The Club's Results

May Term 2002

4th men's VIII

Head of the Cam (Lower VIIIs)

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Cam Sprints (College lower VIIIs)

1st round
Lost to Sidney B
A caterpillar-like start didn't bode well for the crew, although Jo, their new novice cox, should be congratulated on some superb coxing - not bad for her 3rd outing! [by the webmaster]

1. Lining up vs. Sidney

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Cambridge 99's Regatta (3rd division)

Semi finals
Beat Jesus III (scratched)
Got a bye through Round 1 due to Jesus III scratching, therefore couldn't get into the Plate competition. [by the webmaster]
Final
Lost to Darwin I (2 lengths)
Lost to Darwin 1 by about 2 lengths. Looked a fairly technical row particularly in the 2nd half of the course, but just not quite enough power to hold on to Darwin. (Dubya)
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May Bumps

Wednesday
Bumped by Magdalene II
A scrappy start, with no discernable stride. I was later told that we'd closed to within a length of the weak Peterhouse II, but Magdalene II were simply a better, stronger boat. Try as we might, we couldn't pull away from them, and they eventually came about half way along side and our blades clashed. Tomorrow we'll be the sandwich boat in M4. (Champ)
Thursday
Bumped by Clare III
First came a catalogue of errors: I had to arrive later after DUing, and scrapping one of my scheduled slots, after we ended up in a lower division than we'd started; we had to wait for the Golden Boat to return with BP4, and when they did it turned out they'd snapped a rigger; we had to take the unfamiliar BP5, with its several knackered seats and wrong footplate positions; and of course, we had no cox box, so late as we were, we had to stop and have the Club's single working box passed across from the returning women's 3rd crew.

Eventually we ended up at the start, ready for a gruelling row over, followed by another one 90 minutes later. This prospect couldn't have helped morale. Nevertheless, we started well and rowed considerably better than yesterday. Clare edged towards us. We pushed into Grassy and managed to pull away slightly, but their excellent coxing and superior power returned them to our side, where we clashed.

In conclusion, we've utterly wasted the effort and achievement of last year's men's 4th VIII, and decisively returned to the division they started in. This has been mainly due to the misfortunate of being followed both days by disproportionately stronger crews, although I'm sure Mark and Andrew especially, as veterans of last year's 4th, will be feeling very disappointed. (Champ)
Friday
Bumped by Emmanuel III
Unfortunately we've found ourselves on that downward slope where every day we're being chased by one of the strong crews that've moved up the previous day. We keep being told that technically, we're miles ahead of any of the rugby boats that keep appearing behind us, and that though they'll start fast and spack as hard as possible, we'll eventually glide away from them with style and poise. In reality, they just start too fast, spack too hard, and manage to keep it up for just too long. As such, we haven't yet made Ditton Corner. (Champ)
Saturday
Bumped by St. Catharine's III
Unfortunatley this race seemed to follow our familiar pattern. We do an ok start, then slowly they close us down, until we were bumped after first post corner. Cue some amusing parking by Catz, us, Emma and Peterhouse who had bumped out in front. Blades for Catz, spoons for us. Oh well, glad we could help. (blades and spoons in a year)
To put it simply, we were shocking. That doesn't just go for today, it goes for all four days. We really did earn our spoons.

There can be no excuses. It wasn't a case of being stuck in the middle of a bunch of huge crews. Clare III were big, and Magdalene II just looked awesome, but Emma III were tiny. Really, they all looked the same size as me (and if you don't know what that means, about 9 stones). Unfortunately they were together as a crew, and probably technically better than us.

That sums up our biggest failure. No time on the water led to a total lack of togetherness. We did our best start by far in the practice, but when it came to the race start we lost it. I'd put it down to a lack of trust in each other under race situations. If you think it'll be rushed, if you think it'll fall over at the finish, it will.

Hopefully next years 4th VIII can reverse the trend that we started. (K. Noble-Nesbitt)
I think this was a harsh assessment. You don't need massive amounts of training to do well in the lower divisions. Sheer strength beat us. (Champ)
Over the last 7 years the 4th VIII have risen some 24 places in the May Bumps to become the highest 4th VIII on the river. A series of excellent crews over the last 3 or 4 years have continued to go up despite the increasingly good competition from surrounding crews.

This year, starting in the 3rd division, even maintaining position overall would have been a great achievement for a good crew (whether huge or technically excellent) - and being bumped is certainly no disgrace whatsoever. The 3rd division certainly doesn't count as 'lower divisions' - going up requires hard work and some good fortune too. However, Clare, Magdalene, Catz, Emmanuel - these are boat clubs that have enjoyed success this term, and finding ourselves on the downward ladder to these 2nd and 3rd VIIIs (all of which won blades), this was certainly bad luck and a tough position to be in.

Had this crew been rowing 10 years ago, when 1st & 3rd IV was starting several places behind even LMBC VI, things would certainly have been different. Hopefully, after having completed four days racing as the highest 4th VIII, the crew have had at least some positive things to away from the experience even if it wasn't the results they were wanting. (Martin)

1. First post reach
2. Posing on the bank
3. Passing the plough
[more...]

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