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The Club's Results

Lent Bumps Getting-on Race 2019

4th men's VIII

Coxed by: Trisna Tungadi

Did not get on by 19 seconds
Time: 8:00
It was a tense moment as we prepared for what we hoped would be the start of a successful bumps campaign, the first for the majority of the crew. After the M4 tradition of debating which crew order we wanted today, we settled on our well practised set up, with Rory stepping in for Brett. We rowed down to marshal in good spirits, with friendly exchanges with our fellow competitors. We marshalled at the P&E, with Jesus M4 ahead and Caius M4 behind, an order which would be reversed for the race. As we pushed off to row down to the start, I made the comment "Are you ready kids?", imitating the opening to Spongebob Squarepants. I wasn't expecting Rory in the 7 seat to reply with "Aye Aye Stroke Seat", nor to promptly break out into song. I don't recall the precise lyrics (I was too busy laughing) but the opening couplet was: "Who rows in a Janousek all down the Cam First and Third M4" By that point I was laughing so hard that I didn't actually manage to row off in time. (An impressive feat as I was stroking) After an entertaining row down, we arrived at the lock and spun onto station. At this point Bethany and Bomber arrived to be our bank party. Bethany drew the short straw of carrying the massive bag of kit! We pushed off, and were about to start when there was a crash on the bank. Bethany had cycled into Bomber and nearly knocked him into the river. Apparently she was looking at us, rather than where she was going! Our race plan was to wind to 35 off the start, and then settle down to 28 for the race. This plan fell apart before we even got to the line - we crossed the line somewhere around rate 40, and kept this up most of the way to first post corner. At this point we took a rhythm call and settled down to what I thought seemed like a good rate. Apparently we were still at 35 - who knew. After much hard work after Pembroke regatta, we managed to hit a powerful rhythm, and flew down the course. The boat was decently sat, we were rowing with good ratio, there was lots of power and lots of commitment. It was some of the best rowing I can remember! We rounded first post corner in style, with Bomber calling out the 2 minute mark as we passed the wooden dock. Trisna took a beautiful line around grassy and we powered forward out of the corner down to the plough. At this point we had the bit between our teeth - we were starting to tire but adrenaline and encouragement from the bank drove us on. We powered through Ditton and onto the reach, knowing that we were the majority of the way there and approaching the final sprint. As we passed through the spinning zone we took a focus on technique, moving the hands swiftly through the back end and pressing down hard with the legs. This set us up well to take the rate up yet further for the final sprint. At this point legs, lungs and everything else were on the point of dying, but there was only a short sprint to the finish and eternal glory (hopefully) With the cries of our bank party and cox ringing in our ears, we set off into a final wind towards the finish. The hands flew away, the rate lifted and the boat positively flew along. We powered across the finish line in style, completing what was easily the best race of term so far, and the best piece of rowing we had ever done as a crew. As the finish judge called our finish, my legs decided that they wanted to join Southern Rail, and promptly went on strike. The rest of my promptly joined them, before receiving some encouragement from Rory, in the form of an oar to the back. He was still rowing at rate 30-something in the seven seat and wasn't expecting my sudden collapse. We paddled down to the P&E tired but happy. As I write this, we are still awaiting the result. However, whatever happens, I'm confident that we pulled out all of the stops. It was a race to be proud of, and will either be a glorious finish to the term, or the start of an exciting bumps campaign. (Rosie)

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