Race ReportsThis page lists race reports. For general news see here and here for alumni-related news.
Small Boats Regatta 2013 - K. Ashley"I started sculling as an excuse to get out of the library over Easter- five weeks later my training diary was full and I'd managed to only go swimming once- things were getting serious! The long ergs and gym sessions were probably more beneficial to the upcoming 2k test though as I was only entered in the novice Maiden Sculls category- a short dash down the reach in a straight (ish) line. Nevertheless I was feeling confident on the start line- the conditions were good and the reach was the flattest I'd seen it in weeks. A lack of entries meant my category was to be contested in a straight final- only one chance to make all the hours missed revising worth it...
After an enthusiastic but messy start I started to get ahead of my opponent, until I broke the first rule in regatta racing and tried to look across- this resulted in a boat-stopping crab (lesson learnt) though I managed to stay upright and recover my blade. By this point I was a couple of lengths down, though shouts from my bank party suggested I was still in with a chance so I took the pace back up and started to pull back some ground. By the half way mark, we were about level and battling to see who could crab less.
In the last third I started to relax and found a stronger rhythm- I started to pull ahead and finished with clear water behind to win the Maiden Sculls category. Now to learn to steer round the corners so I can come back next year and take on the full course! Many thanks to John and Andrei for their support and bank steering."
Small Boats Regatta 2013 - A. LebedDay One
Quarter final race against Trinity Hall.
You could tell it was a novice sculls race when everybody got to the top of the reach and starting piling up on each other as the wind blew us into the bank. After disentangling myself from the mess of blades and bow-balls, I lined up with my competitor to race. The wind wasn’t all that weak, which made the start shaky for both of us. 10-20 strokes in however, I managed to relax and find a rhythm, letting the hands get lower for a better flow on the recovery. Once I did that, I pushed off the competition and comfortably won by 18 seconds over the reach.
Semi final race against Pembroke.
Feeling confident from the quarter-final win, I lined up at the start having wished my competitor a good race. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to give him one. Probably from being a bit too tense at the start, I steered into the towpath bank, and clashed blades with the underside of the towpath, stopping me dead and unable to race. ‘Politely’ vocalising my disappointment with such an unfortunate start, I rowed almost the entirety of the course at steady state until being told to ‘wind down’ by the marshal at the finish line (they found this very funny, I did not at the time). Lesson learned - you can be as fast as you like and as fit as you like, but if you can’t get around corners...
M1: Lent Bumps 2013By the entire M1 collective
Hurt. By Bob.
To expand on Bob’s rather simplistic, but truthful report, the first race instilled the needed confidence in the crew, as we had for the first time gone out and seen how we compared to the rest of the crews around us. After a start that nearly took us into the bank (!), one whistle on Jesus through Grassy Corner helped us puff up our chests and sit up, meaning we easily moved away from Pembroke, denying them what they thought would be an easy bump.
In fact, we take pride in defying all expectations on Bump-it throughout the entire campaign! Returning to the race, once we got to the Long Reach we had a brilliant moment of fantastic rowing, and having distanced ourselves sufficiently from Pembroke, comfortably (but painfully) rowed over.
Almost forget to mention, man of the day was definitely our beloved cox - Mike, who managed to steer the entire course with a broken rudder wire. Extraordinary stuff!
Really hurt. Good, straight start meant another whistle on Jesus earlier on. Nothing really happened after, except rowing over. At this point we began to feel that the week might get repetitive.
Bomber’s long term strategy to reunite the Fairbairns first IV came to its final fruition with the return of Karel Kabelik, to replace an indisposed Craig. Craig had suddenly become ill, in a manner not inconsistent with methods known to be used by Czech Special Forces.
We had a good view of Girton failing to catch Pembroke, which provided plenty of entertainment once Jesus had decided they would rather play with LMBC.
Really really hurt.
Round about First Post Corner, it really started to f-ing hurt. This didn’t really go away. If anything, it got worse. Especially that bit between First Post Corner and Top Finish.
Despite gradually closing the gap between us and LMBC, getting down to half a length on the Long Reach, they were so determined to avoid spooning that they certainly gave us a tough race. Unusual, as people are generally keen to spoon with Peterhouse M1. Maybe we lacked the usual charm this time.
Peterhouse M1 stayed level at position 7 in the Lent Bumps charts
W2: Lent Bumps 2013By Rebecca Tsao
Day one. We were terrified. Sure, we'd worked hard, trained hard and were going to race hard... but how good were Wolfson? And how good were the Darwin boat they were chasing in front? What about the Sidney boat behind us? We had a great row down and were promptly terrified by rediscovering just how loud the cannons were. Our station was at the outlet, so Bomber had been planning how to push us out differently for quite a while. The final gun went, and we were off, winding to "FORTY AND A HALF" (Jenny always makes a point to emphasise rates over forty. to terrify the opposition) and settling to a rocky 36. Or perhaps a 34. We made up half a length off the start, but fell back once we had settled. We tore around First Post Corner, then got to two whistles on Grassy Corner, and then suddenly it felt very bumpy in the bows.. My blade tapped something - I looked around - there was Wolfson's stern but yet they weren't conceding! The next stroke I took went chopping through Wolfson's stern (no damage), and their stroke's blade got caught underneath Natasha's uncompromising bows. After that they decided it was maybe a good idea to concede.
The first-day-of-Bumps jitters gone (with a bump, the best way to get rid of them), we were psyched to take on Tit Hall II. At the start, Wolfson behind us were probably keen for a revenge bump, but they didn't take notice of the outlet when pushing out and their start swung them round to veer to stroke side. And then we didn't notice them any more. We wound to forty and and were starting to lengthen out to a strong and rhythmic stride. We got to 37 before we were told to hold it up. BUMP.
Today’s report will be as short as the race itself. We went for essentially a burst and had barely enough time to settle before “HOLD IT UP”. How many strokes? Count the words in this report. BUMP.
NO ONE was allowed to utter the B word. But some people did it anyway. Question was, could we get Darwin W1 before they snagged a falling Caius W2? We hoped that the clear water and their well funded boat club would give Caius a sufficient advantage to hold Darwin off, but disaster struck. Coming into Grassy we were a canvas off Darwin, just as Darwin were a canvas off Caius. Darwin took a look at us and made a push for the bump. Caius took a look at Darwin and freaked the hell out and gave up. Jenny, who had been steering the best line of the lot, got us around Grassy without impediment and coaxed us through the sickening rowover.
The things to remember here are:
a) good crews go up three; lucky crews go up four and
b) NEXT YEAR, DARWIN. Next year. We're coming for you. Caius II too.
c) Screaming your highest rate at your opponents definitely freaks them out.
All in all it's been a brilliant campaign from W2 - the most successful Lents crew in the club, and the best Peterhouse W2 in living memory. Well done everyone! +3
W1: Lent Bumps 2013By Paddy Alton
“The lines don’t really tell the whole story...”
As on every first day of Bumps, there was little way of knowing what to expect. Some successful racing through term and some sparring work with other boats the week before Bumps told us that we were going pretty fast, and should be significantly faster than Selwyn behind us and Magdalene in front. But there’s never any telling what other boats might bring with them on the day, and without a trace of complacency the crew came to front-stops and waited for the sound of the cannon.
The start was strong and we surged forward, settling into a good rhythm and swiftly reeling Magdalene W1 in. Our plan was to move on strongly after the first two minutes and we did this with gusto - Murray Edwards hit Selwyn at this point, and we gained rapidly on Magdalene, catching them on the entry to First Post Corner.
We knew Day Two was going to be tough. In front of us, Kings; a crew we thought we could catch, but who we knew had a quick start, and a crew in front of them who had been very swiftly bumped the previous day. Sadly our worries were not unfounded, and just as the first hints of Kings fading appeared, they hit Trinity Hall and we were forced to row over in a vacuum, with all the boats between us and the head of the river having bumped out.
With Murray Edwards behind, who we knew would be a similar speed to ourselves, and Trinity Hall in front, we were confident that our best row would produce a good bump. Sadly the luck of Bumps was not with us. A promising start saw us move out to two lengths on Murray Edwards in the first minute and close rapidly with Trinity Hall. We passed through the Motorway Bridge and moved on to close the gap further.
Then, just as the quarter length whistle signalling us to seal the deal was about to be blown, disaster: bow’s blade got caught up in the wash from the boat in front and the rough water around the Motorway Bridge, and a real boatstopper of a crab brought our dreams crashing down around us. An agonising struggle to recover followed - time seemed to slow down, and it was all we could do to watch Murray Edwards cruise past while Trinity Hall sailed safely away.
It’s sometimes facetiously said that bumps was invented to teach Cambridge students that sometimes things go wrong, no matter how good you are or how hard you train, and we felt the truth of those words on day three.
Having dealt put the disappointment of the previous day as far behind us as we could, Peterhouse W1 rallied magnificently. We knew our chances of closing the revenge bump on Murray Edwards before they caught Trinity Hall were slim, but we were determined to throw everything we had into the row, and without a shadow of a doubt we did.
Normally when a crew is told that the boat in front has bumped out, they suffer something of a sag for a few strokes. Not so in this case - the response to hearing that Murray Edwards had closed the bump (in roughly the same place we would have expected to on the previous day, had our luck been better) was a real surge forward as the whole crew made it their mission to move on LMBC, three spots ahead. Out of First Post Corner I could see them going into grassy corner - a hopeful sight as it meant two lengths out of six had already been made up. We continued to close the gap over the Plough Reach, but not as fast as we had done in the first few minutes. It became apparent on the Long Reach that we were not going to bridge the gap but the crew continued to row hard, with real determination. Churchill behind us were practically over the horizon by the time we crossed the line.
To hold the highest Lent Bumps position a Peterhouse W1 crew has ever started in is a real achievement. Perhaps not as great an achievement as the crew deserved, but that’s Bumps for you. Now, did someone mention a head race?