[This post written in arrears and given an in-arrears date, so few people will see it. But I care.]
So, day 4. Champs 1 again ahead of us, and we sort-of resolved to go for it rather harder this time, but in a slightly vague way. We mostly decided that we would aim to get them by the Plough; and if we didn't, we'd take the race from there. And we knew Champs 2 were fast off the start but we knew if we held them to first post they would fade from there.
I'd watched the early divisions. Div 3 was notable for practice starts in bright sunshine followed by it pissing with rain on the division. Ah well.
At the start, I felt fairly relaxed. The terrible anticipation of the previous 3 days wasn't there - calm instead. Good. I didn't analyse why for fear of dispelling it. And so we went off - fairly hard, but: not quite with that killer sprint that we needed. And so we got whistles by first post, and maybe two by the Plough, but not enough. Meanwhile, behind us, Champs 2 were not playing to the plan either: they had started fast, but failed to fade in the approved fashion. By Ditton corner it was serious: they probably had a fraction of overlap. Out of the corner we pushed and dropped them, but it was close: we should have pushed earlier I think, in retrospect. In fact in retrospect, we should have given it everything down Plough reach. Champs 2 had a bowcam, so you can watch for yourself.
But they pushed us all the way to the railway bridge, so it was a good row - well worth it. We cheered them, they cheered us, we cheered Champs 1. And then it was all over for another year. A brief stop at the beer tree. Back to Corpus so we could take the boat apart (Steven, Katherine and others taking a mixed VIII to St Neots: lost to Cygnet, apparently). And then the post-bumps party at Goldie, courtesy of Chris Smith, which was awfully decent of him. Even more so at around 11 when he invited the survivors up to his flat above. Lovely balcony view. Paul had a very special pair of underpants and Simon wore his spoon with pride. I left around 1 though things were still in full flow...
This is off topic, but wanted to say this morning just rowed the lengthiest stretch of my life, about 1,8 km. Caught no fish (Zander nor Pike) by luring drifting back with the current, but had some fun. Probably going to do this again.