Mays 2017: M3 Day 2

Reunited with our oars, today had a much less eventful buildup. A much windier reach welcomed us and keen to avoid extending our race that far we pushed hard off the start and were quickly within station. Striding down pretty sustainably, we quickly pushed off Corpus for them to get bumped by Ruskin. We drew Wolfson in round grassy then finished them off round Ditton. The row back on a gusty reach wasn't so clean but we can blame the greenery for distracting us. A good bump, the first for a few of the guys in the crew so something to be proud of there. Chasing an on-for-spoons Clare Hall crew tomorrow, we're hoping our race plan once again delivers the goods.

Pugwash Mays day 2 - Involving Cindies and Costumes

Since the last report, much stuff happened. Some of it was rowing related. 

Mays 2017: M3 Day 1

The first day of bumps is always an interesting experience in the lower divisions, as crews find their feet and their pace. After managing to find an appropriate set of blades, ours elsewhere on the river, we enjoyed our row up with the dulcet high-pitched squeal of the cox box feedback, serving us right for stealing (with permission) M1’s shiny new one. Fortunately, it also distracted our competitors as we waited for the carnage of the M5 division to sort itself out. Having quickly switched our blades with M4 at the P&E we could finally settle into our race plan. We quickly pushed away from Sidney off the start, holding station with Caius who were quickly catching up with Wolfson in front of them. Despite catching them by the Plough, they hadn’t got the message and continued rowing after the bump was awarded. We carried on regardless, and were within half a length come the end of the course, Sidney a mere speck in the distance. A strong row-over today and a good chance to bump up on Wolfson tomorrow.

W2 Mays: Day 1

On Tuesday morning, W2 met for the first time as a full crew since exams for one final outing before bumps. But in a cruel twist of fate, Philine sliced her hand open while getting the boat out and, after a trip to A&E, was declared to be unable to row for an unknown length of time - possibly one day, possibly ten. Thus ensued a mad scramble to find a sub for Wednesday morning, with Anna Faulkner persuaded to risk life and limb (and injured rib) to come to our rescue despite Tuesday night's trip to Cindies.

The carefully-perfected crew order was reshuffled, Georgie went on an emergency tub session to learn how to row on bow side and our scratch crew assembled on Wednesday with an open mind about the challenge ahead. Our plans to make the most of the practice starts on the row down were thwarted by carnage in the M5 division and subsequent delays, so we had to make do with a couple of sneaky rolling starts. 

Spot the special guest

As Alex counted down the seconds from the bank, we prepared to do our first ever standing start as a crew. The cannon went and everything else was forgotten as we avoided going mad on the rate, focusing instead on power and staying technical. The start was smooth and we were already eating up the water between us and Selwyn W2 ahead. Hughes/Lucy W2 behind had gone harder off the start but we pushed them away once we'd settled into our rhythm after an early stride. The boat was moving well and the game was on. It quickly became clear that Selwyn had no chance - there was a rapid succession of whistles from one to two to three, and their cox conceded just as we went under the motorway bridge after a grand total of 44 strokes.

After the bump

Hughes/Lucy went on to overbump Pembroke W3 so we will be chasing them tomorrow, which is set to be quite a bit more challenging than today's clinical dispatch. Tune in tomorrow to find out who our next guest will be as mystery sub.

(Scratch) crew photo

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”

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