The Club's Results

City of Oxford Rowing Club Bumps Races, Summer 2001

BPBC 2nd men's IV

Coxed by: Anne Harrison

Bumped City of Oxford I
Despite only having eight rowers and no coxes 48 hours before the event, somehow we make it to the start on time, with coxes. Anne Harrison (New Hall) has joined BPBC II, and Nick Acock (emma) is piloting BPBC I a few places in front of us on the river. Everyone's here, just in time, and racing is all set to begin.
As usual for BPBC, it's scratch crews, and we decide a quick warm up and gander at the course might be wise, we sett off upstream, with Anne regularly consulting the map of the river. Moments after passing through a gentle meander wide enough for at least three eights abrest, she correctly identifies it as the Isis' "gut"... we carry on up, pass the College boathouses which line the Oxford bumps course but which are empty and quiet in the bright September sunshine. The atmosphere for College eights must indeed be fantastic...

Torpids rules are simple: only stop when you hit the person in front - if you're hit, you have to carry on. Otherwise it's bumps as normal, except starting orders are determined by your ARA points. BPBC are, as always, underpointed, although both crews have come out suspiciously high in a random draw for starting orders. We chase City of Oxford I, with City of Oxford II behind... the only consolation for starting eighth is that we have the 2nd eight headship at the very least...

In the end City of Oxford I are less of a challenge than we feared, and we hit them after a couple of minutes. We had failed to shake City of Oxford II - indeed, we'd only been spared by their terrible cox who was zig zaging up the river - and so we're alarmed to find out that they managed to go on to get City of Oxford I and that they'll start race 2 behind us again. (Simon)
Uberbumped Black Prince I, Merton Gannets I
No mention of the day can be complete without crediting Martin - both for driving the boats over and back (although Graham and I nearly cause him to crash on the return with our terrible singing) - and for acting as a fantastic poleman for BPBC II. On an unfamilar river, with surprisingly long chains, it's harder than it sounds, but he was brilliant.

As ever with scratch crews, the rowing is improving rapidly. However, we knew the same would apply to BPBC I who would be gaining fast on Merton in front of them. That, and the anticipated threat from Oxford II, means that our start is crucial.
In the end, City's zig zag approach means we can get a clean getaway and home in on BPBC I. Who we hit.... but then turn to cheer on as they have to row away after Merton.

They then manage to convert the bump on Merton - giving us two bumps for the price of one. (Simon)
Rowed over
Astonishing. It's only 90 minutes since the excitement of the last race, and we're on the start line again. We're suddenly a long way up the division, but now things are looking difficult. Ironically, BPBC I have not done us a favour by hitting the Merton old boys, as we are now in front of them and behind a City of Oxford/Vesta composite that neither BPBC I or Merton have come particulalry close to in the last two races.
And that's how it transpires. The rowing is once again better than the previous race, but not good enough to make any impression on Oxford/Vesta. They fail to get close to the crew in front of them - are we doomed to another row over in the last race? (Simon)
Bumped City of Oxford/Vesta
Last race.. and even though it's only a short course, we're tired. You're effectively either on the water, boating, or getting off the water all day at this event - fun, but hectic. And in the warmth of a glorious September afternoon, there's only so much help that can be afforded by Lucozade and maltloaf. Still, the CORC bar awaits after this last race.
I can't remember our tactics for the race, but frankly it doesn't matter... less than a minute in, the Oxford/Vesta has a rigger failure and it's all we can do not to hit them. We both pull over, and the realisation suddenly dawns on us that we've gone up 4 - for me, it's the first time ever, and although it's a very dubious set of blades because of the row over and the fact that BPBC I had done one of the bumps for us, it's still an up four. (We later phoned Dan Darley (BPBC Captain) in the bar to ask him if he'd award us discretionary blades... once he'd got his head around it, he did!)
As the rest of the division races past, they fail to realise that they're bumping Oxford/Vesta as well - their broken rigger sends them to the foot of the division.

Meanwhile, Hannah Oag is becoming possibly the first person ever to be both Head of the Cam (May bumps, Emmanuel) and Head of the Isis (CORC bumps, Imperial) at the same time.

In conclusion - a nice day out on the Isis. Result. (Simon)

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