The Club's Results

May Bumps 2005

4th men's VIII, Arrows VIII

Crew list for 3 races:

Coxed by: Tamir Saeed

Crew list for 1 race:

Coxed by: Tamir Saeed

Wednesday
Rowed over
A very eventful first half, and overall a very gutsy row-over.

Day 1 saw the Arrows sitting at position 13, chasing Pembroke III and ahead of Kings II. After an excellent practice start for the spectators in the Plough Reach, the real start was perhaps not up to snuff -- from the bank, it looked very rushed and with poor timing. After 20 strokes or so, Kings (prematurely) had their first hooter, and Pembroke II were only just outside station.

The guys took awhile to sort out their timing issues, and by the time the three crews had rowed under the motorway bridge, Kings were legitimately inside 1 length. Things got a bit worse down First Post Reach, with Pembroke rapidly closing on a three-boat pile-up near the entrance to the Gut. Apparently Queens III had bumped Christs III with Caius III rapidly closing. Neither Caius nor Pembroke could do anything more than hold it up and pull into the bank (looking at the charts, it appears both must have been given technical rowovers, but not sure on that).

By the time Fat IV reached the end of First Post Reach, the carnage had cleared a bit, enabling Tamir to artfully dodge traffic and head into the Gut. Kings had closed to within 5 feet or so, but inexplicably held it up behind us despite plenty of clear water. We initially thought they'd been bumped, and the crew seemed to flag a bit around Grassy in response to the pressure from behind disappearing. A crab from 4 halfway down Plough Reach didn't help either, but with help from 3 the crew rapidly sorted themselves out and fell into a decent rhythm.

Things became more complicated when Kings made a surprise reappearance, coming around Grassy about 5 lengths off and clearly trying to row us down. I called for a couple of pushes from the bank to ensure we held them there, one around Ditton and another halfway down the Long Reach. The crew responded admirably, digging deep to find their best rowing of the afternoon. After one last push into the Railway Bridge, it was clear that Kings had given up. The guys rowed past Bottom Finish with at least 100 meters of clear water.

Now looking at the charts, it appears that Kings were indeed bumped by Selwyn III, which makes their attempt to row us down seem pretty bizarre in retrospect. I'm eager to hear an explanation as to what exactly happened both in front of and behind us. (James)
Everything was going so well until, on the start line, 'We lost that loving feeling....' (Dan Newton)
I spoke to a member of the Kings crew, and he said that a member of their bank party told them to hold it up as he thought they wouldn't be able to get through the carnage ahead. I can't really comment on what was going on ahead of us, but since we made it through no problems at all I'm guessing they could have. And the umpires clearly thought the same, hence the technical bump.

All in all, the first half of the race felt pretty poor from within the boat. After a stunning practise start it was a shame that the real one was so panicked, but I suppose that's what you expect when the majority of the crew have never done bumps before. When we relaxed and took the rating right down it felt quite good and the boat speed picked up, and the pushes in the reach were excellent given our level of exhaustion by that stage (and all the more amazing considering some members of the boat were all for pulling in for a pint at the Plough if we were still racing by then). Tomorrow should be a very exciting day. (Phil)
Neither the marshal nor the Jesus women appreciated our rendition of You've Lost That Loving Feeling. Lessons to be learnt for tomorrow... (BJ)
Thursday
Bumped by Selwyn III
Today's Highlights
Not rowing very far
The inevitability that tomorrow will be a better day...
The lack of equipment damage
Watching the Homerton women stretching when we got back to the boathouse

Today's Low Point
We only took about 10 strokes before we hit the bank... (BJ)
We had dedicated this race to Andy Fordham. In hindsight this was probably a bad idea. (Phil)
Friday
Bumped by King's II
Gutted. We got over the nerves of the first two days (for many of the crew bumps was their first race of any kind) and rowed beautifully, sustainably, at the same speed and about 6 pips below all the boats around, proving that we are better than the boats near us.

Everyone was on station though the over-rating crews around us were beginning to flag whereas our relaxed and powerful rowing could have continued forever. It was at this point, just as Kings began to drop, the carnage happened.

With everyone pretty much on station we all assumed a technical row-over or at worst a re-row there and then. Instead we were all told to return with M1 for a re-row. WTF?!?!?!

Assuming that all the crews were all free for that time or could find legal subs I cannot understand how making everyone return to boathouses and then row all the way down again later on was the most effective or time-saving choice. It makes no sense.

On returning to the boathouse we discovered that four of our number had commitments they could not cancel and there was no way to find subs.

The feeling of being cheated by a poor re-row decision is tempered by the satifaction of having rowed our best piece so far and knowing that tomorrow we are capable of going out and bumping anything they put in front of us. (Dan Newton)
The women rowing down to the start of W3 were treated to two hearty renditions of You've Lost That Loving Feeling but we saved our best effort for Homerton 1st Ladies (our "Charlies" - watch the film...) as we sent them off from the balcony. They even gave us a round of applause.

The following conversation may or may not have occurred between the Arrows and the Homerton Ladies following the song:

Homers: Do you often use this approach?
Arrows: No, actually we've only done this twice.
Homers: Oh? How'd you do?
Arrows: Crashed and burned on the first one. It wasn't pretty.
Homers: The second?
Arrows: We don't know, we'll tell you tomorrow. But it's lookin' good so far.

So maybe tomorrow we'll ask them to formal. Anyway, we also got bumped in something called a rerow (this is apparently something a bit like a pre-bumps coxing talk - 1/3 of crews don't make it and the remaining 2/3 send entirely different crews as their representatives) but who cares. CUCBC suck. (BJ)
I want to be an arrow. The King's boys are pussies and wouldn't let us sub.. :( (Lilie)
Saturday
Rowed over
The third 'technical' result of the week! Half a length off Kings at Grassy where the river was obstructed. Though Kings got round, we were awarded a technical row over. (Martin)
So we didn't quite get Kings back for yesterday's fiasco, but never mind, that's bumps. Our steady state paddling race plan has definitely proved to be a success in comparison with our manic one (and those of the boats around us for that matter) and it's a shame we've never managed to bump. If only we'd rowed properly on the first two days...

In other news, Homerton women agreed to a formal, so the song worked. To the fathers of Rachel and Jenny: thank you for appreciating our website and sorry for ogling your daughters. (BJ)

1. First Post
2. Arrows VIII
3. Awaiting the rerow d...
[more...]


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