The Club's Results

May Bumps 2002

2nd men's VIII

Coxed by: Sam Adams

Wednesday
Bumped Jesus II
We had a pretty good warm-up and paddle down to the start, hitting our ratings of 30 and 34 with ease. Spinning with plenty of time to spare we were heartened to see a good bank-party presence in the form of ex-2nd May boaties Mike Goodson and Graham Fisher.

Our start went pretty much according to plan, the annoying wash from other boats messing us up a bit but not too badly. What was unexpected, however, was that in the bowseat it is virtually impossible to hear anything the cox is saying. Hmmm...as a result I just guessed that I was meant to row hard, especially as Queen's II closed dramatically down First Post Reach.

Coming round the First Post corner it was evident that Queen's were about a metre off bumping us...hmmm...time to pull hard again! After some damn good steering by Sam we shrugged them off and they faded away to ultimately be bumped by Wolfson. Very good row by them though.

After ditching Queen's it was done to catching Jesus II. We seem to have them 1/2 a length for ages, until at least on the Reach the gap closed. Overlap, several kill calls (apparently) and desperate one-man pushes from the bowman followed with no visible effect.

Finally, we got them just after the Railway Bridge before Morley's Holt, yours truly being so elated that he stuck his hand in the air - clearly forgetting that he wasn't coxing this race. :) LMBC II tomorrow (I think)... (Dan)
In the style of a buftie who has been away from the club for ten years or so:

It had been a non-ideal warm-up for the race: passable, but a bit nervy. Our fears were put slightly to rest by a good practice start by the
plough, and it remained to prove what we all knew that we could do.

We had a reasonable start, closing upon Jesus and getting an early hooter. However, it was at this point that it became apparent that Queens, knowing we were faster, had decided upon a one-and-a-half minute race plan, aiming to "do or die".

To give them credit, it nearly worked, with them closing to about a canvas at first post corner; however, they hadn't taken account of us being made of sterner stuff, and holding them off, Sam displaying some great coxing all the while. Down the gut, they were giving everything they had to just not have us pull away, and blew up rather soon after, being 1-2 lengths away at Ditton, and 5-6ish lengths back when they were bumped by Wolfson who had a rather more sensible race plan: a good attempt that we felt throughly deserved the three cheers that we gave them after the race.

During this time, we had closed to about half a length off Jesus at Ditton. Their wily cox then proceeded to urge his crew on to greater and greater things, convincing them to give their all and then some. This, and the (non-deliberate) failure of many of the crew to hear when our pushes were and thus time them together, caused the rate of closing to reduce to a crawl.

Many a bump has been missed in a similar situation, but the crew spirit was never to give up, and we eventually broke them just after the railway bridge.

Overall a fantastic race, one that was great to watch, and all crews could hold their heads up high at, but shorter ones would be preferable for the rest of the week! (Anything to do with being short)
I thought we had agreed afterwards that Queens had been overlapping us for a while. It was not what we had anticipated but did indeed make for an exciting race. (Martin)
Thursday
Bumped LMBC II
Today's race was a far more pleasant affair than yesterday's overall. After a mediocre row down to the start with concerns over JPD's fitness on everyone's mind, we pulled in with plenty of time to spare before the gun. Once again lots of buftie support was on hand and much appreciated.

The start was a good one - better than yesterday - but once again it was nearly impossible to hear any of Sam's calls thanks to the huge amount of noise emanating from the bank. We decided to surge to a higher rating to counter any attempt to burn us up by Jesus, but as it transpired they made little impression and we were soon within a length of Maggie.

As we responded to each of their pushes we slowly gained on LMBC but were left with a tantalising 4-feet-one-minute, 3-feet-the-next gap coming past the Plough. Finally we got overlap coming onto the Reach and the 2nd "Kill" call of the race led to a beefy surge and my blade hitting their stern.

This time I resisted the temptation to stick my hand in the air and, credit to the LMBC cox, he acknowledge promptly. As we pulled over the elation of claiming my first bump on Maggie went to my head and I ended up soaking Maris with a "We've won the Boat Race" style splash in the water. Meanwhile Henry celebrated by catching a crab. Girton tomorrow...it's going to be a tough one. (Dan)
Friday
Bumped Girton
More cox-box problems for the 2nd VIII today as we were forced to do our warm-up down to Chesterton with nothing more than Sam shouting commands at us. Despite this minor impediment we took the opportunity to demonstrate our feet out square blades stroke build to Girton as they warmed up ahead of us.

The rest of the row down was incredibly shoddy with, what has been largely agreed as, our worst practice start of the week outside the Plough barely reaching 40. Small matter, however, as in the race itself we set off reasonably and could see LMBC were making no impression on us from behind.

Unfortunately our impression on Girton was decidedly un-impressive...half a length by the end of Grassy was all we'd managed. However, at this point the crew decided it was time to row together and put in good pushes down Plough Reach and most spectacularly round Ditton into the headwind. This brought us to within 10 feet or so of Girton - a gap which was whittled away slowly but surely over the next strokes.

Finally as the "Overlap" and "KILL KILL KILL..." calls came we put in a monster push to pull up alongside Girton. Some hard steering by Sam brought us onto them and their gorgeous cox somehow ended up just where Martin wanted her - sandwiched between his blade and Maris'. Errr. A fine for dangerous coxing for Sam and some scratches for Rebecca, for which we apologise.

No splashing of water today, or general foolhardiness by the bowman - I must get my sense of humour back by tomorrow. Peterhouse...and our coach from earlier this term, Tim Wooge. (Dan)
Saturday
Bumped Peterhouse
And so it came to the last day with our blades in sight. Despite knowing that we were quicker than Peterhouse, we tried not to count our chickens too much before the race - good crews go up 3, only lucky ones go up 4 - or so the saying goes.

As it happened, I don't remember much about the row down, but our start was pretty phenomenal and when it became apparent we were gaining on Peterhouse we binned the stride and kept going hard and fast down First Post Reach. Soon enough we were inside a length, and there wasn't a chance in Hell we were going to let Peterhouse get away!

Our final push gave us the Bump in the gut, at which point I got absolutely drenched by someone in the Peterhouse boat (Tim Wooge?) catching a colossal crab. We pulled in and cheered Jesus and Girton on behind us before heading to the Reach for the start of the champagne and beer fuelled celebrations.

On our return to the boathouse we discovered a rather large hole in the hull from hitting Peterhouse - we were really flying. It was smiles all around and especially pleasing for me as I achieved my first blades at my last ever Bumps for First and Third.

Now placed as the 4th 2nd VIII on the river, let's hope we can continue going up and regain our ultimate goal of a place in the 1st division. Good luck to next year's crew!! (Dan)
The last day of the Bumps... The last one for us as a crew, and the last one for me ever. The last step in the long way to victory, and the most important one as well. It is now or never that we earn our blades and show that we haven't trained hard all term for nothing.
The warm-up felt much better than the day before, though probably not quite as relaxed as some of our best paddling: the adrenaline was taking its toll. I can't speak for everyone, but for me the short intermissions in the rowing while marshalling at Chesterton and, later, waiting for the start just above the Motorway bridge seemed to drag on forever. While we were rowing, the rowing itself was enough to keep my mind occupied and off the race ahead, but during the waiting I really felt like all I was was a huge ball of nerves. We were so close to victory, and yet in a sense so far-- if we screwed up today, it wouldn't really matter what we had done the three previous days-- the job would not be done. While you're waiting around like that, it's hard not to think of all the things that could go wrong...What if I catch a crab? What if Girton does what Queens' did on Tuesday, but better... What if...?
Looking over at Peterhouse didn't really help either; stroked by Tim Wooge, who had coached us earlier in the term, backed by a lightweight Blue at seven, and six huge blokes in the bows, the boat promised to be a tough challenge. We also knew that it had taken Caius longer to bump Peterhouse than to bump either Maggie or Girton in the preceding days. As I was contemplating all this, Martin turned to me and voiced what precisely the sentiments I was having: "This is going to be a long race, isn't it?"
Luckily, the reverberating sound of the four-minute gun soon interrupted our musings. The time for thoughts and worries was over. It was now time to do our job. And we knew how to do it; we had already shown it during the week. All we had to do was to do again what we had been doing all along, as Iain Law reminded us all while pushing us off. Iain has a wonderfully simple and straightforward manner of saying things, which has been a great help to us all year. When he says something, you can't help but agree.
5..4..3..2...GUN! Our start was strong, and in no time at all Iain's voice over the megaphone informed us that we had closed down to one-and-a-quarter lengths. Unlike some of the previous days, the next milestone calls followed in quite rapid succession: three-quarters, one-half, one third... This was probably not our most relaxed rowing ever, but it still felt controlled, and we would later be very much surprised to learn that we had strode (??) to 40, and were still rating 40 as we entered the gut. "Quarter of a length," shouted Iain, and what seemed like a split second later, this had turned into "OVERRRLAAAP!" which we all had agreed to take as our kill call. The next thing I know, the boat was shaken with a loud thud as we ploughed into Peterhouse (we later found that the bows of BP2 had been quite badly dented in the collision; sorry, Iain!). We had done it! The blades were ours! This was by far our quickest bump of the week, and the quickest one in our division that day. It was also the first time we had bumped quicker than Caius had bumped the same boat the day before. And, despite rating 40, we all later agreed that the row had felt quite sustainable and that we could have carried on at the same pace at least until the reach, had Peterhouse proven to be the tough opponents we had expected them to be.
Sitting in the middle of the gut with most of the rest of the division still coming down, we had to postpone celebration until later and quickly pull in to the far bank. Possibly because we all realized how serious the situation could become, we were much more disciplined today than we had been after our previous bumps, managing to pull in in plenty of time for other boats to pass. Finally, the last boats were gone, and, having shouted our three cheers for Peterhouse, we rowed up to the reach, cheered on by the crowd. We pulled in in there, picked up some greenery, and were greeted by our bank party. We got champagne from the bufties, and a can of beer each from Sam. The job was done. It was now time to kick off the party. The row back to the boathouse was reasonable, given the difficulties involved in rowing while holding a can of beer and simultaneously attempting to pass a bottle of champagne along the boat.
It is hard to describe the feeling after a blade-winning last bump on the last day of the Bumps, culminating a year's worth of aspirations and perspiration. Elation is probably the closest word I can think of, but it still falls quite short of the actual experience. If you have experienced it yourself, you will know what I mean.
For me, however, the last day of the bumps was a bittersweet moment. I had my "blade and glory," in the words of our 2nd May VIII song, but it also meant that my time at Trinity was over. I will never be rowing with these guys again (except perhaps some day in Black Prince). Worse yet, I will probably not even see most of them again, and will definitely not see all of them for a long, long time. It really feels like I'm leaving part of me here. I'll make sure I come back to pick it up someday... (Maris)

1. The Result
2. From the motorway br...
3. Adams
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