Summer VIIIs 2018 Day 1: Race Reports

The first day of racing saw drama and destruction, though Hertford’s seats flying off their slides pales in comparison to some of the equipment damage other crews experienced. Whilst not the best day in terms of results, further opportunity awaits our crews as the week continues.

W2 – Bumped by Oriel (TBC)

Cox: Abbigail Colwyn

Stroke: Faye Heron

7: Paula Kaanders

6: Lobke Timans

5: Iris Volkers

4:Elizabeth Denny

3: Isabella Reynard

2: Kez Smith

Bow: Sophie Allen
Day 1 of Summer Eights was certainly exciting! Although there were no seats flying off mid-race, ejector crabs or major crashes (Merton M2’s stern snapping in half provided us with enough drama for the day), Hertford W2 were not without their own drama.

Firstly the race was massively delayed. Trying to keep focus and morale high, I decided to crack some jokes (all on-point I might add, though the girls may tell you different) and recommend we start a massive sing-song with the other boats, though somehow this never came into fruition. With my poor chat and a woman deciding it was a good idea to paddle-board up the Isis, the girls were left waiting in anticipation for our first race. And no Faye…we cannot just aim for her instead!

Finally the one minute gun sounds and we prepare ourselves. Suddenly we are off. “Draw One! Draw Two!”. To the sound of Hertford supporters running along the bank, we are rowing full pelt towards Linacre who have suffered a major crab.

However, just as we are closing in on Linacre, Oriel start making their move. Calling a power ten, the bump is imminent. Lewis, our coach, is whistling frantically and it’s clear it’s going to be a close one. Unfortunately, Oriel manages to bump our stern marginally before the Linacre cox concedes. WE WERE SO CLOSE! Clearing the line quickly, we are forced to continue rowing at race pace before giving three cheers for Oriel and three cheers to ourselves for an incredible first race. Well done girls, we’ll get them next time.

Not bad for a crew with 5 substitutes!

M2 – Bumped by Lincoln M2

Cox Cathrine
Stroke Justus
7 Dominik
6 Mahmoud
5 Antonis
4 Brian
3 Berlin
2 Robin
Bow Shash

This crew’s first race in normal conditions – as opposed to the blizzard of Torpids – was one of high hopes. We were chased by Lincoln M2, who we bumped after a long chase in our last race, Christ Church Regatta 2017. Our goal was clear: not to give them the satisfaction of revenge. Even though we had two novices in our boat, our hopes went high. We could do this. We did it in the practices. After doing some warmup pieces in the midst of the chaos of boats preparing to start, we were confident, if nervous, that we would give our best and make it count. As the gun sounded, however, Lincoln caught up, and they caught up quick. We pushed all we could, determined to increase the distance, to make every stroke count, and to catch up with St Hilda’s M1 ahead. However, after a shorter time than we’d like to admit, the once-defeated Lincoln M2 caught up and we had no choice but to concede.

Shortly after we hear a deafening horn, which we soon learnt was due to Merton’s M2 blindly crashing into another boat sitting at the side of the river, almost spearing their strokeman and breaking off their own bow. As we get back to the boathouse, Hamish is getting all excited about how many hits his video of the incident got on youtube – ‘100 in just 10 minutes guys!’, completely forgetting our recent loss. All we hear is that tomorrow we’re chasing Merton, as they’re getting a penalty and are put back in the ranks. We’ll teach them how to bash into other boats – it’s gonna be us on them!

Now revenge is for us to grab, hopes are high to catch up with Lincoln in the coming races! Three cheers for Lincoln – hip hip hooray!

W1 – Rowed Over
Cox – Jack ‘get your shit together’ Yates
Stroke – Philippa ‘if you can’t taste blood you’re not pushing hard enough’ Thornton
7 – Penny ‘controlled aggression’ Hyde
6 – Sophie ‘Instagram wannabe’ Clark
5 – Becky ‘single-handedly carried the boat at Radley’ Kirk
4 – Kaja ‘the feeder’ Fenn
3 – Grace ‘I’ve got a meeting’ Davies
2 – Emily ‘why does everyone think I’m vegetarian’ Pagden
Bow – Ellie ‘I’m actually from Devon not Cornwall’ Van Vogt
W1 began racing hyped and optimistic – the sun was shining, Leslie had come down to cheer us on, and things were looking great. Pushing off for warm up we all settled into the boat and got ready to keep our heads in it till the end of the race. Taking the advantage of being the only crew boating from Longbridges we pushed off into a clear river for our warm up. Our paddling was chunky, pieces speedy and starts controlled, so we lined up onto bungline 9 and prepared ourselves. After some final wise words from Sammy, a jelly baby each and a boat long high five we came forward and waited.
BANG – our start was great, we managed to stay pretty calm (even 6 seat!) and we were putting some serious power down. We wound up higher than we ever had before and took every stroke at max pressure, but excitement got the better of us and missed the call up onto rhythm. We then panicked a little, realising our ‘settle’ left us still up at rate 38. Not long after New bumped St. Johns so we had clear river behind us.
Despite this first day nerves got the better of us and we were a little too rushy on the slides coming into the gut. Because of our rushing our balance was knocked off, causing us to crab. In a dramatic turn of events 5’s seat came off as we left the gut – but in an even more dramatic (in the best sense) turn of events 5 managed to get her seat back on! A feat not even attempted by most of our crew when the boat is on trestles!! We got back onto pressure, back into rhythm and back into our boat rowing as one.
Despite the practically clear water behind us we weren’t going to go down without a fight and wanted to use this first day to our fullest advantage to really prove to ourselves that we could do the course and do it well. We chunked along to the finish line, managing to keep the same distance between ourselves and Magdalen ahead of us.
Although today wasn’t everything we hoped it would be – it was a row over, we broke Jack’s spoons curse and as a crew we are looking to build on this and improve every opportunity we get. Every race is a learning curve, and every race we’re going to keep getting better and better. First day nerves are over and done with now, tomorrow is a new day, we’ve done the training, we’re trusting the process, and we’re going to go out there and do Hertford proud.

M1 – Rowed Over

Cox Ettie Caverly

Stroke Danny de Rozairo

7 Harry Connor

6 Hamish Streeter

5 Jack Waterman

4 Oscar Dimdore Miles

3 Alex Allison

2 Freddie Von Kaufman

Bow Patrick Austin

Coming off the back of a convincing win at Worcester regatta on Saturday, albeit to opponents a few years our senior, M1 returned to the Isis looking to prove their worth at the top end of division 2.
We arrived at the start slightly nervous but well warmed up, with the sunshine a welcome change from the snow and ice of torpids.
After a long wait on the bungline, we got off to a promising start, immediately pulling away from the Mansfield crew behind as we built smoothly through our start sequence. Unfazed by the slight headwind, we closed the gap on the fast Jesus boat in front down to a length before they unfortunately pulled away coming out the gut as they moved on the LMH boat ahead of them. We continued to extend our lead over the Mansfield crew behind before they were caught by Queens, and rowed long and strong past the Hertford boathouse and along the greenbank, with no further drama as we rowed over.
We hope to build on a strong first day performance as we go into tomorrow looking to hunt down LMH.

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