Friday, 17 June 2011

May Bumps 2011 - Day 2

First things first, today saw me take the honourable achievement of first place in the Thursday BumpIt competition. Screw the actual races, screw the fact that I'm doing shite in the overall competitions at the moment, that is where it is at boys and girls. In the good ol' days that would have won me a t-shirt (which therefore puts it on a par at least with Robinson Head, except the prize is more desirable). Also there are some pretty good photos of the racing yesterday on this site, especially some well-placed action photos of Downing W1 taking headship (and kudos to Lizzie for seemingly being the only one to bother holding it up).

Also video up of our row through Grassy corner today:

2011 May Bumps day 2 M2 from Malcolm Scott on Vimeo.

It is apparently a long-standing tradition (well, since around 2007) that every year, in the top half of the Men's Second Division, Peterhouse will be hyped beforehand as a fast crew. They'll be predicted blades, and while they will be fairly quick during the races, they will never actually make any real progress over the course of the week, going up maybe one or two places at best. And while Peterhouse are not making any real progress up the river, there will be Downing II there to row over behind them as they either bump out or also row over.

There was a fair amount of support today from old boys (mostly Sam Davis) for us to hit Peterhouse. Again, they had been hyped beforehand to be quick, but the row-over on the first day suggested that yet again they probably weren't likely to make much progress up the charts. The difference this year being that we had the extra speed in the crew to actually go out and hit them, moving us up a second place on our second day.

The race performance itself was much better than yesterday. We were still a touch scrappy off the start, but settled into it better, and when we pushed out the corners things felt quick. We were on-station with them round First Post, made a move in the gut and closed them to a length, with the rest of the race basically being a long, hard sequence of pushes, with each move bringing us a bit closer, until we eventually broke them just before the Railway Bridge, after about twenty strokes of fairly significant overlap (during which I probably should have steered for the bump a bit more than I actually did) and tore a fair bit of paintwork off the underside of our bow in the process.

It was a good race, and full respect for Peterhouse for putting up the fight they did, because they looked to be cracking around Ditton but held on for a good distance longer, to the point at which they seriously weren't far off hitting Robinson in front of them. The bump places us second in the second division now, with a chance of becoming the sandwich boat tomorrow if we can go out and hit Robinson, and a real shot at perhaps moving into the first division, and taking the second boat headship away from First & Third II, who look to be coming down pretty hard.

W1 rowed over at head, and unless Pembroke are plotting a final-day blitz, it doesn't look like there's anything coming up to take that headship away in the final two days of racing. M1 also continued their progress up the division by smashing Pembroke M1 on the reach, with a similar level of carnage and attempted murder of the stern pair as W1 managed yesterday.

And on top of that, M3 managed the first Mays bump for the Downing M3 boat since the Thursday in 2008, and should probably go up more places over the final two days to make up for the free-falling in recent years. W2 rowed over, and I reckon they'll probably make up for falling just short in the first day and hit Clare W2 tomorrow.

In general it's been a pretty good first two days, and fingers crossed it'll keep going until an epic party on Saturday evening.

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