RACE REPORTS FROM SATURDAY OF TORPIDS 2016
Saturday of Torpids: Last chance for M2 to avoid spoons and remain in fixed Divisions. Behind them were Exeter, LMH and Mansfield. Exeter and LMH closed down M2, but they kept Mansfield away. Spoons not avoided, but they remain in fixed divisions.
After their “incident” yesterday, W1 found themselves a little lower down the division. Could they return one of the bumps so cheaply taken the previous day? A chaotic race lay ahead, and W1 also had to contend with the seemingly unstoppable Green Templeton starting behind them, hoping to add Worcester as the final bump on their fifth consecutive Torpids blades.
From the starting cannon, W1 fought hard to keep GTC at bay, but to no avail, and after a quick concession W1 focused on getting a bump to avenge their spoons.
This is where things get confusing. A stationary boat in the gut forced W1 to take a wide line, clipping W2’s favourite tree from last Torpids. As the girls fought their way free, an opportunity presented itself. LMH, recovering from a similar incident, were limping out of the gut trying to get back into the race, as the division cruised past them. With steely resolve, W1 closed on the wounded LMH and bumped them hard in front of Longbridges.
Relief for W1, as well as for the LMH cox who seemed grateful to find their head still attached. W1 rowed proudly back to the Boathouse, hopefully inspired for the future. An inexperienced crew thrown in at the deep end this week, who will certainly be one to watch in the future.
At the end of a long week of long races, M1 were desperate for a bump. Flying off the start, they rapidly closed to a quarter-length on St John’s, and tried to push up closer as they approached the gut, with Teddy Hall hot on their heels. Unfortunately, the four previous races could be felt in the legs of the crew, and gradually St John’s began to crawl away from M1. Teddy Hall showed no signs of tiring, and the concession came on the Greenbank. M1 gave it everything to try and catch St John’s, but just couldn’t close the gap. By the finish line M1 were a length of clear water behind, but they kept fighting right until the end.
Struggling amongst heavier crews, M1 have left nothing behind this week. Their snappy starts and the grit and determination they have shown throughout some long races will serve them well for the future.
Overall, not the most glorious regatta in WCBC history, but with some promising novice talent spread throughout the new squads, things are definitely going to get better.
RACE REPORTS FROM FRIDAY OF TORPIDS 2016
With Thursday behind them, M2 rowed to the start line with high hopes and optimism for a great 3rd race. Competition was tough, but there was still an opportunity to catch a wavering Regent’s two bunglines ahead.
A little scrappy start (this correspondent noticed large puddles of water in the boat when they returned to land), though M2 held conviction and intimidation as they entered the bottom gut. However a rapid Hilda’s was already breathing down our stern and a quick concession was necessary. Round the corner and the big bad Wolf-son managed to scrape distance off the corner and pushed forwards toward us and another concession was given. Now along greenbanks, M2 were truly showing their true form and competence, with tidy strokes and catches. However an anomalously strong Merton crew caught up to a half length gap between us halfway along the course. A decisive manoeuvre by cox Shchepanovska to cross the stream slightly early bought us some more time, though a 3rd and final concession was necessary at the bottom of boathouse island.
This was a tough 3rd day rowing a full course and with a challenging draw, M2 have not had a bump-filled week. However each time they row past the boathouse, they show off their energy and conviction in rowing with vitality; hopefully this will bear some gains in tomorrow’s final race at 1pm.
Poor, poor W1… Nine small fish in a very big river, these girls have been fantastic, almost all stepping up from complete novices last term to defend Worcester against some significantly more experienced crews. They really deserve some good luck, but bumps racing is ever unfair and today would not be the day for W1.
Clean off the start and looking strong, W1 powered upstream past the bunglines. As they emerged from Donny Bridge though, the choppy waters got the better of them and a monstrous crab sent them careering into the bank. Six places were lost, but W1 kept their heads and got back into the race, keeping well ahead of the cluster of crews remaining below them. In fact as they passed the Worcester Boathouse they were making up ground on Somerville and Catz, who had obliviously passed the banked W1 lower down the course. The spectating M1 got very excited at the prospect of a bump on Catz W1. A promising sign for tomorrow and for next year though.
Tomorrow W1 chase Linacre, whilst fending off the fearsome GTC. Can they seize Worcester’s first bump of the week?
After three long races, M1 took their place at the head of Division 2, hoping for a repeat of their defence against Lincoln yesterday. Chasing them: Pembroke II, with two quick bumps already under their belt and their eyes firmly fixed on Division 1. A spirited pursuit began, and M1 pushed hard to keep ahead.
As they exited the gut, Pembroke’s bow came sweeping across towards M1. This race was over, and a timely concession left the men in worse pink scrambling clear of the racing line to let Lincoln pass.
M1 kept Lincoln safely in the distance as they began the long row up to the line, bloodied but unbroken. Can they repeat last year and bump St John’s tomorrow?
RACE REPORTS FROM THURSDAY OF TORPIDS 2016
After a chaotic and nearly false start yesterday, M2 regained their composure and rowed back down to the start line today with high hopes. Although the Lincoln boat ahead was fast, all they had to do was row a strong and quick start to gain ground ahead of the four boats behind vying for their blood.
Nice clean start on the go cannon and a seriously accelerating ‘power 10’ gave us a swift launch from the start line. Lincoln bumped out early, though the plucky M2 were already gaining water for the overbump on Brasenose. After Donny Bridge Trinity gave us a soft blow and bumped out, leaving a determined Teddy Hall in their wake. Come bottom gut, Hall came in on our inside and although a concession was given, their cox decided to cut us on the inside spinning us round into the bank. This proved to be too exciting for M2’s coach and when Teddy Hall’s coach spoke to him to complain about a wonky bow ball, he politely told him to “mind his own business” using appropriate and colourful words.
M2 did their best to reset and keep going, but the few seconds that were spent in the bank allowed two more crews to bump us. Unperturbed, from greenbanks onward, M2 decided not to care about those bumps and row, in this correspondent’s view, the best rowing of their lives (so far…). Cheered on by literally the whole Worcester BH crowd (Ed: surely there needs to be more than three people to claim a crowd…?), M2 rowed valiantly towards to the finish line.
Dropping into Div 2, W1 and their mystery supersub faced the pressure from some experienced crews below.
They pulled away with a very strong, clean start holding Lincoln to just before the gut. They conceded gracefully (in the sense that it was actually quite dismissive!) and maintained their measured and determined form continuously, even when Keble bumped them on the Greenbank. Once again, they put the bump behind them, and rowed with great control and class past boat house island, demonstrating their worthiness to be a W1. They looked great and should be very proud of themselves
Knocked out of Div 1 after a series of unfortunate events on Wednesday, M1 settled in for a long race at the top of Men’s Division II, ahead of Lincoln.
A textbook start put clear water between the crews, but the looming threat of Pembroke M2 drove Lincoln on, and they closed hard on M1 as they rowed through the gut. Coming out of the gut, Lincoln conceded to Pembroke and it was discovered that they were driven by the stick, not the carrot. They made a valiant effort to cling onto M1’s wash, but as both crews reached the Boathouses M1 pulled clear and extended their lead towards the finish. A happy and relieved M1 paddled smoothly back to the Boathouse to prepare for Division 1.
Second day, third race. Chasing last years rivals St John’s. An explosive start pulled M1 to within half a boat-length, which they held through Donny Bridge, however as they closed on the gut the earlier fight with Lincoln began to take its toll and M1 were unable to reel in their prey. St John’s gradually pulled away, finishing the race about two lengths ahead.
RACE REPORTS FROM WEDNESDAY OF TORPIDS 2016
M2 faced two near-misses before their race even started. First one of their rowers was arrested on his way to the river, and then their cox dropped the bungline with twenty seconds to go! Some panicked fishing later and the errant rope was recovered just in time for the starting gun, and M2 were unleashed upon Division leaders Magdalen II.
Magdalen proved swift, and pulled away as M2 headed for the gut, with Lincoln II closing fast behind them. Lincoln kept up the pressure, and M2 made the wise decision to concede and put as much distance between themselves and the carnage erupting in the gut as possible.
Despite the best efforts of Pembroke III, some other crews eventually negotiated the tangle of boats in the gut and emerged onto the Greenbank behind M2. M2 had a huge lead by this point though, and they drew it out further as they rowed solidly up to the finish.
Tomorrow they will hope to stay ahead of Trinity III and either return the bump on Lincoln or go for the overbump on Brasenose II.
Last years W1 left some big shoes to fill, but nine brave young ladies stepped up ready to make some history of their own. A solid start saw them begin to close on a fleeing Hertford, but trouble was fast approaching in the shape of an aggressive New College…The bump came from behind, with enough force to cause a massive crab and knock stroke’s seat clean off the runners! As Hertford scuttled away up through the gut, W1 performed some on-water repairs before following their escaped prey up to the finish.
They completed the race with some clean, technical rowing which will stand them in good stead as they lead Division II ahead of Lincoln tomorrow.
For M1, the plan was simple. Catch Catz before Balliol catch you. That didn’t exactly happen…
Off the start, things were going ok. M1 closed to a length on Catz, as Balliol and New loomed behind them. An escaped bungline forced M1 to depart the racing line, away from the relative safety of the bank. As the crews emerged from Donny Bridge Balliol tried to close the gap. M1 fought hard, but were forced to concede as they reached the center of the gut, with New College just missing out on bumping Balliol.
Out of the gut, M1 crossed early, trying to escape an angry New College. New drew level then strafed across the river towards M1. Despite an early concession, they insisted on slamming sideways into M1, knocking one unfortunate Worcester rower off his seat as well as dragging both boats to a halt.
M1 struggled to extricate themselves, whilst old rivals St John’s appeared out of the gut and bore down on the trapped crew… Eventually M1 were free, but with one man reduced to grating his backside along the deck. As they passed the Worcester Boathouse, John’s were dangerously close, but the cheers from the bank pushed M1 on and they held off John’s until the end of Boathouse Island, dodging a few swipes with some silky steering. Seven and a half men are no match for eight (even from St John’s) though, and M1 were left to limp to the finish line alone.
Tomorrow, with a new pair of pants for seven they will aim to row over at the top of Division II and return a bump to St John’s (this may sound awfully familiar to anyone who was at Torpids last year…)