The Club's Results
Lent Bumps 2008
1st men's VIII
Coxed by: Emma Salgård Cunha
Rowed over Head
No worries. First few strokes were a bit messy, but we made it the corner at 42 and settled at a comfortable 36 out of grassy. We put in an effective push at the Plough which more or less ended the race. It was pretty close between Jesus, Caius and LMBC, with the latter bumping around the railings. We wound down gradually, settling at 30 by the railway bridge.
As an unexpectedly twist, some river pirates appeared at Morley's holt and tried to rob Jesus. The boys in black and red took evasive manoevures and managed to escape with their wallets, but only after some intercourse with the bank. Downing had a clear run and "overbumped" them, but the umpires bizarrely awarded a technical rowover.
We continued unperturbed, crossing the line 12 minutes and 15 seconds after the first shot was heard.
Very steady start rowing well within ourselves - I kind of miss Pembroke Regatta and going for 60 though. Bit splashy but perhaps tomorrow we won't be staring at the chasing crew; the starts are damn close though, even after eight years. Heard some whistles in the gut but I assume they were for someone else. Took Grassy wider than usual (which worried me at first but then remembered Emma had warned us the line was different) before a comfortable push down the plough to finish it.
The rowing behind us was much more interesting... although obviously I was concentrating on the back of Bryn's head. However, have been told that Jesus really went for it and their technique fell to pieces on the reach, just as Caius put in a good push. Luckily LMBC showed their form and managed to save Jesus by literally seconds: I would guess the latter are really going to have to go for the long race if they want to hold onto second, as that puts LMBC three lengths up today.
Just after the railway bridge we passed a small fishing boat heading downstream... oh no wait, heading directly for Jesus. I didn't realise they'd crashed, but could hear Downing celebrate their 'overbump' later. Is their cox really that inexperienced?! I guess they did make it round Grassy, which is not a corner I can claim a clean sheet with.
More importantly, why was the fishing boat allowed through? Why weren't racing crews warned? Why wasn't the fisherman warned? And, above all, did the idiot get thrown in by the Jesus boatman?
Rowed over Head
Conditions were good so we did a time trial. Start was a bit cleaner than yesterday, and the row through the corners pretty similar. But we never found a decent rhythm on the reach, and spacked along at 35 with our faces becoming ever droopier. The wind for the finish was more effective, but too little too late.
Won't be publishing the score just now, but suffice to say it's a useful marker and we identified some weaknesses to work on in the run-up to tideway.
Ah, so the fisherman from yesterday really was clinically retarded from the gossip. Hope he restricts himself to the local chippie from now on, and doesn't have a driving license.
Row today was knackering - knew we had to kill ourselves or Ming wouldn't let us off the weights session (Seriously, have we earned it? Are you not entertained?!) Start pretty solid, corners much better than yesterday. Felt surprisingly knackered just before Grassy, but it was just the 'fake pain' I warn my novices about. Luckily I'd actually done some ergs this term and so - unlike my poor novices - the fake pain disappeared just in time for a gorgeous crowd pleaser down Plough Reach.
Bit of a tail wind, and we possibly even found a few extra pips before Ditton. Corner good again, although the lifts in the reach were a little saggy and we were only five or so lengths up on Jesus when they were bumped out (long race guys! I warned you... Best of luck tomorrow though). Thought I was going to blow just before the Railway Bridge, but a big push from middle four meant I couldn't really let them have all the glory and over committed once again to an enthusiastic legs 10.
Lots of shouting and support from our ever present and much appreciated bank parties meant we couldn't take the foot off the gas for a second, keeping the rate high and instead hanging around at the catch for a breather. Plenty of little things to change for more speed if necessary tomorrow: fingers crossed for more sickly-but-not-too-sickly looking faces.
Rowed over Head
Our intelligence was that LMBC were going to blast it off the start. They weren't as sharp as Jesus and never got within distance, but were only about two lengths off at the Plough. We hadn't bothered clamming because the wind didn't seem too bad on the paddle up. In the event it strengthened considerably, indeed the charts say it was worse than for any Lent race in the last 10 years. Struggling with bladework and gearing, we plodded up the reach at 32, eventually extending the margin to 3 lengths. An impromptu wind for the finish saw us extend this to 5 lengths, or 18 seconds. The clock stopped at 8:57, and we went harder than on Wednesday. Big.
Cycling over from the maths dept was miserable - cold and windy, with spits of icy rain. My body was feeling a bit achy from the piece the day before and I was very relieved to see Jesus had a full crew complement again. Fingers crossed they'd bump LMBC back and we would be spared having to attempt to row in the awful headwind.
Certainly Jesus' practice start outside the plough was much crisper than the previous days, and I felt quite happy to have secured myself such a good view of the bumps. The first three strokes of our practice start were a little messy, but we held it together and hit a comfortably high rate before striding down to something sustainable. Then Bryn's footplate broke.
We limped around the corners in sixes, desperate for Iain's loving hands to make it better. Hats off to the spectators on Grassy who not only braved the weather but also dutifully laughed as I quipped 'it was better all eight'. The marshals kindly delayed the four minute gun so we had plenty of time to deal with kit, etc. today.
Started to rain on the minute gun, poor start (airstroke-tastic!), plough reach solid if technically inept, much to my disappointment Jesus didn't gain on LMBC (good rowing from Maggie), wind horrendous on the reach. The boat literally stopped and I was tempted to suggest we pull in and clam up, but LMBC were too close. Maybe tomorrow we'll try and get the blades into the water in a headwind - it's crazy, but it just might work.
The neutral observer (or indeed Richard Bullock) might have called those early margins closer than Tom and might also notice that, although 18s equates to five lengths, only four of those were clear water. However, as Chris was keen to point out, if Maggie were inside station on the reach it was 'only ever spatially' and not temporally; unfortunately, in bumps, it's spatially that matters.
[Edit: our timing team was a step ahead of me: the 18s was stern to bow so it was five lengths clear water.]
Rowed over Head
A fairly average row. There was less wind and we used clams, so it felt better. As per Thursday we never found a good rhythm on the reach, but did enough to keep the headship safe. LMBC did better than yesterday and finished about 3 lengths away from us. Need to improve a lot if we're to make any impression in London.
Stroke: Height - 6'1"; weight - 13st (after BA dinner); finish position last Lents - Head of the River; highest boat before Mich 2007 - Henley VIII
Please could Peter include his height for posterity? People will probably think it's a joke.
Bit nervous today - if we screwed up this time, there wouldn't be an opportunity to fix it. The paddle down was good, and the practice start very together. Downing were looking strong, and were obviously keen for LMBC. It was quite friendly down at the start, and we had a nice bit of banter with the Maggie boys while waiting for Queen's to fix their rudder strings.
Start and gut were good, with none of the nervous wobbles that might be expected under pressure. The video of us going round grassy really shows how much work Ming has done on our catches, and we quickly pushed away from the crews behind. The 'Plough Reach Burn' was even more successful than usual, and I think we had almost three lengths clear water by Ditton.
The reach was okay, but not up to standard. We failed to continue our push away from LMBC who were rowing well, not giving anything to Downing. The support was deafening and I doubt I could have slacked off even if I'd wanted to: not finding a rhythm in the second half is what is holding us back at this point, not a lack of effort.
Thanks to everyone who came down to watch, and best of luck to those training for HORR.
Technical pairs, anyone?
After a fairly rollercoaster start to the term, as my likelihood of getting in M1 varied from 10% to 80% on a daily basis, this was a great way to finish my first Bumps. I first started to realise this crew really knew how to do what was necessary to get the result they wanted at Pembroke regatta; 2 seats down to Fitz 700m in, I was starting to think "this isn't meant to be happening"; but then we came under the railway bridge, we stepped on it, and 15 strokes later we were a length up and sitting happy. Job done.
That kind of row gave me a lot more confidence that we were going to be fine; otherwise my nerves might have been a bit more of a problem, with several recent crabs and my inability to get the hang of this "racing round corners" thing constantly at the back of my mind. Now onwards to the summer, where I feel Fitz maybe threatening once more... at least I'm prepared for them!
Bow: Height 5'5", Weight 10st 10, Only previous bumps finish: (vaguely illegal) bump on Wolfson in M2 the day before.
Lent Bumps 1st men's VIII results archive
Full Lent Term 2008 1st men's VIII results
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