Bit boring, hopefully some excitement tomorrow. (Ben)
A technically good row but a bit lacking in aggression, it felt like we subconsciously knew that Magdalene would get Jesus pretty quick and we'd be in for the long haul. We settled to a relaxed 33 down first post reach and trivially moved away from Selwyn behind. Around the first corner Selwyn encountered a particularly large crustacean (shortly followed by Queens' bow and a bank) and with Robinson never a threat for the overbump we pootled around the next two corners, rowing efficiently if lazily. We briefly had a push on the reach to scare Downing (5 ahead) who'd wound it down a bit too far but a 6 length bump from the railway bridge was never on the cards.
Overall a decent row, but if we'd been any more conservative we'd have spontaneously turned into Jacob Rees-Mogg.
The plan was to go hard off the start, settle to 38 and hold it until coming into 3 whistles where we'd take a push and catch Jesus just before first post. Surprisingly this is almost exactly what happened.
I either misheard or imagined a 'hold it up' call 10 strokes before we officially bumped, this led to me attempting to fight the remaining 7 rowers in true three-seat fashion. Luckily I lost and thanks to the wonders of modern technology we know that I was only able to reduce us to a 1:33 split rather than the infinite split I'd been aiming for. Having realised my mistake I resumed rowing and we caught Jesus 10 strokes later which says a lot about either their speed or my ability to hold it up.
Yesterday Queens' had been bragging about how they were going to bump us so it was amusing to see them rapidly drop backwards off the start, in fact if they'd dropped back any faster they'd have been red-shifted out of the visible spectrum.
Overall a good row, let's try to do the same tomorrow.
The whole crew had been visualising this bump for the previous 24 hours, at least, and that internal preparation showed tremendously from the moment we arrived at the boathouse. Confidence, but not arrogance, brought out a far better warmup than Day 1, and marshalling at the P&E was a calm, relaxed affair. The start was a little more energetic than yesterday, though still a little tense and some water was caught - however, we were nonetheless able to find a long, effective rhythm at 40 and the whistles came thick and fast.
At 2 whistles Liv called a bumps push, and it felt like we stuck there a while, but this is perhaps only because we were waiting after each stroke to hear the relief of her calling to hold it up (though MC's patience ran out a little earlier than everyone else's..). The bump was inevitable and it thusly came fast, a few strokes into First Post corner - same again tomorrow, chaps.
We hit the start hard and took a quarter of a length in the first 5 strokes. Off the start we settled to what felt like a relaxed 34 but it turns out was somewhere above 40.
Around this point we received multiple 'moving' calls from the bank; however, as anyone who has done (and remembers) part IA maths or physics will tell you, this is completely meaningless without a reference frame. Conveniently we were moving in Peterhouse's reference frame and pretty quickly too with two whistles coming about a minute in.
We hit a bit of wash here and they briefly held us for a whole four strokes, presumably with a bumps push, before we continued to move. A good line from Liv put our bows on the inside of their stern coming into first post corner and they sensibly conceded as our bowball passed their cox on the entry of the corner. Within two minutes of the start gun we were pulled in and waiting for our bank party to commence their assault on the local willow population.
Again due to magical technology, (or a random number generator), I'm told that the race took around 1 minute 40, which is a bit quicker than yesterday, and that we never dropped below a 1:27 split. If I were so inclined this information may allow me to calculate the effectiveness of my rowing and/or holding it up by comparison with yesterday. I will, however, avoid doing this due to the risk of concluding that they'd be faster without me and then being subbed out for a ham sandwich.
Overall a very good row, the best so far, partly due to me taking the same number of strokes as everyone else and partly due to us feeling a lot more relaxed and comfortable in the wash.
Let's carry this momentum (and decent rowing) into tomorrow.
A brief update in case the crew are heading straight to college:
Moved up a little off the start, perhaps dropped back a little in the first two corners, had a good move into Ditton and got back inside station. Hit big headwind on the reach and the gap between the crews oscillated between 1.3 and 1.7 lengths, but we finally got the first whistle near the pink house, and from then on steadily inched towards Emma, passing the P & E at 1/4 of a length. Not sure whether they got any closer in the final minute. When we got back to the boathouse, I learnt the coxbox hadn't been working for most of the race; we were impressed by how cohesive it looked in spite of this.
A pretty solid start to the week with a nice 'n' short row over. It perhaps wasn't the first day we really wanted but definitely one to be happy about. We had a strong start with a whistle in the first minute but Girton were closing on Christ's much faster and seemed to be incapable of clearing in a suitable manner. Next time they get in our way I hope we hit em! (B.C. Ladd)
BEASTED it!! Bumped in 1 minute 12 seconds and absolutely flew off the start. It was a strong and powerful row, with great commitment. You can tell all our 1 minute pieces really payed off! First bump of FaT's campaign, you go girls!! (B.C. Ladd)
Perhaps the best row as a crew this term so far. Great power and connection through the water throughout. That being said, rowing the whole bumps course for the first time was not the most enjoyable experience; my legs weren't particularly grateful.
We got a whistle on Girton pretty quickly off the start but they held us and eventually gained water along the reach. A massive push meant that we began moving on them again until they reacted and continued to hold through to the finish.
After failing to make up much ground on Girton over the full course yesterday, W1 decided to have a go at them over a shorter distance today. They made up a bit more ground than yesterday, but didn't get close enough to threaten a bump, and later fell back towards Churchill's waiting bows, succumbing on Ditton.
Once again a great row in itself despite getting bumped. After rowing over on Friday we were aiming to race it much harder to grassy in the hope of continuing to gain at a good rate. This didn't quite go to plan but after the first whistle we managed to hold them at a length for considerably longer today. Unlike yesterday however, we were being chased by Churchill whom began to gain on us after grassy, taking the bump as we came onto the reach. A slightly disappointing end to our bumps campaign but I am extremely proud of the girls!! We'll have our revenge next year! (B.C. Ladd)
This was really not the result that we wanted nor should have produced. There's always the usual Bumps nerves but this was more than that. The crew has so much speed and we've been putting out some really great starts and pieces recently.
Unfortunately, we just cracked under the pressure here. We'd moved up on Sidney to 2/3 of a length, the second whistle didn't come, and Pembroke M2 did.
We really should not have let Pembroke catch us and should have taken out Sidney. Next day.
There was a 5 - boat sandwich in the division with us in the center, meaning that a lot was going to depend on us getting Sidney today.
Unfortunately, after moving to inside a length of Sidney off the start, we struggled to keep the boat sat in the wash and never really made any headway. Pembroke moved on us hard and got us coming into Grassy.
Darwin were big and came at us faster and harder than Pembroke did. We still hadn't managed to come together as a crew and they took us out just coming into the Gut.
It was such a shame to have been taken out like that, not because of the result, but because of the rowing. It was better than yesterday but was still not the result we should be producing.
Hopefully, Friday will be better.
Our cox did a great job at clearing us and making sure we wouldn't drift out. So good in fact that our bows were firmly wedged 4 feet into the bank. I had to get out, wade through the mud, and unlodge us.... there goes my nice white zephyr...
Darwin were 30 seconds faster than us over the course. They moved on us steadily and there was honestly nothing we could do.
By the time we got bumped (coming into first post corner), we had actually moved inside station of Pembroke infront of us, who ended up bumping the descending Jesus crew later. Unfortunate that we could not find this earlier.
YES. This was so much better. Clare came at us and we knew that all we had to do was hold them off and feed them back to Emma. Emma didn't move much on us but Clare did a lot.
We had moved on them firmly in the previous two days so this was a bit of a shock but the panic and dread from previous days didn't set in. Instead, we sat up and buckled down for a grind. Blades went in together. Blades came out together. We rowed like we had been trained to and although it slipped, thankfully, it always came back together when Clare made a push.
I think Emma were outside station on Clare coming into 1st post corner and Clare were gaining on us. Coming into grassy Clare had moved to 1/4 length on us but we fended them off with each surge; and then, the Clare cox decided that rudder strings were overrated. He aimed straight for the outside bank and at the very last minute straightened up.
I thought their rudder wire had broken. Others said he might have been told to take it wide to avoid our wash.
Either way, that took them back half a length towards Emma. Emma, having already gone up 5 by this point (overbump and then bumoing up to sandwich boat) started to reel them in.
It was amazing to go round grassy corner and hear all the support for us. Anytime the Club's name was bellowed I felt a tingle in my legs and went for some more knowing that the adrenaline would carry me.
We kept making length along Plough Reach. Emma didn't really move on us, it was more that Clare had clearly blown. They presumably set out knowing that Emma would get them ad hoping that they could continue our previous trajectory towards spoons.
Instead, we simply moved away up the Long Reach. The incrfeased distance between us and the fact we had absorbed several bumps pushes from Clare gave us confidence and we relaxed. We settled into our rhythm and before long Emma had taken Clare out.
Now, onto the next day. It is going to be a heck of a race with Jesus (spooning) in front of us and Emma (blading) behind us. Lets secure some spoons and break some blades - Rah Rah 1st & 3rd!
An unexpected crosswind put the bows in the wrong place and being on the end of the chain left little room for manoeuvring, in hindsight we should have got 7 to back it a bit or made bow pair two foot taller so they could have taken strokes further round the front. The net result of these issues was a somewhat sub-optimal starting position.
When the start gun went the crew went off hard, they had a massive 4 strokes and were on course to intersect the apex of first post corner nicely. Unfortunately, as anyone familiar with the river will know, the intersection of the straight line between station 15 and first post corner with the bank is non-empty.
Having taken the aforementioned four strokes it was remembered that eights are less effective at traversing fields than they are rivers and the crew were forced to stop and park in some trees with Clare rowing past and claiming the bump.
A better push off this time resulted in the crew pointing in the right direction and they got off to a flying start. Unfortunately Emma were faster and consistently moved into half a length. A committed push by the guys held them off for a bit but eventually the bump came about half way down first post reach.
They pulled in and having seen the last crew go through, pushed off again ready to go; the very epitome of efficiency. Around this point a rather incompetent umpire announced that we would have to pull in again. After all sitting on the correct side of an empty river ready to row back was a terribly dangerous place to be, what if a barge spontaneously appeared despite a 400m line-of-sight in both directions? So they pulled in again and waited for a more competent umpire to conclude that the likelihood of rogue barges with rocket engines was rather low.
Definitely the best rowing I've seen the guys do. They had a committed paddle down, a good practise start and hit the race with great intensity. They held a good rhythm throughout however Wolfson closed consistently and got the bump on first post reach.
Sadly Wolfson were one of the fastest crews in the division and are currently up 7 with a decent chance of bumping tomorrow so being bumped by them is certainly nothing to be ashamed of.
Best of luck for tomorrow guys, take the intensity from today and row away from Caius!
Our sophisticated Mays training plan did not leave room for practicing starts; our first start as a crew (plus two subs) was on the row down. Our second was at the cannon. It was abysmal. BUT no threat from the rear. Eddie's were fairly rapid ahead of us, we will conquer the crew they sent down tomorrow hopefully...
Not a man jack of us is currently sober though. We're too old for alcohol bans.
I didn't break my oar today, and we didn't bump... Might try something different tomorrow. (Jacob)
I was somewhat confused when Dear started to explain how to do a racing start just before the practise start, I later discovered they'd never done one and the practise was predictably terrible.
A discussion of start sequences ensued before the four minute gun though unsurprisingly led to little improvement in the actual start, a saying involving polishing turds springs to mind. Despite their start being distinctly mediocre at best the guys settled onto a nice rhythm and matched the crews around them for speed having lost about a third of a length through the first few strokes.
Homerton behind appeared to not have been told that there's an aspect of technique to rowing and spannered along with great enthusiasm and power about a length back. Out of first post it became apparent that someone had done something silly on grassy and the division became one of many to be klaxon-ed. Given the distances a technical row over was awarded.
A less abysmal start today, but the crew lost interest at about a minute in, especially in keeping in time, and Homerton rapidly ate us up. Bow pair tried to overbump Eddies on the way home, but alas Arthur's stamina wasn't up to the task...
Somehow the start sequence improved considerably overnight and having done a vaguely respectable practise the guys hit the race a lot quicker than yesterday.
As we all know, boat speed is a function of power and efficiency and Homerton behind had given up any pretence of aiming for the latter. They did, however, have plenty of power and while ergs don't float there's no reason why you can't drag them along the bottom of the river. Around first post corner Homerton's superior power began to show and they began to move. The grads couldn't quite respond and were caught a bit out of Grassy with some good steering from Sayana saving them for a while.
Hahah well that was an interesting race. Determined not to be out-muscled by anyone despite our lack of togetherness, we hit it biiiig off the start, settling to maybe r36 and maxing out on the power. With alternating legs pushes and lats pushes, we moved substantially on the crew ahead, coming within a length, and with Homerton vanishing down an extra length. Then disaster struck, and our sub caught a boat-stopping crab after the motorway bridge, no doubt due to lack of familiarity with rowing in a turbocharged washing machine.
We stayed stationary until Homerton were less than a length off us, then we yelled a lot and did an enormous second start, and comfortably escaped them (lol), widening the gap to over a length. Alas although our strength did not die, our composure gradually got even worse, and the gap narrowed again. They got us when Arthur failed to single handedly row us round another corner (I forget which).
We consoled our sub with the fact that the race was more amusing this way. Shout out to Hannes for still being drunk from a wedding in Germany the night before, and having got only one hour's sleep (in the plane on the way back).
Back at the boathouse we pushed almost the whole of Homerton's crew into the Cam, as a minor act of vengeance for them bumping twice.
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