The Club's Results

May Bumps 2012

4th men's VIII

Coxed by: Alex Manion
Coached by: Emma Salgård Cunha, Simon Smart,

Wednesday
Bumped St. Edmund's II
I think our start was all right today, though not as good as it has been in the past. (The lack of practice starts might not have helped.)

In the first few strokes, we were treated to the sight of Jesus IV behind us travelling across the river and soon reaching the bank, having perhaps not got their starting angle quite right.

Then St. Edmund's II in front of us caught a couple of severe crabs, and we bumped them at about the 10th stroke of the race.

So, a good result for us, but bad luck for St. Edmund's II. We need to keep focused and be prepared for harder races for the rest of the week: we still don't actually have much idea what St. Edmund's II (who will be chasing us tomorrow and hoping for revenge) are like when not catching crabs: apparently we were gaining on them before this happened, but there was not really enough time to get a good idea. (Chris E.)
With our brilliantly set boat pause paddling behind Jesus IV on the row down we knew there wasn't going to be much pressure from behind. This turned out to be guaranteed when Jesus apparently went careering off into the bank 5 strokes in - causing our stroke man to laugh. The race itself was not much longer going something along the lines of:

Draw - 1; Draw - 2; Draw - 3 (3/4 length down);
Wind - 1; Wind - 2; Wind - 3; Wind - they've got a cra-; Wind - 5 (1/4 length down);
Length - there; Length - there; L - HOLD IT UP (cox is hit by bow's blade)

Given the number of blunders on St Edmunds part our race was exceptionally short, though their multiple crabs are probably indicative of the carnage that will be occuring in our wash tomorrow. Solid 'row' boys, let's go out tomorrow and do the same. (A. Manion)
Oh my, we were so happy. St Edmund's II were an enigma; we had no idea how they would perform. We assumed it was basically their M1 from Lents', which spooned in embarrassing style, being bumped by such giants of rowing as Darwin I, given their ludicrous number of returning blues, and we may have been right. Our worry was that they would bump out with Tit Hall III too early for us to bump them, and then St Cats III would prove too speedy for us to close with. We fretted an planned and decided that day one was categorically the most difficult and important day.
We started, our seven and stroke men in gales of laughter at the antics of Jesus IV behind us, and we got half way through our lengthen strokes before the cause of Iain's shouting became apparent.
A glance to my left shows their stern rapidly falling behind me; I lift my blade barely in time to avoid the stern of their boat as the rest of the our crew tries to hold it up urgently, but to no avail; my spoon thumps their cox in the back, and my blade handle punches me in the stomach (leaving a bruise which made tapping down painful for the next couple of days, if you're feeling sympathetic), ripping my feet out of the footplates and me off my seat, and I very nearly go for yet another swim in the Cam. Apparently they caught two crabs and an overhead crab off the start. If only things had continued in that vein. (John)
Thursday
Rowed over
Our start was reasonable, especially considering that we were using Titan, a heavier boat which we were not used to, instead of Richard Church.

We did gain quite well on Trinity Hall III, apparently getting to within about 3/4 length of them, but then St. Catharine's III in front of them caught some crabs and so got bumped promptly despite having rowed over yesterday. Then we were closing on Selwyn III and seemingly fast enough to get the overbump before the finish line, but they also bumped up before we could catch them.

Two more pairs of boats also bumped out, so the only thing we could possibly chase was a quadruple overbump on Clare Hall. This was judged not feasible (or perhaps they had actually reached the finish line by this point) and the boats behind us had also bumped out so we were instructed to wind it down near the Plough.

On the Reach, Jason at 6 kept expressing concern that Homerton II would get a double overbump on us, but in fact there remained plenty of distance between us as well as the scope for us to have wound it back up if necessary. Having said that, we did not seem to keep this part of the race as tidy and efficient as we might have.

This result denies us blades, but there was not really anything we could have done about it - in Bumps we will always be subject to the whims of the crews around us. We need to keep the focus tomorrow: maybe we will catch St. Catharine's III or maybe they will bump back on Trinity Hall III and we will be chasing the overbump on Jesus III (who are down 2 so far). Also, we might have some real pressure from behind this time from Christ's III (who are up 2 so far), so we need to keep our cool and be prepared to keep pushing on even if we are having to row over. (Chris E.)
We get to the boathouse and are pleasantly informed that M6 have written off the bow of our boat. This provides the much need confidence boost. We row down in Peter Brandt, then swap with a pleasant M5 crew who have just bumped to row in Titan, a boat in which my feet kept coming out of the footplates. Thanks M5. Fantastic way to begin the day.
We start, the boat two ahead of us, St Cats, who we would like to heavily scold for being too damn awful, catches three or so crabs off the start and so Tit Hall catches them instantly. We get depressed as we row past but feel the overbump is on the cards. Nobody chases us as the fearsome Christ's III catches the meek St Edmund's almost as quickly as we did.
Unfortunately, the overbump wasn't on the cards, because although we were gaining on Selwyn III, it wasn't enough to catch them before they bumped out Jesus III at Ditton. Then there really was nothing to chase, and we paddled down the reach, watching a desperate Homerton boat overrate us by ten in a desperate attempt to catch up and so avoid the sandwich position the following day. (John)
Friday
Bumped by Christ's III
Not long after the start, we started getting whistles on St. Catharine's III, continued closing on them, and then a Bumps push was called. Unfortunately, they had also been gaining on Trinity Hall III (who I hear might in fact have caught a crab at around this time...) and managed to get their bump just before we would have got ours.

Alex did a very good job of steering us around them, but the Bumps push had taken a lot out of us and it soon became apparent that Christ's III were noticeably gaining on us and we did not seem able to respond.

We went quite wide around Grassy Corner and they got overlap, but they steered for the bump and so came through outside us, allowing us to pull away coming out of the corner. This, however, did not last for long: they moved up again and caught us outside the Plough.

So, a very disappointing result, and again one that was influenced by the goings on in front of us. It is a shame that we did not find the energy to keep off Christ's III, whom we managed to beat in Nines Regatta, as we had apparently got most of the way to overbumping Jesus III, but I think we can be pleased with our performance especially considering how much we had put into the earlier Bumps push.

Tomorrow is a new race, so we need to go into it aiming to do as well as possible and not let ourselves be put off by today (or by protesters). (Chris E.)
Back in a taped up and much maligned Richard Church, we're still happier in her than Titan, even if the amount of water it feels the bows let on is considerable. Much joking about me sinking. We're told the bow will fall off if we hit anything.
We start, we push, we bumps push, we get overlap with St Cats' III whose cox then concedes, all before first post. This all sounds just fine, thank you very much. Unfortunately, a second before the Cats' boat concedes, the Tit Hall III stroke man apparently fell off his seat, allowing the Tit Hall cox to concede a half second before the Cats' one. We easy and almost hold it up because we think we've bumped, and Christ's power it round the corner. Then the next instruction is a command to go back to full pressure at race pace, as Alex weaves in and around the melee ahead of us, unavoidably losing us yet more distance and speed over our pursuers. We get back in to rhythm, conveniently exhausted after our fantastically effective bumps push, and spend a very long time desperately trying to push Christ's away. I must apologise for our grassy line, although luckily they steered for the bump. We were caught a length or two off the overbump, as we reached the plough. Gutted. (John)
Saturday
Rowed over
Off the start we moved up a bit on Christ's III, but as expected they got their bump on Trinity Hall III. We chased the overbump on St. Catharine's III, and had apparently closed the gap to 3 lengths a bit before Grassy. Unfortunately, we were then klaxoned due to a blockage up ahead, and with the umpires in no mood to hold rerows with the event already running very late, technical row-overs were awarded.

So a disappointing result from the Bumps campaign considering the standard of the crew, but this was mostly because of the antics of St. Catharine's III and Trinity Hall III ahead of us. Yesterday was the only race that we could have done anything about ourselves, and that may have required planning not to chase the bump but just to go at a steady pace and hope for an eventual overbump - which is considered a dangerous strategy. (Chris E.)
Ah, protestors! You did manage to screw over somebody's day after all. After watching them approch, we hung out gazing at Ian Bone and his elderly anarchists wave banners at our boathouse. This was quite amusing, although we couldn't hear a word they were saying over the ghastly wind, which would prove a dominant feature of the day's rowing. The wildlife protestors in their ultra environmentally friendly outboard-motor driven boat held up the races by over an hour, achieving basically nothing other than general annoyance and much generation of counter arguments to their activities. Like I've never killed a swan. Or a duckling. Georgia would kill me if I tried...

So as predicted, the boats ahead of us, after spannering around for the last few days bump out again, pretty much immediately. We're used to this by now, and had planned for the overbump or the double overbump from the beginning. We knew we could do it; all that remained was a little bit more pushing. Ah, were that were so. Over half way to the overbump on Cats', just round first post corner we're told to easy then hold it up as we approach their stern. Then we hear the klaxon and we're told that King's celebrated A Bump (we're also told this is very exciting for King's) by not clearing and parking across the breadth of the river. They were at the head of the division, and as a result, unless you'd bumped before first post (as Christ's did, earning their blades, to much bitterness from us given we beat them outright at Nine's), racing was over and everyone was awarded technical row overs. There was no time to rerow the division, no way to make an exception for people just about to overbump because they were already running an hour behind. So we were livid.
We entertained ourselves pettily by rowing slightly scrappily but pretty efficiently in the truly dreadful headwind on the reach, and catching up to Cats', easying perfectly sat and drifting past their stern to bump them gently, before letting them get a bit more distance and beginning to row again, every time a little nudge; this is us bumping you, this is us bumping you. Goddammit. (John)

1. M4 strike a pose
2. M4 crew photo


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