The Club's Results

May Bumps 2014

1st men's VIII

Coxed by: Matthew Crowe
Coached by: Christopher Black, Rob Stroud

Wednesday
Bumped by Pembroke
We had a decent start, initially holding Pembroke on station, but as we came into First Post Corner they began to close the gap before getting to overlap coming into plough reach. We responded well and pushed them back to a quarter of a length and held them before they had a second push and came back to overlap coming into Ditton forcing us wide on the corner. Once again we pushed them back to a quarter of a length and reduced the distance to Catz to half a length though about half way down the reach Pembroke had their third push. This time we couldn't quite hold them off and they caught us.

Overall a good row, let's go out tomorrow and see how they cope under pressure! This is my 13th bumps race and the 13th consequtive time I've been bumped (though we did set the record today for the first time I've ever reached a corner), this trend ends tomorrow.

Also, it turns out that Barney's Lycra shorts were see-through. This was a source of great amusment.
(MC Row(e))
Not our best rowing. Went off fairly hard, they moved hard in the gut and were a canvas or so off round Grassy. We took big pushes and held them off - they had overlap around Ditton, and we held till about half way up the Reach. We moved on St Catz past the Plough and around Ditton, but it wasn't enough. They hit us around half way up the Reach.   (Barney)
Thursday
Rowed over
row row row row paiiiiin row row oww row row ow fuck pembroke are in the way row row row aaaaaaah row row aaaaah wheres the line row row row my legs ow row ugggggh (Barney)
Some interesting parking turned a fairly comfortable row over into a Lents 2012 epic as we moved under the railway bridge. Apparently the official verdict at the finish was 2cm laterally I think we could have held another couple of k.

Cheers Queens'.


(Sam)
Heroic. Inspirational determination in holding off Queens' from bumping you- final finish distance was 2cm from being bumped- I genuinely had no idea whether it had happened or not. Wow. Lads.

Thanks go to Cambridge City Council for faffing around with Stourbridge Common and causing the finish to be at Peters' Posts and not Top Finish!
(R.J.C. Stroud)
After being bumped yesterday we were determined to row over today so decided to go hard off the start and not give Queens any free distance. This worked well and in hindsight probably gave us the race. We had a fast start and pulled away from queens, the exact distances are up for debate though the general consensus is that we were over 2 lengths up and maybe about a length from Pembroke in front. We had a good First Post corner and decent Grassy though lost cohesion a bit down plough reach and around the corner so coming out of Ditton Queens were either on or just outside station. Around the railings Pembroke managed to catch Catz and despite catching them far over on meadowside, decided to clear across the river resulting in some sudden evasive steering that cost us about a length. At this point Queens realised that they'd just gained significantly so called a push. By the time we reached the railway bridge they were at a quarter of a length and gaining, we had a push and managed to slow their progress though by Morley's Holt they were at a canvas and eventually they caught us ... 2 strokes after the finish.

After 14 races, I've finally completed the course and can happily say goodbye to my -1 bumps average and 13 consecutive 'bumped down' results; C-C-C-COMBO BREAKER!

Edit: The Catz day 1 race report claimed we're a 'poorly performing crew', guess they where misinformed.
(MC Row(e))
The closest Bumps finish I've ever seen. Epique - good work boys. (Neil T)
Friday
Bumped St. Catharine's
YES YES YES, BOYS!!! (Yining)
I'm sorry, were Queens' racing today? (Neil T)
We had a fast start despite being rather close to the bank and soon pulled away from queens and began to move on Catz. In the gut Catz pushed us back to just outside station though a move on Plough reach bought us back to a length and a half. We had a push through and out of Ditton gaining us almost half a length and once on the reach continued to close. At about a length, Catz appeared to be flagging and a concerted push bought us up to half a length rapidly. A final push into the railway bridge gave us the bump though since Catz seemed reluctant to concede we bumped them a few times before mounting their stern. A check revealed that our boat was still shipshape and we rowed home in style.

A great race and my first ever bump. The double overbump to headship is definately on.

Congrats to Catz for a great row.
(MC Row(e))
We had a bit of a moment at the start as we almost drifted into the concrete under the bridge, but we got off without too much difficulty. We settled into a nice rhythm. Coming around grassy, we could hear whistles for crews behind Queens'. It was nice to see plenty of distance between us and Queens'. Coming onto the long reach, the bump on Catz was on, and we gradually moved up to one length mid-way along the reach and coming under the railway bridge we were closing on 1/2 length or less. The last few strokes from the bridge to the bump felt like a surprisingly long period of time, and with the bouncing around in the bows due to the wash it wasn't clear to me what was happening. I think I actually felt our boat suddenly stop moving forward, and that was when it was clear we had made the bump. Good strong race boys!

(We then spent quite a long time disentangling ourselves as we had by that point mounted the stern of the Catz VIII. At one point bow pair had to climb out of our seats and toward our stern to shift weight off our bows so we could free them.)
(Sean)
Pretty much perfectly executed our race plan. We went fairly hard off the start, pushing Queens' away. Plough reach was better than yesterday, but still scrappy, and a solid Ditton is where we started to move. We settled into a big rhythm coming out of Ditton, and soon we were walking up on them. There was a bit of confusion with the whistles, but constant "MOVING" calls from Rob, with no "HOLDING" calls heard, made me more confident that we had it. Coming under the Railway bridge, the rowing became very sloppy, but it turned out that this was just because they were right ahead of us. A few strokes after the railway bridge, we hit them.  

What happened after the bump is probably as interesting as the race - we mounted them fairly hard, and took a good 5 minutes getting the boats separated. At least we kept the spectators walking home entertained! I was a bit worried about some ominous crunching noises as the boats were separating, but thankfully both boats seemed fine...  

This was my first bump on a crew who knew where they had to row to... at last I see why people actually enjoy bumps! Hopefully there will be less "First and Turd" from the messageboards too....
(Barney)
Saturday
Rowed over
Shiiiiit. I wasn't expecting that.

There was a reasonably strong tailwind down the course, and I think we dealt with it better  than Pembroke, so off our start we immediately began to move. We were planning on having a similar race to yesterday, so it was a surprise when we got two whistles in the gut and a bumps push was called.

Apparently we came closest to them around Grassy - a few feet off - and then sat there until the finish, moving slightly. It's a bit disappointing that we didn't manage to hit them, but it shows how much we've improved over the last week. On Wednesday, they were within a canvas at Grassy. On Saturday, it was the other way around.  


(Barney)
While we had discussed the possibility of going for the bump on Pembroke, I don't think any of us really thought we could get within a canvas of them considering the results of day 1. We had a fast start and a good first post corner and came within half a length into the gut. I called a push and we reached 3 whistles into grassy thought weren't quite fast enough to catch them. Pembroke then managed to hold us off past the plough, around Ditton and down the reach though we were still within 6 feet at the finish. Overall an excellent race and definately our best of the term. We rowed home proudly knowing that beer awaited us back at the boathouse. Then they threw me in the river. Bastards.

To stay level near the top of the first division and to get within a canvas of a crew that bumped us on day 1 is a great achievment. Things are looking good for next year.
(MC Row(e))
This was my favourite row of the week, despite the result. A sharp start took us to 48, and we strode out for the second time to 41. Two whistles in the Gut, a Bumps push and then continual pushes down the rest of the course (not quite correct - we did in fact stride back down to 36 for a grand total of 5 strokes on Plough Reach, before we started moving on them again and went back on the hunt). We didn't let Pembroke ease out past a quarter of a length clear water all the way down the course. And we pushed them onto a length from Jesus. In short, by Saturday, we were a better crew to the one that showed up on Wednesday.

It would be easy to look at the negatives of this performance. You could say we had an incredible chance to get Pembroke, and we missed it, and we may have got something wrong on the first day, when we were bumped by them.I don't think either of these points hold much water.

Our crew was forged on days 1 and 2. On day 1, we found that we had composure under pressure, and on day 2, we found the will to keep Queens' off. This was huge for us. It gave the crew belief. You could feel the change overnight to a bullish attitude. We were not awful, we were not a spoonbarge, and we were not letting Queens' anywhere near us. And we didn't. We upped our game, and kept performing. On the final day, we almost bumped a crew who were seemingly comfortably faster, and we threatened them all the way down the course. We didn't bump them, but we must give some credit to Pembroke - they were a good crew.

I'm very glad I decided to row this term. There was a great set of guys in the crew, and nearly every outing saw a step on. We would come back off the water enthusiastic about our progress, and hungry for more speed. It was a new crew dynamic for me, and I loved it. We're coming for you, Pembroke.
(Sam)

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