Well it's fair to say not many people saw that coming. A result that certainly doesn't reflect the epic race that ensued with Jesus.
Coming in to bumps we were certainly seen by almost everyone as the underdogs. We are a very inexperienced crew, featuring only two previous M1 Mays rowers (and an M1 Mays cox now rowing). With three novice rowers and a novice cox this was always going to be a crew that only the test of bumps would show the true ability of. The loss of most of M1 from Lents to 'M3' certainly didn't help in this. Throughout term most other clubs also came to feel we were a spoonbarge waiting to happen based on race results. Even coming to 2 weeks out from bumps our confidence still had a long way to go. But 2 weeks with JPD is a magical thing, and we came into bumps with renewed confidence. It all seemed to come together with 2 outings to go, even with having lost our 7-man not one week before. We had a clear warm-up and race plan and felt as ready as we could be.
The row-up to the start was very nervy, as might be expected for an inexperienced crew. We didn't let that upset us, and sat and with calming words from JPD we were ready to go as the 4 minute cannon went. At this point we were going to be racing, and the true mettle of the crew would be tested in the fire of battle. We were calm as we pushed out and I felt like this was about to be a great piece, but would probably be a hard one. Little did I know what would follow...
We wound through a scrappy start to a peak of 43, before finding ourselves settling to 38. We made a rhythm call but this was no use in a crew determined to channel their adrenaline. We stuck with 38 into first post (much above the 34/5 we were aiming for). At this point we got our first MOOOOVVVIIINNNGGG call and I realised the race was on. Sod what all the (now replaced) messageboards had to say, we deserved outr place as M1. Coming through the gut we stuck to our 38 and were rewarded with 2 whistles. 2 weeks ago I wouldn't have believed this, but suddenly we'd got the enemy in our sights and the race was ours to take on. We kept pressing our 38 through grassy and moved this on to three whistles. The crew put everything into it at this point and pushed hard out of grassy. We never quite made it to overlap (I'm told) but boy did we throw everything we had at Jesus. At this point Downing were miles back and this wasn't the easy bump everyone predicted for us, but instead we really had a shot at Jesus.
As we settled into plough reach, the rate finally stepped down to 35 as our legs started to go from us. 3 1/2 minutes of our hands in the fire and we simply didn't have anything more left to give. That being said, we still fought on and were repeatedly told there was only a canvas in it. To be honest I was so far past the red line by the plough that I don't remember much of the next 3 minutes. Sophie said something about someone going wide in Ditton, I think we had a lift.
We had a solid reach, working as hard we still could. Jesus eased out a little on us but I'm told it was never more than 1/2 a length.I don't remember seeing them come up on us, but through the railings, Downing were suddenly 1/2 a length off and we were spent. They coasted up to about a canvas at the kink, and we pushed again holding them here for about a minute, until a few strokes from the railway bridge. Here they finally moved up on us, but we still reacted and held them again. I honestly thought at this point that we had them held. Unfortunately they were able to make one more lift and took 6 inches or so per stroke until they finally got us around Morley's Holt. I was feeling very much worse for the wear (sorry Matt and Sophie for seeing my lunch re-appear) but remember Downing immediately congratulating us on a great race.
The result does not reflect what the race looked like, but so is the nature of bumps. We had an absolute epic slug with Jesus and came so close to it, but just couldn't quite bump (memories of Mays 2014 Saturday...). Unfortunately, when battles like this happen, the chasing crew becomes easy prey for a more evenly-paced crew behind. As such Downing had the legs when our own battle ensued, but kudos to all 7 guys and Sophie that we held them at bay for so long (please can we not make me have to row so much if we don't row over).
It's fair to say that the 6 guys and Sophie who earned their M1 colours today deserved them and then some. One of the most epic races I've ever done, and a baptism of fire for the newbies. You've earned your stripes and then some, baptism of fire anyone?
Having moved out on Downing off the start, and getting so close to Jesus, I think we have surprised everyone (apart from me and hopefully most of the crew) and can hold our heads high. I can't wait to see what happens throughout the rest of the week.
Sounds like a pretty epic race! These are the kinds of bumps stories that will stick with you forever and can shape not just the rest of your bumps week but also affect your whole rowing career. Make sure you bring it to mind whenever you're up early for a tedious 3x6km erg in the dark in November... Looking forward to seeing where this takes you all. (RTT)
There were only 2 outings in the eventual race crew before Bumps itself, and things were not particularly tidy in our row to the start, but once the cannon went the past was gone and in my mind we had been rowing together for weeks if not years. The first few strokes were very messy (and I think there may have been an airstroke at some point), but then things gradually started coming together. On the rhythm call we did have rhythm, albeit at a substantially higher stroke rate than we were planning, and soon started getting whistles on Jesus M1 and moving away from Downing M1. By the time we were approaching Grassy, I (at Bow) could clearly hear the Jesus M1 cox near me sounding rather desperate, and I definitely thought that the bump was coming. Unfortunately, despite several consecutive pushes, we didn't make it to overlap. By the time we were at the Plough, the boat was feeling much heavier and although Jesus M1 never got far away, our impetus was gone. We kept rowing solidly, but we had spent ourselves and Downing M1 behind us started looming larger. As they closed up we fought hard to hold them off, but succumbed shortly after the Railway Bridge. I think our race performance exceeded expectations, and we can all be proud of stepping up to form this crew. But in the end we got bumped, and I will always ponder what might have been. (Chris E.)
Without a doubt the greatest race I've ever seen in any sport. What an legendary row for a top class bunch of guys. Pristine coxing from Sophie, awesome rhythm from Jon, and unmatched resolve from a crew that has been marred by setbacks all term.
Half the credit goes to JPD for his coaching wizadry; the other to the crew and especially Josh, Pete, Sam and Sophie who jumped into this crew in their first year of rowing and have risen to the challenge and then some. They will take their place as solid bastions of rowing at our club, and role models for the next generations. This crew earned beyond the shadow of a doubt its label of 1st Men's VIII on this day, with a row that will go down in the annals of history.
I will never forget the Jesus stern pair's face as our bowball danced at the tip of their stern. This is what rowing is all about. Badass rowing, guys.
Our plan was to chase the bump on Downing M1, given that we had moved away from them in the first part of the race yesterday, hoping to gain more efficiency by settling more decisively onto our intended rate. However, things were feeling especially rocky in the warm-up, and in the race it became clear that we did not have as much energy in us today as we did yesterday, and so we were just slower. We didn't move on Downing M1, and Peterhouse M1 did move on us, catching us around Ditton corner. (Chris E.)
We planned to try to repeat yesterday's heroics and to take the race to Downing. The only change to the plan was to take 'just half a pip' off the rhythm to make it more sustainable and to avoid a repeat of how close we got to Jesus to no avail as the legs went from underneath us. Once again we rowed up with a nervy, though solid row.
Off the start we wound high again and settled to a slightly more sustainable 36 or so. However, the level of sting wasn't quite what it had been the day before. I am sure yesterday's efforts came with a price to pay today. As such, after initially moving up on Downing slightly, we never quite got to any whistles. Through grassy it became clear that we'd need to bring it to our cruising rhythm at around 35 and prepare for a long row. Â We pushed well down Plough reach, but unfortunately Peterhouse had a faster base pace than us. They started to gain on us and moved to within a canvas coming into Ditton.
Sophie did all she could to get us to react, and we gave it all we could. But the debt for yesterday really came to hit us and we just didn't have the legs to keep them away. They finally got us (well Sophie's elbow) at the exit of Ditton. Not the result we had hoped for, but still a determined row. It was a shame that we couldn't hit the highs of Wednesday, but I think for such an inexperienced crew pulling such a huge effort out of the bag on day 1 was always going to come at a cost. Â I'm told even as we were bumped Downing hadn't taken huge amounts of distance on us, and they themselves bumped Jesus some 10-15 strokes further along. A real shame we got caught by a faster crew today, I'd have loved to give it another crack at Jesus tomorrow. We'll just have to work to hold Emma at bay tomorrow and hope that this sets us up for a cracking Saturday. In any case, the process that got us to yesterday is the same process that will carry us forward. With a new day, comes a new race, only the process remains and I for one have faith in this.
We pretty much knew that Emmanuel M1 were going to be faster than us, and the plan was to commit to holding them off as long as possible and hope that this would take us to the end of the course. On the row up to the start things were feeling much better than they had done on previous days, with the balance of the boat staying closer to central for more of the time, and in the race I think we produced our best row yet. The start went smoothly, and this time we moved inside station on Peterhouse M1. Unfortunately, Emmanuel M1 simply were faster. They just missed bumping us on First Post Corner, and got us on Grassy. By this time, we had apparently closed up on Jesus M1 (who were 2 in front of us) by more than 1.5 lengths. So we can be very pleased with our rowing today, but it is just a shame we did not find this on Wednesday. (Chris E.)
Going into this race, we knew there was a good chance of Emma bumping us. We had raced them previously at Nines Regatta, where they had beaten usÂ by an, albeit hard fought, 3/4 length. However, we were not going to let that daunt us and were determined to do our utmostÂ to stop the bump from happening for as long as possible, and ideally not at all.
The row up was the best row we have done all term. We managed to find a solid rhythm which we pretty much maintained throughout our bursts; we performed two almost perfect race pace roll ups; and we wereÂ sharper than we have ever been before.
Starting at station 8 gave us the benefit of not being next to the outflow, or the cannon, as we had been on previousÂ days, and as such we executedÂ the start well. We wound up to around 42 before settling to about 37 at thirty seconds.At about this time, we heard a call from the bank that we were inside on station on Peterhouse, who we were chasing. We kept on our rhythm, slowly moving on them, but Emma had also been moving on us. Along First Post Reach I was about to call for a second settle on to a more sustainable pace, when Jon shouted that Emma had narrowed the gap to a length. From then on, we fought to keep them off us, but they kept gaining. Despite repeated pushes, and a huge response from the whole crew, by First Post Corner they had overlap.
At this point, the steered for the bump and just missed. This gave us the opportunity to push away from them, and we managed to increase the distance between the two boats. Unfortunately, by Grassy, Emma had overlap again. They steered for the bump and didn't miss.
Though we got bumped, I'm proud of today's row. We gave the best race we have had to date, and found a pace we all agreed we could have maintained for much longer if given the opportunity. At the point when we were bumped, we were 3/4 length off Peterhouse, who were 1/2 length off Jesus. ThisÂ just goes to show how much we've come on, even in the past few days. Bring on tomorrow!
Coming into this race, we knew Magdalene may be able to catch us, but it was unlikely they'd be as fast as Emma so weÂ thought we'd have a chanceÂ at holding them off, at least until Plough Reach.
The row down was, once again, the best row down to date. We managed to get a stronger rhythm and the rowing felt good. There was a bit of tension due to nerves, but we by and large managed to keep it neat.
I can't remember a great deal of the start, but midwayÂ along FirstÂ Post Reach,Â Magdalene had a length on us. Coming round the corner, they were at canvas. Around this time, Emma bumped Jesus ahead of us. We passed theÂ two crews andÂ made it part way along the gut before Magdalene caught us.
It wasn't the best end to the week, and certainly not the result we were looking for. However the crew has improved a lot and still has far to go. We'll just learn from this, and come back next year even hungrier.
We knew that Magdalene M1 had been on the up, but JPD had told us that they were not looking as fast as the crews we had been chased by previously, and therefore we had a reasonable amount of hope that we might avoid getting spoons. However, in the race they just steadily closed up on us and we did not seem to be able to do anything about it. I can't remember exactly where we were bumped but I think it was quite early. Perhaps they were executing a hard sprint off the start which we were just unable to match, or perhaps they were simply a faster crew than we were expecting. I think our rowing today was not as good as yesterday, but probably better than on Thursday. I am not sure how it compared to Wednesday.
Down 4 is not a result that anyone wants. To some extent we were the victim of the cruel nature of Bumps racing that the result on the first day has a lot of influence on the whole week's results. Given the very disrupted lead-up to Bumps it is perhaps unsurprising that it took until the third day to find our best rowing. But now we need to accept that we will have to start from 10th place next year, and start work right away to make sure that we go up from there next year rather than falling further down. (Chris E.)
It's always good to get the first day out of the way without drama. There was one missed stroke off the start, but that didn't matter: it was fast. Churchill gained once Maggie started moving into them, but the pressure disappeared abruptly around First Post. A lack of direction meant that the resulting rowing was solid, but not threatening. More to come. (Sam)
Our main aim today was to bring more aggression and intensity into our rowing. We certainly achieved this aim, but Maggie is a very fast crew, and moved up on us quickly. We had a very fast and solid start, but never really settled into our strong racing rhythm, which made it difficult to move away effectively. If we can combine the aggression of today with the finesse of Wednesday, tomorrow should be a great row.
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. (Matthew)
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
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.
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!! (Alex)
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 (Peter)
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.
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.
Simultaneously the fastest (in the first minute) and the least-sat rowing I have done in several years of bumps, intriguing... (Alex)
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
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.
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. (Alex)
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
After a term of enthusiastic, committed training we went into what was for many of us our first May Bumps. Encouraged by our row up which was one of the best we've ever done, we were pushed off determined to get as close as we could to St Edmund's W1, and leave Jesus W3 well behind. Our efforts were not vain: although we didn't managed to catch Eddie's before they bumped Emma ahead, we came to about a length from them. When it started to look like we were going to row over, we set our minds into a strong rhythm, and focused on pushing Jesus away. Around Ditton corner we had a bit of a scare, when Jesus came to about 3/4 lengths behind us; but Kristina's calls and our determination kicked in and we started moving. By the time we reached the finish, they were but a mere speck on the horizon (well they were 3 lengths away but that's what it felt like). And the conclusion is: thank you Preeyan for having made us do so many ergs.Â (M.G. Frost)
Another epic bump for today, which left some of Christ's blue paint on our bows! We did not struggle with being chased today, but had to really work to tire Christ's W2 out. After some patience, focus and lots of gurning we managed to gain on them as they took a terrible line round Ditton (and we obviously took a very strong one), and then it all went downhill for them. We crashed into their stern by the railings, and got to go home with more greenery in our hair.Â (M.G. Frost)
The mesopelagic lower divisions are home to a variety of fish. Mostly average perch and snappers; some snackable minnows; the odd shark circling. We felt ourselves happy snappers at M4 head, but Clare M3 behind us had a sharply sharky look: they had raced Champs Head with zip and finished well ahead of most M2s.
They went hell-for-leather off the start and we did not. 'You paced that perfectly for a head race', one bystander opined, 'but not for Bumps.' They caught us in the Gut.
But Fortune's wheel turns quickly. An umpire spotted they had no bow-ball (a grievous sin): round it span, and down they went. We had a technical row-over; they were bumped by Girton M2.
Gained on the start, but not as quickly as Corpus took distance out of Darwin. Shortly after that we started chasing the triple overbump. Spoiler: we failed. Our excuse for this race included the handle of Ed's blade coming out. Having received kind permission from Isabel to use Denys we decided to remove the crew naming ambiguity (leaving M3 well-defined) and self-identify as W3. (John)
Had a good start from foot of M3 Division and got inside station on Corpus M2. But there was no time: they bumped Darwin M2 within a couple of hundred metres. Chased Jesus M3 for the over-bump but they took out Emmanuel M3 in short order. Then the double-overbump on Queens' M3 but they in turn snapped up Selwyn M2. By the time we came out on the Long Reach there was no-one left to catch. Rowed over. (J.M.R. Currie)
Really enjoying being sandwich boat... Clare hit Girton well before Grassy (despite our calm demeanour allowing Girton to take a little distance from us). We rowed away from King's at the beginning, got to a snappy rhythm on the reach, and took the pace down allowing them to close up a little by the finish. Yet more leg-sapping but no worries. (John)
Back at M4 Division head, older and wiser after Wednesday's tumult (and with S. Bell joining us in the 4-seat), we pushed more sharply out of the start. Clare M3 ground up on Girton M2 with great gusto, eager to avenge their technical loss of the day before. Girton in their flight put in an admirably endless Bumps push and gained slightly on us as well; Clare caught them before Grassy Corner.
King's M2, now our nearest pursuers, pushed for the over-bump but gained nothing for their pains. By the time we were out on the Long Reach it was clear we had moved away. Rowed over head.
Sweet revenge, after being bumped by Darwin 1 a couple of years ago. Feedback from the previous day had included a certain degree of relaxation, so we tried to take up the aggression. This let to scrappy rowing, as we pushed through the cumulative wash of the 17 boats ahead, but not scrappy enough to deprive us of a very quick bump. Corpus 2 did their level best to deprive us of this small victory by triple crabbing on the start, but their rowing on in sixes was sufficient to hold of the Darwin charge long enough for us to convincingly hit them. Thank you Sam, for helping us to this illustrious result. Oh joy, Clare again tomorrow! (John)
M3 Division foot again, and chasing Darwin M2, who had fallen to Corpus M2 so quickly on Wednesday. Drove hard out of the start (with S. Bell again in aid) through terrible wash and caught them 150m before the Motorway Bridge. Not pretty but effective.
Only afterwards did we learn that the cacophony of whistles coming from the bank had signalled not only our own imminent bump but also the consequences of three consecutive crabs from Corpus, which brought Darwin within seconds of avenging their Wednesday defeat (and so leaving us empty-handed). A happy end to a strange sandwich.
Velodrome in the morning, fly or die with Clare in the afternoon in race number five of the week. Aggression and very short strokes were the order of the day here, with a rate build on the reach. We may have taken some distance out of Corpus with our enthusiastic but catchless start, but it didn't really matter. This time we held Clare for the first ten, after which they ate into the distance just as rapidly as before. We never bothered to stride, leaving it at a scrappy 38 before taking it back up over 40 as they got scarily close. Unsurprisingly, we got only a little further than the motorway bridge. (John)
There was no pressure from Darwin, and it turned out, no pressure from anyone else. We powered through the corners in the high 30s, before striding it down to 34 mid way through Plough Reach. We were down at 20 by the end of the Long Reach, with the only pressure from some crew aiming for a very optimistic overbump. Thank you crosshatching for making our sixth race a little easier than it might have been. (John)
Backed up the chat. Cheers Clare for helping us out with the tactical bump on Friday. (Ben)
With Corpus a proficient enough crew to catch three crabs on the start line on Friday, we felt that our chances of catching Clare were slim, verging on nonexistent. We went into the race aiming for a repeat of our solid row over from an hour before, with a view to grinding down Emma for the overbump.
We executed this plan to perfection, taking full advantage of the wash-less First Post Reach to get into the gut well within sight of Emma, followed by two lengths off at Ditton. Hearing this from the bank I felt dispirited (two lengths being a jolly long way) until I remembered just how far back we started. We got to a whistle, after which Emma utterly crumpled. Two whistles shortly followed, and by the repeat of two whistles I was displeased they weren't three. We promptly achieved overlap and I briefly considered reaching over and tapping their stern canvas. No need to take the risk, though, as we were gaining inches every stroke. The bump happened as Ed's blade gently tapped their cox in the back...
A fine end to our 7th race of the week (and bringing me up to a round 40). And we ended ahead of Clare 3.
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