M1 – Bumped Christ’s
Day three saw us up against Christ’s who we knew would put a fight. If we were to bump them, we would have to go out hard, take the race to them, and make the bump happen. We did. After an aggressive start and a slightly altered start sequence (as we were now starting a lot closer to the motorway bridge) we lifted up onto an attacking rhythm, using the images of Girton closing in on us from the previous day as inspiration. The boat was moving well with catches going in sharply, but we were riding on some seriously choppy water, churned up by the closest few crews in front. The crew stayed relaxed though, following a solid lively rhythm set by stern pair, and keeping the boat speed high.
Halfway along First Post reach we were rewarded with our first blast from Roger’s horn. One length left to close. Focussing on maintaining speed for the corner, we lifted up into First Post corner and moved to half a length off their stern. Two blasts on the horn. Lifting into the narrow Gut the water really threw us around and we could have lost a lot of boat speed, but the focus of the crew was relentless. If we took a hit in the wash the boys were back on it the next stroke, maintaining the rhythm and attack, preventing Christ’s from walking away. Taking Grassy corner we started gaining again, and were reminded that we were only half a length away by our bank party.
Plough reach saw us maintain our advantage on Christ’s as we were repeatedly buffeted by wash and hindered by the odd ‘air-stroke’! Lifting into Ditton three horns sounded as the gap in front closed to a canvas. Will attacked the second apex of Ditton, giving us a tight line out of the corner and allowing us to lift quickly on the coat tails of Christ’s. Continuous horn. Overlap. The Christ’s cox steered them wide, out toward Meadowside. We held our line, initially feeling the wash of their bowside blades, but then into clear water. This translated into us gaining five seats within five strokes, giving us overlap almost up to their three-man. Will eased the rudder on, forcing a blade clash within a few strokes. What an incredible bump to take us up to 9th on the river.
W1 – Bumped by Magdalene
After bumps from the previous days, and a very strong magdalene crew behind us on for blades it was a tentative but optimistic row down. We were sure that the dreaded first post corner would not catch us out today given its close proximity to our starting place, and we set out with the aim to reach the elusive ‘second wind’ that our coaches had talked so much about. Our high hopes of Selwyn getting a fast bump on Magdelene were hampered when they ploughed straight into the bank off the start. At this point we knew it was going to be a long battle between us and Magdelene. We settled into a good rhythm and despite a minor crabbing incident in the gut we maintained a good boat length distance between us and magdalene until the reach. After a steady gain on us down the reach Magdelene finally managed to catch us just before the railway bridge. A slightly disappointing result, but we know we all pushed our hardest and it was a great improvement on the previous days, leaving us optimistic for tomorrow in the hope we can bump back into the first division!
M2 – Bumped by Robinson III