Tally so far: M1 +1, W1 +1, M2 =, W2 -3, M3 =; overall -1.
For anyone who hasn't stood under the motorway bridge when the guns go off, I took a little video of it. You need to hook up some big speakers to really appreciate it.
Well, we knew this would be hard, but we had high hopes. Yesterday's superb bump of Tabs 3 had brought us a respite behind us and a clear shot at Nines 2 ahead of us. And we all agreed on the strategy, which was not to expect it to be easy and not to expect an early bump. And we mostly put it into practice, except somehow along the way it just turned down the spur a little too low; perhaps the respite behind us wasn't what we needed. In retrospect, too much like a replay of last years day 3. So while we closed to within 3/4 a length of Nines, we couldn't get closer. Rowing in the choppy water was hard, and they had clearish water ahead of them, Champs 1 having sprinted off to take out Robs 2.
Tomorrow we have St Neots behind us again, so its back to the all-out sprint off the start strategy: no lack of spur there. I'm looking forward to it.
[Pic by David Ponting; see his facebook page. Nines 2 look composed. And at least they know how to hold their heads up.]
W1 - Champs sandwich!
From our in-boat correspondent:
After Day 2's debrief we decided what we needed was an outing! But we settled on a legs only warm up, after which we had a powerful and confident row up to the start. The race started well with a better start and we had Champs 2 in sight. With no danger from Champs 3 behind we kept grinding on. At grassy Champs 2 bumped out in front of us. But it wasn't game over... we were on for the overbump. With fabulously motivational coxing we pushed and pushed all the way down the Reach but the finish line came too soon. A truly epic row-over. And Day 4 we have Naz's crew. Bring it on!
[Pic by DP. Another: on the way to the start].
From our in-boat correspondent: By day three this this starts to feel like another routine. Tonight we chased City 7 with Champs 5 behind. The general race prediction was that there was no chance of catching City 7 before they bumped and that we would have no problem holding off Champs. Personally I think this was setting the wrong attitude in the boat to make predictions like that, but that's just me. As it turns out City 7 bumped just after the A14 bridge and we did manage to keep Champs far enough astern (but they did manage to get uncomfortably close at times) and we rowed over with no chance in hell of an over-bump. Excellent job by the crew in keeping it together and once again to our cox (Fio) who is managing to bring boat and men together skilfully.
Row over head of M4; followed by a (distant) row over at the bottom of M3. Well, they can't say they aren't getting their money's worth.
Tomorrow will be more testing: they have a crew on for blades behind them at the start. Here is a bit of video of them idling back down the reach, if you want to check them out.
The Smith, in its unnatural habitat.