Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Lent Bumps - Day 2

The men's second division had their rest day today, which meant I actually got some work done, and then spent the rest of the afternoon on the bank. Downing W2 did a great job keeping up their momentum and bumped Queens W2, who were overbumped yesterday.

Still, the main events were the W1 and M1 divisions, with both crews aiming for headships. I was bank-partying M1, so couldn't watch the W1 race, but the race reports say that the bump happened in the first thirty or forty strokes, and there was hardly even a rhythm call. They've taken the headship in pretty reasonable style, and I think the only negative aspect is that they bumped before First Post corner, so most of the Downing crowd sat on the bank at Grassy saw fuck-all.

Things weren't quite so straightforward and simple for M1, with FaT putting up a pretty stubborn fight at the front. The gap was down to about half a length by the time they got out of Grassy corner, but they held it there down the plough reach. The gap closed again to about a canvas round Ditton, with Trinity taking a wide line and ending up on the meadow side of the Reach, with Downing staying tight round the corner and coming out on the towpath side. With the boat having fairly clear water the gap closed considerably, and there was a foot or two of overlap, aside from the issue that the boats were on opposite sides of the river. As Downing moved across towards FaT, rowing through the stream and into FaT's dirty water slowed us down a bit, and the gap opened back up to around 1/4 of a length. We moved up at points, but First & Third did a decent job at holding us off, and the end result was a row over.

It was definitely close though, and I don't think that FaT will be looking forward to doing the same thing tomorrow. Caius might make it interesting in the back end of the week if they keep moving up, but tomorrow Downing can have another decent crack at it, because LMBC didn't really threaten a huge amount. It's not going to be quite as easy or emphatic as the women's headship, but it's definitely still within reach. The rest of the week will be interesting.

The main other drama from my perspective was on the towpath, with a fairly spectacular cycling pile-up around Ditton corner. Some member of the public was cycling the other way (which is a bit fucking daft to be honest - when faced with about a hundred bikes charging down the towpath in the other direction, most of them having their eyes on the river and not where they're going, it's probably a better choice to just get off and wait for the madness to roll past than to try and cycle through it) and one of FaT's bank party was on the wrong side of the towpath. The guy swerved to avoid the Trinity guy, and in doing so crashed head-on into Ed Saunders, who was right in front of me. I somehow managed to swerve right between the two bikes as they bounced away from each other, merely clipping my rear wheel as I went past, with Ian swerving round the outside. I heard another bike crash into them behind me, which turned out later to be Barry (the college Master). With things being close on the river, I think Andy summed up the situation best with "Man down, keep going", and thankfully nobody was seriously hurt (not as far as I know, at least).

Back to racing tomorrow, chasing down the LMBC M2 boat that cost us the chance of bumping yesterday, and hopefully hitting them pretty hard.

Oh yeah, and M3 got bumped again today. Lol M3.

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