The Club's Results

Bedford Regatta, May Term 2022

1st men's VIII (Open Eights, Band 5)

Coxed by: Connor Wood

Heats
Won easily
Time: 3:41
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.
(Thomas Frith)
Semi finals
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). (Thomas Frith)
Final
Won by 2 lengths
Time: 3:43
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.
(Thomas Frith)

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