The Club's Results

May Bumps 2007

2nd men's VIII

Crew list for 3 races:

Coxed by: Lilie Weaver

Crew list for 1 race:

Coxed by: Jenny Lee

Wednesday
Bumped Caius II
Love it. Watching you guys storm up on them past us at the Plough was truly awesome. I think Chris and I were far more excited about your race than our own. (Will L)
Brilliant, and never in doubt. Twelve months of pain obliterated in five minutes.

Here's hoping that the First and Third M2 saga continues to new heights today... (Albert)
Indeed, go for it guys, may the horse medicine be with you... (Neil C)
From the one length call we knew we could get them. Not very tidy but we settled to a powerful, committed rhythm and gained on them gradually. There's still more speed to gain, especially on the start, and we know what we have to do.

Thanks to Jenny for stepping in to cox us at the last minute. (Andrew)
Moved up steadily and bumped convincingly at the start of the Reach. (Martin P)
YES! (Martin Y)
Thursday
Rowed over
Harsh, but fair considering our lack of a kill.

Tomorrow, we're going out for it, Do or Die (Martin Y)
Not such a good row, Caius were inside station when they were taken down on First Post Corner. Although the 2nd VIII moved up on Magdalene to be maybe a length off at the start, they thereafter fell back and will need a good row to hold off Fitz. (Martin P)
Friday
Bumped Magdalene
A much more positive row than Thursday - a little more power and rate - saw us close steadily on Magdelene (who had a lower boat rower in as a sub). Firm contact resulted just before first post corner. Fitzwilliam, who must have fancied there chances of putting our name on their blades, were two lengths down when we bumped. One of my happier rowing moments! (Rob)
To end an amazingly fast row it's all about putting 2 purple marks on the bow of the boat, by hitting Magdalene twice. It was great to sit in the bow seat and feel the first "crunch" after sprinting through rough water. Felt even better to keep rowing and feel the second "crunch". Ah.. gotta love the bow seat.

(I know.. Christian shut up, and tap down!!) (S.C. Mertes)
We emerged from a wall of water (our start) to see that Magdalene had gone off 'askew'. We ground them down with some good grunt. CALYPSO. :) (Joff)
I'll just repeat what I said on the bank, "YESSSSSSSSSS!

Nailed it, proper sprint bump. Same again tomorrow. (Martin Y)
Despite the stream we reached a powerful, high-rating rhythm and gained ground on Magdalene gradually. At half a length to go we knew that we had them, with Fitz falling away into the distance. (Andrew)
Saturday
Bumped Christ's
So so so sweet!

An absolutely fantastic and obviously well worked result. To quote JPD, "I have no idea how you go so fast", and neither do I :P.

Even worth falling in the river in the Gut afterwards. :D



What a race, what a term. Starting this term I swore to myself that I wouldn't row, no matter how fun and satisfyingly fast our 2nd VIII had been in Lents. That didn't last.

It soon became apparent that I wasn't the only one having 2nd thoughts about the 'big question' with half of last terms crew not sure which way to jump and only really wanting to stay on if we knew we could do well.

The quality at the start of term was absolutely dire though, let down with no quality coaching and a squad system that included rowers from last terms lower viii's it felt like we were getting spat on. The 2nd viii had a first division mays place, but were by no means even approaching the standard you'd expect for a crap college 2nd viii. But we stuck it out. We tried not to think too far ahead, and bumps (and exams :S) were still far away.

But then it reached breaking point outings with no plan, no coach, and a general attitude from the higher echelons that ''we should all have a good idea of what a quality rowing stroke is'', it all started to become a farce, spoons were a certainty .

Crew selection was a joke and it was clear that it wasn't going to work. We had outings scheduled for a week, with no plan or coach so I subbed out for an outing and bank partied along with Seb who agreed to come have a look (although he only agreed to come down for the last two outings of the week as a personal favour) what we saw was a shambles I could not believe it, our 2nd Lent VIII was not only fast, but it was dynamic we had viii pairs of legs going down and viii backs swinging through stroke after stroke and it showed in our utter domination in the bumps. What had happened?

Well 3-4 weeks of no coaching and rowing with shit people had happened, a captain forcing crew changes with no idea of what he was doing was happening, a crew that had no idea left of what quality was.

It wasn't good enough, the crew had to change, the heart of the crew from Lents was reunited, after some pleading Seb agreed to come along 2-3 times a week and coach (this soon became 5-6). We sat down and produced a training plan with what we needed to work on and achieve for the 3 weeks we had till most of the crew had exams and all I can say is thank god we had our absolutely wonderful cox Lilie and the equally amazing Seb. Things were still not promising though we had a lot to do, I still have the videos I took from bank partying that time(I haven't even shown them to the crew as they were so bad).

Lilie and Seb got JPD to come along and have a look, and with some careful persuasion he agreed to help coach us. His initial appraisal was not good, he said we were no where near the quality we needed to even think of calling ourselves FaT's 2nd May VIII. The crew stepped up though, and I just want to thank everyone for sticking with it.

Lilie once said something that comes to mind at this point, along the lines of it was obvious that the ex-novices hadn't learnt to row with Seb, this was almost funny as the Lent and May crew's both had 4 of nm1 (which is a fantastic achievement of both them and Seb), and 6 of the Lent crew made the May crew. What happened at the start of this term is a lesson for future captains especially Ming for next year.

The campaign up to bumps was looking more promising every outing but by no means safe for even a row over. JPD made us row much more together and we started to shape our rhythm with 3 days of back to back full head pieces increasing the rate and eating away time at every opportunity. Rowing over 100km for a good few weeks never slacking off in our steady state and working hard to get some time around both ends we started to look the part. A week of iv's for exams though was a minor disaster, anyone who saw as at city sprints will no we are pretty dire in iv's. But back in the viii again we really found what we needed, Seb subbed on the Friday and for some of us at least we celebrated finishing our exams with a heavy outing, the next day though we came crashing down to Earth. Monday though rested and relaxed we found what we needed, we found the magic we needed to get us to bumps, as Lilie said, ''see, you can row when you try''.

Bumps was fantastic, 1st division rowing is like nothing else, the quality makes no bumps easy and we worked damn hard and were happy beyond words when we bumped Caius II back, Jenners was fantastic in that race and we were so together and fast.

The 2nd day though we went off slightly shit, struggling in the conditions and rowing over behind Magdalene. A new plan emerged though, with a fast Fitz crew looking for blades we went out hard and fast and dropped them to 2 lengths bumping in about 800m. The most amazing celebrations then ensued on the bank we were so happy.

The last day though we had a lot to work for, up 2 was good, but up 3 was what we wanted, we went out even harder and every single one of us pushed harder than we ever had before to get Christs around First Post corner. I could even stand as I struggled onto the bank and we were all so gone.
Accidently falling into the river in the Gut though was almost worth it, as Lilie went in as well.

Blades were never really on the cards, but 14th in Div 1 is amazing, if that was my last bumps race then I am so proud of this crew. Next years 2nd May VIII have a lot to live up to (and you damn well better not spoon :D:D:D). (Martin Y)
We executed the race plan successfully again, though we really had to earn this bump. The water became very choppy as we approached which made us even more untidy, but we were close to overlap and after a few strokes they gave in. We have shown that First and Third's M2 is rightfully in the first division.

Thanks to Seb and JPD for coaching us this term. (Andrew)
Coming from a very successful lents campaign we knew we had a lot to live up too. This time competing in the 1st division as opposed to the middle of the 2nd division. As the training this term went on, we never really found the togetherness and our rowing was continually scrappy, as JPD cast a new pair of eyes on us things started to change, but many of us feared it was too little too late.

During exams we had some outing's in IV's which frankly ended up being a waste of time, and with only 3/4 outings left before bumps the was doubt if we were going to be fast enough to be a worthy competitor. However the monday of bumps week, something happened, finishes were together, catches quick and we were actually rowing! Things might not be so bad after all.

First day of bumps, the big race, Caius II ahead. We knew that there were big names in that boat, a fair few uni medals, but they'd not had many outings together. However, on the start line we are informed W1 have to re-row and that Lillie is not going to be able to cox, and luckily Jenners was given permission to cox our race.

Jenny happily coxed her 50th race, a race which went nicely to plan, slowly grinding down Caius II before getting the bump coming onto the reach, we were ecstatic :) we had done it. All the hard work payed off, but we still had 3 more days to go, and Fitz men were quick and on the way up.

Day 2 saw some of our worst rowing as a crew, pushes weren't together and we didn't cope at all well with the shoddy weather, barely making any distance on Magdalene we were all miserable and pissed off as we came back to the boat house, a new plan was to be thought of. So on day 3 we decided that the best plan would be for us to go off hard, and race to grassy, hoping that we could hit Magdalene before Fitz got us... What can I say, we simply flew, hitting them on first post corner, and pushing Fitz back to over 2 lengths down, it was a great feeling to have bumped to 15th in the 1st division, words cannot describe how pleased we were with this result...

With one last day to go, chasing Christs II (with that horrible lycra) we wanted it bad. With the same plan as yesterday we absolutely went for it, and Christs were hit in the gut. Cue enourmous celebrations... The highest FaT 2nd VIII since 1959, we are legends.

None of this would've been possible without JPD and seb coaching us, they have been amazing, especially seb's contiuing support of the club, he is one of our best asset's. I want to also that CUCBC for letting Lillie cox and row without any fuss (and for letting Jenner's cox, despite them not letting Lillie cox that race :( ) And everybody else in the crew for giving it everything and putting up with my silly front lean :) To next year guys! (Lorry)
I just want to thank you guys for being so much fun to cox - i've always been against coxing, mostly because people assume i can't row because i'm too short.. However, i've loved every minute(*) of it - I knew we could do it! Highest FaT M2 for 48 years :)
And thankyou for tolerating my crazy schedule, trying to fit in far too many outings (and the same goes to W1)!

(*) apart from being cold when the weather was crap (which was far too often for may term) and those 'special' IVs...

p.s. I tapped down today. (Joff)

1. Lile coxing the crew...
2. Lilie models the 2nd...
3. Awwwwww!
[more...]


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