4th in Upper IVs
This was a bizarre race. Will was away so we poached Andrew Lea-Cox from the coxed IV and put him in at stroke. As Will is our steerer we also changed from coxless to coxed and Jenny jumped in the back.
On the row down it became clear that the change had seriously upset the rhythm of the boat and that perhaps our assumption that we could race having never rowed together before was optimistic.
The start was delayed for about an hour by the twat in the grey barge and we all got very cold.
Once we began we settled at a very low rating of about 30 with the bowside blades dragging on the water on every joke, sorry, stroke. (I am not exaggerating here - my forearms are now killing me from the effort of pushing the blade over Dan's puddle every stroke). Luckily, whilst the bit when the blades are (supposed to be) off the water was terrible, we seemed to be doing it approximately right when the blades were under the water and though it felt absolutely dreadful, we quickly dropped the Jesus IV- behind us. An unconventional overtaking around the outside of Ditton set us up for the Reach where I must confess to making a unilateral decision to up the rating and did a personal up 2 from the 3 seat. However, this did seem to lift us a bit and we splashed on down the Reach in very choppy water. At the railway bridge it became clear that this was becasue we had caught up and were sitting about 1 length behind a Caius/Christs composite that we had assumed would be quite good.
They refused to move out of our way and we were forced to try to go round them coming past the P&E. Tucked into that side they gave us no room as we came through and smashed into us taking a large chunk out of the bows. Disgracefully and inexcusably they did not stop and tried to carry on rowing causing substantial additional damage to the bows before both crews ground to a tangled halt.
I have to confess to losing my temper in a rather undignified manner but I was furious as they were 100% in the wrong and not showing the slightest inclination of acknowledging this.
After about 15 seconds stationary, we manged to separate ourselves, get away from the bank and restart. There was only about 200m to go but we dropped them and made it to the line.
Ignoring the crash, it was still a shite row at far too low a rating so we were rather surprised to find that we were only 6 seconds from overall victory in the college boats. I would estimate that we are capable of going 30 - 40 seconds faster, so there was some upside to the day's fiascos.
Caius are now rapidly displacing Downing in my most hated colleges list. I will not be upset if the damage proves expensive to repair as they will have to pay for it!
Pissed off about the crash. However if you take off the estimated 15 seconds we did manage to beat all of the coxless crews despite having a cox in the boat - i wonder what theyd do if we showed up to the coxless event in M4A?
Next time though we're going to have to pick the rating up by about 4 pips at least. We still have plenty more speed to get out of the crew yet.
The balance thing is quite possibly the result of slightly different styles developing between the 1st and light IVs. my outing with the 1st IV in place of Andrew LC after the races was constantly down to stroke side (though that could be my dodgy stroke side rowing).
Definitely your dodgy stroke-side rowing ...