Torpids 2018: Day 4 Race Reports

Due to the inclement weather, Saturday’s racing was only the second chance to race for the first boats, and unfortunately due to restrictions imposed for the safety of crews offered no chance for W2 and M2. This leaves the final positions as follows:

W2: Division 4, 12th (up three)

M2: Division 4, 11th (level)

W1: Division 1, 6th (down two)

M1: Division 1, 7th (down two)

W1

Cox – Joe Wynn

Stroke – Philippa Thornton

7 – Sarah Edwards

6 – Maddie Burrell

5 – Annie Ault

4 – Sophie Clark

3 – Harriet Thomas

2 – Ellie Van Vogt

Bow – Amy Holguin

Due to racing being cancelled for the previous two days, W1 was bored of steady state erg replacements and snow-watching from their windows. With four solid days of carb-loading we were ready to race, excited and fuelled by the disappointment of our bump being taken away from us on Wednesday. Only the top half of the divisions were allowed to race – so we were keen to do W2 proud, who braved the cold weather to support us.

After a strong warm up we rowed onto our bungline and prepared to race. Annie was even wearing as close to the team colours as she’d ever worn and the traditional jelly babies and high five were passed down the boat – we were ready.

The gun sounded and we were off. We made a strong start and made up for Wednesday by settling onto a strong and powerful rate, knowing we would be in this race for the long haul. To our surprise we were quickly a length up on Pembroke (above us), and although Keble was making advances we were holding them off.

However unfortunately Keble had tactics which we could not have copied, as they chose to avoid settling onto a rate and went as hard as they could to catch us. A wise concession from our cox allowed us to continue rowing the chunky rate that we do so well, and get back to focusing on our own race. With Pembroke having bumped Christ Church, we had a large gap to close. Despite making advances on the Christ Church crew we did not get a bump.

Initially as we crossed the finish, disappointment crept into our minds as our Torpids campaign was not representative of our strength or dedication this term. However we soon came to realise we had rowed our own race, keeping up a chunky and powerful rhythm the whole way through – we had done ourselves and Hertford proud. Likely to be one of the most northern and novice boat on the Isis, we have come so far in one term and grown so strong together, and will be back next year to truly show everyone what we’re made of.

M1

Cox: Harriet-Rose Noons

Stroke: Danny de Rozairo

7: Harry Connor

6: Hamish Streeter

5: Jack Waterman

4: Freddie von Kaufmann

3: Maciej Bugala

2: Rob House

Bow: Patrick Austin

With the Thursday and Friday of Torpids cancelled due to bad weather, M1 were full of energy and excited to race. With a very fast Wolfson crew behind us, we knew that our only real chance to avoid being bumped was to come out of the blocks flying and get Christ Church first.

After an effective warm up we got down to the bungline, happy that the snow and freezing temperatures of the last few days had gone. As Graham counted down from the one minute gun we prepared ourselves for what was going to have to be the cleanest and most efficient row we have ever achieved.

As the gun sounded we were straight on the pressure, building to a strong rate 42 in a few strokes. As we passed under Donny Bridge we sat up ready for the wash, a call from our cox of three quarters of a length off Christ Church surprised us all. Would our clean start let us get revenge for Wednesday?

Coming up to the gut we were getting a lot of wash from Christ Church and it was hitting us hard, the smooth rowing from earlier in the race gave way to a more muscle bound row as we were giving it all to try and get closer to the boat in front. Our lapse in technique allowed the Wolfson crew, which we had been holding at a constant distance from the start, to begin to eat into the distance between us. An early concession from our cox meant that we didn’t have to worry about being speared by a surging crew as we passed through the gut and allowed us to focus on the race ahead.

Sadly with fatigue starting to settle in and more wash from Christ Church, we were not able to close the distance between us. Christ Church caught St Catherine’s outside University boathouse, ending any possibility of a late race surge.

A disappointing result but not a disappointing performance, we put good distance into the crew that caught us on the first day and had a race that we could be proud of.

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