Catz Glory in Summer Eights 17

Catz Glory in Summer Eights 17

We are pleased to report that another Summer Eights campaign brought blades home for two Catz crews. From Wednesday to Saturday, the sun shone, the crowds cheered, and 5 Catz crews took on the eights challenge, with both M1 and M2 bumping every day to earn blades, the first time both men’s crews have done so since 1982. The M3 squad also secured a bump on the final day, bumping New III and finishing a place up from where they started.

The women put in a valiant effort, with W1 bumping Worcester on the final day in front of Boathouse Island and finishing level in position 8 of Div 2. W2 sadly finished with spoons (having been bumped everyday) but having not fielded a Women’s 2nd VIII last year, it bodes well for the health of the women’s boat club next year.

For a full Saturday report from Anu Dudhia, (1977, Physics), see below.

Also see instagram.com/catzboatclub for more photos

Saturday 27th May

Cooler, and cloudier, but a bit of welcome relief for the spectators as much as for the crews. The day started, as did the Saturday of last Torpids, with both our men's 1st and 2nd boats were looking for blades. On that day, both left disappointed. But, first things first...

Men's 3rd VIII - 3rd Div VII - bumped New III - up 1 this week.

A crew can start to go stale after a whole week rowing together (despite the parade of new faces), so they decided to freshen things up by reversing their seating order and, er, dressing colourfully (the cox, in her leopard-skin onesie, being particularly grateful for the change to cooler weather).  For a few minutes we were worried that New III weren't going to show up, which would mean having a long chase to catch the boat 2 ahead, but finally they arrived (possibly victims of the one-hour forward shift in the Saturday schedule), allowing Catz to secure their bump without too much further distress.

Women's 2nd VIII - 8th Div VI - bpd by Jesus III - down 4 this week

The crew mascot - a fluffy swan - was fixed to the bows today. While it may not have helped their rowing, it might have jinxed the crew behind who flirted dangerously close to the bank before sorting themselves out. Or, being basically the Jesus Schools VIII recycling various ex-1st VIII rowers (much like Catz M3) they hadn't realise when they put today's crew together that all the bigger rowers were on the same side. Anyway, although Catz got spoons and finished 5th from bottom on the river, we didn't even have a W2 last summmer, so I suppose that means that they are effectively +5 for the week - and our most successful crew.

Men's 2nd VIII - 4th Div IV - bpd Trinity II  - up 4 this week *BLADES*

Trinity were the fastest crew Catz had to chase this week and at one stage they looked in danger of bumping out on SEH II (who had bumped them on the first day). But Catz were just a canvas down coming out of the Gut and soon had Trinity's full attention. Catz swiped left, missed, but nailed it as they came back onto racing line up the Green Bank, much to the enjoyment and relief of the supporters on the boathouse balcony.

Women's 1st VIII - 9th Div II - bpd Worcester  - level this week

Being Catz women's last race of the year, also their best chance of gaining their first bump of the year, it seems they were determined to savour it. Any sense of urgency was removed when the chasing crew, LMH, were bumped by Exeter at Donnington bridge, leaving Catz to gradually close Worcester down, enjoy some 'overlap' time, and finally make physical contact in full view of Worcester's boathouse. (And, personally, may I

add: phew!)

Men's 1st VIII - 11th in Div 1 - bpd S.E.H. - up 4 this week *BLADES*

In Men's Div I the coxes are experienced, the boats expensive, and the crews go at consistent speeds from day to day. So, while in the lower divisions it's always good to get your bump early before any klaxon, that's usually neither necessary nor even possible in the top division.

Fortunately Catz have been practising exactly that all week and while today took a little longer - just past Donnington Bridge - it was still well before Balliol rammed Magdalen into the bank, forcing their cox into the water, and the resulting klaxon.

No change at the top of Women's Div I so Wadham earn their 4th successive Headship, holding off Pembroke for the last 9 races.  In Men's Div I there were no bumps between the top 7 boats before the klaxon so they were all given row overs (not that there were any bumps between these 7 boats yesterday either), and Christ Church are the new men's Head of the River, a position they'd previously held until the start of 2011. Above Catz, Balliol also got blades - the first time the Balliol men's 1st Eight has ever bumped every day since they started competing in 1825.

Jesus (+15, all from their 4 men's crews) and New College (-14, again all from their men's crews) continue where they started the week at the top and bottom of the net bumps. Catz with +5 (+3 of which came today) finish 8th=, and on the points score which assigns more weight to places won and lost nearer the top than the bottom, Catz finish in 14th, having started the week at 18th while Pembroke remain top, ahead of Christ Church and Wadham.