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At 0930 (or thereabouts) on the morning following BCD, eight rather hungover members of The Boat Club (and James, who kindly subbed in) assembled on West road to board a coach to Oxf*rd. After what can only be described as the worst coach journey of our lives, we found ourselves at the front gates of our sister college, Worcester, along with an assortment of other Catz sports teams. Here, we would take on our rivals from the other place at everything from men's netball to mixed lacrosse.
In an attempt to build bridges with the rest of college, who on average are *slightly* younger than our crew, we decided we would try our hand at netball. This went badly, so we decided we would just stick to casually kicking a football around. This also went badly. Irritated that all our aerobic base training had done absolutely nothing for our hand-eye coordination, we gave up and went to spoons, where we had brunch and complained about being hungover.
We were due to meet at the Worcester boathouse at 3pm, hence why at exactly 2:45pm a huge hailstorm arrived. After suggestions that we should just ditch the rowing and watch rowing videos instead were reluctantly refused, we battled through the hail to the concrete jungle that is the row of Oxf*rd boathouses. After the raising of the Worcester flag we were ready to race.
Mercifully, the hail relented for the rowing. Unfortunately for W1, however, this made little difference to the outcome of their race. The margin: 3 lengths to Worcester. (this may in part have been due to the sub that Worcester had provided for W1 being unable to put the flat bit in the wet bit).
The playing field for the men's race did seem to have a slight hill at Worcester's end as well, however, as we lined up in our slightly bendy Janousek from '93 against Worcester's wing-rigged Empacher. We had heard (from them) that they were a fast starting crew, so we gave it some beans off the start... and crashed almost immediately. Recovering from the clash of blades better than our Worcester counterparts, we squeezed in front, and despite rowing almost exclusively with our backs and arms held the lead past the first boathouses. Here, in spite of 8 hangovers doing their best to drag us backwards, we extended the gap and cruised home with a two length advantage.
All in all, a great day out. We're looking forward to a rematch on the Cam next year.
Once you've gone down one, you may as well go down two. All of us were fairly glad to see the end of this set of bumps. In the end we weren't quite fast enough to hold off some relatively fast crews moving through the field. There's no point crying over spilt milk, we didn't quite get the result we wanted but we did some good racing, especially the row over on day two.
This morning we were back in the Empacher, putting in the first of several 20km+ outings over the next couple of weeks to set us up for HoRR on March 25th. In other news, the M1 a cappella group is also coming along nicely.
Lent Bumps starts on Tuesday 28th February and we have 5 Catz crews participating. M1 and W1 are racing in the respective first divisions, M2 and W2 are starting in the respective third divisions, and M3 is starting in the fourth division.
Hover over a result to see if a race report is available. Click on the crew name to see its members.
|Division*||Day 1||Day 2||Day 3||Day 4|
|Rowed Over||Rowed Over||Bumped by Clare M1||Bumped by Girton M1|
|Bumped Peterhouse W1||Rowed Over||Bumped Queens W1||Bumped Caius W1|
|Bumped by Hughes Hall M1||Rowed Over||Rowed Over||Bumped by Robinson M2|
|Bumped Anglia Ruskin W1||Bumped Clare Hall W1||Bumped Darwin W2||Rowed Over|
|Rowed Over||Rowed Over||Bumped Sidney Sussex M2||Bumped by Sidney Sussex M2|
For information on where to watch the bumps from see here. Division times are here.
Follow the action on the radio at http://bumps.camfm.co.uk/ and see official results here.
For a map, see here. Join the tow-path at the pink marker, and follow it to the North-East.
Grassy corner (the second big corner, the large right-hand bend) is a particularly popular spectator spot.
On Saturday, W2 arrived at the boathouse with nerves running high - today we were chasing blades. After three very quick bumps earlier in the week, today would certainly pose a greater challenge as we were chaing Jesus W3, who we knew would catch Medwards W2 ahead of them within about 3 minutes, and were the strongest crew we had been behind all week. After a rousing team talk from Matt, we went into the race ready to go for everything off the blocks, aiming to catch Jesus before they could bump. It began well, with our usual strong start and a delayed stride putting us in a good position closing them down. Medwards evidently had a weak start, as Jesus gained the first whistle, but ours didn't take much longer and there followed a cacophony of whistles that told us it was extremely close within the three-boat sandwich. With both gaps at 1/4 of a length, Catz were closing faster and we were going in for the kill. But as we rounded our first corner of the entire bumps campaign, disaster struck. We took it wider than planned to avoid Queens' on the inside, and managed to crash spectacularly into Eddy's, who had pulled up on the outside bank having been bumped (apologies to them for nearly decapitating half their crew). We quickly reset, now back to a length on Jesus. We continued to close them down but the damage was done as we couldn't quite catch them before Medwards took a bad line into grassy and the bump was gone.
Jesus were slow clearing the river and we had to hold it up to let them move out of the way, but this wouldn't stop us from going for plan B: the overbump on FaT W2. New race, go. Thanks to the repeated stopping and starting, we had about 8 lengths to make up if we wanted to catch them. Everyone knew what was needed and we dug deep with one aim for the remainder of the race: no regrets. Maintaining a high rate for the rest of the piece (about 36spm on the reach) every member of the crew pushed for the girl behind and the girl in front and we gradually wore away at the gap between us - 8 lengths, 7, 6, 5... by halfway down the reach, we had narrowed it to 4 lengths. We continued to press and by the end of the race had reduced the defecit to 2 or 3 lengths. But, despite an almighty effort, we could not catch them in time and and a heroic row over was to be our final result of bumps.
It was a fantastic effort by the whole crew and I couldn't have asked for more. We have produced some brilliant results from this bumps campaign and everyone should be incredibly proud of what we've achieved: as every man and his dog has said to us since, "good crews go up three, lucky crews go up four". Saturday's result has given us the motivation to aim higher and train harder, and there's no doubt W2 will come back fighting next term.