Sunday 5 May 2013

The bumps, at Oxford, in IVs!

TL;DR: down 2 in round 1, then 3 row-overs.

Saturday, 20th April, 2013

After last year we very much intended to come back for 2013. We'd done little practice this year, and thrown away the winning team of Tidy; Connolley, Howard, Holland and Wykeham and replaced it with Tidy; Howard, Wykeham, Connolley and Richards. The lack of practice rather showed: we got a lot faster during the four rounds, and indeed pretty well held station on Univ ahead of us in round 4, although they'd overbumped us in round 1. "Selecting" a boat entirely comprised of bowsiders was also possibly non-optimal.

No Cam trailers were going this year, so we were obliged to town Queens' small trailer ourselves. And since I'd just acquired a car with a tow-bar, I got the short straw. But it was fine, once we were out of Queens' lane.

Round 1: Auriol Kensington B got picked to replace Tabs 2 as the "crew behind us who were much faster than us" and duly bumped us within 500 m; within the gut, I think. James properly put his hand up, but (despite their boat being a bowloader) their cox failed to see this and errm came back and bumped us again. Anyway eventually they got the message. That, we hoped, was it for that round but no, Univ were coming up. James cut the corner around the boathouses, as you'd expect, and despite that Univ had (I thought) overlap at the finish although we were on different sides of the river; but the umpire didn't call it. But then they ended up giving the bump against us because, apparently, you aren't allowed to cut the corner.

Round 2: AK B had pushed down CORC Alumni to head our division, but that didn't make them slow - there was some disaster on the start line. And so it proved: Univ didn't get them, we didn't get close to Univ. Magd school 2 had a fast start and got to within a canvas after the gut before blowing up and getting caught by Linacre; we were starting to row together.

Round 3: No change ahead of us, but a faster crew behind us. Linacre came up well but were decent enough to crab just after the gut; that cost them about 4 strokes rather than the entire race, but it was enough and we were clear.

Round 4: Jesus now head of div 2, and they were caught by Univ. We held Univ, but didn't really close Jesus; that would have been asking a lot. Linacre came up again, but we rowed better and they were kind enough to clip the exit to the gut (local advantage :-) thus losing a couple of strokes.

So there we were: 2 down, 3 hard row-overs. A good day, and we improved significantly as we went along, as you'll see from the GPS traces. But those same traces will show you that we were slower than last year - I think last year's crew would have bumped this year's.

Thanks for Simon E for being our Umpire, and to Mike P-J for being our Pole-Man. And for inviting us round afterwards to his new pad and feeding us fish and chips. And to Lorraine and Meg for supporting, and Emma for entries and young George too.

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