The Club's Results

Lent Term 2022

1st men's VIII

Bedford Head (College VIIIs)

In the first race we pushed of hard from the start, rating at 37 and settled into a smooth 33/34. We managed to drop the rate towards the middle section of and never really managed to bring it back up. This wasn't helped by Thomas "digging" Frith who insisted on catching a few crabs for good measure in the final 200m.

Between races Frith ate a whole mango with the skin on. Then we set of with M2 to cheer on W1 from one of the bridges. We also misidentified a few college clubs also racing in division 3. This culminated with us shouting "Yeah King's" at the passing Downing M1, who throught their cocky behaviour on the Cam and Rowbridge, deserved to be taken down a few pegs. Well we all got taken down a few pegs that day by being beaten by the remarkibly powerful Bedford School J16 VIII.

After giving some loud words of encouragement to W1 on their race we belined for the pub where we made refuge from the miserable weather that had begun to take over the town. Most enjoyed meals upwards of 1300kcal and some in M2 even dared to have a pint (or two).

In the second race we rowed much better: staying a lot more in time, keeping the rate high and not catching any crabs. Unfortunately we lost a few seconds overall. Was it fatigue, the pub grub, wind? Who knows but we came back in agreeing that we rowed much better than just earlier that day.


Division 2  06:39
Division 6  06:43
(Xander Povey)
I would like it to be noted that my four crab-strokes in the first race(in partition 1|1|2) were fairly evenly distributed throughout. (Thomas Frith)
^ top

Lent Bumps

Wednesday
Rowed over

No-one expected us to do even remotely well today. Looking at BumpIT, most people believed that we wouldn get bumped. Our previous captain Savannah thought we'd be getting spoons. Nonetheless, we went to the start optimistic and excited, for many of us to our first time racing in bumps. For Csongi, his first time racing in M1 at all.

 

On the third cannon we gave two big squeezes and a quick build to get us to out rate. We kept within distance to Caius for the first minute before letting them off the hook. As we got to grassy, Downing began to creep up on us. We were "quite hotly pursued by Downing" as Will Connolley put it. As nerves began to build in the boat, Daniel took a great line around the corner to try and throw them off. The pressure was on; they were three quarters of a length away and we still had just under 2k to go.

 

Together, we all felt the anxiety of Downing’s proximity which only grew as we heard the continuous whistling from their coach and could start to see their bow rocking back and forth as they tried to get the bump on the reach. This didn’t deter us though. Quite the opposite, we dug in and held them off by about half a foot for a further 1km to just past railway bridge. We knew where we were and so did they. The exhaustion and frustration of not catching us had gotten to them and it appeared that they had almost given up. In the final stretch to top finish we kept pushing hard and even managed to gain a bit of distance ending the race with between half and a full length between us.

 

The next day will prove a challenge as we expect them to push harder now they’ve had a taste for the whistle. Unfortunately for Downing, we will also be pushing hard to chase Pembroke and keep them away.

(Xander Povey)
Thursday
Rowed over

Race two of Bumps: the beginning of the end… for Downing. After a brutal and traumatic Wednesday of near misses and watching Downing slide around the river like a sine wave, we walked to boathouse ready to row better than ever before. After a few quick 20 minute pep talks from Bomber, we decided we weren’t going to let Downing get anywhere near as close as yesterday. After a decent start and a not so decent grassy, it looked like we were ready to accomplish our goal. However as we were paddling down the reach with Xander keeping it technical, Tit Hall gave Downing a very inconvenient burst of motivation which threw a slight spanner in the works. What we hoped would be a comfortable row over was starting to feel like déjà vu. With Downing’s bow now looking forward for the first time this bumps campaign, they were quickly gaining as we passed under the railway bridge. With three short bursts of a whistle in quick succession, Thomas kindly decided he would not catch any more crabs for the rest of the race. We did hold them off in the end, but not before giving the crowd another excellent spectacle.

Same time tomorrow, Downing?

(Xander Povey)
Saturday
Bumped by Jesus
Going into Day 4, it would be wrong to say that we were particularly optimistic. We had been talking about whether Bomber would have re-geared our blades in an attempt to bump back Downing immediately, and even before Bumps started we thought that Jesus would bump us on Day 4 (or earlier, if we collapsed). Tit Hall bumping Robinson before Jesus could bump them made this line of events untrue, but ‘dread it, run from it, Jesus starting behind FaT still arrives’.

The row down beforehand was pleasant, with a dedicated member of M4 taking pictures from the bank along the Reach.

Aside from just how loud the cannon was, I don’t remember much of the race, at least early on. Presumably, we rowed at least to Plough Reach with little issue, as it is only there that I realise just how much whistling is occurring. We have a whistle on Downing (not that any of us realised this at the time, only that there was a cacophony). Jesus have intermittent single whistles on us, and Tit Hall built up to two whistles on them. Magdalene M1 have a whistle or two on Tit Hall. 
Magdalene, whom my mouthy M2 counterpart described (many, many, many times) as “the fastest M1 on the Cam.”. 

I realise as we’re heading past the Plough what this could mean. Never mind our previous heroics in holding off Downing (if anyone wants to challenge what “heroics” means in this context, I’ve seen their 2 seats 2K, and I know all of ours), if Tit Hall bump back Jesus, Magdalene could go for the overbump, attain the blades that were so cruelly denied them by Robinson’s descent, and send us down 4, destroying our hopes. 

It’s as we turn past Ditton, though, that Magdalene seem effortlessly to close the gap, bumping Tit Hall, leaving Jesus, FaT, and Downing in close convoy, saving us from the overbump, but denying us relief from Jesus. Just like yesterday, the boat behind us seems to step it up a notch on the Reach, and we barely make it past the spinning zone before being bumped by a Jesus who went for significant overlap before the bump, assaulting our morale as well as our stern.

As a crew, we were quite happy with this bumps campaign, as we didn’t go in expecting much (BumpIt provides evidence to support this view, with far too many predictions of spoons for my liking), and holding off Downing for two days brought our crew pastas much joy. Of course, the lack of an easy path to headship next year is disappointing, but life would be boring if it were straightforward, and we have at least one rower in M2 doing as many UT2s as he can, ready to support another attempt.

Thanks boys, it was a pleasure to row with you, and I’ll look forward to racing in Mays.
(Thomas Frith)
^ top

Head of the River Race (Academic)

163rd
Time: 20:42
HoRR has quite a large time investment, really, what with overnight accommodation needing to be secured beforehand since we needed to be at Putney Town Rowing Club for 7:30am. Some members of our crew stayed together in an short-term rental, but as I was not there, I shall refrain from commenting.

Train lines caused havoc for Xander, but we managed to fit the boat together without the help of our most technical member, quickly settling down for the long wait before the race, where food was provided by PTRC. Both James and I showed our appreciation by having 4 slices of bread, though the respective choices (white with honey, brown with peanut butter) betray our deep differences.

Boating from Putney was an experience that I’m not entirely eager to repeat, with far too much water around my feet for me to be comfortable. It wasn’t that cold, but it was cold enough for me, and while rowing without socks was fine from a comfort perspective, it was nevertheless odd to have them shoved into my clothing. Angus, of course, showed his experience by showing up with wellies, and put them to good use carrying Daniel as he should be treated, like a princess (respectfully, not in a fashion mindful of entitled tantrums).

Despite boating from a position behind the start line, we had to row a fair way (estimates vary) down the course in order to marshal, and as much as a preview both of the course and of the conditions was appreciated, rowing so far out and back wasn’t quite ideal preparation for the race.

Marshalling was fun. Highlights include: bow pair ‘retiring’ from taking taps, though a less charitable interpretation would have called it a strike; Csongi passively encouraging rowing in 5s by not rowing when Daniel called bow 6; and socialising with Churchill M2 (sadly not of ejector crab provenance). It was also pretty cool to row alongside Leander C, however briefly, and to watch the top boats go past.

Unfortunately, as with my Bumps report, I have very little to say about our actual race. Part of this is because we were only three boats off the top of our division (252 scratched) and we overtook the rest fairly early on (Daniel was calling us to settle as we overhauled 254). Part of this is because I hit a really nice flow state for most of the race. Most of this, however, is because the boat was far more set than previous races, and so I can’t complain about that!

I can complain about Mihailo calling for unsustainable power with 2.8K to go. 

James had a fun point about how we’d been conditioned to believe that this would be an 18 minute race, and so Daniel calling two-thirds done at 14 minutes brought premature disappointment, as well as surprise that we’d gone for so long.

I hope that the above points merely act to highlight - like silver lining around a cloud - how positive the attitude of the boat was, rather than to suggest any discord. Indeed, the crew were most gruntled.

The row back to Putney was exhausting. At one point, Daniel called for a one minute break, just so that we could focus on technique on the way back. Naturally, I tried to eat too many fig rolls in this time period, ending up taking a 70 second break instead. 
Xander also felt a bit dizzy at the start of the row back, and when this didn’t appear to carry well, with stern 4 + cox interpreting this as ‘busy’, asking him when he felt ready what felt far too often on my mind. I then shouted ‘he’s [got] you spin me right round’, failing to break into song due to lack of breath, but the intent was there, and the effect was achieved. Xander recovered before we’d travelled particularly far, so he was ready to row a pleasant 7K back. 

We put the bow of 805 on the trailer the wrong way round. Nothing else needs to be said about our derigging.

After some people had a pint upstairs, we tested James’s arms-only minimum split (1:43) before we took some photos, and left for a pizza. 

A long day, at not yet 3pm.
(Thomas Frith)
^ top


Facebook Instagram LinkedIn Twitter
If you have any comments or suggestions please email the webmaster. Click here to switch to the darker, gold on blue, design. If you log in as a First and Third member, you can set a preference for a color scheme on your profile.
^ top