Race Results

The climax of the Lent term's racing. Crews chase each along the Cam trying to physically bump the crew in front. Race reports will be posted each evening.

Men's First VIII

Day 1 - Bumped by Christ's M1

Off a strong start M1 were up on Girton, but Christ's were up on them. Going into First Post Corner they rowed off Christ's and continued to close on Girton. Alisha took a great line around Grassy but the push out of it never really happened and the crew were gradually rowed down on Plough Reach. Christ's just clipped the stern on the entry to Ditton Corner and the race was over.

The crew never really hit their racing rhythm. If they learn from today and go out tomorrow with the strong racing speed they have shown in training then they can look forward to better results for the rest of the week.

Day 2 - Bumped By Clare M1

In large part, today’s race was much better. Off the start the crew did exactly as they knew they had to and set a long, strong rhythm. On First Post Reach they pulled away from Clare by a large margin, and they took the corners well. Coming onto the Long Reach the crew’s strong rhythm started to fracture, however. Some very optimistic whistling from the chasing crew worried them, and Clare started to come back.

With Clare gaining the inexperience of the crew began to show. The stern three got sucked into watching the chasing crew and this disrupted their pace. Despite this, M1 continued to fight all the way down the Reach and under the Railway Bridge. Pushing out of the bridge, some excellent coxing staved off the bump and it looked like the crew might be safe. Unfortunately they were not. 15 strokes short of the finish line Clare steered over for the bump again at we were unable to shake them.

A strong row for almost the entire course. However, the crew must learn to ignore the other crews if they are to succeed in bumping races.

Day 3 - Rowed Over

The crew had been prepped with speeches on the importance of keeping their heads in a tough race. But it almost didn’t come to that. A crab off the start meant that Robinson has 3 whistles by about the fifth stroke, putting the crew under huge pressure: the bank party must have worried that they would crumble as they had done before. But they did not. Showing a great deal of maturity the crew fought back, and held Robinson along First Post Reach, beginning a game of cat-and-mouse, push and counter-push. The crew would open up a small lead, and Robinson would close it down again. Around Grassy Corner Robinson actually had overlap but the crew pushed out of the corner and opened up the gap.

Hitting the Long Reach, the crew maintained their focus and rhythm. They fought off every push from Robinson, who began to come under pressure from St. Catherine’s. The cluster of three boats continued to battle as they passed under the Railway Bridge. Showing a commendable commitment the crew held off Robinson until, just short of the finish, St. Catherine’s bumped Robinson and we were left to row clear for the last few strokes to the
line.

Today the crew finally hit its potential. They rowed like a strong and seasoned crew and were rewarded with a good result. Tomorrow evening will bring another battle but we must hope that the crew will row like they did today, in which case the crew should perform well.

Day 4 - Rowed Over

A fast start saw the crew up on Clare and given their first whistle on First Post Reach. Once Clare hit their race pace, though, the crew were unable to close further despite their best efforts.

The real battle was always going to be with a fast St. Catherine’s crew chasing us for their blades. The crew did well through the corners and held their station on the chasing crew. All the way down the Long Reach the crew remained in that position, with all three crews pushing but never really making a sustained impression on the others. Coming under the Railway Bridge things changed. With blades slipping away from them St. Catherine’s put in a huge push. THBC responded but were unable to stop the gap from closing: we were heading for another tight finish. The crew gave everything but, on the line, everyone thought it was not enough as the umpire awarded a bump to St. Catherine’s.

Minutes later, after consultation with a Senior Umpire, it was revealed that we had actually crossed the finish line before contact was made and we were awarded the row over. Jubilation followed.

In three of the four races this week, the crew has gone beyond the Railway Bridge in a tight spot. We would like to thank all the supporters who have followed us (on the bank, through our website or via live commentary) for spurring us on this week, as well as the coaches who have helped us achieve this level. See you all in the Mays!

Men's Second VIII

Bumped Clare M2

(In summary: We were far faster than Clare, caught them on first post corner.)

Today was perhaps the M2's toughest challenge. Despite being the second fastest boat in their division, they were decided underdogs against Hughes Hall M1. Their chasers had two ex-blues stroking their boat, and had comfortably competed with (and done well against) the other M1s at Pembroke regatta. A cursory look at BumpIt! (http://www.firstandthird.org/tables/results/edit/bumpit.phtml) showed the dastardly Hughes were near universal favourites to bump our Tit Hall heroes. The M2 however, had cooked a secret weapon at their crew dinner the night before. As spinach is to Popeye, guacamole was to our 5-seat Austin. He turned up the next day a changed man, stacked like the hulk, his new 2k a solid 5m flat (this may or may not be artistic licence).

Rowing down, M2 seemed… distracted. There was much discussion upon the best type of sweets, which women's boats to swap with when we "had" our blades, and on why our bank party had abandoned us to chill on the other side of the river (best not to ask when kit was last washed). This lack of focus, somewhat inevitably, affected our practice start which was, to be polite, designed to put the other crews at ease (to be less polite, it was somewhat abysmal).

Things didn't look good for the fearless men of Trinity Hall M2.

Suddenly, the four minute cannon sounded (very loudly), and concentration quickly (finally) set in. The bow three, novices to bumps, were cool as cats - for those that have never met a cat, that's pretty cool. Stroke, Peter, made a mental note not to crab this time. Dan in the bank party decided it was the ideal time to discuss getting a refund for his ski trip. We told him to shut up. It was now or never.

Martin, as always, pushed us out late to give us the best possible start. The crew came forward. The cannon sounded. And Peter pulled a first air-stroke. Jeff had his head in his hands, he couldn't watch. Hughes hall were steaming full ahead, taking advantage of their fast start, and gained 1/4 of a length in the first 10 strokes. Hazel took matters into her own hands, and called for the crew to get back together. They responded magnificently, holding the dirty Hughes Hall crew at 1.25L for the rest of the (admittedly short) race.

Focus turned to Clare M2. Within 10 strokes of the stride, we had our first whistle- we had gained half a length. Seconds later, and Martin was starting to resemble Flo Rida (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSnkWzZ7ZAA) on steroids. Clare attempted to hide by taking a wide corner around first post- hoping to lure Hazel into a mistake. No chance. Upset that someone could think she'd fall for such a basic trick, Trinity Hall's cox took her revenge. Forcing a final hard push, she held M2 up slightly late, ensuring a solid whack on the Clare boat. Although later claiming she "hadn't seen them", the Trinity Hall men took note never to get on her bad side.

A quick look at the video confirmed the bump had happened in ~1m45s, around 500m metres. Demolition.

Underlining the unpredictability of bumps, other events conspired against our brave men. Magdalene M2 (now known as "the spanners") easied their boat after they imagined themselves bumping up. This left a shocked (but uncomplaining) Hughes Hall crew to row comfortably past and claim perhaps the easiest overbump in history. And so the gallant Trinity Hall face their nemeses again tomorrow, this time chasing.

Men's Second VIII

Bumped by Clare M2

(In summary: The race was going perfectly, making moves on Hughes and with no sight of Clare behind. Until our rudder-line snapped and we crashed.)

So, today was interesting.

Perhaps of little consequence, but a man in Hughes Hall clothing was spotted skulking around the Trinity Hall boathouse this morning, suspiciously. The mighty M2 chalked it off to their imaginations.

We knew today would be tough. We were chasing Hughes Hall, and although we reckoned we were faster over the course, we needed our start to be perfect to stay in contact there. In the worst case, we were pretty sure we could take the over bump on Eddies. We were Trinity Hall M2. Gods (although perhaps ready to be humbled by fate).

Rowing down, our practice start was excellent, and confidence was high. Rob's (delicious) shepherds pie coursed through our veins. We were ready. The 4m cannon sounded, and each member of the crew steeled themselves for what would be, inevitably, a long hard race. We'd done our ergs. We could take it.

The cannon fired. Trinity Hall started. The start was focussed, fast, perfect. Clare were nowhere. Hughes were held. The plan was going perfectly. Having wound/strode to 46/42 yesterday, the crew decided to take it lower for the longer race expected today. A perfect stride gave us a solid 46/38; each stroke long and strong. Before long, we were actually gaining on Hughes. Clare were but a distant blur.

Coming into 1st post corner, the tremendous Trinity Hall men were on fire. The gap between them and Clare had increased to over 3 lengths, they had closed almost half a length of Hughes. Hazel went to take the perfect line…

Disaster struck. Where there was once a rudder cable, there was a broken mess. With no control over the direction of the boat, our courageous cox attempted to take full control - "HARD STROKE SIDE; HARD STROKE SIDE!" - with the bends on the Cam, and no warning, she stood no chance. Trinity Hall went hard into the outside of the bend, just making it out. They were pointing towards the other edge however, and without a rudder there was nothing they could do. Hazel managed to call the crew around slightly, preventing a full scale mounting of the side (which would have been bye bye Stampfli…), but Trinity Hall were done for. While continuing may have been possible on the reach, the bendy early part of the course was impossible. In the interests of safety, M2 held it up.

Over the next 5m, Clare, hotly pursued by Magdalene, made up the lengths difference between the crews, and claimed their bump. Hughes Hall wiped the sweat from their brows, their bumps campaign saved. Some M2 men swear they saw a pair of scissors in the Hughes coxes hands. We'll never know.

To their credit, Clare were excellent sportsmen about the disaster, doing their best to comfort and extraordinarily disappointed Trinity Hall boat, and forgoing their greenery. Hughes Hall cackled their way onwards, bumping Selwyn on the long reach. We'd have had them...

A long solitary row home followed, anger palpable. We'll channel it towards Friday; finishing Clare (and going up +2 overall) being the priority.

[Oh, there was also a smallish crab somewhere just after the start. Can't remember who did it, definitely not their fault, and definitely completely probably maybe wasn't me. Not worth talking about, for sure.]

[Also, Hughes didn't really cut our cable. I don't think. They're *probably* very nice people...]

Bumped by St Catherine's M2

(Summary: bad bumps luck doesn't get much worse than this week.)

Let's get this out of the way: in my 4 years of bumps, I have never seen a boat more incapable than Selwyn M2. Ot a bumps campaign with more rotten luck than Trinity Hall M2's.

From the start then. To set the scene: we were being chased by St Cats, we were chasing (the luckiest crew ever) Clare, who were chasing Selwyn. It should be noted that Selwyn's crash on Day 1 had caused a series of (undeserved bumps) resulting in Hughes Hall over bumping for our tough 2nd day. So we already thought Selwyn were pretty spannerish.

Anyway, our rudder cable had been replaced. We were confident; ready to right the wrongs and put Clare back in their place. Martin had crossed the rudder wires, so we took a quick outing upstream to get used to it. Cox Hazel worked it out immediately. Things were looking good. As usual. What could possibly go wrong?

Practising our start under the railway bridge, we were confident the days break had had a positive effect. We were strong and striding effectively. St Catherine's looked reasonably fast, but we were sure we could take Clare looooooong before they came near us. Selwyn weren't slow either, so Clare had no chance of escaping that way. What could possibly go wrong?

As the 4m cannon went off, the crew settled down - as usual. We were confident in our race plan: go hard from the off, finish Clare quickly, chill out. The cannon sounded and we began. The start was a little… rushed, but none the less we held Cats at 1.25 lengths, and quickly made gains on Clare. Coming towards first post corner, we were 3/4 of a length away, and had dropped Cats to 2 lengths. Selwyn had 2.5 lengths on Clare. The race was going perfectly. What could possibly go wrong?

No one is quite sure what happened next. Some say that Selwyn were paid an extraordinarily amount of money. Others mentioned their coxes allergy to steering. Still more wondered about their stern pair's love of shellfish. Perhaps it was the sight of Clare's afro blowing in the wind which drove them to despair… we'll never know. Regardless, as Hughes, Clare, Trinity Hall, St Cats and all the other boats in division made ready to go around first post corner, Selwyn… didn't - mounting the bank on the outside of the corner up to 3-seat.

We'd have been impressed if this wasn't so disastrous for us. Despite pulling Clare to half a length, they rowed past the stationary spanners of Selwyn, claiming their second bump (despite having not gone up on a single crew this week). We're not sure what/who Anton sacrificed to lady luck, but it was very effective.

Hazel was forced to take a wide line around Clare, and the M2 were understandably extremely demoralised. A small slump saw the 2 length lead on St Cats decrease until the chasers were on station. Rather than responding around grassy, the rhythm died, and suddenly Trinity Hall were in trouble. It was time for a gear change.

An instant increase in rating coming around Ditton saw the M2 draw away, pushing St Cats to a length. The course was too long however, and Cats inexorably pulled on Hall up the long reach, claiming the bump. Although we'd pulled on St Eddies - to only 3 lengths (for a double overbump), it was always going to be too much with the fast Cats crew behind.

[Hazel; driven mad by anti-Clare/Selwyn rage, may or may not have refused to concede the bump; almost getting decapitated for her troubles… We apologise.]

Anyway, we're not happy. Tomorrow there *will* be vengeance. We can't possibly have a 4th piece of horrendous luck in 4 days… can we?

Touch wood.

Men's Second VIII

Rowed Over

Going into the final day, M2 were to be chased by Magdalene, while chasing a fast St Cats boat on for blades... It was always going to be tough. We expected spanner Selwyn to have trouble, and went in with thoughts of rowing over, or perhaps a cheeky overbump. That said, we weren't going to make it easy for St Cats… Particularly as we'd now decided that we were probably the fastest crew on the river (let alone division).

Our start was far stronger than previously, and we strode to a comfortable 36, holding magdalene at station, and gaining a length due to some strange Cats steering. Our stroke had even managed zero air strokes! A new record bumps race! A wonderful line around first post brought us within 3/4 of a length, Trinity Hall, Cats, Selwyn and Clare clustered together and fighting tooth and nail. One had to cave first.

In Clare's own immortal words, pride comes before a fall, and Clare (for some reason proud of surviving to first-post yesterday) went on to prove both that their obscene luck had run out, and that Selwyn weren't the worst boat on the river. (Actually Selwyn were quite reasonable whenever corners weren't involved...) They succumbed somewhere around the plough, before showing themselves as incompetent at clearing as at rowing, driving both Cats and THBC very wide. No matter, we pressed on, having cut the difference to only half a length.

It was at this point we really missed Martin and his whistle (his bike was broken). Despite being within touching of Cats, without the shrill motivator we were unable to make our move, with ditton giving us the best chance of a bump.

The two crews tussled down the reach (Magdalene also bumped out at some point here, but they were so far - at least 4 lengths - behind it was inconsequential), with a committed St Cats matching each of our pushes with their own. They wanted their blades. We wanted our bump. Despite being only half a length off for the entire reach, we were unfortunately unable to finish them off, to their credit. Both crews slowly caught up with a tiring Peterhouse.

Coming under the railway bridge, St Catherines realised that their overbump was on, and that surge of motivation saw them start to draw away. Knackered, we were unable to match them, and they gained a length, bringing them home safely and giving our heroes a row over. [St Cats then, unfortunately, made the bump metres too late, failing in their blades-quest. Unfortunate, perhaps if we'd pushed them slightly harder under the bridge, they'd have made it?]

Finally, a day without bad luck (although lacking in good luck too).
Although we come home the most successful TH boat, we can't help but feel a little robbed this bumps. I suppose there's always Mays.

Addendum: I feel now is a good time to congratulate Humza on one of his best performances this term - only turning up to the outing 25m late. A pot will be passed around BCD this evening; proceeds going towards a new alarm clock.

Women's First VIII

Bumped By Lady Margaret's

Without a bank party to count down, the cannon took W1 somewhat by surprise. Despite a strong initial stroke, this fairly inexperienced crew rushed its rate up to 40 without enough drive in the water to back it up, and the stride call did little to calm anything down. The sheer energy did give some initial advantage on St Catharine's, but Lady Margaret soon crept into view. THBC did not give up, however, staying aggressive as Laura took evasive action to avoid conceding the bump. At last it could be denied no more and we disentangled ourselves from Maggie, who by then were overlapped by about half a length. Tomorrow we plan to remember the steady, confident starts of pieces done during term and stay ahead of King's, who had to row over today.

Bumped By King's W1

Sometimes the bare results don't tell the whole story. Although there is no good way to get bumped, W1 exhibited a 1,000% improvement over the first day in terms of technique and calm grit. With Jeff counting down from the bank, bow pair took a couple taps to get us moving forward, and with the cannon all squared and drew with smooth strength. We wound up to 38-40, this time through drive rather than slide. The stride was a bit delayed from cox's call but did settle into a sustainable rhythm (36-38) that felt very very good to those in the stern.

King's crept into view between First Post Corner and Grassy, but power tens first by bow four and then stern four fended them off. King's took a line inside us on Grassy, hoping that Laura would cut across them and cause her own bump -- but our clever cox was having none of it. Having been briefed about just such a situation by Immy, Laura kept her line generously wide. We pushed out of the corner enough that they fell behind, returning on the outside with their next push. One more burst from THBC drove their bow ball from next to cox to just at our stern, but a matching burst by King's finished the race. We're out for royal blood tomorrow, which Laura informs us is meant to be extremely nourishing for vampires. Not that she knows from experience.

Rowed Over

The race plan was to punch it hard off the start, which may have been why it was a bit scrappier (certainly splashier!) than the previous day. Peterhouse gained early from behind, but we had also gained on King's as we settled into a powerful rhythm. We pushed away from Peterhouse just before First Post Corner and left them behind to crumble into crabs and being bumped by Murray Edwards. King's were slow around the corners, so Laura called for lots of power pushes in hopes of catching. (She seemed to think we didn't believe her...)

Coming around Ditton Corner, it was clear that the rate had to come up as we'd become a bit sluggish without anyone in view behind us. Despite a good 'rolling start' adjustment onto the reach, King's had smelled Lady Margaret's blood and were off to catch LMBC just before the finish. We finished the course strong, with captain Sarah deciding (totally on purpose) to give the newer girls confidence by showing that even a senior rower can nearly crab three times -- but it's all about how you recover. For the last day, we're after a tired Maggie in search of poetic justice for the first day.

Bumped by Murray Edwards W1

Women's Second VIII

Bumped by Wolfson W1

Although there is never a great way to end a bumps campaign resulting in moving 4 places down this was a good last row for the W2 girls holding off Wolfson solidly until the push off from grassy corner. We had an excellent start lead by the capable hands of Sophie in the stroke seat, but ultimately weren't able to sustain the power to push away from Wolfson.

Bumped by Darwin

W2 rowed down to bumps having put in a monumental effort to organise training this term with new novices, volunteer coaches from within the club, the sudden illness of one crew member and a dodgy decision from CUCBC to disallow another. Off the start, THBC gained on Clare II immediately, getting the distance down to 3/4 of a length by First Post Corner. Coming up to Grassy, however, the power dropped as rushed slides hurt the ratio and blades did not stay in the water for the full stroke. Although Clare did not open up much more space, the drop in power allowed Darwin to catch up at the start of Grassy.

Bumped By Peterhouse II

Despite a heroic effort from Mimi to make her bumps comeback and stroke a depleted W2 crew racing with 3 subs. Peterhouse II got an excellent start, were up on W2 immediately and bumped by first post corner.
Having decided after our first bumps race and all the practices on the row down that strong starts were our forte we proceeded to have an awful start with cox Immy doing fantastically to reset the rhythm afterwards, but with momentum lost it was a straightforward bump for Peterhouse. We have now decided that the strong start rule only applies when somebody doesn't forget to bring the pre-race jelly from the boathouse. We shall return on Friday armed with enough jelly to sink a boat, specifically a Peterhouse II boat.

Bumped by Murray Edwards W2

This was always going to be the hardest race day for W2 being chased by a very fast Murray Edwards 2 boat. With the crew changing around every day to fill two stroke side seats we found ourselves in the position of only having 3 stroke side rowers on the morning of the race. Thankfully Daisy stepped up to swap from her usual bow seat to 2 and did a fantastic job on the row down meaning we got a chance at racing. However, the 40 rating we wound up to at the start proved too much for her new stroke side skills and a crab midway through our sprint gave Murray Edwards the opportunity to claim their bump on first post corner. (I am told however, that we made bumps history by being the only THBC crew who has ever had to start a bumps race without the cannons)

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