The Club's Results

Lent Bumps 2016

3rd men's VIII

Crew list for 3 races:

Coxed by: Sayana Turpin-Aviram

Crew list for 1 race:

Coxed by: Sayana Turpin-Aviram

Tuesday
Rowed over
Our row up began with some impressive paddling. Our hours and hours of roll-ups meant that our first strokes were always near-perfect, and our early 'easy there's meant we had plenty of opportunities to sit the boat at arms away and intimidate all of the surrounding crews. Our first burst to rate 24 on the reach went just as well as the paddling, followed by a burst "to rate 28" which 'somehow' made it to race pace. This second burst was by far the best rowing we've ever done as a crew, and it definitely improved our confidence for the race ahead. Sadly this amazing burst did not last. We were distracted by some shouting women who were clearly taken aback by our amazing rowing (thanks W2 ;) ) and so our form fell apart and we were forced to wind it down.

We made our way around Ditton (without crashing, which was nice), and set ourselves up for our practice start. As an intimidation tactic (100% true), I intentionally took an air stroke on our first stroke, just so we could prove to the crew ahead that we didn't even need 8 proper rowers to catch up to them. Aside from that, the start went well, and we were hyped for the race to begin.

After managing to marshall an impressive 25 minutes late ('entirely' because of M4 taking out 801 before us), we arrived at our start position with our spirits high. This was the first bumps race for every person in the boat and our first actual race as a set crew, so we were all quite nervous. Just as we reached the bank, I enquired as to the possibility of exiting the boat - but alas, before my question could be answered the 4 minute cannon went off, and suddenly everyone became rather frantic. Tessellating lions and other not race kit was removed, and we waited for the next bang. My suggestions of positive visualisation exercises went down about as well as suggesting we raced square-blades. (Not backing down there, by the way, I still think positive visualisation a good idea.)

One minute. 50. 40. 30. 25. 20. 15. 14. 13. 12. 11. 10. 9. 8. 7 - square up. 6. 5... Buried blades...

BANG.

The start went well, and we zoomed away. There is an amazing period of about 30 seconds at the start of every race were you feel like you're incredibly fit and that there's nothing in the world that could potentially slow you down, then all of that adenosine triphosphate runs out and you suddenly realise that you have to breath and do other slightly inconvenient things in order to continue rowing. We powered on. A partial crab around First Post Corner meant we lost some speed, and then we rowed past Magdalene and Peterhouse M2 who had stopped on the gut. At this point we realised that we were no longer rowing to bump, we were rowing to NOT get bumped, and we had to do this for another 2km, at least. This has a slightly de-motivational effect.

Robinson M2 did not get closer than one boat length away from us. They made a final, unsuccessful push on the reach, and then gave up. We flew away. After rowing to top finish (because why not?), we took 2 minutes rest to recover energy back into our lifeless shells, and then pathetically paddled home. Again, this was an intimidation tactic so that LMPC, who were in front of us, would underestimate us when we inevitably get to bump them on Friday.

A good start to what is bound to be a glorious four days. (Andrew)
Wednesday
Bumped Peterhouse II
I was a little nervous about my token rowing effort for the term being a bumps race, especially as I had rowed with no member of the crew before, and they were expecting the bump. Warming up on the ergs did nothing to allay my trepidation when I realised my legs were already rather sore from the earlier session. Luckily, the seat which had been vacated was at the sharp end of the boat, meaning that nobody could see my hopeless spannering.

The row down was amusing. We chased Peterhouse from outside of our boathouse, and our confidence grew as we saw that we kept catching up with them when they were rowing all-eight and we were rowing in sixes. This seemed to bode well for Thornton's promise that I would definitely not have to row over.

The last racing start I'd done was the Saturday of May's which broadly consisted of trying desperately not to get left behind as Barney aimed for as much above 50 as he could persuade the rest of us was manageable. Taking this as my starting point I made a miserable mess of the practice start and only got back vaguely in time with stroke at about the same time as we wound it down. I filed this under 'needs improvement'.

When the 4 minute gun went off the familiar array of nerves and resignation to the incipient pain came over everyone, along with (for me at least) a slice of disbelief and an overwhelming sense of 'here we go again...'. Then all was calm until the peace was shattered by eighteen boats trying desperately to churn up as much of the Cam and its bed as possible.

The start was significantly improved and we settled down onto a decent rhythm at a high rate. First Post Reach was uneventful until we got the shout from the bank that we'd closed to a length. Then things became a bit more confused as various people in the boat heard no distances at all, I heard Sam bellow 'moooviing' and we caught a mini crab somewhere in the entrance to the gut. This was recovered quickly and we carried on moving up, hearing half a length, some excited yelling from the towpath before their stern canvas appeared in the corner of my eye. We carried on moving up, I hit stroke's blade with mine and we held it up in the centre of the river.

What happened next was rather less impressive. Someone overhead crabbed, and between this and the noise we rather firmly stayed put. Sharp words from the bank and Sayana eventually led to us half-heartedly pootling bank-wards barely in time for Robinson to barrel past us. This was universally agreed not to have covered us in glory, although at this stage I was just thanking my lucky stars not to have crabbed in the race. Subbing in when things go well is great; subbing in and causing things to go badly I imagined would lose some of its charm.

Anyway, congratulations M3, thank you for letting me row with you, and the best of luck on the last two days!
(John)
Friday
Rowed over
We were "quite" excited at the prospect of bumping LMBC III. Crew chat on the previous night consisted mostly of speculating where the bump will occur - having seen Magdelene II bumped LMBC III and Peterhouse II at similar positions, we expected this bump to be as easy as bumping Peterhouse II. Unbeknownst to us, LMBC III had a big crab when they were bumped, so we underestimated them.

Our practise burst to race pace, while being very good, was just slightly under our burst on Tuesday. However, this time we were more focused, and despite the screams from W2, we kept our technique and made the "very good" last much longer.

So we pulled in to wait for the start. In what seemed like no time at all, the 3 guns went off, and the chase began.

Near first post corner, we heard 1 whistle. This was quite encouraging, but pain also started to creep in.

Having bumped Peterhouse II near Grassy corner on Wednesday, we realised as we went past Grassy that bumping LMBC III wouldn't be as easy. We took a mental hit, and combined with the pain, we stopped gaining on LMBC III, and stayed at 1 length thereafter. There were several calls for pushes, but with everyone already giving their all in hopes of bumping LMBC III, we weren't able to push harder and our speed was largely unaffected by the calls.

Nearing the P&E, we suddenly heard 1 horn, 2 horns, 3 horns, continuous horn, in a rapid succession. Then, someone shouted "hold it up". There might have been some relief that we've finally got our bump, but then we discovered that it was LMBC III overbumping Churchill II, Magdelene II and Clare Hall having bumped out. This is when we remembered the unusual sound of the horn - Iain, our boatman, had a whistle. Perhaps LMBC did not know how to obtain a whistle, and therefore needed someone to volunteer their musical instrument.

Seeing the shouts of LMBC III shattered our hopes. We really expected to bump. At worst, we thought, we both row over, and we'll still have another opportunity tomorrow. But LMBC III getting an overbump was not what we expected. It meant there'll be 3 crews between us, so bumping LMBC III must be left to future years.

Meanwhile, we still haven't crossed the finish line, and we're also in excruciating pain. Seeing the 4 crews behind us all bumped out, and the finish line only 200 metres away, we dejectedly took it to UT2, finished, and continued rowing home.

Even without being teased by the passing division 2 crews, we could sense the sadness in the boat. Sayana, our cox, spoke very little. However, our bitter feelings translated into a silent focus, and this UT2 was technically clean, if weak from the pain of having sprinted 2k.

This gloomy mood continued until we had our crew chat, when someone commented on our mood and asked "did someone die?", and finally we laughed.
(Peter)
Saturday
Bumped Churchill II
10 strokes of pure massive power almost resulted in the slaughter of an enemy crew-member. (Forbes)

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