RACE REPORTS FROM FRIDAY OF EIGHTS 2016
M2 (report by Chris Stobart)
M2 were being chased by Green Templeton M1. This is a brief report for a brief race.
W2 (report by Karishma Dixit)
After a considerably better start than yesterday, W2 managed at first to pull ahead strongly in the correct direction. Unfortunately the strong and experienced Univ crew behind gained on them rapidly. However, W2 put their best blades forward and their best fight yet. The race lasted considerably longer than those of the past two days, and Univ looked as though they were about to burn out when disaster struck. A steering cable came loose, and W2 were unable to dodge a tired swipe by Univ. One last chance to escape spoons tomorrow.
W1 battled with Jesus behind them the full length of the course. Jesus closed to a canvas on the Greenbank, but a big push in front of the Worcester Boathouse saw W1 begin to pull away as they sprinted for the Head. Jesus were no pushover though, and made a last-minute push which saw W1 bumped mere seconds away from crossing the line. On Saturday they will hope to rebump a tired Jesus whilst fending off St Annes to avoid spoons.
M1 (report by Jameson Lee)
After yesterday’s valiant effort at catching Catz fell through, the boys decided to take a less “fly and die” approach to this race. After having a game of charades with our bankrider, a feeling of déjà vu from Torpids came thanks to a missing umpire. Unfazed by this, the crew started strongly, settling at a fast but sustainable pace. Unfortunately, the Mansfield crew behind took a more aggresive strategy to row at maximum power which the guys did their best to match. A hard fight and many wind ups were no match for the crew behind, and we were bumped mid way down Greenbank. Tomorrow, M1 will see even more déjà vu with Lincoln behind them, and will be looking to ensure that history will reflect the amount of work they put in. Rumors of Mansfield agents infiltrating WCBC at the highest level are unconfirmed.
RACE REPORTS FROM THURSDAY OF EIGHTS 2016
M2 (report by Chris Stobart)
M2 finally with their full crew, was reading to go and buzzing full of energy whilst sitting on the bung line waiting for the cannon of MDiv IV. Maybe there was too much buzzing as no one heard the final countdown and the first indication that race was underway was the cannon followed by all of the water churning under the raw power of M2. Then as eight illustrious warriors took some strokes in some rhythm (rarely the same rhythm as the rest of the crew) the boat was underway and what a way it was; a full 6 seconds longer than heroic attempt No.1 (1 minute 3 seconds)! Which ended with the ballsiest concession I’ve ever seen where the cox, in possession of balls of the hardest titanium, waited until the rigger of the St. Catz two seat had embedded itself in her back before finally deigning to wave in defeat. In continuation of being a badass, she then accused St. John’s of first being Magdalen then St. John’s clearly demonstrating how beneath M2 these crews were considered. There ends day 2 for the valiant M2!
W2 (report by Freya Young)
Having settled onto their bungline with plenty of time to spare, W2 were more than ready for their race. Chasing St Anthony’s, who’d bumped them yesterday, and in front of an experienced and infamous crew-munching GTC, W2 knew it would be tough, but spirits were high and they were determined to make the most of it. After an uncharacteristically shaky start (probably due to the lack of pre-race jokes), W2 put down the power and found their usually, strong rhythm. However, it wasn’t long before GTC caught up and closed in, with Worcester holding on until the overlap warranted a concession, just before Donny Bridge. Eager to clear the racing line, and clearly not out of race mode, W2 sped off towards the bank (this reporter has heard that poor Lady P has taken a bit of a knock!) After a full on collision was averted, W2 showed their sport(wo)manship by smiling and cheering GTC, who responded in kind. Let’s hope that tomorrow W2 get more time to enjoy their race!
W1 (report by Ed Dickens)
W1 had a great start holding off Lincoln and gaining on Somerville from the first stroke. The gaps between all crews closed down until Worcester finally had to concede to Lincoln half a length from Somerville. Great race by all showing lots of heart and determination.
M1 (report by Denis Lebedev)
M1 upgraded their stash and turned up with free speed sunglasses (that is all of M1 apart from Dan as blind people need special glasses) on bungline two, hoping that they could start faster than the significantly heavier St. Catz ahead of them. The start was indeed executed beautifully, extending the gap to LMH behind our M1 to two and a half boat lengths of clear water and closing down to half a boat length on Catz within the first 20 strokes. As the crews were racing into the gut, M1 decided to go for a spontaneous fly-or-die strategy and they got as close as 1/4 of a boat length to Catz, but missed the bump. Due to a slightly wider racing line out of the gut, the gap to Catz grew to about a boat length whilst the rowers started to see LMH appear on the horizon again. LMH chased the one and a half boat lengths down on the way up greenbanks and M1 paid the tribute for their burst through the gut when LMH bumped them in front of Univ boathouse. Tomorrow a new challenge is waiting for M1: Believing in their starts, they are hoping to return the favour to LMH before the rapid men from Mansfield will be able to catch them.
RACE REPORTS FROM WEDNESDAY OF EIGHTS 2016
Coming off the back of a rocky Torpids campaign, M2 faced a tough task catching Wolfson II in Men’s Division IV. A surprisingly snappy start saw them accelerate away from their pursuers; Hertford II. It was not to last though, and Hertford began to close the gap and the concession came just above Donny Bridge. Hertford chose to make contact to confirm the kill, and took a rigger through their bow for their trouble. Tomorrow M2 will hope to avoid the fate suffered by M1 today as they defend against St Catz II.
W2 had a big reputation to live up to after last year’s glorious Blades triumph. Coached by long-term Worcester Rowing enthusiast Stuart Walter, the girls have made a huge effort to come back from a Hilary term so full of rain they barely touched the river and were ultimately unable to compete in Torpids. Despite the calming presence of their mercenary cox, St Antony’s were out for blood after last year and swiftly closed down W2, claiming the bump just below Donny Bridge. A queue of crews seeking vengeance from last year lie in wait further down the Division, and W2 will have some challenging races ahead of them. Tomorrow they face the ladies of Green Templeton W1.
W1 started the week at the head of Division II, defending against a characteristically arrogant Oriel, who have spent the past week boasting about how great they were. Eyewitness accounts from W1 on the bungline describe Oriel as “significantly bigger” and with “a steely glare”. Would their chat hold up? Yes, as it happened, but W1 fought valiantly to the end, which came as both crews exited the gut. Oriel went on to bump Somerville out of Div I, into the crosshairs of W1 who will look to bump their way back towards Div I.
Coming off the back of victories over Balliol and Hertford at Shrewsbury and Worcester Regattas in the last couple of weeks, M1 were optimistic that their luck had turned following a gruelling Torpids and a painful Eights last year. Like their counterparts in W1, they began at the top of Div II ahead of an unknown Catz crew similarly eager to compensate for a disappointing Eights a year ago. To be honest it was a scrappy start, and M1 didn’t make the best use of the calm waters ahead of them. By the middle gut, Catz were dancing around their stern. But memories of the heroic Lincoln rowover from Torpids stirred, and M1 pushed back, holding Catz at a canvas all the way up the Greenbank and past Univ boathouse. As they approached the top of Boathouse Island, Catz made one last big push. M1 responded and almost pulled clear enough to escape across the river, but boat clipped boat and the boys were forced to wind down less than 500 metres from the finish. The plan was to hold them, and if we couldn’t hold them we would make them hurt. Anyone who watched their performance at the bottom of Div I will agree that Catz were hurting. M1 are confident that the rest of Div II poses no immediate threat, and it remains to be seen whether they can return the favour to Catz, or whether they’ll be left waiting for someone else to fall their way from the bottom of the 1st Division.
Overall, a tough first day for Worcester, but there is potential for later in the week, and spoons are far from a certainty for any of our crews.