It is the first night of the bumps (and see? I haven't bored you with the boaties for ages).
This isn't us - this is Cantabs II in M1 just about to catch what must be 99's III, I'd guess. Congratulations to all of them and in particular Petr Arnold at bow. He certainly looked very happy afterwards. Slightly bad news for our M1 who are now ahead of them tomorrow.
To explain my cryptic notation in the title: W2 went up; M3 went down; we (M2) rowed over; W1 and M1 rowed over.
Our race was quite interesting. St Ives (rather an unknown quantity behind us) gained a little on the start but fell away after about 500 m or the first corner. Well before then the crew we were chasing, Cantabs 7, (who we, the glorious M2 of two years ago, caught after a hard row on the third night) had bumped Nines 5; we'd pretty well settled down to a row-over, as as far as we could tell everything ahead of us had bumped out. Then, excitingly, some Cantabs boat (#21, 11 places ahead of us) suddenly appeared, rowing. So we chased them down the Reach and caught them between the White house and the Railway bridge. But, it wasn't fair, as they'd had some bizarre marshalling instructions and we only caught them because of some humungous crabs they got. For extra comedy points we weren't sure where our finish was, or whether we'd really bumps Cantabs. But as it turned out our finish *was* the White house, not the railway bridge, so all was well.
As for the row: pretty nervous I thought, but then the first night often is. Badly down to bowside (the true enemy wasn't Cantabs but those b*st*rds on strokeside! Does anyone else remember Spike Milligans war memoirs? The bit where someone - perhaps Patton - is talking to the politicians back home: "The Germans? Sure, I'll put them on the list, but first we have to whump the Limeys"). We kept going, and didn't tire: that was the main thing. Kate claimed 39 off the start and 35 for the first 500 m; if so that explains the huge amount of water we shipped :-). By contrast, I remember watching First+Third as they cruised past the Plough in complete control: "34" whispered the cox as they powered by, totally dry and totally together.
Particular thanks for Emma for great coxing, and Jon, Chris and Emma B for bank partying.
Current charts are at http://cra-online.net/bumps/index.asp but will be different by the time you read this.
Hello to Atrichoke on first post corner. Hope you enjoyed the race.
What a wonderful read. It reminds me of Peter Tinniswood's Tales from a Long Room, as narrated by Robin Bailey. I have only a vague idea what you're talking about but it's still amusing.
Of course you'll probably object because, unlike Tinniswood's Brigadeer and unlike, say, the many fictional characters of Beachcomber, and Brian O'Nolan in his days at the Irish Times, you are a real person writing about real events. Well not to me you aren't. To my mind, you'd only have to set this piece on the Liffey and add a commentary by the Plain People of Ireland. Perhaps an unannotated diagram of a scull, and it would fit quite well with the most sublime examples of the Cruiskeen Lawn.
The Plain People of Ireland: oh, so it's the boats is it?
Me: Yes, that's what it's about.
The Plain People of Ireland: ah, fine lads, your boats. Didn't Saint Brendan discover America on a good auld Kerry fishing boat? The Brother told me the Americans have a fine stained glass window about the great event at Annapolis. He was in the Navy, you know. Naturalized American.
Me: Well this is about rowing eights.
The Plain People of Ireland: Oh I know them lads, the wans with the little man in the back shouting at them to buck up their ideas. Eight strapping big hurley players that could swat your man like a fly. But yer little man says hurry up, get a move on, and they do! That's teamwork that is.