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The Club's Results

Lent Term 2009

3rd men's VIII

Robinson Head (1st division), The Gents

Won lower boats category
Time: 9:53
Yeah Buddy!

Not much more to say, only that we thought we'd only rowed O.K. and still won lower boats, we can do so much better. This is a solid platform to build off, we just need to up the rate and put some serious power down. Ain't nothin' to it but to do it! (Aaron)
Hell yeah! A committed, chunky and gutsy row. As Aaron said, we thought we'd done okay but perhaps not well enough to beat all the 2nd VIIIs! Fantastic stuff boys!

A big thanks Pete and Emma for jumping in for us and also to Ming and Ali for the motivational calls down the reach that really lifted us.

We've got the potential to be so much faster and this race gives a great platform to build on. (Jeffrey)
I can't tell you how gratifying it is to actually win, instead of just talking about how great an effort we made. We found a good rhythm, and took energy from storming past Magdalene (not to mention Ming's "motivational" shout). The power is still not what it might be but there's time left.

There's a huge amount of work still to do before bumps if we want to go up, but this is definitely a great result at this point.

Massive thank you to Fordy for jumping in, and to Emma who coxed as though she was drunk on the way up but took gorgeous lines in the race itself.
Thanks also to Peterborough City Rowing Club, because if they hadn't cancelled Nene we would have been rowing in a bathtub.

I guess this is what happens when Ming is involved with your crew! (Charles)
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Pembroke Regatta (3rd division), Gents VIII

1st round
Beat Homerton III easily
Splatter horror rowing.

Panicked, spacky start with a "stride" into panicked, spacky rowing. Still, we were about 6 lengths up by the railway bridge so we wound it down to the finish.

Here's to rowing a lot better in the next few rounds! (Charles)
Quarter finals
Beat Pembroke III by a length
slightly better (Jij)
After the previous race, Ming succinctly assessed our performance as "If we row like that again, we're going to get dicked on".

Our first 20 strokes seemed to be reasonably effective because we took out about half a length very quickly. However once again we failed to settle into a reasonable rhythm, and although we stretched our lead to a length, we then allowed them to hold us there all the way down the reach, and even gain slightly around the railway bridge.

It ended up a reasonably comfortable victory, but our scrappy rowing made our lives much harder than they needed to be - the lack of water time really showed. (Charles)
Semi finals
Beat FaT IV by a length
worst of the day (Jij)
Due to random and confusing reshuffling of the draw by Pembroke, we somehow ended up facing the fourth VIII even though we were supposed to meet in the final.

By this stage we were a bit ragged after 2 races and some hypothermia from wet kit and freezing conditions. The fourths, on the other hand, had received 2 byes due to incompetent opposition and were seriously up for some actual racing. More "interesting" organisation by Pembroke meant we were held at the start line for about 10 minutes, during which time some good banter was exchanged between the two crews - I think it's fair to say M4 won that particular battle.

Regarding the race itself, we knew that M4 were bigger and stronger than us, so our only advantage was our extra experience and (hopefully) better technique. Which was why it was a bit counterproductive to produce an even worse row than we did against Homerton.

Again we stretched out half a length at the start, but some seriously gutsy rowing by M4 meant they held us there for a long time. I actually thought we were at risk of losing it but a few strokes after the railway bridge, for whatever reason we finally extended our lead, and finished about a length up.

We may not have put in a good technical performance but it was certainly a very enthusiastically contested race on both sides. I'm sure with 2 more weeks of water time that M4 will be brutal opposition for their victims in the coming bumps. (Charles)
Final
Beat LMBC III by disqualification
best row of the day, still not satisfactory. (Jij)
We knew LMBC were the crew to beat in this division, so the only surprise was that we encountered them in the final rather than the semis. Since we had so far failed at finding any kind of rhythm, we decided to dispense with the usual stride, instead having Tom give repeated "down 2" calls which should come with increased power. Happily, this actually worked and we produced our best row of the day by miles.

Maggie had taken a few seats out of us by 30 strokes, but as we settled into a rhythm we began to hold them, and clung on all the way down the reach. Towards the end of the reach a call came for legs, and it worked as we slowly started clawing back the deficit. We had recovered to one seat down when, regrettably, there was a monumental blade clash. From my seat I saw Jij almost get KO'd by his blade, while behind me Ming caught a mini-crab. Once the dust had settled Maggie had a length on us, and since we were very closely matched in speed there was no hope of us recovering it.

However, it turns out that LMBC had been repeatedly infringing our line rather than the other way around, and so we were awarded the victory by default. This had been a great race and it's a pity it never reached its natural conclusion. I genuinely believed we were going to win with our final push, but now we'll never know! Maggie apologised for the way things turned out so there are no hard feelings, and I'm sure they're gutted to have lost it this way.

A big thank you to everybody who bankpartied us, and especially to Neil whose dry kit saved many of us (including me) from getting seriously ill before the last race. It was an incredibly exhausting and unpleasant day of racing, but somehow I've ended up with my first pot in 3 years of trying, so I can't deny being quite happy about that! (Charles)
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Lent Bumps, The Gents, Massive

Tuesday
Rowed over
We knew it was unlikely we would bump Darwin, since based on this term's results they were faster than much of the first division, let alone the second. Therefore the hope was that they would bump Homerton and we could chase Emma II for the overbump. Unfortunately for us, Darwin closed to inches on Homerton but Homerton bumped Emma just in time to escape. We then rowed as hard as we could but there was no way we were going to catch them.

On the plus side, we pulled a long way away from the crews chasing us, and Darwin are certain to make mincemeat of Emmanuel on Thursday so hopefully come Friday we'll have something to hit. Today's rowing was messy but fun in a way, and definitely far from our worst performance. (Charles)
Thursday
Bumped by Queens' II
We expected a straightforward rowover today, so we failed to bring the focus that this race needed. Queens, on the other hand, really raised their game, and they ground us down steadily over the course. By the time we hit the reach the gap was down to half a length, and about halfway down they pulled out a huge push, for which we had no answer.

However, based on the previous day there's no good reason for us to have let this happen, so tomorrow we'll be switched on, aggressive, and rowing properly again. (Charles)
I guess today's result was a consequence of complacency and a lack of concentration. Queens came out of the block a lot faster than we did and we fell apart when they closed in on us. This was perhaps was our worst row ever as a crew.

It's an unfortunate result but we're confident that we can pull things together and row to an acceptable standard and recover from this setback. Shit happens, the rest of the week is a test of whether we can harden up and get over it. (Tsunami)
Friday
Rowed over
Absolutely awful, but committed rowing. Neither together not pretty but damn were we pushing fucking hard. A poor effort by Queens to clear the racing line meant we had to hold it up whilst Selwyn got within half a length of us before we were allowed to restart. We rowed our balls off and opened the gap up to station by the time we crossed the finish line. F**K YES boys. Let's reclaim our position tomorrow! (Tsunami)
Whew, that came quite close, or it felt like it. The commitment really felt like it was there today, on the row up and off the start. We knew we would have to go a lot faster off the start than yesterday to avoid a repeat, and we did. We were making a small amount of ground on Queens' all the way up first post reach and we pulled away from Selwyn nicely. Then we came round the corner and were confronted by carnage; I took a look behind while holding it up, Queens' and Emma seemed to be trying to get perpendicular to the river and there was no way to get past. Just as RTT informed us there was probably room to get past and get going again Selwyn appeared round the corner and came storming up on us; we restarted with them less than half a length away and managed to get the boat speed up again fast enough that they didn't get us. We then proceeded to row pretty badly all the way down the reach but some real solid commitment in the pushes lead to us slowly pulling away from them again. I couldn't tell exactly but it looked like Selwyn were outside station again when we crossed the line. Even though it would have been a technical row over it was still reassuring to hold them off.
It was clear from the first half of the race that if we know we have to row really well, we can do, we just have to have something to motivate us right from the start, like chasing the crew in front. Even in the second half when our technique was poor we showed that we can still move the boat well if we just commit ourselves properly. I'm happy with the result and I think we have a good platform to go from tomorrow, we just need to not get complacent again, everyone else has caught Emma but that doesn't mean we will if we don't put in everything we've got. It's the last day, we need to go all in because that's what they'll be doing too. (Aaron)
Today we came back with focus, and a better race plan, namely to bump Queens. Emma made sure that didn't happen, but it certainly gave us more motivation than our "painful survival" race plan yesterday!

After 50 strokes we had put plenty of clear water between ourselves and Selwyn, and may have closed slightly on Queens but not close enough for a whistle. However, just round first post corner Emma and Queens bumped out, and managed to park right across the river. We held it up, waited 10 seconds, and as Selwyn zoomed towards our stern were gently advised by RTT to get rowing again. Thanks, Tom!

So we resumed with Selwyn inside half a length and pushing enthusiastically for the bump, but we made sure the outcome would not be in doubt by gradually pushing them back off until we were back outside station at the finish. For me the moral is that even when rowing poorly, bringing the right attitude gives the boat a couple of extra pips. We only have ourselves to blame for what happened yesterday, but Queens will probably go on to get their blades and I think it's fair to say they've done enough to deserve them.

The scores on the doors:
Technique 3/10
Guts 10/10
Turbolegs 6/10
Jurassic crab recovery 9/10
Desire to throw RTT into the Cam - 11/10 (Charles)
Technical rowovers are really boring. (RTT)
Going for this row over was the confidence booster we needed after yesterday's disappointing bump. It wasn't a total technical disaster either, although by no means was it any good in that respect.

Where we gained was commitment. We didn't care that even if Selwyn bumped us it would be a technical row over anyway because we had to hold it up until they were within a half length of us. All we cared about was dominating them, putting them off-station by the time we crossed the line, just because we believed we could. They didn't make it easy for us, as they were committed and determined too. But we need more of this bloody-mindedness if we're to succeed tomorrow.

All in all however, rowing over has never felt so good.

UPDATE: Now Bumps is over I definitely nominate this as our finest hour. (Jij)
Saturday
Bumped Emmanuel II
This was clearly our worst row ever - it should have been a lot easier but we chose not to make it so. Had we rowed like we did at Robinson Head or perhaps day 1 of Bumps even, it would have been over under the Motorway Bridge. As it happened we had to wait all the way til First Post Corner and narrowly avoided Christs overlapping us.

We should probably have done a bit better than staying level, but that's Bumps, complacency on day 2 led to our current situation.

But still, a committed and gutsy row. Pity about the technique, but there you go.

Gents: Massive. (Jij)
Painful, spacky and short. But in the end, we got the job done. The commitment was there and held it together just long enough so that we'd hit Emma before Christs got us. It was dramatic, Christ's knew Emma were on the verge of spooning so they went off hard, almost gaining overlap on us at the point where we'd hit Emma. But it doesn't matter, we got the result we needed.

Gentlemen, it's been an epic term and I have to say I could not have wished for more from a crew. You boys have been FUCKING AWESOME. 2 wins in Robinson Head an Pembroke Regatta and holding onto our already high position for a 3rd VIII in bumps is a pretty decent achievement lads. The banter has been immense and I owe a big thank you to the rest of the boys for making this term so worthwhile (and generally putting up with my arsey-ness).

Gents: Massive. Indeed. You can't stop us motherfuckers cause we're on a fucking boat. Yeah Buddy ;). (Tsunami)

1. Rowing home with gre...
2. Setting off home
3. M3 are happy after b...
[more...]

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