The Club's Results

May Bumps 2009

3rd men's VIII

Coxed by: Sarah Stoneman

Wednesday
Rowed over
Very nervous splashy start + quick settle at rate 32 = 2.5k rowover. Simple really... We did manage good lifts out of every corner and there was some fairly clean rowing on Plough reach.

On the upside we were pretty much on station with Selwyn II when they had overlap on Grassy. We were still on station at Morleys Holt when they finally hit Pembroke II !?! I suggest we unpack some Seb style controlled aggression for 2 minutes tomorrow and wipe out Pembroke by Grassy. Christs behind us overbumped Churchill and I reckon they had closed a little on us so tomorrow really is going to be a bump or get bumped day. See you all at BA Dinner..

NB. Just realised its been a pretty crap day for Churchill men; two of their boats got overbumped... (S.C. Mertes)
As ever, it's generous of Christian to give the opposition a sneak preview of tomorrow's tactics and a taster of our mindset. (It's reassuring to note that it's exactly the same information as he put in an email to the crew.) Some would label this a tactically poor decision, but what do they know?

However, if you're a member of Pembroke II or Christ's II, you're probably thinking: 'That's all well and good as far as it goes, but I'm left wanting more. I know they're going to be sprinting, but where are their pushes going to come? What are their specific technical foci (Latin plurals are 'in' at Pembroke and Christ's) and, when it comes down to it, where exactly are they going to blow up?' Fear not, and read on.

Our start is pretty standard: three draw, five wind and ten lengthen, although we haven't yet come to a unanimous agreement on precisely what 'draw', 'wind' and 'lengthen' mean. For now, the consensus seems to be that if we rush up and down enough, and splash up enough water, then no one will notice. By then, we'll be into what we optimistically call our 'rhythm', and bowside will stop bothering with their finishes, so look out for some comical lurches from side to side! In contrast to today's row, tomorrow will see us rating as high as possible - expect to see numbers in the high 40s or low 50s. Don't expect to see it translate into boat speed, we're just trying to scare you!

Fingers crossed, we'll make it to first post corner without being bumped, and Sarah will call for Martin and Charles to get their 'catches in' and the 'work on early'. Christian and I will obligingly ease off until Sarah tells us that we're straight, at which point Martin and Charles will ease off in equal measure.

In the gut, WE SHALL TAKE OUR FIRST PUSH. Call us unconventional, but we like pushing out of corners. Bow four will return to normal pressure, while Chris and James will take it up to half pressure. Get ready for a serious increase in boat speed! But again, don't be concerned, they can't do it on their own, and they'll have to give up when they realise no one else is going with them.

Grassy should be one for the spectators. Rowing connoisseurs will recognise a classic example of 'skying at the catch', as Christian and I attempt to go for length we haven't had for years. If we've made up any distance on you at all before now, this would be a good time to get some back.

On the Plough Reach, WE SHALL TAKE OUR SECOND PUSH. After the failure of the previous push, we'll all really go for this one, and this will probably be the closest that all eight of us get to trying our hardest, on average. Pembroke II, this is where you really prove yourselves as a crew - if you survive here, you've earned your rowover. We'll certainly have enough left in the tank for at least another push or two, but they'll be a little despairing and we won't go for them with quite the same gusto. REMEMBER, if we haven't got you by Ditton, you're safe.

Christ's II, this is the point at which you can bump us, if you haven't done so already. My advice to you would be to hold back a little - there's not much you can do about whether or not we bump Pembroke II, and you'll want to be in the best possible condition to capitalise on our lack of fitness.

I'm sorry if I've gone into too much detail, but it could be useful for you to know it all. If there's anything you need clarifying, or if you're just curious about erg times, get in touch - we'd be delighted to help you out. (BJ)
lol :) (Thomas)
Thursday
Bumped Pembroke II
They must've thought you were bluffing. Blazed. (Tom C)
With utter disregard for Bryn's explicit and well publicised race plan for today we bumped Pembroke on First post corner.

There are a number of things I wish to point out.

1. We are doing what all Gent's VIIIs do: row over with mediocre committment on day 1 thinking "must hold back a little" and "better not die by Grassy" and then go up 4 by sandwiching.

2. If anyone from Pembroke read Bryn's report it did it's trick. They thought we were going to push OUT of the corner whereas the plan (agreed at last minute, well 2 minutes before the gun anyway and only really between Charles and me) ended up being pushing INTO the corner.

3. We have now thoroughly established and proven beyond doubt that we go faster rowing VERY badly at rate 38 than rowing badly at rate 32. The clinching piece of evidence was Sarah's "whoopydoo" while bouncing out of the coxes seat at the boathouse like a haribo on crack.

In conclusion we should have done this yesterday but hey at least we're learning... (S.C. Mertes)
"Haribo on crack" - that marketing drive never really caught on... (Mark)
Friday
Bumped St. Catharine's II
Awful, messy, unsettled and not all that fast start. 1 whistle coming into the gut, 2 at the Plough, 3 coming out of Ditton, shortly followed by continuous whistling at the bottom of the reach and a bump thanks to prudent concession by the Cats cox one stroke before our bowball would have hit the side of the boat right next to her. It was incidentally also one stroke before I would have let go with my outside hand on the rockover and tapped their stern which was about one foot to my right.

Mediocre splashy pushes came when we heard the whistles, the bits in between were just very bad. Once in a while an encouraging "you're still moving on them" came from Bullock on the bank but a little more information regarding the distance would have been appreciated. I don't think I was the only one who thought we were loosing them in the gaps between the whistles.

All in all probably the gutsiest row we have had but also by far the most ineffective in terms of putting our infinite power into finite strokes in the water.

Plan for tomorrow is Wednesday's technique + Thursday's motivation + today's infinite power. Hope I am not giving away too much. (Well I definitely am not as this is a retrospective race report written on Sunday morning). (S.C. Mertes)
Saturday
Rowed over
Rematch for the first day. Same result, not much more needs to be said really. I'll do it anyway.

We were just inside station off the start and crossed the finish line at just over 1 length apart. We wanted to go off with controlled aggression to actually move some boat rather than air and water (or any combination of the two). This worked fairly well and we went off hard at the start. No whistles by Ditton meant we let it slide to rate 32. We still had a push out of the railway bridge and a wind to the finish but this term's focus on sprint training to the exclusion of all aerobic exercise started to show. Cats remained outside station until just before they got bumped under the railway bridge. Congratulations to Selwyn II who have made it into the 2nd division. Also I apologise for my previous race report stating our intention to go up 4 and get into division 2. In a very gentlemanly way we have left that one for next years M3 to sort out.

I think this was the best row we have had all week. I thoroughly enjoyed being in this crew even if I only made the boat because I organised it. I hope no-one is too emotionally scarred from putting up with me. And so my rowing career finally comes to a close. I have many happy memories of spending way too much time at the boathouse and I think I may just miss it.....

.....in 20 or 30 years time.....

.....maybe. (S.C. Mertes)
Despite the relentless bullying that we've given him over the last term, and the last week in particular, I'm confident I speak on behalf of the whole crew in thanking Christian for getting us together. It's been a fun week - just a shame we couldn't get him the up five he was so keen for! I think up two was at least one more than we deserved...

(Thanks to Emma as well - you're not forgotten, but I think we were less cruel to you.) (BJ)

1. Surrounded by specta...
2. Blades going in
3. A bit more splashing
[more...]


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