Bumps: day 4

W3: row over. W2: down. W1: row over. M2: up! M1: down.

The last night of the bumps loomed like a giant grey rain cloud on the horizon, which is exactly what was coming. The early divisions got the worst of it.

Afterwards, we all repaired to the Waterman for drinks, speeches and prize giving.

M1: back row: Mike Parrott (5), Andy Southgate (stroke), Dan McGreal (3), Connor (pushing off), James Tidy (shouty person), Rob Doubleday (4), Chris Wood (7). Front row: Dave Richards (1), Simon Emmings (2), William Connolley (5), Paul Holland (retired hurt).

M1: back row: Mike Parrott (5), Andy Southgate (stroke), Dan McGreal (3), Connor (pushing off), James Tidy (shouty person), Rob Doubleday (4), Chris Wood (7). Front row: Dave Richards (1), Simon Emmings (2), William Connolley (5), Paul Holland (retired hurt).

Here we see M1, somewhat damp: the row down was dry enough, we timed it to not to have to wait much at Stourbridge, and the rain only really got going for the row back. But what of the race itself I hear you cry? Well, It wasn't our finest hour. We had Nines 2 behind us who had got City 3 the previous night, but not till the reach; and we'd held City off easily enough. But alas we went down in the gut. They probably got a better than usual start; we certainly rowed worse than usual after the bridge and it didn't really come together. Its always disappointing to end bumps that way; but for a crew lacking many of last year's M1, down two overall with two good solid row-overs is decent.

M2: bumped up! Yay for them, a fairly short row mowing down Champs just after the bridge. Our roving reporter reports "It wasn't pretty but it was brutally effective. Stroke showed us no mercy with a rating of 38 and we put Champs to the Sword within 100 metres of the A14. Well done M2!!! Yeah!!!!".

An ex-spoon.

An ex-spoon.

W1: rowed over.

W2: awaiting report.

W3: rowed over, but it was epic.

Bumps: day 3

W3 and W2 down. W1: up. M2 and M1: row over.

W1 looking happy, having bumped City 4 on Ditton.

W1 looking happy, having bumped City 4 on Ditton.

W3: Bumped on Ditton alas. Pic. Video.

W2: no report yet. Pic.

W1: bumped City 4 to go tenth; only one more to single-digits. Well done.

M2: rather more of them in the Waterman tonight, and they were looking much happier, having put the threat of spoons behind them with a gutsy row over. From the horse's mouth: "So a streadfast row over tonight. We held Aquaphobes nicely and they looked shattered by the finish. Another smooth start - we really have got those down to a tee now boys. They took a length out of us by the Plough but could not press home. We kept our style and rhythm beautifully - unlike last night. Will asked us to lengthen and push and we did. Never seen a Cox so excited to get a row over!" Video, with more of Jo's enthusiastic commentary. And from Will the cox (speaking on Friday): "Yesterday - it wasn’t the row over as such that got me so excited, but rather the way you guys raced; I think it was your best performance since I have been coxing you. The start was good, then we hit a pretty good rhythm after the outflow to start ourselves moving away. The focus was there when it was needed, particularly around corners where they appeared to get closer quite quickly (purely due to the fact that we have started cornering and they haven’t). Having watched the video their bank party was being extremely optimistic with their whistles - at times I thought they were a lot closer than they were, but top job for absorbing their pushes and stepping away. The best part for me was the first 2/3 of the reach where we pushed up the boat speed and hit a sweet rhythm, their whistles stopped and you guys were flying - that was what got me so excited. Today - very simple objective: give Champs spoons! For the past three days there have been crews above us that I know we could catch, the only problem was that they weren’t one station ahead - but today they are! Same attack, same control, and same length as yesterday. Don’t wait for the bump to come to you, make it happen."

M1: as always, bumps continues to surprise. Today, for the first time ever in my long and -ahem- illustrious bumps career, I was pretty sure I was going to have an unexciting row over: Tabs 3 would walk away ahead, and behind us City 3 had nothing extra to give. Both of these things happened, but what I failed to foresee was Tabs 3 failing to take Grassy in a blades-on-the-bank-need-a-restart type of way. Which left us suddenly going from 3 lengths off to half a length off. We didn't really know what was going on. I had a brief moment of worrying that we'd get so caught up trying to catch them we'd exhaust ourselves in their wash and get caught by City. But happily after we kept half a length down Plough reach, they pulled away down the reach, and City dropped back before having the decency to be bumped by Nines 2. Another might-have-been: had we pulled out all the stops at that point, we might well have got them. Or we might have fallen apart instead; so probably just as well. And tomorrow? We have someone new behind us. Nines are clearly faster than City; but we'd dropped City by the time Nines got them; so I'm quietly hopeful. Video from the Gut. Video from Jo (3:50 for Tabs crash).

Nothing to do with our club, but I really liked this pair of pix of Robs and Tabs1, from Wednesday:

Bumps: day 2

W3: row over. W2: down. W1: up! M2: down. M1: row over.

W1 rowing proudly back with their willow having bumps COWS.

W1 rowing proudly back with their willow having bumps COWS.

W3: row over, but looks very promising for tomorrow.

W2: down to Tabs 5, apparently their dev squad. Video.

W1: bumped the once-mighty COWS. Video. Nice line into Grassy and the inevitable bump. Great commentary from Jo. Pix.

M2: down to St Neots 2. A long race, and they were only 400 m from the finish when hit. From the boat: "A very smooth solid start - even stroke was pleased (and he doesn't please easily). We held off a good St Neots 2 boat until the Plough when they started to gain. We think they had a "killer" 20 stroke call that we couldn't respond to. A good performance and once again no disgrace losing to better opposition. In fact maybe St Neots might be a touch embarrassed that they didn't catch us sooner."

M1: row over, but an excellent one. City 3 came up a little, just outside a length at the bridge, but we were back on station by First Post, held them from there to the Plough, and pulled away to a couple of lengths by the finish. Very nice. Riggercam. From the towpath.

Bumps: day 1

Summary: W3: up! W2 and W1: row over. M2 and M1: down.

W3 having bumped Nines 5 celebrate opposite the Plough.

W3 having bumped Nines 5 celebrate opposite the Plough.

W3: bumped on the exit from Grassy, having got massive overlap. fb video.

W2: ahead of them, Nines 4 bumps Champs 6 (Champs are having a really bad time). Press 2 chose the wrong line, got obstructed, and hence were bumped by our W2. Chesterton W2 went on to overtake Xpress, but the bump was not awarded and instead a row over for the first night (the initial results got this wrong).

W1: a fast Press crew overbumped COWS ahead of them, with City 4 going down to St Neots in between. All to play for tomorrow. Watch the video (thanks Jo)..

M2: no report yet, but they went down :-( [Update: "Had a rocky start and were bumped in the Ditch/start of the Gut by a Rob Roy's 4 junior crew. We had however taken about a length out of the boat in front of us - a novice crew from City, City 8". Watch the video (thanks Jo)]

M1: we got a decent start but didn't quite feel sufficiently measured and together from about halfway from the <s>Railway</s> Motorway bridge to First Post; and somewhere in that section Tabs 3 (the Hills Road Boyz) came on pretty quickly, bumping us in the gut, alas. Tomorrow will be fun: City 3 got Champs 1 quickly, but that's more a measure of Champs than City and I look forward to the morrow with eager anticipation. Video. Jet Photographic.


Other stuff:

* Men's division 1 from Grassy. Listen for the horrible crunch at 0:50 as Nine's get forced into the bank nose first.

* Women's division 1 from Grassy.