M1 – Summer Eights 2011 (Day 1 and 2)
Apologies for my long absence from this blog – hopefully I can rectify this to some degree in the days to come!
M1, fresh from a successful training camp in Earith in Cambridgeshire, returned to the Abingdon stretch for four weeks of intensive training in preparation for Eights 2011. Despite losing two members of the Torpid, the boat was picking up speed at an impressive rate. We travelled to Dorney Lake for Wallingford Regatta and despite our start suffering in the strong winds, placed a solid third in our heat. For most of the crew, this was a first experience of the excitement of multilane racing and although deteriorating conditions prevented us from racing again in the afternoon, everyone came away satisfied with our performance but aware that we still had a long way to go.
Four and a half weeks later, we sat on the 7th bungline, ready to begin our Eights campaign. The highly rated Wolfson M1 were chasing us and despite predictions they would take us inside a hundred metres, we picked up a length of clear water on them off the start. Through the gut and along greenbank, we sprinted to catch St Catherine’s up ahead, knowing that Wolfson’s speed in the latter half could well give them an advantage. Controversy ensued as Catz (despite eyewitnesses that we bumped them) refused to concede and Wolfson bumped us across from boathouse island. We appealed, claiming contact on the Catz stern but it was overruled as the umpires could not tell either way and the Catz cox pleaded ignorance. Bad sportsmanship or genuine unawareness? It was impossible to tell. But Balliol will in future be leading the campaign for ‘goal-line technology’ in bumps racing!
24 hours later, we put in a very solid row over. The pace was relaxed and we could respond easily to whatever Magdalene behind us could muster. Up ahead, Wolfson caught Catz giving us another shot at them tomorrow.
To be continued…