We closed to 1/4 length on Queens' at Grassy, when Jesus got Downing. Queens' put in a big push, and got clear water. We kind of expected Queens' to just fall back into us given how quickly we had caught up on them, however we rowed the whole course between 1/4 length and a canvas on them! We rated 36 from Ditton to the finish. Needless to say we were all bitterly disappointed. (Matt)
We all got fired up for this, and also hardened the gearing 1 notch. We reckoned Queens' would hit Downing, so went for a bump before Ditton, and decided that this time we'd take it up, every time we got another hooter! Start to 45, settle to 39, hit them on Grassy. This time we applied the killer blow when it was necessary and hit them. They were 1/4 length away from Downing. We were fined for excessive celebration. (Matt)
They went for the bump on Girton at Ditton, but they missed and almost hit the bank. They fortunately got them at the Railway Bridge, as Queens' II got up to 1/2 length on them. (Matt)
We were miles better than Girton and had them at half a length at Grassy after a good start. We closed down Plough Reach and had overlap at Ditton. Raf called a push for the bump rather then the corner but we somehow missed them. A handbrake turn round the outside of Ditton was required leaving us a langth down and with Queens II now close behind. We were knackered from having driven ourselves down Plough reach and Girton could not believe their luck (the smae thing hapened to them the next day, apparently!).
However, a series of pushes down the reach saw us finally bump just before the railway bridge. It was one of the most knackeriong races I've been in and 3 members of the crew were throwing up! (Ingram)
The 2nd VIII were lucky when their hang back plan worked due to Downing II's rudder falling off. They might not have got them as they were 2 1/2 lengths off at the Railings. (Matt)
It was absolutely pelting it down throughout the row down. There were several inches of water in the bottom of all the boats. Downing thought they'd be clever and all jumped out to toss the boat with a few minutes to go. However, they must have knocked the rudder as they put it back in, in their haste. We rowed steadily but made no impact on them as they closed on Maggie in front. However, they suddenly hit the bank as there rudder failed in the late Reach and we rowed past them to bump.
We were deliberately muted in celebrations as it was pure luck that we had bumped. However, that did not stop Downing and their coach, Rhiannon, being particularly abusive and rude to us as they rowed past. I shall never forget that. (Ingram)
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