Mirror, mirror

Still on the rowing I’m afraid. A row-over today: two years ago we’d have killed for a high-quality row-over like tonight, but after yesterdays superb bump-up, tonight felt like a let down.

Thinking (and drinking, in the Waterman again, a pub I’m coming to like) about it afterwards, it all seemed like an unwelcome mirror of last years M2, also on day 3, albeit at a far higher standard. Just like then, we’d bumped up the day before so had no fear of what was behind us; just like then we had a crew ahead that we knew we were faster than; just like then we were a bit too confident of grinding them down, and failed to sparkle and kill them early.

The pic is from Jet Photographic, as I think you can tell from the huge letters. I hope they don’t mind me advertising their wares.

We did close on them – we had a whistle by Grassy and two (and even three) whistles later; but afterwards it became clear we’d never got closer than 1/2 a length. And down the reach we were either level or falling back a bit – I’m not sure.

Elsewhere… M2 carelessly let themselves be overwhelmed by the gleam of Tabs 7’s shiny new Stampfli, rowed like spanners and went down. M3 down (spoons beckon). W2 rowed over (again! But apparently its been really exciting) and W1 rowed over, which they are very happy with, having been chased all the way. And they have Champs 2 down ahead of them, so tomorrow beckons.


* M1 video from Rob Payne.
* GPS track
* Amy on W1
* W1 video from MadProf77.

Almost a bump

Bumps again, hurrah. The distant sound of gunfire. The culmination of a lot of peoples training for a long time. And, as I discovered once again while waiting for the start, a deeply unpleasant / scary / unnerving experience. It didn’t help that we had to stand around for 20 mins waiting for the 4-minute gun, wondering what the hold up was: it turned out to be the bloody Georgina. Meanwhile we’re chatting, thinking, looking about, going for a wee, trying to dispel the nerves. Early rain had given way to a beautiful evening, though getting dark now. We’d done a good start after the railway bridge and a superb one after the Plough – oh no, I though, there’s our best start of the night wasted in practice. We know little about the crews around us.


(no, that isn’t us, that is M3 going round Grassy)

4 minute gun; back in the boat. Minute. Count down: push off at 30, light tap from bow (me) at 15 to straighten us off. We’re starting 14 so can cut the corner. Square at 7. Gun.

bumps-map A fair start, we’re off, nothing is happening, exactly as expected. We get through the choppy water under the motorway bridge and are settling – possibly just a bit too settled for maximum speed. Nines (3) behind us aren’t closing. Faint whistles, but not for us. First post, and behind us Nines are bumped by Champs 2. Into the gut and it starts to feel good; still no whistles for us. We expect Tabs 3 to be fast off the start. Suddenly, after the Plough, we’re screamed at to hold it up. I turn round and slap their stern in brief joy – but no, we haven’t bumped them, they’ve bumped City 3 who failed to clear. So we have to stop and restart. If it was a close race, or there was stuff behind us, this would be a disaster. But it isn’t and there isn’t, so it really doesn’t matter. Having been forced to stop for 10 secs the overbump is clearly unrealistic but James pushes us down the Reach anyway; not sure that was a good idea.

Brief stop at the beer tree, to talk over the race. Back to the boat house, more talk. To the Waterman, for some more and some beer. Delightful. Agree that tomorrow will be the test: City 3 are there for the taking, if we row well, and stay away from Champs 2.


* Chesterton club blog
* GPS track

More hot bumping action

I had such fun watching the last three divisions today that I’m going to bore you with yet more rowing. First, here is Corpus M1 (hello Rob!) catching Christs M2 (note cox’s hand half raised in the process of acknowledging the bump) to cement their place in division 2 and their hopes of blades tomorrow. Pembroke II look on in admiration, having bumped the brightly coloured Darwin.

Continue reading “More hot bumping action”

Bumping time again


But only the university ones, which don’t matter too much. However, they have been pretty exciting so far and definitely good fun to watch. This year they are Wednesday 15th June and Saturday 18th June, ie we’ve had days 1 and 2 so far. This post is just a convenient place for me to dump the map and some accompanying text that I can point people at, link to my first youtube uploads, review my cheapo camera, and generally enthuse. You can also read CUBCs guide to watching, or First and Third’s.
Continue reading “Bumping time again”

Head or Dead

head-or-dead-Lents-2011 This week is the Lent bumps, and I’ve been down to watch (except tuesday, when I forgot – since when do the bumps run over 5 days? – and thursday, when it was grey and miserable). Today was a lovely still sunny chill March afternoon, and I was rewarded with some fine bumping action to watch. First I should explain the image, which I stole from a Downing chap. First and Third were head last year (and, I think, a few years before – but I don’t really connect to college rowing) but looked weak on wednesday. The results say that Downing caught them on thursday (video here), and today they were convincingly ahead. So as my Downing chap says, their only trouble might be Caius tomorrow, but I think they are likely to stay head (ahem. I was wrong). Their ladies seem to do well, too. Peterhouse are up as well, in which I take some vicarious pride, as we share their boathouse.

The pic below is from thursday (via this blog, but its actually a Girton-cam video, and well worth a watch; that blog also has the breathlessly exciting story of the bump), and alas I didn’t see it: Downing are closing in on First and Third, but behind them LMBC take a distinctly innovative approach to steering, reminiscent of a certain Chesterton crew from a few years back [James T’s photo of the “dent”].


My favoured position is to watch from first post corner, so you can see the start, maybe watch the head boat come past, then walk / run down watching for an exciting pair to follow. But taking care not to get run over on the towpath, since the boat parties expect to get right of way. Today’s excitement was at Grassy, where there was a desperately exciting thre-boat chase – but showing what a rubbish reporter I am, I can’t even remember which three they were. This was followed by an even more exciting multi-boat pile up, whose centerpiece was ?Fitz? stacking into Magdalene with enough force to nearly rip off stroke’s rigger and, as quickly became apparent, put a huge rent under the boat, which will probably write off the rear section. Oops. Completely pointless too.

[Update: Saturday dawned sunny, and it was a delight to be alive. Sadly I wasn’t, at least to start with. By the time I’d woken up there was a thin high haze tempering the sun, and though I took my top off for our last piece (much to Naz’s excitement) I regretted it: the light splash of cold water was very cold.

I watch M3 and W2 with some of the Chesterton folk on Grassy. Here we see Trinity Hall II bumping Clare II, with F&T getting a lucky escape:


Then it was time for a coffee back in town to warm up, and say hello to M. Return for W1 and M1.


Downing ladies stayed head by quite a margin.

By the afternoon it was grey, and by the time for M1 there was a gentle drizzle. But it was well worth watching: Caius surged to with 3-4 feet of Downing by the Plough (it looked like they were deliberately trying to time their bump for the audience there; that didn’t quite work), and then convincingly bumped then not far from the top of the reach. One man was so excited he threw himself and his bicycle into the river, although to be fair it may not have been deliberate – there was a huge press of Caius folk who had been outside the Plough and wanted to see down the reach. And then another couple of bumps occurred – I think Queens got Pembroke and maybe Magdalene on Emma? Anyway, it was jolly exciting. And I found my lenscap – thank to whoever left it on the bin by the end. And so home, to pick up Miranda who had made scones with Sophie.


The victorious Caius, having knocked Downing off their brief headship on the last day.]

In memory of Andy Hurst, 1981-2011


Dear Lord and Father of mankind,
Forgive our foolish ways!
Reclothe us in our rightful mind,
In purer lives Thy service find,
In deeper reverence, praise.

In simple trust like theirs who heard
Beside the Syrian sea
The gracious calling of the Lord,
Let us, like them, without a word
Rise up and follow Thee.

O Sabbath rest by Galilee!
O calm of hills above,
Where Jesus knelt to share with Thee
The silence of eternity
Interpreted by love!

m1-from-andy-h Drop Thy still dews of quietness,
Till all our strivings cease;
Take from our souls the strain and stress,
And let our ordered lives confess
The beauty of Thy peace.

Breathe through the heats of our desire
Thy coolness and Thy balm;
Let sense be dumb, let flesh retire;
Speak through the earthquake, wind, and fire,
O still, small voice of calm!

He was killed hang gliding in Australia. Dangerous place, Oz. He is the one in the sweat cap in both pix. I only knew him a bit: he came down for some of the bumps, and was a strong part of our blades in 2008, and not responsible for 2009. He was a good chap and quiet. The service was packed out. As well as rowing and hangliding he also worked, on ptychography I think.


* Amy also posts.
* Wreath from the club.
Continue reading “In memory of Andy Hurst, 1981-2011”

Cold again


and yet more photo spam:


Last week it was cold. It was warmer at the weekend. But this week it is cold again. Though as RC points out, its not going to be the coldest winter for a millenium.

DSC_5853-phoebe-a-table We went rowing tonight. Oddly enough we were the only crew out. We had to stop past the Elizabeth way bridge due to ice on the river – not solid sheets at that point, but enough floating bits to warn us that worse was coming. Very cold, I rowed with a glove on my inner hand and only survived by sticking my outer hand down my trousers when we span. Still it was a good warm-up for a pint in the Fort. Christmas Head this weekend. We are “Rage against the machine”, apparently a popular beat combo.

The pic is out front-garden fennel, with those cute icy spikes that grow when it is substantially sub-zero (about -4 oC) and very still. Close-up of the spikes on a branch, though the light is poor.

In other news just in, our cat is cute.


* Amy is iced in
* Apparently in other bits of England its a bit more serious
* Hansen points out that while its been cold here it has been warm elsewhere.