The Club's Results

May Bumps 2001

1st men's VIII

Coxed by: S. E. Richards

Wednesday
Bumped by LMBC
In time-honoured tradition the scum closed ruthlessly off the start, and the 1st VIII were back in the traditional territory of being only 1/4 length ahead at Grassy. However, whilst things did go to plan for a while thereafter, Maggie somehow acted less soft than usual and we were hit at the railings. (Martin)
In contrast to the predictions of the met office, the May VIII were able to row down to the start in relatively calm conditions, spinning with 7 minutes to go. Pushing out was smooth and the start aggressive and controlled, although Downing ahead and LMBC chasing both gained slightly in their respective directions. Racing through the gut, Downing, stacked with Cambridge kit, were about 2 lengths clear and bearing down hard on Emmanuel who were later to hit Jesus, while LMBC, stroked by Tom Edwards-Moss of this year's blue boat, were about a length away. Coming round Ditton this had been reduced to half a length and this was eroded gradually further as both crews pushed simultaneously into the reach. By the railings Maggie had three hooters and despite a Herculean effort they forced overlap and bumped soon afterwards, with Downing about 2½ lengths away. Although this result was a bitter pill to swallow, some crumbs of comfort can be taken from the fact that in the distance, both Trinity Hall and Christ's were significantly slower than any of the big six and should pose little threat over the next couple of days. (Neil)
At least we don't shit in our own pants. (Michael Parker)
Thursday
Bumped by Trinity Hall
This was very disappointing. Our efforts to find a rhythm within our boat meant that we let Hall advance - and yet again our pursuers were perhaps 1/2 length or less away at Grassy and closed to Ditton. Our pushes remained effective down the reach, holding them out to just beyond overlap for most of it. However, finally they found a little extra strength, or something, and we were bumped again, this time just beyond the railway bridge.

This is not the most comfortable way to row a bumps race. Although bumps preparation has suffered set backs and problems this term, the determination showed today will be stepped up - a new level will be found to defend our new position tomorrow. (Martin)
Again conditions were milder than had been predicted, though a light but continuous drizzle had set in during W1. Fortunately this was not sufficient to cause the starting cannons, already deafeningly close to the May VIII's starting station, to be moved under the motorway bridge. As on Wednesday, their start was controlled and technical but lacked the aggression and power of either LMBC ahead or Trinity Hall, chasing; after twenty strokes the gap to the latter was reduced to a length and this was closed further down the gut until there was just over a canvas of clear water at Grassy. At this point 1st and 3rd stepped up a gear and Hall made little more impression down Plough Reach, with the gap remaining constant at around 6 feet through Ditton and onto the Long Reach. This distance was then gradually eroded and by the Railings Hall were starting to get overlap. The separation fluctuated between overlap and about four feet for the next few hundred metres as Hall pushed and 1st and 3rd responded; by the Railway Bridge a bump looked inevitable but one final effort took us three feet clear again. Sadly this was not enough and another lift by Hall saw them bump halfway between the bridge and Morley's Holt. (Neil)
Friday
Bumped by Christ's
Setting out to stay outside distance on Christ's, we had a good strong powerful start (after being deafened by the cannon under the bridge) and moved well to First Post Corner. The gut, and Grassy in particular, were weak, though, and they closed to 2/3 of a length. From that point our rowing deteriorated and was well below what we should expect of ourselves. We were bumped by the railings. (Martin)
Saturday
Bumped by Robinson
Saturday's weather was generally very unpleasant; many people on the towpath were covered in mud from head to toe and soaked to the skin, although by M1 the weather had calmed somewhat and conditions were much better. After a minute's silence, the guns went and 1st and 3rd set off, determined to row over at worst. The race pattern, though, was very similar to the previous three days, as Robinson proved that their cruise speed was faster than ours; racing through the Gut, they had closed to a length and by Ditton the gap was no more than half a length. Meanwhile, Christ's were outside distance, although they made no serious impression on Trinity Hall. Coming past the Railings Robinson began to overlap and although 1st and 3rd gave their all, they never opened up clear water during their final pushes. Steph was finally forced to acknowledge at the newest landmark on the Long Reach, the Fallen Tree, to complete a miserable week for the May VIII. (Neil)
Despite having gone down 3, we set out in a positive and determined fashion - convinced that we had what we needed to achieve atleast a row-over infront of our weakest pursuers of the week. Our attitude rewarded us with a better row, but not the result we badly wanted.

After just two difficult years, the May Boat lies just one place away from its lowest position ever. Good luck, John, for 2002. (Martin)

1. Rounding Grassy
2. Some shocking rowing...
3. Moving in to Plough ...
[more...]


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