The Club's Results
May Term 2022
1st men's VIII
1st in category, 7th overall.
After a quite fatiguing training week, it was simply wonderful to wake up earlier than every previous morning to head down to the boathouse for 7:45. Not particularly early, I know, but for body-clocks that were yet to adjust to rowing time after the break it produced interesting malaise in the crew. I (Thomas) had had a pleasant walk up with Angus and Emma, our cox/stroke duo who had found a really good dynamic in the boat over training week, and while I may prefer to say that I burst into the changing rooms like a ray of sunlight, it’s probably more accurate to say that I burst into the changing rooms like an unwanted explosion.
After George had commanded us to get the boat out, the mood notably shifted and we were back to normality, heading into our warm-up with standard enthusiasm levels (high for me, high for George C as a race was approaching, and merely mediocre for everyone else). We ended up actually having a queue for the toilet just before we pushed off, and spent quite a while in a huddle outside waiting for a certain 7-seat to descend.
Paddling down was a bit of a pain. It was slow most of the way due to other crews, and while the bursts that we did (one 30 stroke, one 20 stroke) were good, they failed to mitigate the absolute joy of rate 12. I do feel rather sorry for the single scull that we were in front of, as he kept almost crashing into us as he slowed down, and that can’t have been fun. Marshalling was subpar, with a delay that was probably between 15 and 20 minutes, though the crosswind made it quite difficult. I ended up cold, having only worn my AIO, but I don’t feel that bad about the mistake due to the delay.
Off the start, we were at 36 for quite a while before settling into 34. We seemed to move (at least to me) far faster than in (Lent) Bumps - or maybe it just felt as such. Most corners ended up at 32, with a really nice line by Emma around grassy. After each corner we soon pushed back up to 34, ending up taking about 3-4 lengths off Downing M1 by the railway bridge. At the railway bridge, we really stuttered, giving Downing back a length over about 100m, but with some rousing calls from Emma we were soon back in it, driving on to the finish and taking back that distance. Underneath Green Dragon bridge, Downing were nice enough to thank us for the chase. It felt like bittersweet revenge after Bumps.
Post-race, there were some shenanigans cleaning the boat after Bomber had left, with a tussle between Xander and Canadine. Canadine struck boldly with the hose early on, before Xander attempted a comeback with a bucket, missing entirely and almost reaching a not-completely-unamused member of Nines. After putting 805 back on the racks, Xander struck once more with an ambush, leaving the boathouse via the side door to successfully land a bucket onto Canadine.
Canadine then proceeded really to add to the moment by (surprise, surprise) telling tales about how in his younger days he has seen people fail to throw a bucket of water, as it could bounce off the front of the bucket and hit the person, as well as how such fights could be prompted by a hose that was “so powerful that it could hit anyone anywhere on the ‘hard’’, where the hard presumably refers to the area where you place the boat on trestles/into the water. I didn’t ask.
By lunch, our (unexpected) victory was assured, tempered only slightly by Jesus having two strong crews, which suggests that they could have beaten us with better selection. Walking down to collect our engraved glasses was pleasant, even if Emma, Angus and Mihailo had collected them before Xander, Canadine and I arrived. Somehow, winning races is fun!
Here’s to more success in the rest of the term, and to Bumps!
4th in div, 6th overall
TBC, but TL;DR: We still beat Downing (as we did in Head of the Cam, showing our progress since Lents), LMBC were seat racing and their M2 beat us. Connor (new cox) coxed competently. 6:44.6, 6:56.1 out and back.
Isn’t a 9:15am race wonderful?
The three living in Burrell’s Field arrived via Bombercar, and the other six had an interesting taxi journey, where SWAT teams (LVV) had it gently suggested (Thomas) that their use of egoistic was a fun linguistic point (spoiler: it wasn’t). Thomas also failed to open a window, before it was revealed that the window didn’t actually open any further.
Setting up the boat was appropriately speedy, giving Thomas plenty of time to eat his yoghurt, oats and kidney beans, making everyone else feel queasy. Mihailo’s breakfast préparation was far superior than mere ingredients shoved in a tub, waking up at 4:30 as he did to eat eggs and bacon.
In the lead up to the race, George C (whose back issues resulting in his absence were clearly caused by him carrying the set of the boat during outings, and not by helping W3 carry out the coastal IV) had been heavily hyping up our first round opponents, the widely feared Abingdon J16 B crew. @biggerpuddles on Instagram, our classic 3 seat was cautioning us about their expected strength, and their rate 55 start.
Entering into the race, Connor dealt wonderfully with rowing down an unseen course and with the Abingdon cox who seemed to treat holding his hand in the air as a game of chicken.
We went off at 40, settled calmly into 35.3 (the fancy new coxbox coming in clutch for these reports), and were a long way clear by the bridge. I kept waiting for the expected corner that would clear up our stagger advantage off the start. It never came.
Winning ‘easily’ was a nice start, and Connor’s call about 200m before the finish to conserve our energy was good. It was later found out that Xander had been rowing ghost pressure since the bridge. Maybe that’s why thé rowing overall felt a little scuffed, a bit panicky. It was time for a crew chat.
Won by default
Won by default
The withdrawal of a Radley College crew gave us much-needed respite, and enabled us to get so bored while resting that we ended up taking a walk (at least, all bar Angus, who had verbs to learn).
Won by 2 lengths
Won by 2 lengths
Bomber’s only real comment after the Oriel race was that we should have built up to the finish, raising the rate as we get close.
Thomas was six bananas in.
On the way up it was plain sailing, with a neat call to the marshals to let us race Merton at our assigned time given our proximity to the start, rather than subject us to the thirty minute delay that the regatta currently had. As we approached marshalling Merton clashed with us, giving us a wonderful view of the technique of Merton M1 strokeside. Connor reacted wonderfully, asking if it was their plan to sabotage us before the race, and seemed thus to switch into another persona.
In the race, Connor was on fire. The rowing went as planned, yes, but Connor made us give our all, putting clear water between us and Merton by the bridge. Just after we passed the bridge, the coxbox stopped broadcasting. Oops. With George’s cries that it was broken informing the crew, those who failed to understand when it cut out mid word soon understood. Along the embankment, we pushed, and I called to build it, as I couldn’t face Bomber complaining about our failure to follow our race plan in a win. We went up, we won (Bomber called it 2.5-3 lengths), Connor sprinted off to St Edmunds Hall, Oxford for their May Ball (apparently there was a ball pit, which was great fun), and we collected tankards.
Léo proceeded to pull a blinder, securing four spots on thé way home with Queens and Magdalene for the low price of lifting a boat onto their trailer, saving the non-Bombercar folks from the X5 bus.
We arrived back at about 8:15, 13.5 hours away from Cambridge being time well spent.
The tankards being pewter was a great disappointment to me, as I wouldn’t feel right drinking from something with lead in. This didn’t stop Connor, as the night after he had both a cider and a Trinity purple from his prize.
It was a great day, with great people (Alex Dent being a wonderful last-minute sub who adjusted well to rate 36), and much warmer than last Bedford. I’m looking forward to future racing.
Lost by 2 lengths to Oriel’s 3:32
Lost by 2 lengths to Oriel’s 3:32
Less than three hours after our crushing defeat of the second-best crew of 16 year-olds that a single secondary school has to offer, we face Oriel M1. Bomber was less-than-completely-complimentary after our first race, though ‘a win’s a win’ did appear a fair chunk in conversation. Entering into this race, we discussed the need to row calmly, and to go off hard. “Never mind 40, we take whatever we can get!”
Such calm plans were promptly scuppered by rowing down the course, with some questionable decisions from Angus and Csongi to take in their blades, promptly causing the boat to go far too close to the bank. Calls over the coxbox for some deep breaths and relaxing appeared to be more for Connor’s benefit than anyone else’s, but we survived and made it to the start just fine.
We went off hard and we pushed hard; it felt good. Connor’s calls for strong strokes went down well, and we were smooth over the course. Naturally, Oriel crushed us, but Bomber swore that it was only by a length and a quarter at the line, and not the two lengths of the umpire’s call.
Bomber was happy.
Bumped by Jesus
Bumped by Jesus
An incredibly close run thing. After initially pulling away, Jesus made their move on the Reach, closing to overlap just after the Railway Bridge. After a few misses, contact was finally made, hull on hull, when our bowball was just about level with the finish post at Morley's Holt - where Jesus would have to have stopped.
We’re a bit sad.
Bumped by Queens'
Bumped by Queens'
Queens' came at us hard, and we didn't end up pulling away off our start as we usually would. By First Post they were already a length behind. We pushed hard, and they came at us with a bumps push round Grassy. With a tighter line, we thought that we'd escaped, but they came on for us again at the Plough, succeeding this time.
In contrast to the previous days, this felt like a time where Queens' were simply faster, and we did well to hold on for as long as we did.
Disappointing, especially due to the clash that it sets us up for with LMBC II, but that's just how it goes. If only we rowed over Jesus yesterday...
Bumped by LMBC II
Bumped by LMBC II
This was written 6 months after the fact, when I realised that something should be written, and I'm an adequate person for this, having rowed in the boat.
This is the first time First and Third M1 has ever been bumped by a second boat, and the lowest position that we've ever been in May Bumps (by two places if my information is correct). I would like to lodge a nominal protest that since I personally (in 4-seat) crossed the line before Jesus bumped us on day 2, surely bow four shouldn't get spoons...
We went off hard as per usual - not quite reaching the 1:17 splits of our practice starts - remaining on station with Queens (who bumped us yesterday) by First Post. LMBC M2 really came for us after Grassy, and bumped us just after Ditton Corner. We proceeded to pull in straight into the stationary Emmanuel M1, who had pulled in after bumping Downing. I know that I barely did anything in response to Connor's calls (his aim was not to hit Emmanuel). Their new-for-this-term boat had to be sent for repairs, but 805 (yet to be officially named at this point) was fine.
Xander (in bow) gets clouted across the back by an Emma blade, and requires a tin foil blanket.
We row home, unhappy. Vomit, sweat, tears and spoons isn't quite traditional, but that's what came out of our campaign.