W1 – Bumped by Homerton W1, now 3rd in Div 2
Written by: Isabelle Read
After an exhausting and unexpected row over yesterday, W1 were still pumped and ready to take on Catz W1 again. Informed by Roger that there’d be no way we’d reach the Reach without having bumped or been bumped (he was wrong yesterday), we were ready for a quick race. The four-minute cannon went off. The countdown began, and the longest 3 minutes in history passed before the one minute cannon as we had to wait for a cruiser to go by. A nervous, but quick start gave us one whistle on Catz within the first minute. We managed to hold it there around first post corner but Homerton were gaining on us quickly. We kept fighting for the bump, but Homerton were just too quick and caught us before we had the chance. We were still in high spirits as we rowed well, had a clean start, and had very little chance against Homerton anyway! We’re ready to go into tomorrow with even more aggression to keep Trinity Hall away from us!
M1 – Rowed over 13th in Div 1
Written by: Neil Paul
Having confidently rowed away from Churchill yesterday, today we had a free shot at Magdalene. We managed to make some inroads up First Post Reach yesterday, but then lost speed through the corners. Today we’d have to go off hard, and attack the corners if we were to have any chance of getting Magdalene before they got Selwyn.
We had a solid warm-up on the ergs and then on the water up to Jesus Lock, with a front-end slide build to keep us sharp. The row down to the start was calm, confident, and fast.
At Station 14 we got out of the boat and began the long wait till the 4 minute cannon. Nerves began to appear; we barely spoke. Chris Smith and Roger attempted to gee us up, but the fire we had earlier had gone out.
Then the cannon … After a storming start, we strode out onto a fierce pace up First Post Reach. A slight wobble at the outflow didn’t faze us – we pushed on into Magdalene’s wash. Behind us, Churchill had also gone off hard, but were fading as Robinson drew ever closer. We held our speed much better than yesterday up the second half of First Post Reach, but had a big wobble coming into First Post Corner, as Hrutvik attempted to steer clear of crews who had bumped out.
In the Gut we picked the boat speed back up with a heroic lift. This effort was frustratingly lost in Grassy Corner, where we haemorrhaged boat speed. Beyond that point there was some confusion – we had calls from the bank telling us to wind it down, but we felt we were still in a race. It turned out that pretty much the whole of Div 1 had bumped out, so there was nobody left to race. We paddled home at a comfortable rate 20.
It was a disappointing day – yes we had gone hard for the first 2 minutes, but then we let ourselves settle onto a more comfortable pace when we saw that there was going to be no pressure from behind. Tomorrow we’ll have no such luxury – a blading Robinson crew is behind us, but a spooning Selwyn crew will be in front. We’re at a cross-roads in our Bumps campaign, which way we’ll go will be down to how badly we want the bump tomorrow.
W2 – Bumped Anglia Ruskin W1, now Head of Div 4
Written by: Molly Murton
Day 2 of bumps for W2 looked set to be an uncertain one, knowing we had be unable to catch ARU the day before and narrowly escaping being overbumped. Nonetheless, we arrived at the boathouse in high spirits ready to learn from our mistakes and embrace the fact that ARU would be twice as tired as us, having sandwiched yesterday. Thankfully, things running on time meant a quick marshalling before a snappy paddle down to the lock. Confidence was high following some very clean roll-ups and a nigh on pristine practise start. We were determined. The four minute cannon meant final checks and some breathing coaching from cox, Dylan and soon we were ready in the middle of the river.
Boom! We were off. Our start, once again, could not be faulted and we flew away from the chain. We quickly gained 1 whistle on ARU but we’d been here before – it was time to make the change. It was like rowing with a different crew from yesterday as we remained calm, keeping the stroke long and clean. However, Murray Edwards were coming up rapidly behind us and had soon gained 2 whistles, immediately followed by our 2 whistles on ARU. This was going to be close. All three boats remained this way as we went round Grassy and past the Plough. And then, approaching Ditton, just as the pain was really setting in, we had 3 whistles! This was it! And one final drive and a triumphant call from Dylan: ‘We’re going to bump them on the corner girls’ was all it took. We bumped, the victory tasting all the sweeter for having missed out yesterday.
This result meant we were now sandwich boat so there was no time to lose focus. We paddled straight back up to marshalling in preparation for racing at the bottom of Div 3, chasing Churchill. We were positive as we’d heard from ARU that they thought they could have got them the day before. This was the perfect opportunity to secure our place in Div 3. However, unfortunately it was not to be. Another flying start saw 1 whistle and then 2 almost immediately but coming under motorway bridge and past the outflow the panic/tiredness set in and our rowing somewhat fell apart, to put it mildly. We got it back together and gained 1 whistle back but we could not hold it for the length of the course and the bump eluded us. Looking forward to a potential second chance at bumping them tomorrow!
M2 – Rowed over 4th in Div 4
Written by: Shuowang He
After swallowing the bitter pill of being unable to secure the bump on Girton M2 yesterday, we had to take a long look at ourselves and wonder “Are we really as good as we say we are??”. It didn’t take very long to conclude that the over-bump on FaT M3 was most definitely ON. Each day getting hotter and hotter, we paddled our way down to the motorway bridge after a strong practice start. The over-bump is absolutely on. We laid eyes on our target and got in the boat pumped to take on this mighty challenge. The minute cannon fires as we push our blades out, each man raring to go. We knew this was going to be a long one but our start still had to be blistering. The start cannon goes off as we send ourselves into our best start yet. Gaining on our arch-enemies, the super Clare M3, all was going to plan. As we expected Clare bumped Girton out rapidly leaving FaT in our sights. The over-bump is here. We dig deep and lift ourselves to the reach with Charles keeping us on the goal. “I CAN SEE THEM, HOW MUCH DO YOU WANT THIS?!”, we wanted this a lot. With Hughes Hall M2 chasing and 6 lengths between us and FaT, we press and we press. Swiftly pushing away from Hughes gave us confidence, but however was not enough. The finish line came too soon and we had to accept defeat. Another row over but a strong one at that. Confidence was still high, we get another chance at Girton tomorrow, and we’re gonna smash them.