The Club's Results
Lent Term 2015
1st men's VIII
I can't match John's report - although I will echo the thanks to Neil, and extend them to Rob Stroud, who subbed into M1 with approximately an hour's notice.
This was a reasonably solid row, aiming to consolidate on a number of changes the crew had made over the last couple of weeks in a long, high-ish rate piece. We held 34 down the course, and had the added interest of coming up sharply on a Cantab's VIII in the later stages of the race. The race plan was to focus on the back and front ends in successive 2 minute focuses down the course, and I think this was reasonably effective. We struggled a little in the penultimate kilometre as we hit some wash, and some slightly disturbing noises from the 2 seat in the second half suggested that Alex *may* have been having some forearm/wrist issues.
Kudos to M2 for being so close - I think the difference in crew average 2k suggests this was a massive result for them! Conversation in the car afterwards with Neil indicates that M2 are getting their legs down, which I think is the next big change to come for us. More speed to come.
While possibly not the prettiest rowing, today was a collected and disciplined row. A well-sat start moved us into a good position to settle into our racing rhythm. A bit of adrenaline pushed the ratings somewhat, but we got into a nice rhythm on first post reach and steadily gained on Christ's through the corners. Coming onto the long reach we were getting close and had plenty left in the tank to just steadily continue moving up until we got the bump. Though not observable from the 6-seat, Christ's reportedly were a bit slow to concede resulting in a Christ's blade running underneath our bow section. Nice solid bump.
Although not rowing particularly cleanly due to wash and adrenaline, we stuck with our race plan and rowed our confident 34 throughout. No massive gains were ever made, but we brought down the distance consistently from the start. Upon hearing the Christ's cox coming out of Ditton we again pushed forward and finished off the race. The eventual concession saw Christ's cox hit hard by bow's blade, after their stroke's blade had been sucked somewhere underneath our bows. A good race, and a thoroughly enjoyable first bump for me!
We believed Maggie would be caught reasonably quickly today, and so we raced to Ditton. Settled off a good start onto a good 35/6, and came into First Post corner just about a length from Queens'. Lost a bit of speed round the corner, probably due to large wash, and then never really got the firm, sent rhythm we had previously. Sat at just outside a length to Ditton, blew as per our race plan, and then were moved away from by Queens' and Maggie, who had a great row to hold off Queens'.
Overall, committed really well to a race plan, executed it to the best of our ability, didn't pull it off. Looking forward to tomorrow's racing!
We approached the race slightly differently to the previous day's, instead relying on going off unsustainably hard to get the bump as opposed to grinding Queens' down over the course. The start was solid and we moved to just over a length at first post corner, holding our rhythm from the previous day but with greater power application.
Queens' held us at this distance more or less until the end of Plough Reach and possibly into the entrance to Ditton. We lost the send we had slightly through the corners and never really managed to recover it, with Pembroke, Maggie, Queens' and us all churning up the river significantly past the Plough. Out of Ditton we blew as expected, and then rowed over without crews behind.
Today, we decided to revert to our first day plan of hitting a solid 34 and seeing what happened. We executed this pretty well, staying on a better rhythm than yesterday, and moving away from Peterhouse over the first half of the course. Down First Post we again moved on to almost a length from Queens', before they held and then moved again, bumping Maggie somewhere on the Reach. After this, we just took it home, lifting somewhat ineffectively when Peterhouse attempted a stupidly late wind and sprint to catch us. Pembroke must have wound down pretty hard, as we finished about a length and a half from them.
In other news, a BNY Mellon fleece is warm, but when wearing Ali's I feel like a very small child.
After the tail-end of the W1 division saw a re-row, the race got under way. Moving off the start in a similar fashion to the previous day we again gained on Queens' to slightly more than a length before being held round the corners. This time we held our rhythm through first post and the Gut before losing it on the entrance to Grassy (I assume due to the amount of wash) and then getting it back on the exit.
They moved to outside station on us coming out of Ditton, and down the Reach we didn't quite get the same rhythm back. Queens' then bumped Maggie somewhere near the kink leaving us to deal with Peterhouse whom we'd held comfortably so far. In the last 200m of the Reach they began to lift closing to a (somewhat suspect) whistle's distance away which spurred them on further to an equally dubious two whistle's distance.
Although they were making up ground past the railway bridge we got our long, confident strokes back at this point and sat in our sustainable rhythm until the finish. Credit to Peterhouse as they clearly threw the kitchen sink at us until the end. Overall a good row, and we're now looking forward to chasing Maggie tomorrow!
I was pretty fired up for this, and judging by the row down, so was everyone else. It felt pretty special to be in the boat today.
I was bumped by Maggie in my first ever Bumps race, and subsequently bumped by them again, 20 strokes from the finish, in my first Mays. Now I'm even. We sat on our 34, and got the legs on down the reach, with the rate maybe dropping a couple of pips as we came into the headwind round Ditton. This was where we took the race to Maggie, getting our first whistle somewhere around the spinning zone, and our second whistle by the white house.
The second whistle was gotten not only through the better rhythm of our crew, but also the incredibly tight line taken by Tom next to the Queens' and Pembroke crews that had bumped out. His lines have been fantastic this week - we have the GoPro footage to prove it. This got us about half a length in 200m.
At two whistles we moved to an unsustainable power, and started to make some real inroads. At about the railway bridge we decided that it was getting a little close to the finish for comfort, and we went again. What followed was possibly the most satisfying push I've ever been involved in. There was an awesome lift in power, and we munched the last quarter of a length up.
Having caught Maggie, Alex crabbed, Bence collapsed, and Neil T threw his phone in the river. Despite Neil's best attempts to drown himself, only two of these were rectified before the row home.
Finishing what might be my last Lent Bumps race with such a good race was special. We may have failed in Operation Tripod, but we can be proud with our efforts this week. Let's make sure we start May Term with ALL THE WATTS.
It has been quite a turnaround since my last bumps - having experienced the lows of spoons 12 months ago to have gone out and rowed with this crew was pretty special. Even at the boathouse the aggression and intent was clear, and we channeled that well in the warm-up. The only previous race I had against Maggie was losing in the final of Clare Novices, so the incentive to hit back was there.
The race itself was all a bit of a blur. With conditions being poor on the start line we began our start fairly well and moved on Maggie slightly. Peterhouse behind us really attacked us off the start, getting an early whistle but only closing to a length at most before dropping back. Meanwhile, our chase began in earnest.
We settled on to our rate well, taking the corners as they came until conditions again deteriorated coming round Ditton. It was here we strode into our headwind rhythm and again made inroads into Maggie getting our first whistle I think. With Queens' bumping Pembroke ahead of us Maggie took a wider line whilst Tom brought us close (despite our bank party's calls) in a perfectly judged line. Thanks to this we gained about half a length in 200m, moving to within quarter of a length.
On hearing two whistles the crew lifted again, and again on three. We stayed at three for what felt like a long time; Maggie here pushed and held off the charge coming through the railway bridge. Then we went again. Tom's call of "They're going to fail" led the surge and we went through them eventually holding it up 10 strokes before the line, although we later learned the bump had been awarded earlier. The reaction from the crew and bankparty was terrific - certainly this was the most exciting and rewarding race I've ever been a part of. It has been a pleasure to row with these guys, and I cannot wait for what May Term holds.
158th overall; 34rd in IM3 category; Halladay position 31
Since John has given a pretty good summary of the race prep during the several days of training on the tideway I will just talk about the race itself.
After a quick early morning outing with the full crew for the first time since Tuesday (trying to get Sam and Rob up to speed with our technical changes and adjusting the crew order yet again) and then having to pull in to replace our cox box midway through the paddle to marshalling we finally made it to the start line. We set off at a solid 34, finding our rhythm and moving through Eton Excelsior ahead of us. We managed to maintain this through the first 4 or 5 km as the chasing boat of Fitz began to fall away.
Another overtake happened slightly later and we began to creep slowly up on Emma without ever moving to within a few lengths. Unfortunately, the good rhythm that we had set-up in the first 5k fell apart coming through Hammersmith Bridge and round the mile post we were not moving anywhere near as effectively. It was a disappointing last stretch of the race, but no doubt something that the crew can learn from. As Matt is so fond of saying, there's plenty more speed to find!