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Race Report M2 - Day 4

Day 4 - Result: rowed over

Starting positions: Queens’ M2 - St Catharine’s M2 - Christ’s M2 - Peterhouse M2 - LMBC M3

Held station with Queen’s off the start, up to Plough Reach. Christ's, knowing that LMBC would outpace them over the course, pushed very hard off the start, and closed in on us, to within half a boat-length. But we thought only of Queens’ ahead, and made our first move on Plough Reach - they defended well and we were still on station with them around Ditton Corner and onto the Long Reach. After 200m we unleashed a second offensive, and gradually began to close the gap, to a boat length under the Railway Bridge. We then threw everything at them, grinding them down - to two whistles and half a boat-length as we passed the P&E, then just a canvas as we headed towards the finish. James called for the kill and we had overlap, but Queens’ saved themselves across the finish line (and collapsed) - narrowly denying us the final bump, in what was a worthy, epic battle. The greatest respect to an incredible Catz M2 crew, for giving everything over the term and in every race, deservedly making this such a successful bumps campaign!

Pugwash Mays day 4 - Part Two

I still haven't been blocked from posting on the website, so I'm going to make the most of it. Plus I think this stuff is worth talking about.

Mays 2017: M3 Day 4

Less than a foot off bumping Hughes Hall, wide round grassy and straight into a parked Caius crew. Gutted, technical overbump. -1 for the campaign. Bring on BCD!

Pugwash Mays day 4 - A Bump Occurred!

Unfornately we were on the recieving end. Click for the rest of the story, it's really interesting. 

W2 Mays: Day 2

Today W2 were chasing Hughes/Lucy W2 and they were chasing Jesus W3 in what we knew was likely to become a three-boat sandwich. We welcomed Alice Vaughan as today's special guest sub, and now that everyone was back to rowing on the right side, the plan was to return to the normal aggressive start sequence and grind Hughes/Lucy down, knowing we could catch them eventually.

H/L seemed to go for the fly-and-die approach as they held us roughly on station for the first minute and a half, by which point they'd narrowed their own gap on Jesus to about half a length. They got to canvas on Jesus but began to break as we closed our gap to a length. As we hit grassy corner, the two crews close ahead of Jesus bumped out and Jesus escaped unscathed, but Hughes/Lucy got stuck in the bank going wide and we had to hold it up behind them. Determined to continue, and thanks to some excellent coxing under pressure by Sid, we navigated around Hughes/Lucy and restarted strongly, ready to hunt down Jesus. They had extended the distance between us to about 3 lengths while we reset, but we demolished the gap with some nice chunky rowing and it was down to a length by the end of plough reach. Within a further minute, we'd easily caught them in what was neither a bump nor an overbump, but can probably be called a bump-and-a-half.

Then came the wait to find out what the umpires would make of the chaos earlier on. Hughes/Lucy had crucially been denied the chance to bump Jesus at grassy, but at that point we had been gaining faster than they were. It was decided that the three of us would have to rerow - this was disappointing after a great effort in chasing down the bump-and-a-half, but we put our game faces back on and turned around to go again, knowing that we were well-prepared after a term of hard work on the ergs.

We knew we needed to move earlier this time if we were to have a decent chance of catching Hughes/Lucy before they got Jesus. After a solid start and delayed stride, we were clearly gaining better on Hughes/Lucy than in the first row, and got them down to a length within 2 minutes. Both gaps narrowed to half a length but we lost some ground coming out of grassy and Hughes/Lucy continued to close on Jesus. It was time for the kill call and we upped the rate on plough reach, but sadly could not close the three-quarter-length gap in the time it took Hughes/Lucy to get from one-quarter to a bump, as Jesus fell back on them coming into the headwind on the reach.

It was a really frustrating row-over as Hughes/Lucy were easily catchable over a slightly longer distance and Jesus were frankly too pathetic to hold them off for long enough to allow us to save their sorry behinds.  But we will be chasing said sorry behinds tomorrow with a vengeance.


Steely determination in the rerow

Pugwash Mays day 3 - The Wrong Trousers

Today marked the end of the spoons campaign. This disappointed many members of the crew, who still associated "spoons" with the fine* drinking establishment on Regent Street.

Mays 2017: M3 Day 3

After the calm comes the storm: as ever, drama off the water often can be as intriguing as action on the water. Needing to find a sub, we were always going to be up against it today and looking down the charts, we really didn't fancy being chased by a fearsome Ruskin crew tomorrow. Clare Hall M1 weren't going to be easy though, and held us at station for the start. Ruskin M1 quickly dispatched Wolfson M2 in front of us and we focused in on the task at hand, coming within a length round grassy. A big push on Plough reach saw us come within quarter of a length coming round Ditton. However, the quick destruction of yesterday was not in today's script. Three whistles became two as they dug deep and tried to break our spirits. But coming under the railway bridge they hit the wind and we hit them hard. Three whistles, continuous then smashing into their stern half way to Morley's Holt. A cracking result - chasing Hughes Hall M2 tomorrow. Going to be a cracker in the sunshine.

Mays Day 3 - W1 (handing over the sandwich)

Day 3 was always going to be a tough race for W1 and as expected the mighty Homerton took our sandwich boat position off us fairly early in the W2 division race. We won't take it personally, Homerton have far more olympians than we do... given that we don't have any. On a positive note, we were a little relieved to give our legs a rest and skip the second row-over today!

Tomorrow, with a good night's sleep behind us we take on King's for round 3 and we're confident we can fend them off yet again, and who knows, maybe take that sandwich boat title back for another year (let's hope not).

 

W3 Mays 2017 - Day 2

It was another beautiful morning, albeit slightly windy and W3 were raring to go. Buoyed up by the overbump of the first day our energy carried us through our coaches' needless and excessive warm up procedures. (Go to the lock and far too many practice starts on the ergs.) Making it on to the river in good spirits, we were realistic about our chances. Caius had performed far too well for our comfort and so we knew they'd be chasing us down, a sandwich was sure to occur.

Without the delays, we started on time. Enjoying our new higher position on the river we were in for a true bumps experience, a boat behind and a boat ahead we had to keep calm and row smart, not hard.

Lined up perfectly by our cox and boatman the starting gun rang out and we pulled hard, behind us Caius seemed to us to be a little off center but still coming on fast. As we rowed we watched them approach and their whistle came before we heard ours. Under the pressure we didn't falter but used it as encouragement to goad us on. Our burst of speed let us catch Clare and the closer we got, the more it was obvious they were under pressure. Under the motorway bridge we finally caught them! Caius were thwarted and just half a length away.

The carnage we rowed into, because of other bumps, meant there was no way for us to clear the river causing Caius, Jesus and Emma all to pile up behind us. (Oops) The barge 'Georgina' chasing down the rowing only added to the glorious chaos!

W3 Mays 2017 - Day 3

Slightly less sunny and windy, but still plenty to be burned by, W3 prepared for a third day of tense rowing. Encouraged by our coach to row every 500 meters as if they were the first, we were told to put all our power down in the race to catch Sidney Sussex II. Knowing that they were on their way down the river gave us a psychological edge as did the lure of the forbidden 'B' word. Having bumped twice in two days we were starting to get a taste for it.

With the usual coming forward on 12, blades in on 8 and smile on 4, we were ready for the start. Again we set off slightly anxiously knowing Clare would be looking for the revenge bump, but hoping Caius would catch them first, we chased down Sidney. Our starts having much improved we set off well and zoomed over the water. Sidney had no chance as we gained water rapidly, and once again under the motorway bridge we had that all important bump. 3 whistles and it was in the bag. Manouvering ourselves to the side of the river we watched as Caius managed to bump Clare, enjoying the May bump spectacle secure in the knowledge that our own bump put us in the best possible position for the final day.

Wish us luck for tomorrow!