Day 1 May Bumps 2017 - W1 (the dreaded sandwich boat)

We may love carbs but being the sandwich boat was not an ideal start to our Mays campaign. We had a race plan to stick by: fend off kings in a solid chunky row over then go out all guns (did you know Rosie has a 6 pack) blazing for Fitz in the second race.

We had a wobbly start off first station owing to our nerves. Kings caught on us slowly over the first half of the course, eventually getting 3 whistles coming out of Ditton corner. But here we knew our restart call was coming as we had planned and we executed this exactly as we wanted giving us the push we needed off kings. From there we broke them, inch by inch, length by length, leaving them dropping further and further into the distance. We really fell into a nice rhythm together onto the reach, which is where our boat speed picked up and we started to row like we have been in practise pieces. Our aim for the second race was to row like we did on the reach.

The second race was a lot more controlled and we pushed together as a crew. We held station with Fitz for the first 15 or so strokes but then they pushed away, eventually bumping Queens on Grassy. With two bumps ahead of us, the only possible way to get back into division 1 today was a double over bump, so we will quite happily walk away with a solid row over and second chance tomorrow. After all we love the doublé (nanna mex reference, ask AC/RT the self-proclaimed boat club “fatties").

Tomorrow we hopefully face two races again. We have shown Kings we are faster over the course, and we can repeat a row over tomorrow if we row smart and strong. Then we go for round 2 on Queens. We got them in Lents, now we want them even more in Mays.

A final message as we part from day 1 of May bumps:

"When you are ready, come and get it”

Race Report M2 - Day 1

Day 1 - Result: bumped Emmanuel M2

Starting positions: Peterhouse M2 - Emmanuel M2 - St Catharine's M2 - Trinity Hall M2 - LMBC M3.

Strong off the start, we settled into a solid, if tense rate 36 after James’ rhythm call. Trinity Hall worked hard to come within three-quarters of a boat length in Grassy corner, but they lacked the pace to pose a real threat. Emmanuel M2 held their distance ahead. Coming out of Ditton corner, we stepped down into a powerful, more efficient rate 34, and walked away from Trinity Hall, as they were challenged by LMBC M3 and bumped out half-way down the Reach. Spurred on by this sight, we began grinding down Emma M2 ahead. Following race strategy, we made a push under the railway bridge and ruthlessly closed in on them, as a term of Ivan’s brutal ergs paid off. After another 200m, we bumped Emma at the P&E, wrapping up a herculean row.

Chasing Peterhouse M2 tomorrow. Bring it on.

W3 Mays 2017 - Day 1

Turning up early to the boathouse on a beautiful, sunny day W3 were ready for the challenge of May bumps. Having previously raced against the boats in front we were prepared for the challenge, and a couple of practise starts later, we set off.

Though slightly nervous, we steadily paddled our way down to wait for the division before us to come past but then comes the call of a re-race, delaying us by about half an hour. Again, at the start raring to go, we were foiled by previous division, a poor cox having been hit quite hard by the boat behind.

Slightly frustrated at the wait, we channelled our energy towards the race, knowing we were either going to bump Caius W3 or have to race to over bump and catch Emma W4. Most of us having never competed in bumps before, we sat anxiously in the boat listening out for the start cannon. We were off. A slightly splashy start gave way to a smooth rhythm slowly gaining on Caius, but then, hearing the whistles ahead we knew Caius were getting close to Jesus W4. The next thing we knew we were racing past Caius and Jesus, watching them relax on the sides of the river.

In for the long game now, we aimed to try and make up the lengths to catch Emma. Two corners past us by on a great racing line held by our cox and the power tens coming out of the corner kept us flying along. Finally, amid the cheers of the spectators outside the Plough, we caught Emma. A victory won by tough rowing at a great pace, W3 are ready for tomorrow! 

Pugwash Mays day 1 - We Lost a Rudder, but Gained a Fish

Pugwash takes part in bumps. Things were learnt, things were lost, and things were caught. 

Worcester Varsity

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.

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