The Club's Results
Lent Term 2019
1st men's VIII
4th, (+00:12) to Downing M1
After the first race, we had a brief break where we discussed potential improvements, and paddled straight back up with renewed commitment. There was a slight mishap coming through the first bridge (some unpleasant blade clashing) but we still managed to get a rate up in time, and this time the commitment and rhythm was there throughout and we had no problems with the rate.
All the pushes through each of the bridges were fantastic and we ended up matching our time for the first race - some really promising results from a crew which still has a lot of speed to gain.
Fastest in Category
First race of the day, and the first race for the crew this term - nerves ran high. Perhaps slightly too aware that we were entered in two consecutive divisions, our start (admittedly, something we've never practiced all term) didn't feel as committed as it could be, and we struggled to get the rate up high. In response, the entire crew decided to rush the slide to create an artificial rate which resulted in a fairly unpleasant rowing experience. I am not sure what I was doing in the race but it couldn't have been very good rowing as both my forearms blew around a kilometer in.
It was a pretty scrappy row and to be honest we were quite surprised at the pleasantly fast time - probably a testament to all the ergs we've been doing throughout the term!
Seriously impressive stuff from M1 today! Silent focus after Bomber's pep talk was the theme on the start line, and it certainly paid off. An intimidating start left Catz M1 lengths behind. But Clare had a good start as well, leaving FaT on station after around 30 seconds. Slowly but surely the men began to gain on Clare, gaining a whistle after about a minute. Slightly confused to hear Bomber shout 'go on Peterhouse - lose them!' I looked forward to see Clare catching up with Peterhouse! FaT would have to speed up to catch Clare before Clare got Peterhouse. And they sure did. The whistles just kept on coming, and FaT bumped Clare just after First Post corner!! Bomber actually jumped with joy, hitting his bike handlebars in excitement! An amazing and committed row boys - well done! Now smash Pembroke.
Not our best row, but it was efficient and did the job. Nerves ran high on day 1 on bumps, and this reflected on the paddle down which was quite tense and didn't have the calm relaxation that we've gotten used to in the past few weeks. Having entered barely any races all term, there was always going to be slight mystery to if we were actually as fast as we thought we were, and it was nice to confirm our speed by smashing Clare at first post corner, and we enter tomorrow with confidence that if we row as well as we know we can, the result will come.
C.f. race report for W1. A very good day for FaT.
We pushed off with plenty of slack in the chain, so were slightly closer to Catz than I would have liked - however in the end it made no difference. Our start was not the best we've done but the rate came up to around 41 even in the wind, and we quickly moved away from Catz and soon onto a length off Clare. The crew did well not to panic with the whistles and held our speed along FP reach. Clare had tried and failed to catch Peterhouse and very quickly came back to us on the corner. In the end we didn't need to call a push as our cruising speed was sufficient - later in the week this won't be the case. My feeling is we have a lot more tricks up our sleeve should we need to pull them out against faster crews.
Despite a bit of trouble when marshalling on station (distance between the boat and bank meant that many items of clothing ended up in the water...) M1 were as focused as, if not more than, yesterday.
An unfortunate crab just after the start sequence saw Clare gain a whistle on us and Peterhouse move three lengths ahead. However, M1 were not phased by this unexpected situation and stuck to the plan. They soon gained a whistle on Peterhouse and the bump seemed inevitable. A slightly sticky situation in the Peterhouse boat (overhead crab at 2 and bow coming off his seat), combined with Maelle-Marie's awesome corner around First Post saw the bump come much earlier than expected. This chaos caused a re-row of the division behind us, but the men didn't care. Awesome bump guys! Same again behind Christ's tomorrow please!
This was always going to be an interesting race with speed differences between all the crews ahead and a strong headwind. A good first few strokes were followed by a few not so good strokes, including a fairly large overhead crab from a certain member of the crew... However this was very well recovered at race pace, and before long we were closing the gap on Peterhouse again. Luck was on our side today as Clare behind were unable to capitalise after a steering issue off the start costing them some speed. M1 hit a strong rhythm down first post reach, but a row over looked to be on the cards as Peterhouse had closed to a canvas on Christs in front. Again the dice fell in our favour, as going through first post corner Peterhouse caught a boatstopper and their boat proceeded to stop. Christs happily rowed away, and M1 happily took their second bump of the week! Tomorrow looks to be another great opportunity to move up the charts, but hopefully in a less eventful manner than today!
We were definitely very fortunate in this race - that said FaT M1 haven't had the best luck in the last few years so perhaps it was about time for some to come our way. As my 50th bumps race with the club I'm happy it was an eventful and memorable one.
Our start was slightly better than yesterday's and we put some distance between ourselves and Clare, as they went off askew and came close to the far bank. This came in handy as we caught a crab at the outflow. It was recovered quickly and Clare only got to about a length. Meanwhile, ahead of us Peterhouse had taken advantage to move out from 1 length to about 3, hot on the heels of Christ's. We quickly got back to 1 length off with a solid rate 37 rhythm and moved to half around First Post corner. Meanwhile they had overlap on Christ's. Our second stroke of luck took out their bow pair just in time, and they crashed into the bank allowing us to bump, and the rest of the division to get jammed up in the Gut.
Normally 'carnage' is reserved for lower divisions, so it was nice to be involved in some for a change.
M1 came into Friday with confidence and momentum from the 2 prior days of racing. Christs M1 looked to be rowing very cleanly, but we knew we had the speed advantage from Thursdays 'interesting' race. A good solid start saw M1 move to within a length very quickly, and they continued to close the gap along first post reach to gain overlap by the first corner. Christs attempted to respond, but M1 did not slow up, getting the bump coming into the gut. Tomorrow will be the true challenge of the week, starting behind a strong Robinson crew, and a chance to get blades!
We knew we could turn over Christ's pretty easily - they actually put up more of a fight than I expected but the result was pretty inevitable. Tomorrow should be more challenging - we should be prepared for a bit of pain and iron out some of the sloppy bladework that's preventing us from moving really fast
The row up was very good - there was a definite energy and intent behind the practice start and the paddling had a very nice flow. We knew this would have to be our best row of the week and that we wouldn't be able to bump quickly like the first three days.
The start was the best we've done and we started to move steadily on Robinson getting to around a length off. Meanwhile they were really going for Jesus - we were not anticipating this based on their rowing over on Thursday and Friday. The rhythm was good around the corners - bladework somewhat unpolished but the boat was moving well nevertheless. Onto Plough Reach we had planned a push - it didn't execute quite as well as we would have liked - a combination of not having practiced it much and not being quite as fit as we could be. I think we got to just over half a length off, however we pushed Robinson even more onto Jesus. The Jesus resistance folded once they were on the Reach and Robinson caught them, having had a lot of overlap for a while. Since it was the last day and we had nothing to worry about behind we chased Pembroke for the overbump - I'm told we did move up to maybe 3 or 4 lengths off them, but it was never really on and by this point the crew was pretty gassed. On the positive side I can now write a longer race report.
So we end the week up 3, my best ever bumps campaign! It's disappointing not to get blades but we were still pretty buoyant back at the boathouse since we knew it wasn't in our control. We later found out that Robinson had a sub from CUBC which may explain how they were able to catch Jesus where they couldn't before.
I'm very happy with how we've improved this term and indeed over the week - it's been great to see the new members enjoying bumps and hopefully our success will inspire them even further. Several things have me very excited about what we can achieve next term and even next year.