The Club's Results

Lent Bumps 2016

1st men's VIII

Coxed by: Emily Gordon

Wednesday
Bumped by LMBC
Nerves ran high. For more than half the boat it was the first set of bumps in M1. Our pre-paddle yesterday evening was gorgeous - beautiful sunset over glassy water and very relaxed rowing. Today, as on any day of bumps, we faced a challenge. Ahead: Pembroke , Queens, Jesus. Behind: LMBC. We reckoned that we could get Pembroke over the course, but the chances of them catching the less than impressive Queens were depressingly high. If we rowed over behind a Pembroke-on-Queens bump we would be able to get Queens tomorrow. Overall a very good chance of going up 3 over the four days. 
Alas, it was not to be. An ok start saw us stay on station with Pembroke, who bumped Queens much later than they should have done (Queens practically went backwards, but the Pembroke cox took awful lines). Poor clearing saw my blade hitting something (a blade?) hard as but we came round grassy, but we came out of it fine. Good thing that the 'soft hands' we have been working on all term weren't too soft. Our race plan - go hard, with pushes out of all the corners up to Ditton was excecuted well. At Ditton, we were on station with Maggie and I thought that we had a reasonable chance of rowing over ahead of them. We gained a solid rythmn at 36-7 and it felt good.  At the kink Maggie suddenly started to move and Ed called for a "Gut push". 10 legs, 5 finishes, 10 backs. We held them off for a while, but they began to move again and we called for another push. Going under the railway bridge they had closed to half a length. The handbrake came off, the rate came up and we held them for a while longer. But not long enough - they simply had another gear that we did not have, and our race finished just before Peter's posts, in exactly the same place that we bumped them on the last day last year. 

Although the result was not the one we wanted, I didn't personally feel down for too long - we had been bumped fair and square by a faster crew. I think members of the crew who were in last year's Lent VIII were hurting more. Perhaps we would have been able to hold them off for a few more lengths, but not for the 90 seconds required to row over. We rowed very well and I think to the best of our ability. If we row the same way that we did today, I will be very pleased and we will do well. 
(Jake Rowe)
Going into the day there were nerves, but also plenty of reasons to be confident. The crew was quick, well-drilled and ready to execute the race plan. A scrappy-ish start saw us move slightly inside station on Pembroke, but soon there were whistles for them and sure enough Queens were hit somewhere coming out of First Post or in the Gut: some evasive steering and a clash of Jake's blade on Pembroke's stern didn't dampen our rhythm and having gotten through the worst of the wash we managed a good lift out of Grassy.

Pushing hard out of Ditton we were holding Maggie on about station, settling onto a strong, pressed-out 36-37. At this point Maggie started to move up on us; we responded in kind and did our best to close them out, but moving out of the railway bridge we threw everything at them as they sat at half a length. Sadly they found another gear and ground us down, their bow ball hitting Emily's arm just past Peter's posts and a couple hundred metres short of the finish. It hurt bitterly, but with a calmer head I can say there's nothing we would have changed in our execution - while not the result we wanted we can be proud of the performance and are looking forward to a positive few days to come.
(A. Strange)
Thursday
Rowed over
After the disappointment of yesterday's bump by Maggie, confidence in a rowover was high.  The cannon didn't even seem that loud, despite its proximity. A good start saw us move on LMBC getting inside 1 1/4 lengths. However, we were correct in predicting that the four crews ahead of us would bump out fairly early and that we would be subject to a short intense period of spectularly choppy water going into grassy. Luckily they cleared much quicker than yesteday and we were able to row onto clean water pretty soon. We executed our plan to sprint to Ditton before settling onto a solid 34. Actually it wasn't that solid. It was a bit scrappy and instead of opening up the gap between us and Peterhouse and finishing the race nice and early we slightly minced down the course doing 85% pushes and maintained 2-4 boat lengths all the way to top finish. Did the job though. 
Comedy whistle from Peterhouse's bank party as they ran out of towpath at the P&E to try and urge their crew to not give in to the gaining Robinson.
Overall not the prettiest race, but did the job it needed to. Excited for a shorter race tomorrow. 
(Jake Rowe)
Putting the previous day's trials behind us, we went out and executed what we needed to. It wasn't particularly pretty, and we didn't kill off the chasing Peterhouse's race as effectively as we should have - we moved away when pushes were called for and allowed them to come back into it slightly whilst in our steady rhythm. Despite this they never troubled, staying somewhere between 2-4 lengths away down the course. The coming few days should have good prospects and will hopefully give an exciting end to the week. (A. Strange)
Saturday
Rowed over
Ugly, but effective.  The start was decent, and we moved quickly to a length on Queens' with gears left in the tank.  Pushing into 1st post corner, we hit some wash and lost our cool a bit.  Despite having neither style nor substance, we continued to move on them through the Gut.  At this point we all sensed that the bump was inevitable and we got two whistles going round Grassy and were held for a few strokes.  Down Plough reach we slowly ate them up until we got overlap.  Two massive strokes were enough to complete the bump, although we all agreed it should have happened sooner.
The gain train rolls on to Saturday.
(Jedge)
Today was a bit like Thursday, where we did the job but could have done it better. The row down was clean and clinical; sadly we didn't carry that well into the race. We had a good start and got our first whistle 20 strokes or so in. Round First Post and into the Gut we allowed the boat to roll around but continued to eat them up slowly. Coming out of Grassy we moved again on them to 3 whistles and had overlap nearing Ditton and hit them somewhere near the entrance to the corner. Once their stern had disappeared underneath my rigger I was able to lean over and hit their stern rather loudly, much as Ed did with Maggie last Lents, but sadly there was no GoPro to dislodge this time to avenge the unsuccessful 'Operation Tripod' of last year. Overall a good result, but a performance with room for improvement. (A. Strange)
Awesome row up to the start. "Cool and clinical", as planned. 
The cannon master turned up the reverb today, as I regained hearing we seemed to be in the middle of a fairly good start and soon had gained half a length on Queens' and a whistle to show for it.
This was the end of anything resembling good rowing, and we stayed at 1 whistle until we reached the gut. A low-flying drone and pack of very yappy dogs momentarily took my attention before we started to turn into Grassy. The exit of grassy saw two whistles and a large FaT contingent on the bank cheering us on. It also saw us encounter a monstrous amount of wash. The quality of the rowing did not really improve (not hugely surprising given that there were waves crashing over the riggers), butwe were able to close the distance on Queens' before catching them with two massive strokes.
Although we bumped up, the general mood was that we could have rowed far better. So ready to go large tomorrow for the chase on Jesus. 
(Jake Rowe)

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