Despite inclement weather throughout the term meaning the river was red flag for a number of weeks, Lincoln was able to enter four boats into Rowing On, an M3 on the men’s side, and W2, W3 and W4 on the women’s side. Despite the lack of water time, all crews put in excellent performances, proving that the fitness work carried out in the gym and on the ergs in the weeks building up to the race had been effective. M3 qualified comfortably in the middle of the pack, while the women’s crews laid down a strong marker before Summer Eights, with W2 coming second, W3 coming fourth, and W4 coming eighth. This meant that Lincoln qualified the second highest number of crews in the university, with seven. Summer Eights Lincoln continued their successes of recent years with an impressive performance, earning the Boat Club third overall in the bumps charts.
Summer Eights 2012
Summer Eights took place in glorious sunshine between the 23rd and 26th of May.
The first Lincoln women’s crew to race was W4, who were at the top of Division VI and therefore the sandwich boat. This meant that they had to hold off St. John’s III behind them for the full length of the course to have a chance at bumping into Division V. The girls put in a valiant effort, keeping ahead of the St. John’s crew (made up of ex-Blues and W1 rowers) until the Gut, where they were eventually caught. They returned the next day determined to move up a division, and bumped Jesus II to become the sandwich boat again. Turning around quickly to race again in Division V, they rowed to the bungline ready to chase St. John’s III. John’s, however, never made it to the bungline, as they snapped off their bow ball while spinning and were forced to retire. This left W4 chasing GTC II, with three boat lengths between them; despite this, Lincoln IV caught GTC II at Donnington Bridge, securing a place in Division V. Friday and Saturday were less eventful, with our W4 catching Brasenose II and Worcester III quickly, by virtue of a well-executed, powerful start. Just short of blades, the girls should nevertheless be proud of their achievements, as they (quite easily) caught second and third boats and built themselves a reputation on Boathouse Island.
W3 began the week as the second boat in Division V. Their aim for the week was to move up into Division IV; if they could manage this then our W3 would no longer have to qualify for Summer Eights each year. Wednesday saw Lincoln III chasing a strong Trinity II, who managed to row over successfully despite pressure from our W3. The girls returned the next day and secured a place as a sandwich boat by bumping Regent’s Park. This left them chasing Trinity II once again. When the race started, Trinity II quickly caught up with Oriel II, meaning W3 had to overbump St. Catz II if they wanted to stay in Division IV. Showing real heart and determination, the girls got the overbump in front of the boathouses. We later found out that with this bump the girls had made history – they were the first W3 ever to make it into the fixed divisions of Summer Eights, and they had done it in style. Friday brought with it a slight change of events as Trinity II were now chasing Lincoln III, and despite our crew’s best efforts they were bumped. Summer Eights concluded for W3 with a rowover on Saturday, but they had achieved their goal – they had gotten a place in Division IV and they had kept it.
M3 had a promising start to the week, seeking to defend a high starting position in division 6. On Wednesday, they comfortably secured the bump of the Jesus Vikings. However, on Thursday, despite a valiant effort, they were unable to catch St John’s and were ultimately bumped by Wolfson 3 on Friday and Green Templeton 2 on Saturday to finish down one. Nevertheless, M3 remain the seventh best 3rd boat on the river, a sign of the strength in depth of LCBC.
After an impressive performance in Rowing On – coming second only to the GTC first boat – our W2 was cautiously optimistic. Coached by two Blues, and looking for another set of blades to complement the ones they had won in Torpids, the crew looked forward to showing the fixed divisions what they could do. Starting 11th in Division IV, the girls chased down St. Catz II with casual efficiency. Thursday and Friday were much the same as Lincoln II dispatched Teddy Hall II and L.M.H II, both before the Gut. This meant that on the arrival of the last day of racing, the girls had the opportunity to earn crossed blades – no mean feat. They knew they could catch the crew in front as they had done it on Thursday; it was, once again, Teddy Hall II, who had managed to get the overbump on Balliol II the day before. The race started, and very shortly afterward the klaxons sounded, leaving those on Boathouse Island with no idea as to whether or not Lincoln II had gotten the bump. As our crew rowed past the boathouses we shouted to them to try and find out, but got no answer. Just in case, and hoping for the best, we got out the champagne. As the crew came in to land it was obvious from their smiles that they had gotten the bump and therefore secured blades. The entire boat club celebrated.
M2 were denied the opportunity to fulfil their promise in Summer Eights. On the first day, carnage in front of them forced them into the bank, and thinking themselves to have been bumped, stopped rowing. Unfortunately, and seemingly inexplicably, OURCs felt otherwise, and were relegated to the foot of the division. After rowing over strongly on Thursday, they showed their strength and technique to first bump Hertford on Friday, and then St John’s on Saturday to add a gloss to an otherwise disappointing week. Nevertheless, the commitment and drive of the entire crew should be lauded, having trained diligently throughout the term under the strict regime of Nicole Scheumann.
W1 began the week at the bottom of Division II, looking to move up and chasing crossed blades. With three new girls in the crew – one returning Blue and two girls moving up – and little water time together, W1 was nervous but still confident. Wednesday saw Lincoln chasing Queen’s, and the bump came just after Donnington Bridge. A klaxon a few seconds later served as a reminder of the need to catch crews as quickly as possible – the unpredictable nature of racing meant you could be robbed of a bump if you took your time off the start.
Thursday brought with it a bump on St. Hilda’s, but chasing Mansfield on Friday presented more of a challenge, with the crew ready to go for the overbump if needed. A strong start made that unnecessary, however, and Lincoln caught Mansfield to leave themselves one bump away from crossed blades. Saturday’s start order saw them placed behind Linacre. Bungline 10 was situated on a corner, such that there was a need for steering from the first strokes of the start. A tangle between Jesus on Exeter in the first 30 seconds forced Linacre wide across the river with Lincoln hot in pursuit. With the bump inevitable, Linacre conceded before Donny Bridge, and W1 rowed back to Boathouse Island to celebrate the achievements of the week.
M1 approached Summer Eights in good spirits despite the lack of water time that had blighted college rowing in the build up to the competition. Despite being a relatively light crew, some impressive speed shown in outings meant they had confidence going into the first day. However, despite a punchy start, the power of a strong Trinity crew behind them, who would ultimately secure blades, proved impossible to resist, and M1 were caught going into the gut. Undeterred, despite mechanical problems on the start line that inhibited the power of talismanic strokeman, Alex Bostrom, M1 attempted to recreate their overbumping exploits of Torpids by chasing down Worcester M1 three positions ahead of them. Unfortunately, despite being spurred on by their tenacious cox Sophie Shawdon, and the lightweight power of Alex Thomas and Sam Albanie, a valiant effort was resisted, and despite securing overlap by the finish line, Worcester lived to fight another day. On Friday, Lincoln were chasing New College M1. Again, they were blighted by mechanical problems, with Czech powerhouse Jerry Zak’s gate snapping at the start, only to be hastily repaired with electrical tape. Having been denied a bump on the previous day, Zak showed tremendous technical proficiency to row the course square blades, and, driven on by the captain, Chris Wallis, the experience of Asgeir Birkisson and Will Richardson, and the youthful exuberance of prodigy Stefan Curtress, the crew secured the bump in front of the boat house. Unfortunately, the promising week was brought to an abrupt end on the Saturday, as, despite being confident of catching Worcester swiftly, a klaxon fired on safety grounds ended the division early, meaning the crew ended the week level overall. Great thanks must go to Lincoln legend and coach Doug Bruce, who produced the most successful and fastest crew of recent years. Overall, it was another excellent year for Lincoln, confirming themselves as one of the strongest all-round colleges on the river. We look forward to next year, when we hope to press on to even higher levels of success.