The Club's Results

Lent Bumps 2012

2nd men's VIII

Coxed by: Ellie Collins

Tuesday
Bumped by Downing II
We knew that the crews ahead of and behind us were fast, but we also knew that we had really improved as a crew even in the past week.
We held Downing II to station off the start, though it was not quite as composed as the practice ones we did on the way down. However, they then began to close on us and caught us on the Gut.
A disappointing result, but I think we gave a really committed row. We need to go into tomorrow confident (but not complacent) and not afraid to try to bump Downing II back over the length of the course. (Chris E.)
If we were in any doubt as to the importance of today, the exuberance of our bow-man's 'drop and roll' getting the boat out washed away that uncertainty. The row down was probably our best rowing all term, and our practice starts were undeniably rapid (they have to be when Caius are nearby). However, I remain unconvinced that rowing the whole reach at race pace was necessarily the best of plans...

Our real race was a bit too 'Taken' - aggressive, panicky and too short. Perhaps we should have a team viewing of 'The Watchmen' before our next race, so we can be long, boring and painful. Indeed I do think shortness is a problem of the crew as a whole (I'm talking about length, not bow pair), which ought to be improved upon. So yeah, they hit us in the gut. Sub-optimal.

"Hit by Downing II. Pulled in on the inside of grassy. #bumped #FaTproblems"

Anyway, to quote arguably the best rowing coach of all time: "Yeah, but they have to go back to Downing" (Pete)
Disappointing result to be bumped on the first day, however I felt that the rowing was committed and particularly strong on the way up. Downing were clearly always going to be a fast crew, and unfortunately off the start we panicked slightly and never quite had the opportunity to settle.

We will definitely have that opportunity on Thursday. Being chased by a slower crew and with a bit more calm at the start (though I am going to be inventing ever more inventive commando rolls for getting the boat out) we can settle into a steady state rhythm, settle down and give Downing a run for their money over the entire length of the course. (Millsy)
Thursday
Rowed over
A long, committed race. Well done keeping composure through the course and some great lines from Ellie. So you might have been helped a bit by Jesus' exploratory lines Jesus behind you, but you should be proud of a strong row. More of the same tomorrow - go for Caius! (Allen)
Off the start we remained roughly on station with the crews around us. At about First Post Corner, Jesus II were closing a bit on us and apparently they got to within a length of us. However, they then took a very poor line around Grassy Corner (narrowly escaping the outside of the corner) and another poor line around Ditton, while Ellie steered us very tightly around the corners, giving us a bit more breathing space, and we rowed over about on station with them.

The rowing felt more confident and in control today, and we did well to keep calm throughout. However, our cover was not as good as it has been, so we have room to improve that and gain boat speed through efficiency.

Tomorrow we again have Jesus II chasing us. After today we can be very confident, but we mustn't be complacent. They will be looking to go harder off the start and take tighter lines around the corners, which may put us under more pressure. We need to stay in control but push out the cover more, and see if we can catch Caius II. (Chris E.)
Josh's miserably failed attempt to limbo under the boat (it's not like he doesn't start close enough to the ground) epitomised a low-key day of racing. In a very deliberate, pre-meditated reversal of day 1, we decided to paddle down to the start like absolute spanners and save our decent rowing for the actual race. Smart decision lads.

Fear was struck into us however, when while marshalling we observed about half of the women's crews returning with fewer than 9 people in the boat. Not knowing what women-eating dangers lay in the waters ahead, we proceeded cautiously, being careful not to row too fast, for fear of losing our cox.

Our start was a bit scrappy, but adequate. Jesus II behind us closed slightly, getting a probably optimistic whistle from their bank party. Credit must go to Ellie for not letting her curiosity get the better of her, as the Jesus cox decided to explore the previously unchartered waters of grassy and ditton corners. So we rowed over without too much drama, staying on station pretty much the entire way. Credit should also go to the whole crew for accurately judging the level of exertion of their opposite man in the Jesus boat, and matching (without exceeding) it.

Having now mapped out the entire Cam (in a collaborative venture with Lolcatz and the Newnham garden party) we can expect Jesus to take more of a 'racing' line tomorrow: "Make straight the way of the Lord" (John 1:23). We must be prepared for this, and not panic if the gap is slightly less comfortable. (Pete)
Friday
Rowed over
I feel that we did not row as well in the race today as on previous days. Our practice starts had been good but our actual start was not so good. Jesus II were evidently having a big push to try to catch us early and they did manage to get quite close. I think we reacted with panic and shortening up, and never really settled into a proper rhythm or got much cover. Nonetheless, we did hold them off until they faded around Grassy (as well as taking another interesting 'line'). We had a better patch of rowing on the Plough Reach when we moved away from them and they were then bumped by LMBC II. We then rowed rather messily to the finish.
What was encouraging about today is that despite Jesus II getting a lot closer behind us this time we stayed committed and held on, and when we had an off stroke we managed to recover and get on with the next one.
Tomorrow we really need to focus on staying calm, keeping the focus in our boat, keeping the length in the stroke and pushing out the cover, as LMBC II are not going to give us any slack. We need to make sure we finish on a high with no regrets. (Chris E.)
To continue the theme of the week, our race was reflected by Josh's boathouse showpiece, this being a very long and tedious way of achieving what should have been a fairly easy task. I hate to say I told you so, but for some reason we once again decided to row down to the start quite well, storing up all our bad rowing for the race. When will we learn?

In comparison to our very tidy practice start, our actual one was about as wild as Silvio Berlusconi's leaving party. Thankfully no-one caught crabs though (you can, and indeed we did, make a full recovery from mini-crabs.) With Jesus keeping a close eye on us, it would probably have been wise to stop this nonsense and behave ourselves, but we carried on regardless.

Behind us, we were expecting Jesus to be caught fairly quickly by LMBC, which would have given us a bit of breathing space. However, the sneaky Jesuans realised this too, and decided to implement a very short race plan. Coupled with our very short strokes, this led to Jesus getting within a canvas of our stern around first post. We pulled away with a push at grassy, as Jesus went wide again then seemed to blow up, allowing John's to bump them around the Plough. We laboured to the line with no pressure from Sidney behind, and no realistic expectation of catching Caius ahead.

Job done today, but a big improvement needed for tomorrow. (Pete)
Several (at least 2) mini-crabs near the start let Jesus get closer than they should have, but we held them off until Maggie bumped them. We didn't row well, but we did row over. (James Scott-Brown)
Saturday
Bumped by LMBC II
It's often noted that final day race reports rarely get written. It's because we're too busy celebrating/commiserating. A good week's racing lads; shame about today's result though.

Sent from my iPub. (Pete)
We knew that we had a rather fast LMBC II crew behind us, and that we needed to really increase the quality of rowing from the previous day.
Our start was still rather messy, and LMBC II quite quickly got within a length of us. They then continued to close on us, albeit more gradually. In the Gut as they got very close, we had some strong pushes that picked up the boat speed and held them off for a bit longer; however, we ended up getting bumped just as we were approaching Grassy Corner.
Our quality of rowing was better than yesterday but probably still not as good as on Thursday. I do feel that we were persistently tidier in the practice starts and bursts on the way down than in the actual races, so calmness is definitely something that we can work on.
Nevertheless, I think that we can be pleased with our effort and commitment, and we probably did as well as we could from our starting position in Bumps. It should be remembered that the first outing we had in the actual Bumps crew was just before Pembroke Regatta, and we did really bring things together in the 10 days between then and the start of Bumps. (Chris E.)

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