on.
Amelia was telling us that she had faith in us, and after we got a 2 length call before the bridge I had faith too. After passing the railway bridge there was a half lenth call and some improvised signals on a bike bell. When you're that far away and running out of river you just have to go for it don't you? We wound it up on the slide spacktastically but obviously better than Sidney managed. Overlap... Amelia steered for the bump... and Mark got them with his blade just before the line... ecstacy!
That make up for missing out in similar circumstance 3 years ago!
We had to pull in at the P&E to change boats, so it made sense to get a libation to celebrate, thanks Erica! Also big thanks to our bank party, Julia, Mike, Christoph and anyone else who joined in.
We know we can improve some things for tomorrow, but a good row up today set us up well. Hopefully we can get a crack at Maggie IV and the IVth VIII headship before the week is out.
I definitely had the best seat for this one - amazing stuff!
The paddle up was really good today, nice and focussed with a pretty good, if a little overenthusiastic, practice start at the Plough. We knew Corpus were likely to go hard off the start so the plan was to try and catch anything that was still rowing ahead of us...
At the start, we weren't ideally positioned with the bungline going taut and the bows swinging around slightly. The first stroke wasn't great and it took a little while to properly get going.
Corpus bumped out early as expected, and fortunately we had enough time to get around them on the outside (not sure Pete Convey would have been best pleased if we'd tried to wangle a technical double-overbump...). Around first post I checked and saw that King's behind us definitely wouldn't be a threat, and so we gritted our teeth and settled in for a long hard slog. Passing yet more bumped out crews down the gut I thought there might not be anything left to chase, but as we came around/into Grassy (oops, the less said about it, the better!) I saw the speck of a crew ahead just going around Ditton. That's a whole lotta lengths but there's always a chance, so we stepped it up a gear and went into our grind push down Plough Reach, bringing the boat speed up nicely.
A tight line around Ditton (thanks Pete and Charles) and a great lift out of the corner saw a further increase in boat speed and at this point I began to wonder whether we might actually be able to get them. They were maybe 8 lengths off at the bottom of the reach, meaning we'd closed 3.5 so far, not bad considering our trip into the bank.
We had a series of power calls and lifts which saw us simply reel them in, we were gaining visibly on every stroke, such that by the time we were half way down the reach we'd closed to around four lengths and I finally could see who we were chasing (Sidney 2). By now we were really motoring and I told the guys the bump was on if they kept their heads and kept at it. The increase in power and sheer determination was superb, we went up another gear and soon closed to about 2 lengths. As the railway bride cast its shadow ahead I knew we had less than three minutes to finish them, but also knew for definite that we could actually get them. We pushed hard off the bridge to within station and kept inching further towards them. By now the golden grads had given it absolutely everything and more, but under the lycra they found just a little extra and the whistles came in quick succession. I saw Mark's blade tantalisingly close to their stern as Morley's Holt, apparently at warp-speed, loomed ever nearer. Finally we made physical contact and held it up, with less than five strokes of the course left. What an amazing feeling, I still can't really believe it happened! Cue wild celebrations in the boat, and some very gentlemanly applause from Sidney (thanks guys!); the only sensible thing to do seemed to be to pull in and grab a quick pint at the P&E before swapping boats with M3 and paddling home in sixes.
Also I forgot to say particular congratulations to Andy Wong on his 50th bumps race today - a double-overbump seems a very fitting way to bring up his half-century!
Bumped by Selwyn III
Good start, not our best stride, but it wasn't too long before we had the first whistle on queens. Got to First post corner and Selwyn still seemed on station. They gained a bit on the corner and our usual big lift in the gut failed to materialise. By this time we'd forgotten about Queens and never heard a second whistle but apparently we got within half a length.
They had much better line round grassy and a HUGE push which we weren't able to co-ordinate one to counter.
Very disappointing as we could definitely got queens before they got Maggie, especially if we weren't worrying about Selwyn. Better corners, communication and more co-ordinated pushes and we'd have been fine, and we know we're capable of all these. I'm sure we're all having our post-mortems, but I'm keen to get out there and demonstrate that we should be the head IVth VIII and that we didn't bump up out of our depth. Would be good to have the whole course to have a go back at Selwyn, but I'm sure they'll have their eyes on a quick bump on Maggie.
Bumped by Corpus II
A much better race today than yesterday. However, Corpus II (already up 8 and rowing for their blades) were simply faster, and caught us on Grassy. Ahead, Selwyn III (also rowing for their blades) had pulled away off the start and eventually bumped LMBC IV (don't know where though).
Thanks to Thursday's stunning rowing, we're still up 4!
Oh well. If we'd been offered up 4 on Wednesday we'd have grabbed it, but that doesn't stop the result seeming somehow disappointing. The key day was yesterday where a not too a bit more and we could have got queens before Selwyn got us leaving us an easy bump today. Instead we were between two fast blading crews. Practise of pushing away from/in to crews would be good for next years crew.
Today we got hit in the gut, so we didn't get the chance to blame Richard Church and Grassy. We still didn't make it round grassy on the row back though!
Good coxing from mark on the way home, but it's never a good idea to let a cox row, it messed up our style completely.
Should day that we're obviously camera shy and coun't perform in front of the french doculmentary crew that have been on our tail the last two days!