With only one goal and nothing to lose we set off strong giving everything we had from the cannon. After every push we continued to gain on Christ's the sound of the whistle music to our ears. Stroke after stroke we committed to the lifts gritting our teeth through the pain. Our reward came with a jerk in the boat as we finished our race within 500m. It may not have been the bumps campaign we were hoping for, but I'm glad to say it definitely finished on a high. (B.C. Ladd)
After a solid paddle down and some relaxed, committed pieces, the crew was excited for its first bumps race of the term. (especially after the ones on Tuesday and Wednesday got cancelled)
Crosswind into the bank meant that our 7 (and 5?) man missed their first few strokes, but we wound to 41 through the messiness into a decent start - but I feel that this start already lacked the aggression that we had perfected throughout term. We still held Robinson at about a length throughout first post reach, but the boat speed notably dropped in the gut when Christ's bumped out, as the crew realized that we had a long row ahead of us. I feel that we were so intent on getting Christs' before they get Peterhouse that we were simply not prepared mentally for this scenario.
What happened afterwards was inevitable - a crew preparing for a long row in bumps often does not do well. Robinson were a quarter of a length off around Grassy, which is when we finally started to react, but it was already too late - they bumped us coming around Ditton.
We are a fast crew that have improved huge amounts this term, and it is quite frustrating we won't be able to reflect this in our final results. But now we need to accept that we were simply not good enough today, and spring right back tomorrow (if it happens), and in Mays and beyond.
There was too much hype. That's what finished us really.Â
We were expecting to go up two, maybe three, and against all odds perhaps four these Lents. We'd made our mark in the sand at Pembroke Regatta by clearing out the crews that were near us in Lents. We should have done so much better.
Instead, the Beast from the East took it's toll on our crew. Not physically in terms of temperature, but rather, two days of excitement and hype being built up due to cancellation shook us. We had a solid paddle up but then it were as if all of the jitters from the last few days from not racing were released in our start.
Any inkling of a race plan went and although we splashed about we didn't rate high enough, we didn't squeeze harder enough, and we certainly didn't gun hard enough for it.
We lost this race mentally and shouldn't have. All that will be left are lessons learnt in Lent.
I always assumed that the first time I was bumped would be an epic, exciting race, probably lasting to the railway bridge. This was none of those. However, I couldn't have asked for a better crew to be bumped with. Some great commitment saw us move on Robinson, but ultimately we had to settle for a level week and the retention of the M3 headship.Â (R.J.T. McLaurin)
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