The Club's Results
Drumps, Lent Term 2016
Coxed by: Emily Gordon
Sitting in the start room we were hearing tales of other crews being late to marshalling and having prior alcoholic consumption and were therefore fairly confident. Our Drumps warmup had been excellent: a large Peroni each in Pizza Express we thought would prepare us well for anything the other crews could throw at us. Furthermore we had a last minute addition to the crew in the form of the future Mrs Williams. We anxiously awaited the firing of the gun, ready to take the first chug.
Room 1: Fosters'
We had elected to use a cheap Australian lager, which in hindsight was probably not such a 'good call'. The beer was incredibly gassy and an impromptu belching contest occurred with no clear winner. Ed demolished a can in record time, while the rest of us took a slightly more conservative approach. With a few grizzled veterans on the crew this room was not too much trouble; although the girls were not particularly keen on beer they did manage to hold it down, unlike some people...
Room 2: Prosecco
Emboldened from what we thought was a pacy start, we began our push into the corners. However, we soon realised that Ed had disappeared - he had gone for a tactical in the Angel Court toilets. Nevertheless he quickly rejoined us for what was probably the easiest room of the night: a glass of prosecco each. Slightly distracted by the room owner's homemade incest chart, we took the rate up, necked it and moved on.
Room 3: Sainsbury's basic lager + Shots
Emily and Hannah hoyed back the shots before I even had a chance to see what they were, however it was the lager that caused us the first real trouble of the night. Having accidentally ingested some Tideway water last year, I can honestly say that it still made for a better drink than Sainsbury's basics lager. At this point we we under pressure from a thirsty Grad boat, who had us at overlap and were swigging like nobody's business. By moving together as a crew we managed to hold them off and moved on to the next room in Wolfson.
Room 4: Sherry
This was a slog. I'm not sure which of the other crews contained an 80 year old woman - or maybe freshers drink sherry now? While Emily was recovering from the efforts of the previous push we passed around the glass. This was a real team effort - the Drumps equivalent of a long reach push. Most of us had hit the red line by this point and the previous drinks were not sitting well. Somehow we managed to put some clear water between us and our pursuers and we moved on to Blue Boar for the push off the proverbial railway bridge.
Room 5: I don't even know what that was supposed to be
For a man on crutches Shearme moved surprisingly quickly, but not quickly enough to avoid being locked out. No matter though because the rest of us got lost and had to go back for him anyway. In the final room we were presented with something that can only be described as an afterbirth in a cup. Someone had tried to make something appetising and instead made something appalling. A particularly heroic effort from Jon to see off the last glass of this foul swill meant we were done and ready for the final sprint to the finish.
Hannah led the way to Great Gate, but tripped on a step and fell. I found this so amusing that I stopped looking where I was going and tripped on the same step. We made it back to rejoin the other crews and while the others discussed the race I introduced myself to a friendly postbox.
With the technical failure of commem running late, we nervously awaited the start of our maiden drumps race not entirely sure of what to expect. We'd already been for a race warm up at pizza express, choosing to add a large peroni to our meal to get our enzymes running at full speed. The signs of what were yet to come became very foreboding when the wolf of wall street (drumps master himself) turned up with fosters in place of the shots we had planned for our station. Naively we expected this would play to our advantage as we'd not get held up here with the volume as we'd be fresher.
As the guns fired, Jedge warned us of the need to defend our livers and dignity, warnings in retrospect we should have heeded. With the go cannon we proceeded to try to down what I can only describe as carbonated urine. The men on the team all saw off their cans with little difficulty, with incredible technique shown by Ed in finishing strong and being the first crew member in getting on to his second can. The girls employed our tactical disposable cups and ensured that the fosters posed no real threat. After a brief 15 second settle to release the carbonation, we pushed on into the first corner (of Angel C staircase) and moved on to room two.
After a solid start, we settled into a nice rhythm and saw off the glass of prosecco each with little difficulty in room two. That was until we realised that we still had one glass left. It turns out Ed had gone wide on the previous corners as a result of catching a crab. I took care of an extra tap (of prosecco) to get our crew back on course and, having regrouped, we pushed on to the middle part of the race.
As should be expected, this was definitely the hardest part of the race. The rush to Wolfson was quite an effort, and proved our brief settle to handle carbonation was far from sufficient. Shearme proved that even handicapped by crutches, his speed was lightning quick. As we arrived at station three, the need for a traditional push was very clear. At this point the issue of volume was becoming very clear and we were not pleased to see the basics feast lying before us. The female members of the crew made a solid effort in lifting the spirits, but here were bitter feelings for the men's four with what lay in front of us. We really struggled to pick the rate back up to our Angel speed. At this point the grad boat arrived and we were seriously at risk of being drumped. We tried to lift the rate and move clear of overlap, however Shearme quickly realised that the grad boat we in fact the crew we were chasing. We then started to celebrate an early drump. However, Shearme then told us he had messed up and the grad boat had two rooms in incorrect order and essentially we were on station. At this point we relaxed and took time to avoid an unnecessary crab in the gut. As the crew behind us arrived in order to take our first real overlap we upped the rate, and a gargantuan effort from a revitalised Ed saw us complete the push and we moced away from an uncomfortable overlap.
We arrived in room four to find a frankly horrifying task in front of us. We noticed that we'd finally managed to drop Shearme but pressed on anyway, fearing the real risk of being drumped. As we handed round the god awful sherry, we noticed we'd lost our cox as she'd got her line wrong on the way up the stairs. In the absence of a clear leader, the crew managed as strong a push as they could but we simply couldn't hold a high enough rate. We forced progress, and eventually Emily corrected her line and brought a very keen chasing crew with her. Once again we were at overlap and in real risk. Inspired by the arrival of our cox I decided to take one for the crew and pressed out four strong finishes to leave us with no more work to do in this reach (at this point I had forgotten about the pure hell that awaited us in the final room, this would render this heroic effort somewhat naive).
We hastened on to the final station, bouyant by having moved away from overlap yet again. We arrived to find 8 abominations of curdled lord only knows what mixed with suspiciously crimson looking fluid. Shearme offered the advice of treating them like an oyster and just being done with it. This was not enough to convince some members of the team to drink(/eat) these things and so we found ourselves with two cups left to finish. In a case of sheer desperation for this to be over I once again stepped up to the plate and helped us finish strong.
I am told that on the way to top finish, Hannah and Jedge managed to catch a bit of chop and this slowed the crew down. I myself missed this as I caught an overhead crab in the closing moments of the race, but immediately pushed through to help the crew finish a strong race. We'd managed to put in a strong effort in rowing over, as Jedge took great pleasure in explaining to an incredibly attentive post box.
All in all a strong result for a relatively inexperienced team.