Day Two - Bumped Girton!
After Girton impeded our assault on Catz yesterday we were out for vengeance. There was a lot of pent up aggression within the crew - we wanted to catch Girton really quickly to show St Catharine's what a lucky escape they had yesterday.
And that's exactly what we did. Despite the frustration our race today was very clean. Our start was controlled, yet aggressive, and we were moving up on Girton quickly before the motorway bridge. As soon as Martin started whistling and Steph called our 'kill' move we surged forward and obediently ploughed into their strokeside rigger. A quick, definitive bump, about halfway between the motorway bridge and first post corner.
Tomorrow sees us chasing Catz again, and again, we will be out for their blood. Unlike some, these kittens won't be surviving unharmed... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYdUZdan5i8&feature=related
Day Three - Bumped St Catharines
Not a lot to say about today, other than that we perfectly executed the plan of attack against Catz from Day 1 again (to much greater satisfaction this time around). A gradually increasing downpour couldn't phase us during a controlled (yet aggressive, of course) row down to the start. Martin wanted revenge, and so did we. As the rain reached its full fury just as the cannon went off, we burst off the start, began gaining on Catz immediately, and never really strode (whoops). There was some confusion over Martin using the first whistle when we actually already had overlap, but it didn't matter as we just ploughed on through their wash and got the bump before first post corner. Well done on binning the Catz, ladies...though my kit is going to need a few years to dry.
Day Four - Bumped First and Third
With confidence in our sprint ability from our quick bumps on the previous days, we went into our final contest against FaT expecting (and, indeed, hoping for) more of a challenge. Our race plan hence was to go off hard as we had done every day, but anticipate that we would need to settle into a strong rhythm, respond to Steph's calls when we started going through the corners, and stay calm--knowing our fitness and experience together would enable us to catch them eventually.
Our start was strong and we began to move on FaT immediately, closing to a length before First Post Corner. We then settled into a controlled rhythm and held a length off them for a few minutes. Coming out of First Post Corner, Steph called a push for 10 and the response was excellent. We began gaining on them quickly again, with the calls for half a length and then a third of a length coming from Martin through the gut. As we came into Grassy corner, the continuous whistles started though they were almost inaudible over the noise of the crowd. The FaT cox took Grassy wide, and some great steering by Steph (and ace rowing from bow IV, as well as excellent faces from Fiona) enabled us to hit FaT on Grassy Corner, which turned out to be perfectly timed as it enabled maximum exposure for photography ;)
A very satisfying bump, and a very appropriate ending to what has been an excellent term of rowing for W1. Well done, ladies, and good luck to Alice and the women's side next year!
Day One - Technical Row Over
Unlucky. When we looked at the Mays start order at the end of Lents, we knew we were fortunate to be starting behind a crew (Catz) we had caught on the first day of Lents, though also very unfortunate to be starting two places behind Girton, a crew who, well, to put it politely, doesn't belong in the first division this year. Our race plan hence was to go all out and catch Catz as quickly as possible...and we very nearly did it.
Our start was aggressive, winding to 41 and then lengthening to around 37. We started moving on Catz immediately and drew within a length before the motorway bridge. After a storming push out of the bridge, we drew them to half a length, and then to overlap. The wash was absolutely terrible but the rowing stayed strong and committed to the sound of continuous whistles. However, we unfortunately didn't get the chance to take the last few strokes we needed to finish them. The umpire called a bump between Girton and Catz on First Post Corner, and as we had overlap on Catz we were unable to row around and instead plowed into their 7 seat (whoops). Magdalene (who were chasing us) weren't anywhere close, so we were awarded a technical rowover.
We were disappointed, as we knew we deserved the bump, though we also knew we rowed well and hard, and there wasn't a whole lot else we could have done. So we'll move forward, and we're out for blood tomorrow ;)
Day One - over bumped Magdalene II!
All I really have to say about this is what an EPIC ROW! (I'm sure Jeff will have a little more to add though...)
Starting at station 5 we were on the near side of the railway bridge, a first for me! We had a decent start (albeit a little higher than planned!) and were gaining on Caius II who were ahead. Unfortunately Caius II were also gaining on a slow Queens II crew who Caius caught on first post corner. All was not lost though as Martin yelled that the overbump was on. We lengthened out to a really solid 32 and just ground Magdalene II down. 6 lengths went to 4 along plough reach and then 2 along the long reach. An effective push off the railway bridge closed the final gap and got us our bump 250m from the finish line!
[Casual conversation heard outside The Eagle on Wednesday evening June 15, 2011.]
"Hi Blanche, did you hear about Trinity Hall W2's first day of Bumps?"
"No Ronald! What happened?"
"Well, I'm not quite sure. Some sort of unique and special rowing thing. I know it was
Not: over, Not: over against, Not: over and above, Not: over and over, Not: over with, Not: over–the–counter, Not: over–the–hill, Not: over–the–top, Not: over–the–transom, Not: overachiever, Not: overact, Not: overactive, Not: overage, Not: overall, Not: overalled, Not: overboard, Not: overbook, Not: overbought, Not: overbreed, Not: overbuild."
"Ronald, you pinhead, could it have been an OVERBUMP?!?!? The most coveted first day's outing in all of Cambridge Bumps Mania?"
"I don't know. I've never rowed crew."
"Goodbye Ronald. You'll never make it in the real world."
Day Two - Bumped Corpus Christi to head of division 3 then rowed over bottom of division 2
We didn't have our best start and Cauis II went off harder than the day before giving us a bit of a fright when they'd closed to a length around grassy. This made sure we didn't get complacent and a solid push out of the corner saw us pull away from Caius II and onto Corpus Christi along plough reach. A game of cat and mouse ensued along the first half of the long reach where the Corpus cox was doing a lot of evasive steering. This meant it took longer than anticipated to make the necessary contact and we were all more tired than hoped for when it came to racing again at the bottom of division 2 where we rowed over.
That said up 4 to the head of our division in two days, what an acheivment!
Day Three - Rowed over head of division 3 and then foot of division 2
Rowing over head of the division with clear water was a lot of fun. We were expecting cauis II to catch corpus who were behind us which would take the pressure off. Caius caught a crab and were bumped... not what we'd predicted and this meant corpus would be rowing over behind us...
We found a really solid sustainable rhythm ~32 and were pulling away from corpus every stroke, by the the reach there was 3 lengths of clear water allowing us to realx a little and gradually lengthen out to a powerful but relaxed 28. I really enjoyed it and I think we were all feeling less tired than after bumping the day before. However we had still rowed the full course and I for one could feel it in my legs as we rowed down to the start for the second race. Despite being closer than the day before we still didn't manage to catch Downing II and rowed over again.
Day Four - Rowed over head of division 3 and then foot of division 2
Another gutsy row... As we rowed down to the start I could tell that this would be our 6th bumps races as the whole boat understandably felt a little tired. Despite that we went off strong as planned and didn't give up. With Corpus at a length behind us the whole way and the windy conditions it felt like a really long way but we all kept pushing to the finish showing how strong we are.
In the 2nd race of the day, the 7th of the week we knew we had nothing to loose and needed to go off hard to keep up with downing II's flying start and give ourselves a chance to catch them. We succeeded in going off a bit higher than normal (hit 42 rather than the 38 which was standard) and we managed to gain a bit on the first part of the course. However after not long the fatigue showed and we rowed over. I really wish we could have the chance to Downing II without having rowed over first as i think the outcome may have been different... unfortunately that's not the way bumps works!
Up 4 to head of the division and discretionary blades... not bad work!
Day One - over bumped by Selwyn III
Day Two - Rowed over
Day Three - Bumped Jesus IV
Day Four - Bumped by Jesus IV
Day One - Rowed over
With our lightning start in place we set off at speedy rate 47 and within 20 strokes had taken half a length of Magdalene. Another 20 strokes later and the gap between us was being shaved down with everyone stroke. However on hitting the rough water around first post corner the composure was lost and the precision of the blade work ran a bit ragged. With our speed down Magdalene managed to creep away leaving us to row over!
Day Two - Bumped by Clare
We knew we had the edge on Magdalene despite not quite catching them yesterday so today we went all out to close the gap! The start was slightly lower rating at 45 but was much cleaner and so we set off at a cracking pace! By first post we had closed the gap to 3 feet and were really snapping at their heels...however our lack of experience in rough water began to show and the technique didn't quite hold which allowed Magdalene to get away.
By ditton corner it was clear that we'd expended too much in the initial 1km of the race and we blew up allowing Clare to catch us. Despite that it was a race we can be proud of and Martin claimed he has not had to cycle that fast in a long time!
Day Three - Bumped by Emmanuel
This should never have happened...full stop.
Tomorrow we will rectify this mistake!
Day Four - Bumped Emmanuel
This was how we should have raced all week!
We learnt from the mistakes of Wednesday and Thursday and used them to give ourselves confidence to row our best race!
As with Thursday we went flying off the start at a 45 and at the end of our 50 stroke start we were still rating high as we moved closer. However this time we enjoyed the rough water behind Emma as we closed the gap and held our technique so that as we made the bump on first post we were still at 41!
The look of shock on the Emma's crew faces said it all - they'd only managed to row 97 strokes!
Day One - rowed over
In hindsight, today can be looked at in two ways. The more likely one is that we didn't really row terribly well. However, I'd personally like to think that we were going for that sneaky overbump, and that our appalling start was just there to lull our opposition into a false sense of security. This plan, whether or not it existed, did not work out as the possibilities of single, double, triple, and quadruple overbumps disappeared before Rob's eyes. This did not bode well. We did manage, at some point, to realise that rowing over was still better than being bumped, and we duly did that.
Tomorrow, we'll probably just stick to the bump.
Day Two - Bumped Churchill II
No funny overbump plans today. Our sole goal was to put a dent in what was obviously going to be a bright pink spoon barge careering down Men's Division III. Destroying them off the start, we were already up a length by the time we were coming out of the motorway bridge. Our blistering start started to hurt at the rather inconvenient time of running into their rough water at a canvas away, which showed with some very dirty strokes. However, we were still obviously faster than them, so much so that their cox began to steer away from us, hoping obviously that gaining a lateral advantage may help them. It did not, as we promptly drove into them around first post corner. Boom.
Day Three - Bumped Fitzwilliam II
When the video comes up on YouTube, I urge you to skip first post corner.
So it was a good start, especially into a headwind. We gained steadily down first post reach and were already hearing whistles coming into the corner. However, a mental breakdown in the boat more or less stopped the boat dead on the apex, much to Rob's irritation. A few carefully chosen words were blasted down the cox box and at some point in the gut, we started rowing again. The bump, when it did happen around grassy, was definitely one that will be attributed to Rob's near perfect line around the corner, neatly shaving off the distance we were away from Fitz in one fell swoop.
Day Four - Bumped Magdalene II
We knew Magdalene were not a bad crew, but we also knew that if we rowed as well as we could, we would still be faster. We must have looked like a crew wanting to get that bump off the start after a wind up to 42, striding down to 39. Stroke by stroke, we reeled them in, before finally getting them around Ditton.
Day One - bumped corpus christi M2
When we last caught up with M3, the crew was still wet-behind-the-ears, agog at its +3 Lents finish and had just been captured in a series of BCD photographs which, we are told, will someday raise eyebrows with would-be employers, vicars and potential spouses. (We trust M3 and each of them will soon learn the acquitting phrase of "youthful indiscretion.")
Over the vac, however, cox Arjun had other problems to deal with as several crew setbacks caused him to have to re-invent what had become a true diamond-in-the-rough crew. David Guiness and Tim Fiveseat had both been called-up to M2 for the Mays and Seneda Twoseat was committed to months of hairstyling. Colin, on the other hand, could not resist the call of Paris and simply said au revoir to the stroke-seat.
What to do?
Having first consulted with the Porters (good THBC spies, every one of them), Arjun was advised to snatch regnal recruits James I, James II and Henry I from the depths of indifference, apathy and petty excuses. A pint of beer and a promise of success was enough to persuade these three experienced oars to return.
Having filled the missing seats, Arjun turned to the remaining and returning five oarsman for further development.
Tired of "Little Dan" hiding in the bow seat, Arjun ordered him to bulk-up by the Lents - or else. Big David was directed to return to his homeland and date as many women as humanly possible and record it all on Facebook. (The reason being that Arjun secretly intended to invite all of them to the Lents finish line and just before the start inform David they were waiting for him there en masse.) Jann was commanded to spend the entire vac in the tub whilst poor Paolo was instructed to go back to Italy and do everything with his left hand.
These messages delivered, Arjun immediately headed for St. Pancras and Eurostarred straight to the Sorbonne.
"M'ętre fourni avec ou vous ętes mort." he challenged a confronted Colin.
"Oui. Tout suite!" replied the terrified Colin.
Having thus jerry-rigged a decent crew, Arjun became obsessed with fitness. Erg after erg after erg after erg became the order of the day - and always to the rhythmic ratings of Michael Jackson. Painful though it was, the strategy worked.
The three kings met at Runnymede and agreed to a coalition of resources thus commanding stroke, seven and six. Colin was placed at two. Little Dan by now had grown substantially and became Medium Dan and was moved to five seat. Paolo had left England a stroke but returned a bow. David can't wait for a start cannon - any start cannon. And Jann is still in the tub.
Thus, the stage was nicely set for Day One of the May Bumps on Wednesday. And, as expected, without fuss, THBC M3 annilhilated Corpus M2 in exactly 43 strokes. Bump to Trinity Hall.
(Unfortunately, though, David now is nowhere to be found.)
Well Done M3! (And a Well Done to Arjun.)