Thursday, 19 July 2012

Bumps day 2

Summary: M1+, W1=, M2+, W2-, M3+=.
Tally so far: M1 +1, W1 +1, M2 =, W2 -2, M3 =; overall 0.
[Day 1, Day 3]
Chesterton now has a twitter feed, courtesy of Amy. #TownBumps seems to be the bumps tags in other people's feeeds. We're @ChestertonRC.

M2

The glorious summer weather was out in force for the start of mens division 2 yesterday. But scroll forward to about 2:45 for the 4-boat bumpfest coming round first post: champs 4, followed by champs 5, with our boys chasing them, and the hi-quality low-practice Chaotiques featuring Tom Watt coming up behind. Well rowed chaps, and nice steering from Fio.

W1

Another day another race. Today's task was to bump Champs 2 and hold off City 5, who were keen to get us back for bumping them the previous night. We had a good start but City 5 were faster and although we gained on Champs before we knew it City 5 were bearing down on us and with whistles blowing and their blades in sight we gave a hard push, they panicked and caught a crab and we escaped. As they faded into the distance we turned our attention to Champs in front. We kept plugging away and gave a final push out of Ditton but it wasn't to be. But we kept pushing nevertheless as tomorrow we'll get them. A valiant row over.

[Some video by madprof featuring the world's latest concession, but us only briefly.]

M1

Picture by Amy After a first night of relative calm Wednesday was always going to be rather more challenging. St Neots traditionally give it all at the start (perhaps because they fear Grassy Corner?) and this year is no exception, they are blisteringly fast and they were right behind us. In contrast Tabs 3 ahead of us are a weaker crew than they were in 2010 when they bumped us. So it was bump or be bumped and all three boats knew it.


After an inspirational team talk the row down was excellent, composed and focussed (aside from 7 losing his seat in the first practice start, but we won't dwell on that). Marshalling went smoothly and Chris S gave another rousing call to arms as the heavens opened at the 4 minute gun. The rain stopped again as the countdown ran down and we launched off the start winding up to 41 and "settling" at 40. As we had planned there was no transition to steady state and Andy kept us charging toward 1st post corner sacrificing efficiency for outright power and short term speed. The whistles came quickly, a length then half a length from Tabs 3. However, behind us St Neots had made the expected quick start and rapidly gained on us eventually gaining overlap at the entrance to 1st Post Corner. They were well placed on the inside and for a moment they looked like they might just have us, but just when it looked impossible Chris sounded his horn to tell us we had overlap with Tabs 3 (he was lying as it transpired but it was an inspired move). The crew responded magnificently pushing St Neots back as James took a superb line around the corner and in seconds it was all over. Tabs conceded and we easied. St Neots were only a couple of feet behind and also had to stop as we scrambled for the offside bank to let them past. Eventually St Neots fought their way through and disappeared around Grassy Corner with Champs close behind while we fought for breath and tried to make sense of what had just happened. As we collected our willow thunder rolled ominously and the skys darkened, we rowed back in dramatic conditions the usually tranquil Cam unusually fast flowing and brown after the recent floods and the threatening sky brightened by occasional lightning flashes. Strange bearded natives cried "beer" from the riverbank but the Pubs were calling us home for a well deserved celebration.

[By James Howard. Picture by Amy. "madprof" has good video from Grassy, though it doesn't include us. Does show the eventual St Neots / Champs / City pile-up. Mel has Jo's video of us.]

W2

Down again I'm afraid :-(

M3

Bumped Outspoken with no trouble, well done! [I have some video I hope which I can add.] That put them back at the head of M4, and therefore sandwich boat for the men's third division, chasing Press. Who were still fast. Ahead of Press were the Vets, who Press could catch, but ahead of them was "the slowest boat on the river", who the Vets could catch... ah, but if they held out long enough, Press could get the Vets and we could overbump the snails. But alas: the Vets disposed of the snails in short order; ahead, the next few pairs were gone too, leaving Press nowhere to go. We gallantly chased them at a distance of about 3 lengths, but it was a row-over.

Pix

Please email (or leave comments) of any coverage.

* Amy

* Electric Six - Down At McDonaldz

* CN report

* M2 in post-bump willow

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