The Club's Results
May Term 2017
2nd men's VIII
Beat Clare M2 by not scratching, proceeded into the plate upon request in the heats and Lost to Emmanuel M2 by 1.5 lengths in the plate semi finals
Plate semi finals
Lost to Emmanuel M2 by 1.5 lengths
Lost to Emmanuel M2 by 1.5 lengths
I am adding a report because I think the result gives an unfair outlook of our crew's rowing at the time.
Emmanuel M2 had an extremely fast start, and gained about a quarter of a length on us at the beginning, but we had a powerful rhythm call after our wind strokes and began gaining back on them. However, we were maybe a seat down when our blades started clashing. After about 20 seconds of aggressive and continuous blade clashing, several of our crew (myself included) momentarily stopped rowing - while Emmanuel didn't. And we lost.
However, in the sparing we had just a week after this race, we proved ourselves to be the faster crew (despite having had 0 outings inbetween, while Emmanuel did), coming out on top on all 4 pieces we had.
Bumped Clare II
Bumped Clare II
Well no one expected that result. Many out of FaT on the messageboards doubted us. So did a lot of the Club itself, and in all honesty a few of the crew probably secretly thought we'd be taking our first step down this week.
I have never been in a more exhilarating race. Pembroke stayed about a length away from us until the reach whilst we were grinding into the station of length between us and Clare.
A strong Bumps push after Griffiths' roar coming round Ditton spurred us on for our Bump into Clare. I am very excited to see how much we can surprise the rest of the University in the next three days.
Ra ra First and Third.
Clare M2 had merely adopted the wash. First and Third M2 had been born in it, moulded by it, we didn't see a well-sat boat until the first day of bumps, by then it was nothing to us but a luxury. The wash betrays you because it belongs to us.
This bumps campaign had me witness the two most exciting Bumps races I've ever seen, and this was undoubtedly one of them. It is true that Clare M2 had been vying with Caius M2 for the honour of the fastest M2 on the river, neither crew being particularly slower than our M1, and both crews being considerably faster than our M2 all term. However, when this crew rocketed off the startline, it was clear that the river belonged to First and Third M2.
The crew absolutely gurned their way down the course, cutting through the wash and munching up a fast crew. Let it be known - Clare M2 was fast, but FaT M2 was rapid. Clare looked devastated, we looked elated.
Massive props to Rachel, whose coxing got my adrenaline going like crazy when we came round Ditton. Awesome. Well deserved bump guys.Â
After a clean but gentle start, we gained on the crews around us for maybe 30 seconds. Then we hit wash and wind and started rowing worse than yesterday, and made no more gainz. The rate dropped perilously low. Fortunately, after doing this for a minute or so, we started pushing a bit harder, and we ended up spearing Darwin coming into grassy. Hopefully with more consistency and effort, we can punish naughty Downing tomorrow for their heinous bumping of our M1. And if not, I shall at least get a monster workout in preparation for my alpine holiday next week. Yeah M2!!
Knowing that Clare was inside station on Downing when Downing bumped Darwin yesterday at station 3, we were confident in bumping Darwin. Personally, some of that confidence subsided as the start we did down Plough Reach were some of the worst we've done in the past few weeks.
Despite the start which had neither the rate nor the platform of the one yesterday, we gained half a length on Darwin very easily. However, we sat at one length for far longer than was expected or needed, rowing messily down first post reach. At Rachel and Fordy's call for finishes, the standard of rowing (and boat speed) improved substantially, and we gained very quickly on Darwin, gaining the second whistle around first post corner and bumping before the entrance of grassy.
Definitely not the best row we've done, but it was enough to get the job done today. I am very excited for what the crew can bring to the table tomorrow chasing a much faster boat.
Definitely not our cleanest or most powerful row. We either lost our edge due to fear, or complacency. Either way, we still bumped Darwin coming into Grassy Corner (even if it sounded like Rachel had missed the bump).
Tomorrow's race with u chasing Downing M2 chasing Jesus M2 is sure to be a race to remember. All that is left now is to gear up for that and prepare to deliver as much pain to Downing as our legs give us. Ra ra First and Third.
Having spent the warmup trying to persuade the crew that Darwin would be really fast and that this would be a tough race, I suddenly started to believe my own propaganda when the gap stuck at half a length for a while around head station. A bellow of Â "finishes" combined with Darwin running out of puff and we got moving again before bumping at the exit of First Post corner (ignored by the umpire), getting the bowball past the cox (ignored by the umpire), and bumping for a third time as Darwin turned in for Grassy.Â
In lieu of an original composition, I will reproduce an appropriate excerpt from scripture, while taking care to be entirely faithful to the original text:
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to novice, and a time to leave;
a time to wind, and a time to rhythm; a time to bulk, and a time to cut;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to disband crews, and a time to gather crews together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to chase, and a time to fly; a time to bump, and a time to go down;
a time to time to hold, and a time to push; a time to keep silence, and a time to shout;
a time to catch, and a time to release; a time to race, and a time to rest.
What do rowers gain from their toil? I have seen the burden that FaT has laid upon them; none can fathom what FaT has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for them than to be happy and row well; that each of them may eat and drink and take pleasure in all their toil -- this is the gift of FaT. I know that everything FaT does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it. That which is, has already been; that which is to be, already is.
(Ecclesiastes 3, more or less)
Knowing that Downing II was faster than Jesus II, and that Sidney was going to get Darwin very early, we planned a 4(3?) minute race plan: aggressive start, then rhythming to a powerful 38 and chaining 10-stroke pushes until we bump Downing or Downing bumps Jesus.Â
Both the paddle down and the start down plough reach was committed, clean and powerful, certainly the best I've ever done. The crew got excited as the bump on Downing suddenly seemed an imminent possibility.Â
As per plan, we set off with explosive start and a powerful rhythm, but it seemed as if we underestimated Downing (or they also went very hard off the start), as we never significantly gained on them, staying on or slightly inside station for most of first post reach (despite covering it 4 splits quicker than we had on Wednesday). Around first post corner, Peter shouted that Downing was to bump Jesus "in the next 10 strokes": disappointing, but it seemed that a relatively easy row over with no threat from behind and no prey ahead awaited.Â
How wrong I was. Downing somehow managed to miss a certain bump, and kept blowing up just enough to give Peter hope that we could get them. Our entire crew blew up somewhere along plough reach, but Rachel continued to call for pushes down the Reach and past the railings, resulting in one of the most painful experiences in my (albeit short) rowing career. After Grassy, we never really settled to a nice rhythm, and never gained a whistle, despite their awful steering and crabs. A post-race analysis at crew pasta showed that we rowed down the Long Reach 20% slower than we rowed down first post reach (which was actually slower than our paddling), showing the crew's commitment to the 4-minute race plan and hence why we were unable to munch up Downing despite them having blown up.Â
Tomorrow, we get to try again, this time with a rapid Sidney crew from behind. (who will certainly get close) However, (with half the crew having been never bumped before) we are eager to embrace the pain and give it our all to hold them off. Whatever the result tomorrow, I am very to proud to have been part of this crew. We have already far exceeded expectations and avoided what seemed like certain spoons, and I have faith that what carried us so far this term will help us gain the result we want tomorrow.Â
Simultaneously the fastest (in the first minute) and the least-sat rowing I have done in several years of bumps, intriguing...
Bumped by Sidney Sussex
Bumped by Sidney Sussex
Certainly the most elegant rowing we have done in bumps so far, settling into a clean (for once) rhythm, rating in the high 30s. I was impressed that Sidney were able to close so fast given how much better we seemed to be rowing today, they are a very fast crew, unlike in many of the past years. I think we did a good job nonetheless, and have never begrudged a bump less. M2 has much to be proud of for making so many improvements in the past few weeks and in the week of bumps itself, especially given how new many of them are to the sport. An enjoyable campaign.
Our plan on the last day was to aim for a row over, hoping that Downing tries (and fails) something similar to what they did on Friday, and blow somewhere along the Reach. We knew that Sidney was faster than us: the plan was to not panic even if they move up on us, and do a push and move away if they get to half a length.
Personally, the "not panic" part worked a bit too well. We had a very clean start, and settled to a powerful but sustainable rhythm. Having experienced moving away from Pembroke when they got to less than a length down the gut on day 1, I never considered getting bumped a realistic possibility (especially considering how well we seemed to be rowing) until Sidney moved to half a length on us. (probably less, it is a bit difficult to judge distances from bow) Then Rachel called for a bumps push but Sidney already had the momentum - we got bumped around first post corner.Â
Sidney was a fast crew, even by M1 standards, so I do not feel very bad about getting bumped: as Peter and David told us after the race, there was always some inevitability about this bump. In fact I feel that M2 has much to be proud of this term, considering that we ended up 5 places above where most people (including Peter and myself) expected us to be at the end of this bumps campaign.Â