Summer Eights 2016 – Friday Race Reports

Another day, another bump for W1 and M2! M1 also putting in a strong effort holding level in Division 1. Better start making your travel arrangements to Oxford to come along and cheer your college on to a potential double blades victory tomorrow afternoon!

M1: Rowed Over

The gentlemen of HCBC’s M1 arrived at the boathouse on a fine Friday afternoon in reasonable spirits. The last two days had been tough, battling row overs to maintain our position at the foot of division 1. After much thrashing and splashing we were now presented with an opportunity to reel in a woefully underperforming Balliol crew and raise our stock by a single coveted division one place. The desire was clear on the face of every member of the crew. We boated and set about our task with the singular focus of a cheetah preparing to run down its dinner. A few silky bursts during the warm up got the crowd to their feet and cheering. Our 5-man, and recently voted second most attractive M1 member, the legendary Christopher Jones was singled out for particular admiration by the delighted hordes, who chanted his name and held up signs proclaiming their devotion to his vast, sculpted pectorals. We lined up on our bungline and prepared for the coming storm. It was during this moment of quietness that my mind drifted to ponder a few deep philosophical questions; will Steve Crabb always look like a cave troll? And will our cox ever grow facial hair? Alas, these ponderings quickly dissipated as I realised that no amount of thought experiments could explain The Crabb’s terrifying appearance, and anyway, boat speed should be independent of trollness. The gun fired and we surged from the line, a crisp rate 44 got us up to speed. Through the first minute we closed on Balliol. Our cox’s tender, teenage voice squealed at us to press harder and hunt them down. We surged and closed up towards Donnington bridge. The crowd were howling, baying for Balliol blood. St Catz were doing their usual thrash around somewhere far away as we pressed hard and got to within a quarter of a length of Balliol at the Gut. Onwards we thrashed and onwards we splashed and one could sense the panic and desperation in the Balliol ranks and they sent down their Kraken-raising wash to our hull. It was at this vital point as we pressed as hard as we possibly could, that we crucially forgot to row in time. We entered a period of anti-phase, with various people having decided on various fractions of pi of phase delay. This experiment was a brief but costly one as our prey moved slightly away, and when we got our excrementum together we realised that we’d need to row the long haul and hunt them down over the full course. We carried on valiantly to the end but alas the bump was not to happen on this day and the row over was completed with great effort. We returned to base tired but not defeated, pained but not punished, close but not close enough. For several of us, tomorrow represents our final time rowing in bumps racing as students. Lets do it for each other.

Simon Zieleniewski – Stroke

Stroke: Simon Zieleniewski
7: Henry Penrose
6: Steve Crabb (P)
5: Chris Jones
4: Simon Jacobi
3: Guy Pilbeam
2: Rob House
Bow: Mitch Fruin
Cox: Ruairidh South

W1: Bumped Teddy Hall

Despite a delayed start due to controversy in lower divisions, W1 were unperturbed and paddled up to the start aware that another bump was within our reach if we could keep our cool. After our good-luck Mexican wave of high fives, the bang went and the race began. We heard the first whistle still within our start and we continued to gain rapidly on Teddy Hall. With barely time for Joe to even begin our final calls for the bump, we had done it. We had bumped Teddy Hall. But not long after we had wound down and cleared the racing line, we heard the dreaded klaxon! Even though our bump was safe, well before the klaxon, we sat nervously waiting to find out the reason why the race had been halted and which other boats had managed to bump in time. Teddy Hall’s cox had been hit by an Oriel blade and ended in the water – status unconfirmed but hopefully she’s ok. Wolfson had bumped meaning we are chasing St Johns tomorrow. One last push remains before we can say the b-word!

Amy Holguin – Two Seat

Stroke: Marie Becker (C)
7: Annie Taylor (VC)
6: Emma Lukasiewicz
5: Hannie Knox
4: Abie Witts
3: Sarah Edwards
2: Amy Holguin
Bow: Ros Martin
Cox: Joe Hitchen (CofC)

M2: Bumped Osler House

The third day of Eights week was upon us. The excitement was high as the mighty M2 crew pushed off from the bank. After two days of bumping in a row, rumours spread that the word “blades” had been heard whispering down the wind, sending shivers down the backs of the might M2 rowers. Off we went with a strong paddle before getting in a strong 13-stroke and even stronger 25-stroke practice start down either side of greenbanks. After a short rest break under the shade of Donny Bridge, we rowed to our bungline. Once there, it was only a matter of waiting for the much-anticipated start gun. The mental preparations began as Gary, our indomitable cox, gave his great oration on the importance of breathing before a race, while some of the crew got distracted at the prospect of seeing a small dog jump out of its skin at the 1-minute gun. However, once it had gone off, all heads were focussed in the boat. The countdown began as our bow pair did a fantastic job adjusting our direction and getting their blades re-buried in the dying seconds before the gun fired. BANG. We were off! What followed was our best start of the competition yet as Gary gleefully exclaimed that we’d reached rate 41! The gap with Osler House rapidly closed as we then settled into our strong rhythm, and before we knew it we were in their wash. Moreover, after two days practice, we were no longer strangers to rowing in wash, and we managed to keep the boat steady as the gap further decreased. Then a fateful “POWER TEN” was called as we sought to finish Osler off. Unlike Brasenose, however, they weren’t going to give up without a fight, and they pushed hard to keep us at bay a quarter of a length off. Yet, it was to no avail as our mighty rhythm proved too much, and a couple lengths past Donny Bridge, the words “Wind Down” were heard over our tannoy and we knew we’d got them. A great race that means three bumps in three days! Blades is a real possibility though it’s not going to be easy as we seek to catch a strong Wolfson II crew tomorrow. Bring it on!

Jacob Vivian – Seven Seat

Stroke: Jong “Sushi Chef” Kwon
7: Jacob “Is Bumping Jesus Sinful?” Vivian
6: Charlie “The Veteran” Jackson
5: Toran “Who Needs Sleep to Race” Sharma
4: Alex “Rowing Guru” Allison (VC)
3: Jack “Suns Out Guns Out” Waterman
2: Milo “Who Knew Humanities Students Could Row” Rignell
Bow: Ross “Top Class Chat” Johnstone
Cox: Gary “BEEP” Wu

W2: Bumped by Lincoln II

Friday of Summer VIII’s was beautifully sunny and the mood was high for our boat. We were chasing Christchurch and being chased by Lincoln, so our plan was to row over in the hope of a cheeky last-day bump on Saturday. Alas, this dream was not to be. After a shaky start, Lincoln continued on their way to blades, forcing us to concede just after Donny Bridge. We may be defeated today, but tomorrow W2 will rise again as we face off against Regents Park W1… and pray for a revenge bump against Lincoln. Fear the Deer!

Katie Hiscocks – Cox

Stroke: Ella Walsh
7: Nicollette Herrera
6: Kaja Fenn
5: Bridget Johns
4: Marilyn Vaccaro
3: Dustin Fire
2: Amy Grace Whitsey Franklin
Bow: Libera Assini
Cox: Katie Hiscocks

M3: Rowed Over

A strong Balliol crew in front of us. A Jesus boat full of vikings sit behind us. The gun goes off and we push hard, building into a strong 38 as we go for the revenge bump against Balliol. We sit up and squeeze at Joe’s behest, but not 30 strokes in, we are told to easy there. I turn around, expecting to see a defeated Balliol crew but instead finding a four boat pileup. We had lost the bump, but our cox had cleverly saved us from injury, fines, and just general catastrophe. The boats cleared the line for us and we quickly set off again. Despite us stopping, Jesus were unable to catch us as we rowed over. Fear the deer.

Gary Wu – Three Seat

Stroke: Ali “Star” Duffey
7: Tobi “Face” Endlich
6: Patrick “Oats” Austin
5: Matt “Splashy” Wilson
4: Rob “Polo” Parkin-O’Brien
3: Gary Wu
2: Kostas “dgaf” Laurinaitis
Bow: Charles “Little Puddle” Wang
Cox: Joe “Squeeeeeeeeeeze” Wynn

Stay tuned as the drama reaches its climactic conclusion tomorrow! FEAR THE DEER.

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