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Boston Marathon 2005 (Race Report)The race, well, how to describe it - the others may disagree but for me the first word that leaps to mind is 'boring'. It's hard to convey the deep sense of hopelessness that comes from rowing for what seems like an eternity only to hear Ali's cheerful voice go "now I can see the 23 km mark, we're doing really well!" and vaguely remembering being told you were passing the 22 km mark sometime in the distant past, but you have died inside of boredom and exhaustion four times since then. Oh, and it hurts of course.
Three moments from the race stick in my mind - the first is the time we were overtaken by our opposition (the other S4 mixed four), who had started around half an hour after us. They looked at us in disbelief and said "is that our opposition?", then vanished. The second was being overtaken after around 30k by a pair with two grey-haired old gentlemen in it. Ali asked them how they felt: their stroke replied "f***ked" and their bow replied "old" - then they disappeared off into the distance leaving us 19-22-year olds paddling along in their wake. The
third was after about 35k being told encouragingly by some guys on a stationary boat that we looked "really good". That was the worst, quite clearly we looked anything but, but we looked like we needed the encouragement or something. Very upsetting.
Anyway, we had, um, well fun isn't really the right word. Lisa had cut herself the day before and bled profusely all over the inside of the boat. Matthew hurt his back but soldiered bravely on. Mark has a chemical imbalance in his brain that makes him think that the race was enjoyable, and I still haven't broken it to him that I would rather die than do that marathon again - and as for myself, well, I don't recommend trialling AT ALL because the coaches take a sadistic joy in seeing people cradle their lacerated palms and weep as they say "spin here, we have time for another reach".
Anyway, thought I'd let you know how it went, forgive the long email. We raised 48 quid from PBC members by the way (which doubles thanks to Patrick - to 96 pounds) and a bunch more from others which we haven't worked out yet. Thanks for your support!
May Bumps 2005 (Race Report)Day 1
A slow start to the Mays this year, with nobody going up on the first day.
Good solid start from M1. Caius cranked it up hard for the start, hoping for a quick bump and moved in to about a length while M1 held distance on Selwyn. From halfway between the motorway and first post, Selwyn started moving away, caius started to fall back. In first post corner, Selwyn were fortunate to survive, clashing heavily with a crew on the outside of the corner, but managed to reset as M1 came back on distance. Caius were still falling well back. Out of grassy, Selwyn started moving out from M1, with fitness being the major decider. Out of ditton into the reach, Caius started moving back in, closing to about a length at the finish.
W1 got a good start, gaining slightly on Kings until they caught Emma and bumped out. Held off Fitz pretty well until hitting the headwind around Ditton then everything just collapsed, allowing Fitz to catch us in the Reach.
M2 set off with a far from prefect start, and didn't really move in on Emma III. The lower half of the division was halted after another boat failed to clear, and all except Trinity III and Emma III were awarded technical rowovers. Emma failed to catch Trinity in their re-row, so it'll be just the same start order for all of us tomorrow.
W2 - A bit of a scrappy start (mainly due to the cannon going when we reached 5 on the countdown!) turned into a respecatble row. Unfortuately Catz who were chasing us ploughed straight into the bank on the second stroke and were immediately bumped. A very good and rather stacked LMBC crew gradually moved in from 3 crews behind, and despite holding them off all the way to Ditton, we were reeled in on the Reach, and over-bumped with less than a minute to go before the finish.
M3 were unfortunately got the better of by a rather unsporting gust of wind, which with but a few seconds to the cannon blew the bows towards the meadow-side bank. With no time to recover M3 were overtaken (and therefore bumped) by a rather lethargic Homerton II (whom we shall catch tomorrow) whilst parked in the trees.
Another hard day for Peterhouse. M1 had a good and solid start but were rowed down by a determined Trinity crew coming up to Ditton corner. W1 had a solid row over being chased by CCAT, with some excellent corners around all the traffic on Grassy!
M2 fought hard to close in on Emma, but were worn down by a much larger Fitz crew, again getting bumped just before Ditton corner. W2 had a 'rather dissappointing' row with Newnham closing in rapidly and bumping us soon after the motorway bridge. M3 recovered well from a skewed start, but were rowed down by a fast Christ's crew just after 1st post corner.
Our luck still fails to change, with another bump free day. M1 had an awesome start, good and solid like the first two days, striding out to 36. A second stride brough it down to a more sustainable 33 after 1st post corner. The Caius machine ground us down, taking the inside line round Ditton, forcing us wide and eventually took the bump after the corner. W1 had another gruelling rowover in the heat, this time chasing Emma.
M2 pushed on hard to catch Fitz after their bump yesterday, but they held us on station for most of the course. A very solid rowover. W2 faced another quick boat behind them, and despite a better and more committed row Sidney moved in for the bump fairly quickly. M3 freed themselves from potential spoons by giving a solid rowover, again in the scorching midday sun. Well done to everyone for some committed efforts against the odds.
The last day of racing, and it was a hot one!
The first men were racing off of the second station, chasing Caius II, and being chased by Downing II. Whilst slower than Caius II, Downing never stopped pushing, and again we were wound in, surviving into the long reach. For the first women, it was chance no. 2 at Emma but with Jesus II on for blades tearing up behind us. We matched them for whistles up to Grassy; Emma had another good corner and so did we, only we couldn't hear our coach Matt through the crowds, didn't have a clue where Emma were - and Jesus got us outside the Plough. We tried hard, nothing went wrong, but we were bumped and now down 2 overall - though this is a 50% improvement on last Mays..!
M2 were chasing Fitz II again, with Darwin II following. After colliding with an ocean rowing boat on the reach on the way up to marshall, it looked as if Darwin wouldn't make the gun but they arrived with minutes to spare in a replacement boat. Fitz caught Trinity Hall in front shortly after the motorway bridge, and we rowed solidly down the course in the heat stretching our lead over Darwin all the way. A steady end to the week for the most successful PBC boat, with only one bump. W2's attempts to avoid spoons were dealt a heavy blow when our bow girl badly cut her leg while cycling to the boathouse. A frantic search for a last minute sub ensued, and Tabi very kindy stepped in, despite injury, allowing us to avoid the technical bump. We raced to the lock to get there in time, just made it before the start, then tried to get ready to row, albeit missing one rower and our counting-down-person (ably subbed in by Mark). Sadly, any chance of avoiding spoons was lost in all the confusion before the race, but at least we managed to field a boat rather than get technicaly bumped.
Second Trinity Challenge Sculls 2005 (Race Report)'Twas a wee bit windy on the 15th March.. Not sure the words "big" and "head-wind" really quite capture the level-five hurricane which was blowing straight into our bows, but in the absence of a handy thesaurus they'll have to do..
Come to think of it though, that should be qualified a bit - it was actually relatively calm in the morning. Unfortunate for us poor souls drawn in the second division.. Not that Charlie, Jack and Callum were ever in danger of not finishing 1st, 2nd and 3rd mind!
The race was, well, as tiring as a full-course head race into an f-ing huge head-wind is always going to be. At least the Cam has more interesting scenery than Boston.. Was my first time back racing in a single for a while (around three and a half years..), so pacing was a bit of an issue. Forearms dead by Ditton, with a loooonng way left to go.
Was quite pleased with 6th place. Not too far off Paul Wilkins (now a beasty Rob Roy sculler). Plus beat Steve Benjamin by 2 seconds (cf. the Colquhoun Sculls report..) *evil cackle*
Lent Bumps 2005 (Race Report)Day 1
Well done to all the crews rowing today, especially the 1st men and women with some good fast bumping! Starting as we mean to go on, W1 caught CCAT, as expected(!), and M1 sailed past Girton 1 on the second corner after they had problems following the racing line. Hard luck to the 2nd men, who were caught by a strong Fitz 2 probably still with a vendetta from last Mays... Tomorrow both men's boats start behind their opposite numbers from Fitzwilliam, with some scores to settle. The 1st women will be chasing Kings 1, who managed a row over today. Everything to play for, watch this space for further results.
Go Second VIII! Peterhouse M2 claimed back the position they lost yesterday with a bump on Fitz 2. That's all I really know for now, if anyone was there please send in a quick report. Well done guys, it's a great omen for the 1st men tomorrow. Fitzwilliam really aren't going to like Peterhouse...
Oh dear oh dear oh dear. The 1st men are back where they started, having been bumped back by Girton at the top of the reach. After a sketchy start with bowside on the bank, they held Girton off through the gut with some tidy cornering, but it all came to nought after a sluggish plough reach and an exhausted ditton corner. Ah well, we've bumped them before so let's get them back on Friday
The 1st women chased Darwin for an overbump as Kings bumped Emma 2 ahead of them, but it wasn't to be. No blades for the women this year then, but through no fault of thier own.
Another mixed bag of results for Peterhouse. The 1st women continue to press on upwards with a satisfying bump on Emma 2, bringing their tally to up 2. The 1st men, however, went down again to LMBC 2, bringing their score to down 1. The 2nd men repeated their battle with Fitz 2, again going down 1. And so the struggle continues...
And so, it's all over for another term. The 1st women claimed that Darwin bump they'd been threatening all week, bringing their tally to up 3. Very well done ladies, the best W1 result for a while and very well deserved!
The 1st men had an epic row over, being the centre boat in a 3 way battle all the way down the long reach. Thanks to LMBC 2 and Sidney 1 for a row we'll remember for a long time... The 2nd men again did battle with Fitz 2, but in a fitting if not appealing end to their week's rowing both crews rowed over. Stalemate.
So, at the end of the day the results are M1 down 1, W1 up 3, M2 down 1.
May Bumps 2004 (Race Report)Day 1
The 1st men worked hard as sandwich boat at the foot of the 1st division, but were unable to catch Fitz and rowed over. The 1st women had even worse luck, being bumped by a much stronger Darwin. The 2nd women also struggled with Fitz, but were bumped. The 2nd men, however, caught Fitz II before the motorway bridge, retaining their 'we don't do corners' record. The 3rd men also had a good first day, bumping Churchill IV without too much difficulty
A couple of solid row overs today saw the 2nd women and 3rd men holding position, while all the other boats unfortunately went down.
The 1st men produced a row to be proud of, holding off a much stronger Pembroke 1st VIII featuring a certain Wayne Pommen. The 1st women were bumped by 1st & 3rd.
Most unlucky of the day, however, were the 2nd men. After reeling in 1st & 3rd III to ½ a length, a broken seat and the accompanying crab let Trinity Hall close up the gap and overbump us halfway down the reach. So ends that glowing 2nd VIII record, and we're back behind Fitz tomorrow...
Well done to the 1st men, bumping Fitz and rowing over at the foot of the first division, and the 2nd men, bumping Fitz II (again). The 2nd women were very unlucky to have stroke's blade depart from the gate on the 2nd stroke, when they looked almost certain to catch a slightly less polished New Hall IV.
Well done to the 3rd men, who struggled valiantly but were eventually bumped by a stronger Queens' crew.
Peterhouse are back in the 1st division! Congratulations to the 1st men for bumping Caius II back into the 2nd division. No more sandwich boating!
Well done to the 2nd women, who bumped Selwyn III more than making up for their cheeky bump on Friday. The 1st women were less lucky, being bumped by King's to secure their spoons.
The 2nd men chased Emmanuel III through the whole course in the driving rain, closing to ½ a length on the reach (again), but it wasn't to be and we rowed over.
The 3rd men went down to LMBC IV, but should still be very proud of their performance. Bring on the Getting On Race 2005!
The 2nd men would also like to offer their congratulations to Fitz II, who have been a very sporting opposition all week and avoided spoons today with a row over behind us. Well done guys!