Summer Eights 2017 – Saturday Race Reports

This year’s summer eights eights concluded with a special row for HCBC alumni celebrating the 50 year anniversary of their time racing on the Isis (supported by a few others celebrating a 10 year reunion).  We hope to make this and the evening reunion dinner a regular feature of HCBC’s Eights.  Please be in touch if you would be interested in gathering together your former crew mates for next year!

Thank you to Hertford coaches, crews, coxes, subs, spares and boat club officers for all of their hard work this year.

We look forward to supporting you next year.

W1 – Rowed over at 9th in Division I

Cox: Jess Li
Stroke: Abie Witts
7: Ros Martin
6: Philippa Thornton
5: Annie Ault
4: Cat Zhao
3: Johanna Gewolker
2: Amy Holguin
Bow: Bridget Johns

After a slightly rainy start to the day, by the time our race rolled around it was as gloriously sunny as the past 3 days had been. I had coxed an exciting race with W2 earlier in the day and was still on a high from that, and as the rest of the crew arrived at the boathouse it was clear we were all in the same mindset: excited for the last day of racing and ready to give it our all. We’d been bumped yesterday, meaning we weren’t going to be able to bump Magdalen who’d been falling towards us throughout the week, so we steeled ourselves for a row over, hoping to hold off John’s for the third time this week. And that is exactly what we did. Arriving to our bungling early we pulled our visors down and focused only on our rowing. Our start was fast and clean, and took half a length on Teddy Hall before they bumped Magdalen, giving us clear water ahead for the rest of the row. We had a solid rhythm, great balance, and the whole boat could feel that every single person was putting 100% of the power down every single stroke. It was our best row of the week, maybe even of the term, and we kept a comfortable distance from John’s, widening the gap to two lengths as we raced past boathouse island. The enjoyment of such a great race spurred us on and we finished strong despite the lack of pressure from behind. We finished the week 1 place down overall, but still a very respectable 9th place in division 1, very proud of ourselves for both today’s performance and the whole term’s effort. It was an excellent way to end my year as captain, and I am so proud of everybody who has rowed with W1 this year.

Ros Martin – 7 seat & Captain

M1 – Down 1 to 3rd in Division II

Cox: Alice Vacani
Stroke: Chris Nicholls
7: Alex Allison
6: Jack Waterman
5: Steve Crabb
4: Hamish Streeter
3: Chris Jones
2: Rob House
Bow: Maciej Bugala

Following a ferociously faught battle lost against LMH the previous day, Hertford M1 faced the prospect of a chase from a Jesus crew endowed this year with Holy Fire. Having mercilessly bumped all previous opposition around the gut, this was a crew that was not going to let fate determine their final victory bump for blades. With this in mind, our race plan was carefully adjusted to rowing hell for leather off the start in the hope that LMH might slip into our clutches before the coming of Christ. Filled with a dogged determination and buoyed by the crowds of Hertford supporters assembled at Longbridges, the humble Hertford M1 pushed off from the raft for what was set to be a battle of David vs. Goliath proportions. Despite a gusty headwind we executed an effective warm up routine and arrived at our bungline ready to give the punchiest start of our season. As the cannon blew we erupted off the startline and kept the rate high through the stride. We gave LMH a scare but before long it appeared that Jesus had parted the waters in front of them and reached our stern on the approach to the gut. Unfortunately, nothing short of divine intervention could save us from the almighty bump that they delivered to our empacher having failed to hear or see Alice’s concession for safety. Disappointed not to have reached the cheers of Longbridges we completed a lap of the Isis with some bursts for pride. If there was one thing to learn from today it is that there is great power in the name of Jesus. For veteran club members Steve and CJ this bumps race was their last and it also brings to a close my stint as Captain. It has been a great pleasure to lead such a fine crew of gentlemen into battle on the Isis and together we can be proud of the quality rowing we have produced this year. I have high hopes for the crew of 2017/18 who are, for only the second time in history, in reaching distance of Torpids Headship.

Aim high.

Rob House – 2 seat and Captain

W2 – Level at 5th in Division IV

Cox: Ros Martin
Stroke: Amy Wright
7: Molly Appleton
6: Hilary Yndi
5: Hae Jin Yang
4: Ava Scott
3: Sonya Chen
2: Catherine Dumbill
Bow: Miranda Ryan

The day was darker than before. Clouds covered the sky and a persistent breeze disturbed the scene. W2 got in the boat, and paddled up the river, warming up fast from the strong row and the surrounding humidity. We screamed encouragement at Green Templeton, who were in line to bump Oriel, who were going to chase us aggressively. Pulling into position 5, we stretched, clapped high fives and shouted self-supporting, confidence-boosting, magdalen-intimidating statements. ‘We are really good at rowing !!’ It was the last day, and we were ready to give our all to stave off a niggling Oriel in pursuit, and chase Magdalen in front. Easing into front stops, tensing our muscles and focusing into the boat, we were ready for the gun. It sounds, and a strong few strokes keep us in line with Oriel, but they begin to catch up. Soon we find ourselves leading a sandwich, with Oriel and Green Templeton College in quick succession. With a fast rate, but dwindling power, there was overlap between all three boats just before the gut. Arms searing with pain, water everywhere, we were moments before a concession: oriel or us first? Stress, sweat, pain and distracting screams from the bank intensified the rowing. I couldn’t go on. Hands and focus were slipping, as was any hope of not conceding to Oriel. And the KLAXON sounded. A technical row over !! Oriel was devastated, we were elated. Paddling into the boat house, we were greeted with Cava and cheers. The only Hertford crew to not be bumped in Summer Eights 2017, pride and glory, and extremely lucky.

Ava Scott – 4 seat

M2 – Down 1 to 10th in Division IV

Cox: Jack “Former DAG Sally” Yates
Stroke: Patrick “Stone Cold Steve” Austin
7: Ross “Geller” Johnstone
6: “Prince” Harry Connor
5: Oliver “Twist” Jones
4: Simon “Cowell” Neumaier
3: Matt “Bellamy” Bosomworth
2: Freddy “Krueger” von Kaufmann
Bow: Andrew “Jackson” Ng

Having felt like my footplate screws had come suspiciously loose between racing and boating the following day twice, I was now 100% convinced that the footplate on Saturday was not where I left it on Friday. We were then kindly informed that Shilda’s had been borrowing our boat to race in an earlier division. Perhaps this footplate-adjusting-without-warning is why our 4 seat malfunctioned on Friday. Anyway. Final day of our bumps campaign. Final day of my bumps career. We were currently down 3: less than ideal. We knew we had Shilda’s, another first boat, chasing us. However, we knew that we were chasing Brasenose II, who only caught us the previous day because of Shilda’s’s nefarious mechanical interference. This gave us hope that we might be able to bump Brasenose II back before Shilda’s caught us (which they wouldn’t anyway, right?), denying Shilda’s their blades, and self-denying us our spoons. We got to our bungline. We knew the plan. 3 sat up to get moving, 10 to bring the rate up to 40, another 10 to settle in to a strong 35 and hold it there. The starting gun fired. We quickly got to 41, great. We brought it down to 41, then finally settled on 41 for the rest of the race. From early on, Shilda’s were gaining on us. But as we were later told, we were also gaining on Brasenose. This confirmed to us that we should not have been bumped by Brasenose the day before, and that the Gods of Bumps were simply visiting their wrath upon us. Shortly after Donnington Bridge, Shilda’s got their bladesworthy bump, but chose to sit around celebrating for a while instead of clearing the racing line, also making it difficult for us to do so. Eventually, we all cleared the line. Being good sports, we gave Shilda’s the customary cheers, and they reciprocated with deafening silence. So Hertford II limp away with spoons. But really, our plan to set ourselves up for blades next year could not have gone better.

Ross Johnstone – 7 seat

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