Day 3, Lent Bumps 2017: M3

It is a shame that race reports must be reasonably restrained - what I would like to write would probably result in a stern reprimand, at the very least, from someone somewhere. 

Two row overs had left the third day of Bumps as "D-Day", "our cup final", "our Istanbul". No footballing metaphor (any metaphor in fact), however, suitably captured the enormity of the day of racing that lay ahead of M3. Sidney II lay in wait and with a fast Caius chasing us there was no chance of a row over. Day 3 was to be all or nothing. Despite the danger of being overawed, of choking when it mattered most, the row up suggested that no one was being fazed by the situation - there would be no getting cold feet like some members of the crew (no names here) in Cindies. 

The minutes flew by as we waited on the bank for the chance to write our own piece of history. Four minutes - into the boat. One minute. Go. 

Draw 1. Draw 2. Draw 3. Wind. Lengthen. Stride now. The boat glided through the water, Sidney were reeled in stroke-by-stroke. The first whistle came around First Post corner, soon there were two. Caius were being held, but they did not matter. The call came to kill off Sidney. Up went the rate by 2, and we were greeted by three whistles. Roared on by Hannah and Jack, Sidney's resolve was broken just before Grassy. The bump was secured. The carnage that befell the rest of the division did not matter: M3 had beaten the elements (once again), held off a strong Caius crew, and sent Sidney packing. 

Very well done to the whole crew, most of whom secured their first ever bump. Having rowed home once now adorned with ivy, the boys are itching to give it another crack on Saturday and get a second bump to round off an excellent week's effort. 

W2 Lent bumps: 2 from 2

Day 1:

On Tuesday W2 arrived at the boat house full of anticipation of what would be, for 8 of the crew, our first ever bumps campaign. The row to the start was punctuated by constant calls to slow the rate and not rush the slide as the nervous anticipation showed through. We had no idea what to expect as neither Anglia Ruskin in front nor Trinity Hall behind seemed to have entered any races this term, but we knew we were going into the race on good form and were determined to put out a strong performance.

As the cannon went, so did the cox box and bow four could only hear intermittent noises from the front of the boat, but thanks to a very well-rehearsed start sequence and Frances' reliable intonation we produced possibly one of our best starts to date, reducing Anglia Ruskin to one length by the end of the start sequence. Hearing the first whistle, the adrenaline took over and we were rating about 40spm as we devoured the water separating us. Our speed proved too much for Rosie bank partying as she spectacularly fell off her bike in front of the St John's Ambulance medics (luckily their attention wasn't required), and one whistle was quickly followed by two under the motorway bridge and three as we pushed off the bridge. As we found out afterwards, Anglia Ruskin had reduced Clare Hall ahead of them to about half a length so we certainly needed to produce a quick bump, and that we did, bumping within about 1m20s of the cannon.

Day 2:

Going into Wednesday, the crew was generally much calmer as we now had actual experience of all the events Matt had told us about in the days leading up to bumps (and the many videos he and Rory made us watch at crew pasta). We knew that Clare Hall were well within our reach as long as we stayed relaxed and focussed, and produced a good row. Thanks to the kind donation of a cox box from M1, we had another good start and were putting pressure on Clare Hall from early on. Having escaped a bump the day before, they were clearly a bit more awake at the start today and it took us a little longer to get a first whistle, which we managed as we hit the motorway bridge. We were once again rowing at 40spm and began to bear down on Clare Hall, though they held us at half a length for a few strokes. We continued to advance on them and began to see their cox in our peripheral vision at bow and 2. However their cox was very reluctant to concede and only when we had contact between our bow ball and their 7 did we claim another well-deserved bump after 1m43s.

It was another great performance from this crew and bumping a university crew followed by a college W1 is testament to all of the hard work and commitment shown this term. After a rest day on Thursday we look ahead to the second half of the competition, eager to continue our form as we get ready to chase Darwin W2.

All heads in the boat rowing home after Wednesday's bump

Day 2, Lent Bumps 2017: M3

Having rowed over on Day 1, M3 approached Day 2 with the same tenacity as the previous day, ready to battle other crews, and signficantly kinder elements, for the wheel. King's II were to be the target, Churchill III the other foe to be seen off into the distance. 

We knew, in reality however, that we were once again going to be in for the long haul - King's II were likely to be too strong for Sidney II, and so it proved. That is not to say the M3 enjoyed a relaxed row over, no. King's II were closed before their bump on Sidney II, and Churchill III pushed away to be bumped by Caius III. As a result, a long pitched battle between M3 and Jesus IV commenced on the Reach, no quarter was given and M3 rowed over, reducing Jesus IV to a distant speck as the Railway Bridge loomed overhead. 

Tommorow we go for Sidney II - a first bump of Lents is well within the capabilities of a crew that has done itself proud thus far. All that remains is to ensure that Caius III do not get to us first; as strong a start as always and even more intensity through the first half of the course and M3 could well be on the rise. 

Sidney II, M3 is well and truly coming for you. 

Day 1, Lent Bumps 2017: W1

There was once a Catz W1,

whose Lents day 1 was a winner.

They powered from the start,

their rowing an art

And Peterhouse were eaten for dinner

Looking towards to day 1 we were nervous about being chased by a strong and experienced Hughes Hall/Lucy Cav with a looming track record of blades. Following their progress throughout the term, we were well matched over a 2k course. Our race plan: to bump Peterhouse to avoid a long battle with Lucy Cav/HH. We were quick off the start, gaining half a boat length on Peterhouse, but behind us they also gained a similar distance. Keeping calm, we kept our rowing technical and responded to Alex's calls, settling into a silky rhythm. Storming under the motorway bridge, we heard the whistles coming, and soon we were on continuous. By now HHLC had blown out after an explosive start and they were falling behind with every stroke, looking to be less of a threat than we had originally anticipated. A kill call and cry out of “for the wheel!” from Alex saw us snatch Peterhouse a few hundred metres after the motorway bridge. A promising start to our lent bumps campaign left us in high spirits. We look towards our race tomorrow knowing we have a tough race ahead, but we have a tough crew to field. Lucy who?


Day 1, Lent Bumps 2017: M1

M1 awoke to a rose-coloured sky for our morning pre-paddle, the wind having dropped to almost nothing, with only a slight whisper of "SCCBC, SCCBC, SCCBC" in the air. As Basile and Jack rumbled through the door an average of 10 minutes late between them, and Jon began his obscenely long stretching and contact lens ritual, the rest of us felt a strange sense of calmness. Everything was as it should be. Everything was ready.

The morning row reflected our new mindset, the turns felt sharp and the pause felt long (this is a good thing). I was still sending backsplash reminiscent of the tsunamis that followed the eruption of Krakatau backwards over bow six but anyway, that's missing the point, we all (well stern pair at least) felt good and more importantly, we were having fun.

After a hearty breakfast in the bar (attended by stern pair) we all parted agreeing to meet (ON TIME) at 1500 to kick off our Lents campaign. At this point I realised I had completely forgotten to rearrange my chemistry practical, so swiftly commenced a rescue mission to save as many tripos marks as I could before this time. Having saved basically none at all, I arrived at the boathouse at 1500, to find the crew already there (apart from Chris, Chris was late, shame on Chris). Following some questionable music choices (e.g. "Waka-Waka" by Shakira, (metal version), and "Give it Up" by KC & The Sunshine Band) we headed downstairs and, cheered on by a W2 that have now got the same number of bumps in the last two days as I have in my entire life, rowed off down the river. (Well done W2)

bla bla bla... marshalling.... bla bla bla (you get the idea)

And we were off, scything through the water like Stuart through the heart of seemingly every girl on the Spotted: River Cam Facebook page. We hit a strong rhythm at rate 38 and drew within station on Christs, holding Churchill on station. Hitting the wave-tank that is the gut, we lost some send and then slipped further back after following the wide-line around Grassy as instructed by our marshall (Churchill obviously not getting this memo). End result: we had a crew only three-quarters off our stern and Basile was starting to squeak. I've been in crews where that would have been the end of that, but not today. We found our tempo past the Plough and locked it in round Ditton, hardly feeling the gust and sending the boat effortlessly.

At the end of the day we were three lengths up on Churchill, still feeling fresh and ready to have a go at 'Binson tomorrow. Watch this space.

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