This was my first outing in Stump. As it was the first time I'd been out in a scull since Christmas, it didn't seem too bad a boat. Sadly, in an overenthusiastic attempt to get me to lose to a women and cause the invocation of Rule 15, Lilie had been given the Lola. As I was later to discover, its rig was a little unsettling, and Lilie was unable to produce the same tidy sculling she was later to display in her run to the final of the Plate. On the back of my most idle week in the last seven years, I was unwilling to expend too much energy, and paddled for most of the race, before practising a short wind to the line for the crowds. (Alex)
Since Rurik had been training, I managed to get hold of the Lola for this race. It enabled me to get slightly ahead off the start and keep sufficient pressure on Rurik for him to catch as many mini-crabs as I did. He got fed up and we both paddled over the line, only for everyone on the bank to demand a re-row, with the time taken to get to the start line to be included in the race. With Rurik racing back on the wrong side of the river, while I took my time waiting for him to run into traffic, we decided to wait for an umpire to start us properly again.
This time Manu made me give Rurik a little more room, but luckily I'd started to get the hang of the Lola's unorthodox rig and managed to put down sufficient work to gradually pull away. Rurik again wound down and we both paddled over the line. I felt somewhat exhausted. (Alex)
After a slight mishap at the start, I waited for Sarah to get going again, paddled alongside for a while and then wound for the line. Tom's plan to give me maximum opportunity to lose to a woman had finally been foiled. (Alex)
I had a fairly clear idea of how I was going to do this after watching Tom and Lilie's successful attempts, but sadly it didn't quite go to plan. I had one blade swapped and in the gate, but then it all went a bit wrong! I'd just about dried off by the time we left the Maypole, and then it started raining..
My slight headstart was lost after the first stroke as i tried to work out how to go off from frontstops without falling in, whilst Rurik eased past into a large lead which I unsuprisingly failed to challenge. (Rose the Twat)
Having worked out how to do frontstops starts, I got off to a better one this time around and didn't have to work too hard to pull away from the (slightly damp) opposition. This race was probably the least inept for me- I seem to go faster when I don't try and do too much pressure.. (Rose the Twat)
This was definitely my achievement of the day. Possibly even of my time at Cambridge. For the benefit of anyone who's yet to attempt this: The 'easy' bit is getting both blades on the same side. It's then that you realise that you're pretty much screwed. Especially if, like me, you're too short to reach the gates on a good day, never mind a 'trying desperately not to fall in because both my blades are on the same side of the boat' day. Managed to get the loose blade hooked under the gate and over my leg, then attempted to undo the screw with my other foot. Some bastard had screwed them up properly tight thhough, so this failed. Resorted to kneeling up in the boat and achieved the gate unscrewing, then a stylish quick switch of blades so that the other one was now hooked under the gate got me halfway. The rest involved a bit less faff, and ultimately resulted in success, hooray :D (Lilie)
In an effort to make Alex lose they gave me the Lola, which turned out to be impossible to row - pitched funnily to one side and very unstable. I suggested a more appropriate handicap would be to start Eton Boy off with his blades the wrong way round, then he could either switch them and row properly, or have to row with them back to front. Either way, he probably still would have won, to be fair.
Thanks to Eton boy for his advice on the start line "just rememeber the wobble is due to you, not the boat". (Lilie)
The sculling was actually going pretty well, and I even seemed to not be losing too much ground until the umpire started telling me to steer - straight[ish] lines are apparently all i can cope with when sculling - can we hold this at Dorney next year?? Even then it wasn't too crab worthy, by my standards- quite a pleasing row really. (Lilie)
Although Dyson warned me he was going to jump the start, I didn't quite catch on to the fact that when he said the 'Att' of attention he meant 'just before the start umpire opened his mouth'. Of course this didn't really have much impact as Dyson was already washing me down with his puddles within a couple of strokes. I tried to keep the pressure on, and clearly did enough to avoid him doing anything silly like going over the line stern first, but not enough to bring him back in sight. (Dubya)
Clearly Dubya was intent on cheating as he did a practice start on his warm up. He also opted not to prepare himself for the race by going and fetching a single from Ely and sculling it back....
A very poor start saw me lose sight of him entirely. My subsequent steering error took me into his puddles, so it wasn't until I extricated myself that I was able to make up any ground. I think I probably did close slightly (as the result shows there was overlap at the finish), but it was not enough.
It would not be fair of me to acknowledge a defeat without moaning about equipment failure at least once, so I shall say for now that the gearing on JPDs blades is not all that sensible for someone of my meagre strength. (Rose the Twat)
A Maggie boy who has had a single digit number of sculling outings was never going to be much of a threat, so this was fairly easy. Credit where it's due though - he also managed to take me off the start (perhaps I need to work on them?) (Rose the Twat)
I had a better start and didn't get dropped this time. Also my cruising speed seemed to be comfortably faster, so I was opening out distance. About 150m in Seb decided to take an early bath, so the rest of my race was spent trying not to laugh at his attempts to get back in. (Rose the Twat)
Fairly equally matched for the first few strokes, I decided to race hard for the final and moved away steadily down the course. A complete lack of inspired sculling for the entire duration of the races was topped off with one of the best bits I have ever done on the row home. Ah well. Thanks to Dyson and Farny (who knocked out the American and French competitors respectively), there will be another RTT Regatta next year, so perhaps by then my racing will have reached the same level as my UT2?
Thanks to everyone who turned up - in all we had 16 people racing which is not a bad turn out (and being a power of two is also easy to organise). Hopefully next year we'll have a few more craft so we can run more than two races at once! A full Henley style result list will go up once JPD has shown me how to use his script to generate them..... (Rose the Twat)
An awful start and near swimming incident saw me at least a length down after about 2 strokes. Once I'd got it back together, I managed to slowly row through Mike, clash blades on the way and then sit behind him so he was rowing in my wash. This was in no way a tactical manouevere on my part - inability to steer meant I didn't really do the bend in the Reach, hence ended up his side! (Sarah)
This is the first time I've had a proper race in a single and I really enjoyed it. I had to work very hard off the start to take the lead and then maintain it and was just managing to hold on as Erica was coming back at me towards the end, when there was loads of yelling from the bank. I thought they were just cheering us on and telling me to steer (I had again failed to take the bend on the Reach) until I realised I was about to plough straight into a double who had kindly waited for our race to finish. Managed to miss them and apologised. (Sarah)
There was no way I was going to win this one, but crabbing and hitting the bank on stroke one didn't help. I was determined to go on the 'At' of 'Attention', but John said 'AttentionGo' so fast I got all flustered and messed up. Eton Boy graciously stopped for a re-row, which I did from a rolling start and he joined in when it was sporting. He also sportingly rowed alongside me for a while, before disappearing off into the distance. (Sarah)
My aims were modest for this regatta. Having not been in a scull since 1999, I was mainly hoping not to fall in. The racing itself was going to be a test of whether my lack of technique or lack of fitness was going to be the limiting factor; in the end, lack of technique won by a mile. In this race I was lulled into a bit of a false sense of security on stroke two when Sarah screamed and almost fell in, but she soon rowed through me to take a comfortable lead. There was a bit of a blade clash somewhere along the line (my fault I'm sure) but other than that, not a lot to suggest I might have a chance of winning. (Mike)
Well my sculling didn't get any better after my first race and I didn't even have the pleasure of a faster start in this race. It wasn't long before I gave up looking round to see where Lilie was and as I drifted over the line I heard the dreaded result of "easily". Again it was the total lack of technique that did for me; I can count the number of decent strokes I had on the fingers of one foot. At least I didn't fall in though, which puts me ahead of three other competitors. (Mike)
Unlike our oppositon, John and I had actually been out in a double a couple of times in the past, but seeing as the outings usually ended in arguments, I'm not sure if they can be counted as effective training and thus cheating for this regatta.
Our burst at 'race pace' on the way to the start soon made it apparent that we were likely to go faster rating 16 with me actually doing something, rather than rating 22 with me spacking for Britain (and possibly the States too) and John doing all the boat moving. He wasn't convinced, so we settled at a semi-highish rate off the start and soon pulled away, though the rowing was far better when we had settled back to a lower one.
On the way back to the boathouse I actually figured out how to scull (not over-reaching works wonders) and we finally had it going pretty nicely. John has even suggested we try going for a few more outings, but minus the arguments this time. Hopefully. (Sarah)
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