The Club's Results

Lent Bumps 2011

1st men's VIII

Coxed by: Alex Caulfield

Wednesday
Rowed over Head
Wow! Well done M1! I've been refreshing the results page continuously for the last hour, and that little yellow smiley was a welcome sight... Now someone post a proper report so we know what happened! (Emma)
Today's result is a tremendous achievement - we went out there, and proved everyone wrong. Today, we showed that we're not going to just roll over and die. We're prepared to fight to the death for this, and tomorrow, with a bit more sharpness round the corners, hopefully we'll be in a position to build on today's race and open up some more water behind us.

Let's have another 10 successes tomorrow. (Gonzo)
Downing challenged us and we responded. We were a bit tight through the corners, but thanks to Alex's line and some strong responses we pushed off them through the reach. Thanks for a gutsy row, guys. (Allen)
This was the second time I had gone into Lents as the Headship crew set to spoon. 90% of Bumpit predictions said we'd lose the Headship on the first day. All the results suggested that Downing would bump us easily, and I think most of the crew thought this too. I was hopeful for a rowover, but not optimistic.

I don't remember much of the start, merely that we strode to 36 out of First Post and then spacked around Grassy, the boat rocking quite sharply as we rounded the corner. Coming onto Plough Reach we had a first push on the straight, whilst continuous whistling signalled Downing's uncomfortably close presence. By the time we got to Ditton, Downing were closing for the Bump, maybe within a couple of feet. Coming out of the corner, Gonzalo shouted to steer stroke side with more urgency than I had expected. I turned to check Downing's position and saw their stern running alongside me. Rudder on hard. We spun out to the far side of the reach, abandoning the racing line and giving Downing clear water in front of them.

There was a slight sense of deja vu at this point, given that we were in much the same position as we had been in the first round of Pembroke Regatta against Girton M1. Racing Girton, we had panicked and lost. Remembering this, I gave a call to keep calm and get the legs down hard (our default 'they're bloody close, this can't be good' status). They had half a length overlap at this point. As planned, we carried out a series of pushes straight down the Reach, keeping the rate at 36. Given that their racing plan had involved bumping us before Ditton, they simply did not have the energy to respond and had fallen back to half a length clear water by the Railway Bridge.

It suddenly dawned on me that the impossible was possible. We were at Morley's Holt. 50 strokes to go. Top finish was in sight. Downing made their 3rd big push at the P&E as we wound for the line, and finished it just as we had 2 small crabs on stroke side (perfect timing!). I counted the last two lifts to the line, and we'd done it!!! ROWED OVER HEAD. Against everyone's expectations. Wretching, shouts of joy and pain, and cheers from the bank followed.

90% of Bumpit had been proved wrong. And Downing had some serious thinking to do. Whatever happened in the next few days, we could hold our heads up proud after that race. If we were going to lose the Headship, we would do it in style, doing our best every single stroke and making Downing work bloody hard for it. (Alex)
90% of bumpit can badger off. (M. Griffiths)
That's it, you got an Eye of the tiger on Cam FM! Keep it up;) (N. Kamcev)
YES BOYS! (P. Jenkins)
YES, COME ON!!! Awesome result. (JPD)
Awesome! Keep up the good work! (McT)
GET IN! Well chuffed. (Rich)
Awesome! (C.S.Dunleavy)
Fantastic :- ) (Charlotte)
Rah ! (Matt)
Nice! (Preiss)
Well done boys! (Rachel)
Thursday
Bumped by Downing
After a defense lasting 16 days, involving 25 rowers, 4 coxes, and countless coaches and supporters, M1 finally succumbed to a strong Downing crew halfway down the Long Reach, after a hard-fought row.
Good luck to them for the rest of the week. (Peter)
The result everyone knew was a distinct possibilities. Every person in the crew is a hero for not rolling over and dying on the first day, in a glorious defiance of general opinion. (Thomas)
The inevitable happened. Despite some improved corners from Day One, Downing had learnt their lesson and held back to launch a Bumps push on the Reach. We held the racing line out of Ditton this time, but their attack was too much, and despite continued effort to the very last stroke (and some tight manoeuvring in the Empacher to avoid their stern), we succumbed by the Pink House.
Sad, but inevitable. If success is trying your hardest to row the best stroke you can, every single stroke, then today was a success, despite the result. (Alex)
Friday
Bumped by Caius
Today was quite simple. Bump or bumped. We certainly weren't rowing over.

The race plan was also simple. Don't stride. Just rate 40 for 2 minutes and see what happens. Since Caius had bumped Maggie just after 1st Post on Thursday, there was no holding back.

As it happened, we ended up rating 43 off the start and settling (?) to 41, holding Caius all the way to Ditton. This was the furthest they had been pushed all week, and when asked whether they had been made to work for the Bump, responded in the affirmative. We got within a length of Downing, but they knew what we were up to, and had a fast 3 minutes until we bumped out behind them. (Alex)
Saturday
Rowed over
Rowed over ahead of Maggie, proving that we were only going to be bumped by the two fastest crews on the river and no-one else. Great row, with a lot of commitment down the Reach, when Maggie launched a push. By the Railway Bridge, we were fading and I started counting the strokes to Morley's Holt and from there to the finish (at Allen's request!).

Despite the results, this was a great set of Bumps. We started the week predicted to spoon and only went down 2 places, setting ourselves up to take the Headship back in the near future. Thank you to the crew for their unfailing commitment, and to Lianne for turning round a desperate situation with her formidable training plan. (Alex)

1. Holding Maggie Off
2. Holding On
3. Pushing Off the Bridge
[more...]


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