Rowed over behind Tit. Hall
A somewhat dramatic but ultimately underwhelming end to a successful week.
After bumping Robinson whilst they had overlap on Tit. Hall on Friday it's fair to say that we expected to hit Tit. Hall hard somewhere after Grassy. Tit. Hall had other ideas however and all credit must go to them for a gutsy (and fast) row in front of us.
In the end we didn't have the proffesionalism to finish the race when we should (and could) have done and a last gasp push off of the railway bridge came 5 strokes too late as we bumped moments after their stern crossed the finish line (hard enough to call that the junior umpire gave the bump - 30 seconds of unadulterated elation, ended abruptly by the senior umpire).
Although it was a frustrating final day for us, I had a great week, and nothing fuels ergs like narrowly missed blades...
Crew photo attached.
W2 had a tricky start to Lent bumps, but were determined to finish the week on a high and avoid those spoons.
With Harriet off fencing Sarah Lucas, more at home in the stroke seat of W1, stepped in for her debut coxing in Bumps. Some rather enthusiastic tapping from bow pair meant that the boat started at an alarming angle, but Sarah skillfully got them back on track and pushing on to Queens. With very experienced Jemma stepping in to sub for stroke, for the first time since day 1 W2 really seemed to settle into their stride and kept up a lovely rhythm into first post corner.
The bank party got extremely excited to see the Queens boat up ahead stopped dead in the middle of the river due to being impeded by slow clearing crews. W2 almost got their first whistle of the week, but then Queens pulled away again disappeared off into the distance. W2, however, were more concerned with what was happening behind them. Murray Edwards had been steadliy gaining on them and by grassy were only half a boat's length behind. W2 were having none of this. They had clearly made a decision that they were NOT going to be bumped again and put the power down together to prevent Murray Edwards from getting any closer. They held Murray Edwards at about a canvas away from them all the way round ditton when, much to everyone's relief, Murray Edwards were bumped by Darwin. There was an audible sigh of relief from the crew as they rowed over the finish line for the first time this week to avoid getting spoons. I never thought I would ever be so happy to report a row over!
Although W2 have not had the most successful bumps campaign, they should be extremely proud to get that row over as they fought every stroke to keep that clear water behind them. They have also had a huge number of unexpected challenges to deal with including a vast number of subs (and even subs for subs) to the point where it was basically a scratch crew everyday, canonless starts, gigantic crabs, and being randomly placed quite high up the division surrounded by very fast crews.
Thanks to the crew for all your hard work, to all the subs who made the racing possible, and to Siggi, Chris Q, Chris E and Alistair for coaching and bank partying. Getting W2 through bumps has been a real team project and it is much appreciated. W2, you can be proud of what you have achieved and can now work towards getting those bumps in Mays!
On paper this was always a tough race. In front were a strong Clare crew, who we'd rowed over behind the previous day. Behind were Magdalene, so quite frankly there was never going to be anyone to push off from. In the end, the predictable happened - despite gaining unexpectedly on Clare, they bumped out somewhere through the corners.
With me already planning my 'rowed over' race report, I was delighted to notice that the crew had decided, rather than playing for the rowover, had decided to go for the overbump, and boy did they go for it... Coming into Grassy still 6 lengths out, there was a lot to do, but M3 produced some of their best rowing and demonstrated real hunger to close the gap to 2 and a half lengths by bottom finish.
Even though some hoped for more, up 2 is a superb result for an almost entirely novice crew, and something I hope they'll all take real pride in.