And so we come to the last day... for the records, the weather was good, very little wind, negligible stream, as it had been all week.
W3: up (up 2 overall)
W2: row over, over(up 1 overall)
W1: down (level overall at 10th)
Closing on Robs, but Cows too fast.
M3: up (up 4 overall)
With three bumps under our belts M3 were a crew looking to ensure the week ended perfectly. The final row up was wonderful - long, balanced and connected.
When the gun went off our start could not have been better. We’d rated up to 40 plus within 5 strokes and were motoring ahead. This bump would prove to be a lengthier affair than the mildly rude and abrupt ones of the previous days so we were not surprised not to get a whistle within 15 strokes - though it did give a moment’s worry. Tonight was the first time we’d had to row full speed through the motorway bridge and outflow - so the novices in the boat had to deal with that for the first time. However, it did not take long for a whistle. It took a few more strokes for a second whistle but once we had that the crew ahead seemed to loose heart and the third whistle came just moments before the bump as we made the final few metres in quick time.
A lovely row home with the crew with a grandstanding start outside the pPlough. We dropped off the boat for M2 at combined to walk back to Queens’ and then cycle to the beer tree for a well earned pint. Chaos then ensued.
M2: down (down 1 overall)
M1: up (up 3 overall to 9th)
Yesterday we got very close to City 2 but didn't quite close them down. Today we knew we were faster than them, and we knew that they knew, and we knew that they knew that we knew. So we resolved to go off just as hard but cleaner, and to focus harder in their wash. And so it proved. We got a whistle on FP reach like yesterday and two on FP corner and the wash was really kicking in, but we held our technique well and didn't get slowed down by bad strokes. We were close past the Plough, and a good corner at Ditton saw us still closing, and finally getting our third whistle. Overlap comes about a minute later. It was beginning to get rather tiring at that point but the wash and the whistles told us we were close and then... the blessed "hold it up!" and we were there.
Reflections: three up in division 1 is good: we last did that in 2013, when we last finished at 9. Blades would have been better, and unlike 2013 we did have a fair shot at it this time, but couldn't quite close City on Thursday. If we had, we'd have had a go at Tabs 2 who we'd got to 3/4 and 1/2 a length of in 2014; but we're faster this year. But we might not have caught Tabs, and this way we get to finish on a high.
We were: James Tidy (cox); Me (stroke), Dan McGreal, Matt Woodthorpe, Conor Burgess, Simon Lloyd, Steve Penson, Brian Stevens, Keith Lee (bow). Of the "great year" of 2013 only James and I survive: James Howard is up North, Andy Southgate has retired to M2, Chris Wood is temporarily holidaying in M2, Ralph is a cyclist, Will Wykeham is a sailor, Ian Foster went to Tabs and regretted it, Dave Richards had a quiet year in M2.
The Waterman for drinks until they shut around 12:30, then the City hard drinking into the small hours. I can't add pictures of that, so instead here's Tabs and City at the prizegiving. Congratulations to them.
And so... then end? Although there's still Peterborough. And Boston. And...