Day 3: row over

A somewhat disappointing day today: we rowed well, but only achieved a row-over. Nines 5, as expected, succumbed quickly to Leys behind us, perhaps depriving us of that vital spark of being chased. But while we closed to within a canvas of Cantabs 7 just before Grassy we didn’t quite have the oomph to catch them. So here is a picture of us from yesterday, rowing up to the start.

Day 1 | Day 2

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Pic courtesy of itinerant bow-bobble supplier Andy Nicol (well, when I say courtesy of, I mean I’ve ripped it off but provided you with a link to him. In fact Andy credits “Ivan Edwards” with the photos, so thanks to Ivan).

But how was our row, I hear you cry? Well actually it was good, the best we’ve managed so far. We get better every day (which bodes well for tomorrow) and weren’t noticably down to bowside today. A good start, and the satisfaction of watching the Leys catch Nines well in our wake. They caught them before the motorway bridge, but only a little before: pertty well where we did, minus a place, which makes the Leys about as fast as us, perhaps a little faster. Certainly fast enough to make tomorrow exciting (not that today wasn’t; I still nearly fall apart just before the start every time). We gained on Cantabs 7, and were down to a canvas coming into Grassy, but there we lost it – Emma says bowside (thats me :-() didn’t pull the corner enough; perhaps strokeside failed to ease off just that fraction; either way, we went wide and never really recovered the distance. Cantabs didn’t tire quite as we’d expected them to over the second half; motto, I think, is to push ourselves harder in the first half tomorrow.

Other club news: M1 down (after a long row; they got all the way to the White House on the reach, a painful place to be bumped), M3 rowed over (twice: as head of M4 and then as sandwich boat). they have City 10 on for blades behind them tomorrow. W2 up, and are on for blades tomorrow, needing to catch a weak-looking Nines 4. W1 also up, and have cantabs 2 to look forward to. So that is “-..++” for the night, for a net gain of 1. Pretty graph here.

Top-of-M1-news: Nine 1 have now gone down to Cantabs and Robs, leaving City well placed for a crack at them tomorrow: City were only 1/2 a length down on Robs at first-post so must be in with a good chance: go Savelie! Will Cantabs 2 get Champs? Probably: go Petr!

If you have the right facebook friends: here is us rowing past Grassy with our willow, yesterday.

+ / – / . / . / .

It is the first night of the bumps (and see? I haven’t bored you with the boaties for ages).

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This isn’t us – this is Cantabs II in M1 just about to catch what must be 99’s III, I’d guess. Congratulations to all of them and in particular Petr Arnold at bow. He certainly looked very happy afterwards. Slightly bad news for our M1 who are now ahead of them tomorrow.

To explain my cryptic notation in the title: W2 went up; M3 went down; we (M2) rowed over; W1 and M1 rowed over.

Our race was quite interesting. St Ives (rather an unknown quantity behind us) gained a little on the start but fell away after about 500 m or the first corner. Well before then the crew we were chasing, Cantabs 7, (who we, the glorious M2 of two years ago, caught after a hard row on the third night) had bumped Nines 5; we’d pretty well settled down to a row-over, as as far as we could tell everything ahead of us had bumped out. Then, excitingly, some Cantabs boat (#21, 11 places ahead of us) suddenly appeared, rowing. So we chased them down the Reach and caught them between the White house and the Railway bridge. But, it wasn’t fair, as they’d had some bizarre marshalling instructions and we only caught them because of some humungous crabs they got. For extra comedy points we weren’t sure where our finish was, or whether we’d really bumps Cantabs. But as it turned out our finish *was* the White house, not the railway bridge, so all was well.

As for the row: pretty nervous I thought, but then the first night often is. Badly down to bowside (the true enemy wasn’t Cantabs but those b*st*rds on strokeside! Does anyone else remember Spike Milligans war memoirs? The bit where someone – perhaps Patton – is talking to the politicians back home: “The Germans? Sure, I’ll put them on the list, but first we have to whump the Limeys”). We kept going, and didn’t tire: that was the main thing. Kate claimed 39 off the start and 35 for the first 500 m; if so that explains the huge amount of water we shipped :-). By contrast, I remember watching First+Third as they cruised past the Plough in complete control: “34” whispered the cox as they powered by, totally dry and totally together.

Particular thanks for Emma for great coxing, and Jon, Chris and Emma B for bank partying.

Current charts are at http://cra-online.net/bumps/index.asp but will be different by the time you read this.

Hello to Atrichoke on first post corner. Hope you enjoyed the race.