W1 – Bumped Homerton W1, now 2nd in Div 2
Written by: Tabitha Biller
While we were still on a high from W1’s first bump in Lents for 4 years, the crew knew that we had to catch Homerton to give us the best chance of bumping on Saturday. Added to that we had a score to settle having been bumped by them on the final day of Lents last year. Confident that Fitz would catch Magdalene behind us, we were expecting to have to work hard and were prepared to chase Homerton down the full course if we had to. Rowing down to the start we performed our usual trick of keeping Roger anxious by making our practice start “not pretty but quick” and soon we were at our station, enjoying being that little bit further away from the motorway bridge! After an anxious countdown the cannon came and we were off. Our start was good, getting the rate up around 40 and managing to keep a decent length on our strokes so that we had gained a whistle on Homerton before First Post Corner. We kept calm, lifting out of the corner and were able to hold them at 2 whistles coming into Grassy. Despite a couple of bowside wobbles our cox’s brilliant line round Grassy Corner brought us in with half a length and out with overlap, securing the bump as we chased them down Plough Reach. We just about managed to contain the whoops of delight until we’d cleared the river having bumped much earlier than we’d expected – a feat which we definitely own to Ellen’s awesome coxing (earning her great praise from our notoriously picky coach!). We go into tomorrow excited at the prospect of chasing Peterhouse with the potential of bumping up to sandwich boat.
M1 – Bumped by Trinity Hall M1, now 16th in Div 1
Written by Daro Nakshbande
‘Drat. Double Drat. Triple Drat. Please note: it stops at three.’ And so Smith introduced M1 to the novel concept of not receiving spoons.
Over the last two days we could have dealt with the outflow a little better than we have done, so we decided it would be beneficial to spend some more time in the boat before we marshalled for the race. We boated to Jesus Lock for our standard feet-out warm-up with some added front-end work drills to remind ourselves to stay loose and sharp.
At marshalling the crew felt disjointed and unfocused, perhaps a foreshadowing of what was yet to come. The row down to the lock was tense, resulting in a rather scrappy practice start at the Plough (‘as subtle as a brick to the face’). We did not let this faze us: even though the focus at the start line was still less good than it had been previously, we all knew what we had to do.
After a solid standing start we settled into our race rhythm before the outflow in anticipation of the wash which had caused us so many problems before at higher rates. We seemed to hold Trinity Hall off for most of First Post Reach and you could feel the confidence in the boat. However, it seemed we never quite fully recovered from the wash under the Motorway Bridge. Going into the corner, we had to take evasive manoeuvres and lost the fire. In the Gut, Trinity Hall was closing in on us fast. Realising this, we seemed to have conceded even before the bump was awarded.
Tomorrow, we will come back stronger, with the hope of holding Fitz off.
At least we made it round First Post Corner this time. Maybe we’ll even reach Grassy tomorrow.
W2 – Bumped Anglia Ruskin W1, now 12th in Div 3
M2 – Rowed over as Div 3/4 sandwich boat
Written by: Joe Gaffney
The day summarised our term and our bumps campaign thus far. We warmed up with intent – a clean practice start outside the plough, hitting 46 and settling at 41, was promising. Our prey, Queens III were late to station. Whether or not they showed, the Heavies were hungry to go up into Div 3, not least because we could then get brunch in hall before racing on Saturday. This was the first day we’d made full use of the length of the chain. Our start was one worthy of a bump. Despite a boat-stopping crab from Ed Miller, followed by a questionable restart, we were on two-whistles and gaining as we passed under the ‘motorway’ bridge. Riding the wash of crews ahead, it got increasingly loud – we were sure that the Heavies closing fast; all of a sudden we stopped dead. A clearing mishap by the crews ahead, and we we’d lost a blade and gained about 90 kilos to slog down the course. By the time we’d left the pile-up, which Queens had avoided, they had put a significant lead on us. Without hesitating, we had a second restart and gave chase. We really wanted our brunch, and especially wanted to get ourselves into the Third Badgering Division. Although we have spent most of the term boasting about our weight, it became highly apparent that this did not play in our favour. Closing from six lengths, we managed a whistle in the first half of the Reach – Charlie called us to finish them – two whistles. Was this it? We came through the railway bridge, realising the fight we had put up, the marshalling crews roared for us to row on. Alas, our best efforts were not enough. From first-post corner to the P&E, we had given it everything with 7 men. It wasn’t enough but we put in as good a fight as we could. We won’t look very pretty in the photos, but it was tough. A good rest tonight, eight blades, a row-over and we’ll finally (hopefully) get that elusive bump, finishing the campaign in Div 3. Whatever happens, King’s Heavies will show up when it really matters – just before the queue gets too long at Spoons.