Torpids 2016 – Thursday Race Reports

W1 Race Report

Returning to our beloved routine of communal fruit eating an hour before the race, we listed the various options open to us in the race today: 1. Row over 2. Over-Over Bump on a plummeting Teddy Hall 3. Bump Balliol (listed in order of expectation & being bumped was not an option). Recognising that New would be putting a lot of pressure on us from behind, we prepared for what we thought was going to be a very long and hard row-over, seeing as Balliol were so far ahead yesterday.
Fielding yet another unfamiliar combination in the boat, with Charlotte having found her energy again after weeks of illness, we set off feeling positive that we could row the whole way and hold off New. All of that somehow changed – with New quickly gaining on us from the start, a stride can not be said to really have featured and so we continued to row at a joyful rate 36. By Donnington Bridge New were within half a length and closing, reducing the distance to around a quarter of the length by the middle of the gut. However, thanks to Joe’s incredible steering, the wall of cheers which met us at Longbridges and undoubtedly some of the most gutsy rowing Hertford Women have seen, we continued to hold them off, determined to not let them close that gap. Rising to Joe’s call ‘You are strong, they are weak. We go together, we go now’, our exit from the gut can only be described as the start of around five (painful) consecutive ten-stroke pushes, which, in combination with the New cox’s questionable line permitted us to open up the gap again. Roaring and screams of pain coming from somewhere near the bows, no one was prepared for what came next- the call for the glorious 18 stroke push which signals the start of a bump. Bumping Balliol was by far the last thing we ever expected, which only made it that much more exciting.
The race today was definitely some of the bravest and most determined rowing we have done in a long time and to say that I am extremely proud of everyone would be an understatement! This only bodes well for the next two days, as we predictably face the plummeting Teddy Hall, with an angry Balliol behind. The hype train is back! Man of the Match (yes this was elected): Joe for his absolutely incredible steering.

Marie Becker – Captain and Stroke

M1 Race Report

After a solid race on day 1, and knowing we could hold off Trinity it was the day to really go for Wadham hard.

We pushed off from the boat house for what would be a solid warm up, staying calm and composed ready for the Ice and Fire of the race. Spinning onto our bungline just after the 5 minute cannon, we prepared for what we new would be a hard battle.

A slightly rocky first 5 strokes, but the backs came in and the boat cruised along with great send. Staying fairly level with Wadham, we pushed away from Trinity through the gut, leaving them behind to battle with the fast approaching Catz boat. Pushing past Hertford boat house we see Catz bump Trinity ruining their racing line and leaving us with only the thought of catching Wadham. We had a solid race to the end, with a great burst near Univ boat house on Rory’s “Bring the rate up, you can do it in training, you can do it now!”. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough the catch Wadham with them finishing two and a half lengths ahead.

In the paraphrased great words of Arnie:
WE’LL BE BACK– The Terminator (1984)

Charlie Jackson (CJ2) – 3 Seat

W2 Race report

A season ripped asunder by the ravages of the weather left W2 without their sea legs. But that didn’t faze the crew of the Bill Atkinson sat at the first bungline of division 5. Afterall, isn’t every crew in the same boat when it comes to the lack of practice? An inexperienced coxswain led to the boat reaching the start line slightly late (sorry!), and the start made was less than graceful. Quick bumps from both Linacre and Lincoln injured not only pride but also the cox and stroke (how hard is it to see a concession made with both hands? Or hear the dulcet profanities of a hysterical cox…), not that this daunted the crew as we headed into the gut. Behind us the carnage that typifies rowing-on divisions ensued, and after realigning the boat our girls set off once more. The rowing settled, as did the rate, and clear water opened up before and behind the boat. With confidence the girls opened up the power as we motored down green bank, switching nimbly across the stream to univ before crossing the line well ahead of Antony’s behind. The mess of boats left in Hertford’s wake made it difficult to say exactly how the division finished, but we think we lost two bunglines? Oxbump thinks we lost two bunglines anyway. So tomorrow holds the prospect of revenge bumps! Will W2 bump up? Will the division manage to survive the gut without someone screwing up? Will Joe incur another fine for inadequate coxing? We don’t know, but if its anything like today then it’s safe to say there will be blood. FTD Lincoln!

Joe Wynn – Cox

M2 Race report

After getting some unscheduled weight training holding our boat in the bay, M2 had a solid warm up, and the crew felt more cohesive and confident than Wednesday as we arrived at bungline 7. The placement however was formidable, with Green Templeton M1 in front of us, and Keble M2 who had been rising up the ranks behind us.
Quick off the gun we made ground on GTC, however Keble were soon gaining behind us. After Trinity conceded to GTC at Donnington Bridge it was almost inevitable that Keble would catch us. After a few dodged swipes, sure enough as we entered the gut we had to concede to Keble. However, if anything this spurred us on as we aimed for the over-bump on Trinity. After a few frantic strokes we settled into rhythm and hit our stride as we exited the gut.
With just over a length between us and Trinity we were greeted with a cheer from Longbridges. Morale was high, and with a gleeful shout from me that we had picked the better line and would catch them imminently, we picked up the pace. The distance between us quickly went from a length to a quarter of a length, and we managed to bump Trinity before we even reached boathouse island!
Even though we ended the day with the same place in the division, it was still a celebration for M2 to finally get the over-bump on Trinity, and achieve HCBC’s first bump of Torpids 2016.
Tomorrow, we set our eyes on bigger prey – we’re coming for you Keble and GTC!

Nayyar Jamie – Captain of Coxes

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