Torpids 2017 – Friday Race Reports

M1 –provisional up to 2 to 5th in Division I

As things stand we have no idea of what happened in Men’s Division I and we’re not sure if M1 do either!  The provisional start list has a M1 up two to 5th in Division I but we understand that the start list for Saturday is being reviewed by the Senior Umpire.

We do have this video of Men’s Division I rowing past the start of boat house island.  What happened next…

W1 – level at 6th Division I

After the previous two days of bumping before our boathouse we knew today would be a much tougher race, and, having risen to the highest ranking a Hertford Women’s crew has been since 1982, we were determined not to lose our position. With St John’s chasing us, aiming for blades, we would have a lot more pressure from behind than the past two days, and Wolfson ahead of us were looking as strong as ever, so we steeled ourselves for a row over as we headed to the start line. After forgetting which end of the river we were supposed to be warming up at, our practice bursts were cut a little short, but this is what we’d been training for all term, and we knew what we had to do.

After a strong start we strided very minimally to a high rate 37, which we maintained to Donny Bridge, before dropping down to our usual 32. The gut saw Wolfson bump Pembroke ahead of us, but we kept our focus and kept pushing off John’s behind us – they had taken half a length but they wouldn’t take any more. Leaving the gut we struggled to hear Joe’s calls over the roar of Hertford cheers from Longbridges, but the announcement over the tannoy informed us that we were in the middle of a three boat sandwich – John’s were only a length behind us, but we were only a length behind Pembroke. Realising the overbump may in fact be a possibility, we powered on, widening the gap between us and John’s, and swiftly closing in on Pembroke ahead. Joe’s call for 666, our final push for the bump, came just after Univ boathouse, and we gave it our all. But alas, the experienced Pembroke cox knew exactly how to run away even from overlap, and, spurred on by the wall of noise coming from their boathouse, they were able to escape our clutches. With not much left to give after our 666 we finally crossed the line half a length behind Pembroke, exhausted, but sitting tall and proud after an excellent race all round. Knowing that with Pembroke directly ahead of us tomorrow the bump will definitely be within reach, and we are excited to head into the final day of racing feeling stronger than ever.

Ros Martin – Seven Seat

M2 – down 2 to 10th Division IV

Cox: Nayyar “Don’t stop ’til you get enough” Jamie
Stroke: Patrick “Fisherman” Austin
7: Toran “I don’t want a spoon” Sharma
6: Maciej “Metronome” Bugala
5: Hamish “Amish” Streeter
4: Maciek “The dropout” Peplinski
3: Harry “I need some water” Connor
2: Freddie “Hands” von Kaufmann
Bow: Ross “Video evidence” Johnstone
Coach: Simon “Today’s the day” Kirk

Half a length, half a length,
Half a length onward,
Under the Donnington bridge
Rowed the eight Hertford.
“Forward the M2 Eight!
Push for the bump!” Nayyar said.
Into the river Gut,
Rowed the eight Hertford.

Forward, the M2 Eight!”
Was there a man dismay’d?
Today the rower knew
No klaxon thunder’d.
Theirs not to stop and cry,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to bump or die.
Streaming past Long Bridges,
Rowed the eight Hertford.

Brasenose to right of them,
Teddy Hall to left of them,
St Catz in front of them
Twice bumped and conceded;
Fought with the river swell,
Boldly they rowed and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of hell
Rowed the eight Hertford.

Their oars all buried there,
Blades squared whilst in the air
Eyes looking forward there,
Rowing proudly, while
University boathouse wonder’d.
Pushing forward with every stroke
And every man did soak;
especially Austin

Who reel’d from a crabbing stroke
Shatter’d and encumbered.
There they rowed on, with all,
all of the eight Hertford.

Boat-house island to right of them,
Marshalls to left of them,
John’s II behind them
Not one man blundered;
Pushed on with Nayyar’s yell,
The pain in legs did quell,
They that had rowed so well
Came thro’ the jaws of Death,
Back from the mouth of hell,
Giving all that was left in them,
Left in the eight Hertford.

When can their glory fade?
O the rapid pace they made!
All the colleges wonder’d.
Honour the bumps they (almost) made!
Honour the M2 Eight,
Noble eight Hertford!

Freddie von Kaufmann – 2 Seat

W2 – up 1 to 6th Division V

Friday race report Hertford W2 After fate’s wrath had seen our fearless W2 thrashed up against the shores of the HCBC raft the day before, we had undeniably been shaken. Yet we knew we could rekindle a fire within us today. Fierce glances of intimidation were thrown at Mansfield W2 in the erg room, the boat that we would be chasing today. We knew we had come top of rowing on. We knew that we had a strong chance of giving them the bump. However, things don’t always turn out as planned, as we learnt yesterday. Perhaps a little more grounded than after Tuesday’s easy glory, we paddled through our warm up in the drizzle, and were one of the last colleges to reach our bungline at number 7. The canon fired, and so did we. Pushing, grinding, squeezing. Our legs sent us surging within half a length of Mansfield within about 30 seconds. Yet perhaps we had overshot ourselves again slightly. Having learnt from yesterday’s mistakes we paced ourselves into a more moderate but steadier rhythm as we powered through the gut, the roar of Hertford supporters sending us on, blades boldly slicing the water once again. From the bow I could hear the Mansfield cox squealing up ahead. Despite us drawing so close, Mansfield had just bumped out. But it didn’t matter. We had the power and force to carry us through for those 30 strokes more that it took us to hunt down Wadham 3. A third down green banks, we smoothly cleared the race line, pleased with our regained victory.

J Gewolker – Bow seat OVERANDOUT

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