The Club's Results

Lent Term 2005

2nd men's VIII

Cambridge Head-2-Head (2nd division)

1. on the recovery
2. all eight still rowing
3. not too shabby
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Pembroke Regatta (2nd VIIIs)

1st round
Beat Selwyn II by quite a bit
We dropped them half a length off the start then gained another length by being better. They then easied unexpectedly for a bit half way up the reach, giving us another half length for free. We probably took another length or two off them by the end. (BJ)
Quarter finals
Beat Wolfson II by about 15 minutes
As we rowed up to the start together, a strong wind was blowing toward the grassy side - their side. We lined up and were set off. Our start worked well once more, and before half way up the reach we were a length a head. The sidewind had pushed us into the middle of the river, though, and had sent them drifting perilously close to their bank. As we struggled to keep to our side of the course, they were overpowered by the wind and plowed headlong into the bank. We carried on at firm pressure for a while, and then took it down to 3/4 pressure to do some technical rowing into the finish. (Magnus Jones)
I think if the over-under on the angle at which Wolfson crashed into the bank were 15 degrees, I'd bet on the over. (James)
Semi finals
Lost to Caius II by 2 lengths
I was very pleased with this row. We performed to the best of our ability but were up against a better crew. They pulled away at a pretty much constant rate over the whole race. It was nice that we kept everything together even though we were clearly losing ground and were able to put in a decent lift at the railway bridge. (BJ)
Nothing cataclysmic here; we just ran up against a better crew and lost decisively while rowing our best race. They gained very slowly and very steadily over the entire course, with the exception of our push under the railway bridge that brought our bow close to their stern. Then a combination of their own push and a friendly corner gave them nearly a length of clear water by the finish. As Tom mentioned in the crew chat afterwards, it was great to row in a boat that neither panicked when put under pressure nor slacked off when clearly beaten. (James)

1. Heading home after v...

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Lent Bumps

Tuesday
Rowed over
A disappointing row, no doubt largely due to first day nerves. Hopefully it will go better on Thursday.

Our start was merely quite bad, enabling us to close to about a length on Downing II ahead and stay level with Queens' II behind. We then put in a push of spackiness, allowing Queens to close rapidly through the gut and around grassy. If they didn't get overlap they certainly got within a very small number of feet, but Wolfson (who are quick) saved us just when the bump seemed inevitable.

Once the danger from behind had disappeared the work dropped, and we never threatened Downing for the rest of the race.

The main positive is that we've rowed better than this all term, so a row anywhere above mediocre on Thursday should give us a fair shot at Downing. (BJ)
We put down our worst piece of high-rate rowing in weeks, and we deserved to get bumped by Queens just as we were about to round Ditton. From the 7 seat, it looked like they couldn't have been more than another two or three strokes away from getting overlap. Tom Rose estimated they would have needed another 30 seconds to finish it off; I think that's probably on the high side, given the girth and smelliness of the turd we were laying. I really can't figure out what we did to let them get so close in the first place, since we'd probably added half a length through First Post Reach while going at a pace that felt too sustainable to be appropriate. In fact, by First Post Corner I remember thinking that we were in no danger from them, and that it was down to us and Downing.

Unfortunately, we're now in front of a quick Wolfson crew tomorrow. This means the race will be over quickly, one way or another. Let's hope we can reel in Downing first. (James)
The "small number of feet" was about 6 inches outside the plough. (Richard)
Thursday
Bumped by Wolfson
This makes two days in a row of undeserved results. On Tuesday, we deserved to get bumped by Queens and instead rowed over. Today, we deserved a bump on Downing II but instead were bumped by Wolfson before we could finish the job.

Our first few strokes were off a bit, probably due to a nasty wind that only got worse under the road bridge. We quickly found a nice rhythm, however, and held it down the first half of First Post Reach. From there our race plan was clear: make two unsustainable pushes down the rest of First Post Reach and again into the Gut, with the aim of burning out by Grassy. It was death or glory: either bump Downing II by then, or go down to Wolfson, who we reckoned were a station faster than we were over the first half of the course.

We almost made it. I couldn't hear any whistles save Wolfson's, but we were told after the race that we'd closed to almost a canvas on Downing by Grassy. We took the corner wide and presumably lost some of that ground back. We then held off Wolfson for a surprisingly long time, since we'd raced our plan to perfection and pretty well burned ourselves out by Grassy already. The bump against us came just past the Plough -- and past where Queens II went down to Wolfson on Tuesday, I might add.

Overall, it was a better row than we had on Day 1, although we've rowed better still in training. It was also a well-executed race plan, since I felt we had a strong platform upon which to apply unsustainable power before Grassy. Mainly, we just need to learn to keep rowing together when we're ready to die. Since Downing II bumped CCAT halfway down the reach, we will find ourselves chasing them again tomorrow -- this time for an overbump, which though unlikely, certainly isn't out of the question. Queens, having rowed over, will be gearing up to bump us rapidly given the craptacular display they saw from us on Tuesday.

Bring it. (James)
A much more satisfying row. Of course, the beauty of bumps is that our shameful performance on Tuesday got us a row-over, whereas our hard work today got us bumped.

Knowing that we were being chased by a quicker crew who had bumped Queens' just when they were about to bump us outside the Plough, we planned on burning out by grassy and hopefully bumping Downing before then. Well, we managed to burn out on schedule but didn't get bumped until Ditton (very tiring). We got to about 6 feet off Downing, but unfortunately just couldn't force the bump before Wolfson caught us. If only we'd rowed like this on Tuesday...

It bodes well for tomorrow that Wolfson bumped us a good couple of hundered metres later than they did Queens', and in roughly the position where they would have been 4 lengths up on us on Tuesday. But that probably means another painful row-over tomorrow... (BJ)
Friday
Bumped Wolfson
Our start was lethargic and Queens' II were already being given 3 whistles by first post corner, albeit a little prematurely. Coming into grassy they had it deservedly, but a slight crab kept them off a little longer. We started to put in some good pushes and held them off around Ditton and all the way up the reach. This was extremely knackering, as we had their bow hanging just off our stern for what seemed like a lifetime, but was actually about five minutes. They finally put in one last bumps 10 and got us about 20 strokes after the railway bridge (and about 20 strokes from the finish).

Then it turned out Wolfson I had lost their rudder at Ditton and we'd bumped them.

So for the second time Wolfson have deprived Queens' of a deserved bump on us. We feel particularly sorry for Queens' as they were very gracious after the bump.

That's the third day running we've got a result we didn't deserve - let's hope tomorrow goes according to plan! CCAT bumped Downing back, so it's a case of 'as you were'. (BJ)
Can this week get any unfairer?

First, what actually happened but doesn't go down as the race result.

I remember Queens coming at us hard from right off the gun, and we didn't push back very well. Then suddenly we found it in the Gut and held them off at somewhere around half a length . . . and held them . . . and held them. They would get 3 feet off our stern, and we'd push them back to a quarter length. They'd get within 6 feet and we'd push them to half a length. I was absolutely dead halfway down the Long Reach from all the pushes Magnus was calling to match their pushes. And still we held them for several hundred more meters, finally getting bumped halfway between the railway bridge and safety.

I then remember taking ragged breaths and cursing a lot as we rested on the bank for a few minutes within easy sight of Bottom Finish. We were then told of what had happened with Wolfson. I'm happy to have officially bumped up, but we certainly didn't earn this one. And I also feel awful for Queens, whose tenacity and good cheer were equally commendable, and who certainly didn't deserve this. (James)
Saturday
Bumped by Wolfson
We're soft. After three days of hard racing (yes, ladies, being bumped does hurt more than bumping), we just didn't put up any kind of fight. At least we didn't have to row much past first post corner... Oh well. A bit of an anticlimax after the drama of the previous days, but we finally got a well-deserved result! (BJ)

1. Coming towards the c...
2. Working hard around ...
3. Under pressure from ...
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Drumps, The lightweights, The Unique Elite (Fully-International!) Lightweight Second Men's Drumps Crew

Monday
Rowed over
Did we really end up second? A technical row-over/bump perhaps? I mean, we *should* have been second, and would have been at the bridge had an honest and devoted 5-man not decided to run back to the penultimate (?) station after forgetting to drink. (As always, our technique was almost impeccable....)

Really wish I hadn't crabbed/cramped out and been rendered unable to run near the end. Probably caused by my over-training right before the race with a double helping of Sainsbury's mac and cheese.

Our German 3-man sub had a lovely time, and especially enjoyed formal afterward and the newly discovered tradition of pennying. He plans to bring several pennies back to his university, to teach the other Germans how to save the Queen. (Tudor)

1. Second Men, Pre-Drumps
2. Told to move on afte...
3. At the finish
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Head of the River Race (Novice VIIIs)

286th overall, 15th in Novices
Time: 20:59.95
I don't know if we're meant to be counting ourselves as the 1st VIII... The announcer certainly did, as he told the amassed crowds that we'd finished second in the Lents. We were possibly a bit of a let-down.

The race itself was great fun - marshalling and racing with 400 boats is pretty exciting! It felt as hot as mid-August (although I see it was actually only 20 degress) and everyone had their shirts on their heads to try to prevent sunstroke. For the first 10 minutes we rowed as well as we have done all term; on the Cam we would have got a pretty good time for the head course. Unfortunately the HORR is a bit longer, and we got a bit tired.

So, in the end, 17s off our top-250 target, but we put in a lot of effort and it was a good way to round off our time together as a crew. And Wales and England both won so I'm happy.

By the way, Jacob won S4 with the Dev Squad. Well done! (BJ)
I was so tired from this race that I overslept the next morning and missed my flight to Ireland! That's commitment.

Other highlights include:

* gorgeous weather, to the point that we shed our zephyrs to beat the heat
* a rugby tutorial from Tom and Bryn as we watched the Six Nations in a charming pub frequented by lots of old people
* the random-number generator employed by the above establishment, used to subtly adjust the minute-to-minute price of pints of coke (1.45, 1.55, 1.50) and lemonade (1.00, 1.40, 1.45)
* Bryn's smug silence as Wales emerged victorious among a very pro-Irish crowd in the pub
* our ill-fated decision to carry the valuables bag on board in a "water-tight" compartment, thus leading to mobile phone failures and wallet soakings on a scale previously unknown to man
* a stellar first half of the race
* Seb besting Jacob in the three-cracker challenge, with a time of 75s
* vaguely still being able to walk today

Fun race, fun times.

Addendum:

Does the following chain of events belong in a comedy or a horror film? (1) Valuables bag goes on board, thereby getting soaked, which means that my (2) phone is ruined, leaving me with no backup for my alarm clock the following morning, which (3) doesn't go off in time for me to make my flight to Ireland, having not been set properly, in turn causing me to (4) lock my bike by the wheel only in front of Trinity in my mad scramble to find a working phone and call the airline, leading to (5) the theft of my bike in broad daylight, only to be informed, after (6) physically going to Stansted Airport to speak to the airline, that I would (7) have to pay a penalty to get on a flight the next day, which I paid. Sigh.

So in addition to fun, let me now brand this weekend as expensive! (James)

1. Racing Under Hammers...
2. 2nd VIII setting off...
3. Nearly in time
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