The Club's Results

May Bumps 2009

4th men's VIII

Coxed by: Tom Lovering

Wednesday
Rowed over
Unfortunately perhaps the two fastest boats in the bottom of div 4 are right next to each other. Hard row over, we started to row properly after Ditton and took off 3/4 of a length. But it was not to be; it was a little too late and we didn't make the bump. Once again Clare Hall proved to be a formidable opposition, and it's always a pleasure racing against these gentlemen.

We're bringing the fight to day 2 lads. (Jij)
So much committment from such an excellent crew. I really enjoyed bankpartying you today. A decent start had you one length in and you held them on station throughout, except on the Reach where massive pushes brought you closer, 3/4 length near the bridge.

A disappointing result, but there's a very good chance of doing very well tomorrow. I'm really looking forward to your race then. (Mark)
A fairly reasonable row on the first day considering the potential nerves and all the various things that could have gone wrong. All in all, the row was fairly solid and the commitment and effort was certainly there. Although the result was disappointing, we do have a reasonable platform to build on tomorrow when we start afresh.

Having said that, much of the technical side of things could have been better. A great deal of momentum was lost around the corners and much of the rowing was scrappy particularly around the back end. It is a pity that much of our focus on posture, hand heights and loose catches that we'd worked on at low rates were not carried through at race pace. Perhaps a little too much adrenaline had made things all a bit too frantic for comfort. A little more focus on moving together and pulling together with the rest of the crew rather than rowing our balls off individually may have paid more dividends.

Having said that, we do indeed have a strong platform to build on, there's bags of potential in the crew. If we can keep our heads and not get overwhelmed by the situation, there's much to be gained in the next couple of days. (Tsunami)
For our first bumps race in the still fairly unfamiliar shell I thought the rowing was brilliant. There are definitely things we can work on, most notably the bladework into and out of corners and keeping together and relaxed during the recovery (especially coming into the catch), but I do think we should be really quite satisfied with how today's rowing went. The whole crew response to the 'up 2' coming up the reach was magnificent, as we seemed to find half a length in amazingly little time. Let's build on it tomorrow. (Tom L)
All the talk before the race was about overbumping a truly awful Jesus IV crew 3 stations up on us. However, we were foiled by the extent of their awfulness, they got bumped somewhere on First Post reach, near the Motorway bridge if I remember correctly. This left us chasing Clare Hall M1.

Anyway, to start from the beginning, our start was okay, not as good as we can do, however we were still up to one whistle after about 20 or so strokes. At this point TJ's seat blew up at seven, so he spent about 5 strokes fixing that, then rejoined us. This unfortunately killed any momentum we had out of the start, and pretty soon they were back out to station.

We continued on, pretty much just sitting on station on them, however were rowing really pretty badly by our standards, until we had completed the corners. When we arrived at the reach Tom called a push, and as a boat we seemed to find some form, and actually start rowing properly, and pulled them back to around 3/4 of a length at one point, however it was all too late and we crossed the line about a length behind them.

All in all a pretty disappointing row, however there was one massive bonus. We had the amusing sight of watching Maggie 4 coming round grassy when we were somewhere near the Plough. By the end we had about 6-7 lengths on them... (Swords)
Thursday
Overbumped Corpus II
I missed three catches today.

1. First Post Corner: oddly the one I was really meant to take well. Emma screamed for me to catch quicker and I airstroked hard, but luckily with Shot-sauce for backup and me recovering to a motion that bore more resemblance to rowing (in that there was a catch and a finish and some movement in between) we cornered First Post just fine.

2. The Reach: I really wanted to put my blade in the water but a curious plastic thing got in my way. I hit the water again halfway through the drive.

3. The Reach, one stroke later: I hit the weird plastic thing again and I realised that it was the stern of Corpus II. By this time people were calling to hold it up. Hopefully the last two missed catches won't be held against me.

Bring on tomorrow. But more importantly bring on sleep zzzzzzzzz. (Jij)
Y'all sure have the longest race reports of all of the crews... Congrats on the overbump today, guys! (Laura)
Having seen Jesus IV get taken out fairly rapidly by Corpus II the previous day, we'd expected that Clare Hall would make mincemeat of them. Indeed, around about the railway bridge that was exactly what had happened.

We'd got off to a fairly solid start, seems the first day nerves had faded and we'd manage to keep our heads and what felt like a fairly relaxed 38 turned out to be around rate 42-44 at the peak of the wind strokes. We settled about fifteen strokes in to a rate of 38 before lengthening it out to something more sustainable. Calls from the bank had told us we had moved on Clare Hall so we were confident that we had a fairly solid foundation for the rest of the race.

After the crews ahead inevitably bumped out, it was down to us to close down the remaining four or so lengths we'd had between Corpus and ourselves at the gut. Rounding grassy corner, we knew it was do or die. The lungs were really starting to burn by now but we soldiered on, chipping away the distance along Plough Reach.

Coming round Ditton and onto the long reach, Tom called a massive 20 on the legs and we really went for it, closing the gap further. By now, the posture and technique was starting to go and an up two call really brought the crew back together bring us to a length and giving us our first whistle. By now, we were dying by we knew the other crew was going to be hurting a lot more. Whistles came in quick succession and their game was over pretty fast. An absolutely massive result for us. It's times like these that make all the training worthwhile.

Nonetheless, it's no reason to get complacent about the coming days. Pembroke were allegedly pretty close to overbumping Clare III today so tomorrow is not going be easy, particularly with Clare Hall on our tails. As ever, there remain many technical points to sort out and plenty of focus is still needed on moving more as a crew and keeping our heads in the midst of chaos rather than getting too frantic. Having said that, I reiterate that there's bags of potential in this crew. If we keep our heads and keep doing what we do, things should go well in the next couple of days.

Many thanks again to Mark, John, Emma and the rest of our wonderful bank party for giving us the calls that kept us going today. We wouldn't have managed this without you. (Tsunami)
So, today in the M4 boat wasn't drastically dissimilar from yesterday. Just more stuff to hit. The corners were improved quite a lot, and we managed to start rather better (taking it to a rate which seemed a little low, and a quick coxbox check revealed was actually 42 - 4 higher than usual), but more importantly we really rowed our own race again with the same level of committment, and unlike day 1 there were more realistic rewards in sight, though they were tough to take, but we really took them. May the stuff to hit keep coming :).

Many thanks to Mark and Kiely for bankpartying us, especially for the really motivational distance calls from Mark (who understands that a gap of 3 lengths and a gap of 5 lengths don't look that dissimilar from the cox's seat). (Tom L)
Incredibly well done guys!!! You were bloody arrogant (Richard) but obviously it was justified. I'm so happy for you, and I love seeing a boat full of leaves row by so keep it up! :) (Julia A.)
Well, this was fun. On the way to marshalling I spotted a friend of mine in the Corpus II stroke seat, so I told him we were going to overbump him. I imagine he thought I was joking...

Anyway, the race progressed as planned, with Clare Hall hitting Jesus very early. After some minor issues with clearing easily navigated by Tom we settled into the task of catching Corpus II. The rowing was pretty good at the start, however drinking too much water before the race started to tell it's toll on me, as I was retching pretty hard. Jij also took an interesting take on cornering by airstroking merrily round First Post. However down Plough reach our rowing, although not pretty, was just more powerful than Corpus, and 4 lengths became 3, then a slightly wide line from Corpus added to an up 2 call from Tom took that to 2 lengths. At this point they fell apart completely, and when we got a whistle it was a done deal.

The next few whistles came mercifully quickly, and we hit them somewhere before the railway bridge.

All in all, not our usual exhibition pretty rowing, however it seemed to work. Tomorrow we'll have to row well to stay away from Clare Hall until we either row over or hit something ahead of us. All that remains to be said, is yeah buddy :) (Swords)
It was incredible bankpartying this race. Clare Hall dispatched Jesus IV around the motorway bridge as expected and the overbump was definitely on as Corpus failed to make ground on Pembroke ahead.

Through the Gut Corpus were going round Grassy and coming up to the Plough 4 lengths was called which shortly went down to 3 lengths and then 2 coming round Ditton.

The whistles soon followed and FaT IV reclaimed the IVth headship in style by overbumping in the straight leading up to the Railway Bridge. An incredible row! (Mark)
Friday
Bumped by Clare Hall
Well, this was hardly ideal. 2 pretty average practice starts, and a complete absence of the usual M4 pretty paddling didn't exactly bode well for today's race, and it seemed that most people's heads were in the Clare Hall boat rather than our own.

We were pretty slow off the start, and Clare Hall rapidly gained the first whistle on us. We failed to make any serious impression on the Pembroke III crew ahead of us, and they bumped Trinity Hall III at some point near first post if I remember correctly. We continued on with us periodically pulling away from Clare Hall when we decided to row, and them gaining on us when we spacked about. At some points they got to about half a length off, but we held them off reasonably until the reach. Here we actually rowed alright-ish, however unfortunately, so did they, and push and counter push lead to them being a canvas off. We then held them there for pretty much the entirety of the reach before a massive push on their part led to us going down just before the railway bridge.

When we finished it transpired that we were two lengths off a double overbump, so it is ultimately frustrating that on the one day when we had a real chance to do some serious damage we elected to produce some of our most awful rowing. A failure to concentrate on our rowing really cost us today, hopefully it won't happen to anybody in this crew again. (Swords)
An evidently disappointing result for many crew members. It's hard to pinpoint precisely what went wrong. Perhaps much of it was psychological. The generally feeling was that Clare Hall had brought their A game and we had failed to respond, our game was up.

Our start had felt reasonable, but our general rowing had an air of complacency and perhaps a lack of concentration. The technical faults that we had shown on the previous days were all too obvious by reach. The gap was closed down steadily down the course before they put us out of our misery just before the railway bridge. Perhaps the physical strain of the last couple of days had really started to take its toll on us. After all, it's never easy to row balls to the wall three days running for 2.5K.

Excuses aside, we broke. Be that either physically or mentally, we didn't do what we needed to do when it mattered and Clare Hall were the better crew on the day. Our tendency to get flustered when a crew closes in on us was all too reminiscent of the situation with Queens last term. It seems we still haven't learned and perhaps ought to grow a pair. Hardening the fuck up and not rowing like dickheads when a crew closes probably helps with being successful in bumps racing.

Jokes aside, a focus on keeping our head in our own boat throughout the race is perhaps something to bear in mind for the final today tomorrow. The crew certainly has potential, a bit more focus and concentration could go a long way to realising it. (Tsunami)
Richard's bankside text update: "4th men bumped whilst only 2 lengths off the double overbump". 'Nuff said. There are two exceptionally fast crews in the bottom of the fourth division. We are one of them. Unfortunately, Clare Hall are the other, and today they rowed better than us. Simple. (Tom L)
Saturday
Rowed over
A row over, and an end to an iconic bumps. We retook the M4 headship and found great and worthy sparring partners with Clare Hall M1, who throughout the term have been our main rivals, main motivation and also a great bunch of blokes to be on the river with. Today's row went well. Our start was the most sat of any day - the boat dipped slightly to bowside on the 3rd wind stroke but did not do so again until the outflow. The rowing was gutsy, Tom was inspiring, and it was clear that each crew member was willing to destroy themselves for each other.

We emptied the tanks but unfortunately only managed to gain about 10 or 11 lengths on the triple overbump crew by the end of the course. We just weren't fast enough, probably because we didn't train enough during the term. It's kinda unfortunate because that would have been the equivalent of a kilo of icing on a not very substantial bumps cake. And everyone loves icing.

Before the May Ball we will be going for a technical paddle to get back into rowing but then the pussyfooting around will stop. We're going to hit the weights room massively, keeping up with the lightweights training regime. We will impose a minimum weight per rower of 65kg, because it was a bit ridiculous being under this the whole term. This crew will lose some members, but will gain others from the other teams at FaT, and will become something more massive than before. What is more massive than the M4 Massive Headship Challenge Crew? Mate, I'll be damned if I know. (Jij)
This row was symptomatic of our crew, and the bumps we have had. We set of at a relatively calm 42 odd, settled to a chunky 38, and then everybody else in front of us bumped out. We were left chasing a triple overbump, and despite the fact that we had planned to chase it, a triple overbump was possibly a touch optimistic. We still took about 10-11 lengths off it, which over 2.5K is reasonably massive.

It is a great pity that we didn't produce today's row yesterday and escape from Clare Hall, and probably double overbumpe St Catz III, but these things happen. In all, our bumps was pretty quick, however a combination of unfortunate starting position, and never finishing a race before the kink in the reach led to what many will agree was a disappointing final result. This years plan is therefore to get massive, and then come back and destroy everybody. Yeah Buddy (Swords)

1. Overbumping
2. Moving up First Post...
3. Bows riding high
[more...]


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