Posted: Saturday 03 March 2012, 12:39AM by Daniel Worrall
After an evening packed full of inspirational Muhammed Ali videos on youTube we started off our row with an outward, positive attitude today. We weren't going to get walked over by Pembroke and if possible, we'd see how far we could push LMBC II, who had bumped us in the previous race.
We started 9th in the 2nd division after two consecutive bumps down so it was going to be a challenge to keep everything together and not just panic, as other crews may do.
A swift start kept Pembroke at bay, but soon after we could hear them getting their whistle. So we lifted the rate and kept our distance. Through the corners we did our incremental pushes and on the whole maintained focus and better technique than on previous days. It wasn't until Plough reach that LMBC bumped out Jesus and we found out that we had been a length off them for some time!!!
Next was Ditton corner, but Pembroke were still there. They really wanted a go at us and we could see it! They drove us right down the Reach about a length and half off us and at one point half a length. Luckily, we kept it together and at the railway bridge it became apparent that we may be able to overbump FaT II who were only a length off! This spurned us on and after a powerful superlift we kicked Pembroke away into the dirt and grasped for whatever of FaT II we could. Unfortunately overbumps aren't common in the 2nd division and we didn't break that trend, but we sure gave it a good stab!
Posted: Thursday 01 March 2012, 11:16PM by Mollie Arbuthnot
There was a fair amount of faffing around in the W3 division today. The first race started as normal and we settled into quite a high rate, but at least from the coxing seat, it felt pretty controlled. However, due to a crew not clearing quick enough, we had to hold it up due to obstruction - causing the division from 6 downwards having to re row.
OK - the second start was much the same as the first with a rating of 35 being held after the lengthening strokes. However, Peterhouse, who we bumped yesterday, were gaining on us with every stroke. Pretty much a reversal of yesterday. Trinity Hall bumped on grassy and cleared to the inside meaning that our line around grassy had to be wildy adjusted. Peterhouse bumped us at this point meaning that we cleared to be as close as is possible in a boat to a cleared Wolfson crew on the outside of grassy.
All in all, not the best day for W2 but hopefully tomorrow we can rectify this, and get Peterhouse back!
By Adam Wills.
Posted: Thursday 01 March 2012, 8:45PM by Kate Harrison
Today, W1 learnt another important lesson, this time in the subject of stamina and determination.
But firstly, on behalf of W1 I'd like to say a HUGE thank-you to Lois for subbing for us every day despite rowing bumps with W2, we'll do our best to reimburse you with chocolate brownies at BCD for all that energy you must have used. Another huge thank you to our captain Kate who took on the tricky role of filling in for our poorly stroke with gusto.
Unfortunately, our row down did not run as smoothly as yesterday, partly due to their being only 7 girls in the boat until the reach, and partly as we were readjusting to a new crew setting. Nevertheless, we were keen to fire off the start and bump Maggie before they bumped up on Emma II. Our start most certainly looked fantastic from the bank, but being Sidney we're only happy with a start when sparks fly off the blades- so it wasn't quite up to its usual standard. After a slightly bumpy (hoho) row down first post reach, we had maintained our distance on Fitzwilliam and gone into our distance slightly on Maggie. However, as we approached the gut and grassy, it became apparent Maggie had bumped Emma, and having not settled into a rhythm, Fitzwilliam were gaining on us slightly, despite the mammoth lead we had on them the previous day. Approaching Ditton, Fitzwilliam threw everything and the kitchen sink into a push to bump us, giving them three whistles. At this point the crew's stamina and determination kicked in as we responded with a great couple of pushes, facilitated by a certain 2 seat's vocal encouragement, quickly re-gaining ground. By the time we were half way up the reach, we had re-established a lead of a length and a half and put in a strong finish.
Today really proved just what a hardy crew we can be, psychologically and physically. It's a shame there's been so much faffing about between Maggie and Emma ahead of us, otherwise we'd probably be head of the river by now.
Well done team!
Posted: Thursday 01 March 2012, 7:55PM by Daniel Worrall
Our division was delayed about an hour, which gave some of the M1 crew their chance to catch a bit of the March sun and work up a nice tan. When things got under way, we progressed to the start line with a few builds since standing starts weren't allowed.
Today we were sat behind Jesus II and in front of LMBC II. Beforehand in the boathouse, we had been discussing our game plan for the day's race and had concluded to give it all or nothing off the start. When it came to the gun, we had a nice wind and lengthen and should be proud of those first few strokes. LMBC were far behind, but slowly and surely they drew closer and closer until they were drawing closer not slowly, but at an alarming rate!
Half way down first post reach and they were receiving 2 horns -- naturally, being LMBC they don't use conventional whistles. By first post itself they had overlap and sure enough we got bumped, which was a pity, since this blogger's family were just around the corner at the Plough.
We're down two in the charts and we can't pass that off as a good thing, but that's all part of the fun of bumps. I'm really enjoying it at the moment, despite our results, because even if we aren't as good as Jesus II or LMBC II, we're giving it a good shot and that's all that really matters.
Posted: Wednesday 29 February 2012, 8:27PM by Kate Harrison
Today W1 learnt about the 'luck' element of bumps the hard way.
We had a strong and business like row down to the start, with two fast practice starts, which almost certainly broke Emma II psychologically before the race had even begun. However, after a very quick start from the gun, it turned out that it must have been Maggie's second boat that we had psychologically destroyed from a distance, as they crashed into the bank on first post reach, leaving Emma II to take a few strokes to an easy bump.
With encouragement from our bank party we settled into a strong rhythm and set about hunting down Girton for the over-bump. This was obviously an ambitious target but nevertheless we pushed hard until the line, and came away knowing that we had exhibited some of our best rowing yet.
Only the big man sat on a cloud (if he follows Lent bumps women's division 2) may know what tomorrow will bring, but we are determined to give it everything and hopefully seek some revenge from Maggie.
Posted: Wednesday 29 February 2012, 4:53PM by Mollie Arbuthnot
After day one's strong row-over, and observations, we had a positive feeling about day 2. The row down was more switched on and balanced compared to yesterday but we didn't get two full length starts in due to space issues. Starting from the same place as yesterday, we were very aware of the cannons at the start but this didn't put us off. A short and very well recovered crab in the lengthening strokes didn't impede us and we were soon gaining on Peterhouse II. The Girton boat chasing us was not threatening in any way so we focussed our attention on getting the bump we wanted.
Despite steadily gaining on Peterhouse, when we got to three whistles, they found something and held the distance there until a good way down Plough Reach - some very impressive determination which they deserve credit for. In the end though, Sidney's speed became too much for Peterhouse and we rowed home proudly displaying our greenery.
All in all - a very good day 2 of bumps. Bring on day 3!
By Adam Wills.
Posted: Wednesday 29 February 2012, 11:33AM by Kate Harrison
Having had an enthusiastic row down to the start, and a crew meal the night before involving a vat of pasta and a plethora of inspirational rowing videos, W1 had adrenalin (and carbohydrates) coursing through their veins as we sat nervously under the motorway bridge. After being deafened by the start cannon, we shot off to a quick start, and as our hearing gradually recovered, the first whistle was blown. After a couple of minutes of rocky but determined rowing, the second whistle was blown and we knew we were gaining quickly. A push round the corner threw us into their wake, and before long as bow I had the satisfying feeling of making eye contact with their cox before they conceded.
This was a fantastic start to Lent Bumps for W1,especially for the two first years racing in their first bumps, and going into today the feeling gleaned from facebook statuses is that the crew are excited to row again and determined to bump Emma II. Hopefully we can continue our upward trajectory, but we are prepared for a longer battle today.
Come on girls!
Posted: Tuesday 28 February 2012, 8:03PM by Daniel Worrall
There's nothing more unforgiving than being the head of a three boat rerow.
We had a nice row up to the start of our first race. Despite a few minor last minute changes everything was set for a bump on Downing. We were stationed right under the motorway bridge next to the cannon on a calm day - perfect conditions for a bump. The start was as rehearsed and the power was as anticipated if not more! Unfortunately, Downing managed to bump before we could get to them and we rowed on until awarded a technical row over down passed the railway bridge.
The technical row over turned into a rerow, since the two crews behind us had thought we had conceded back by Grassy and stopped there, which we hadn't. So we had to row all the way back and headed off in front of the W1 division. This time we really gave it some welly or as our cox Alex Bathurst likes to say, we gave it some beans!
Jesus II, who were chasing us, are fast and they have a quick start, so by halfway down the gut they had overlap on us. This was maintained for another good 300m until round grassy we conceded. Maybe a couple of seconds later LMBC II would have bumped a sandwiched Jesus II, but in the end Jesus II deserved to bump us, so well done to them.
Posted: Tuesday 28 February 2012, 7:33PM by Mollie Arbuthnot
W2 had a pretty nice row up to the start on what was, for Lent term, quite a nice day for rowing. The start under the motorway bridge was a little bit sloppy but this was rectified outside the Plough. We were being chased by a Clare Hall boat, whom we knew nothing about, and chasing Tit Hall II. We had good hopes of achieving a bump. After a good start - aided by starting very close to the cannons! - we pulled up on Tit Hall by a quarter of a length but never got close enough for a whistle. Then - Tit Hall bumped at the beginning of grassy corner. This meant that we settled for a strong row over - we had no direct threat from behind and no target to follow but we put in a good bit of rowing to our finish at the railings.
Seeing as how we are the same or faster than Tit Hall, we have high hopes to bump Peterhouse II tomorrow, as long as we can hold off our new chasers - Girton II. Which, obviously, we can.
By Adam Wills.
Posted: Monday 20 February 2012, 10:07AM by Kate Harrison
Like every crew in Cambridge this term, training on the river has been made considerably more difficult due to its freezing. As such, Pembroke regatta was W1's first crack at the whip in terms of racing this term.
Nevertheless, the row up and practice starts felt clean and fast (potentially facilitated by a few gusts pushing us down the reach). Our first race was to be against Hughes Hall W1. As we paddled around Ditton corner up to the start, it became apparent we would be rowing in conditions similar to what I imagine rowing around Cape Horn would feel like. After a timid 'go' from the Pembroke marshal, we got off to a terrible start as only half the crew had heard the signal. Despite this, we quickly regained composure and pushed up to a lead of a length or so fairly quickly. Hughes Hall put in a few strong pushes, particularly under the railway bridge where the river became calmer, but we held our lead and won convincingly.
After refuelling on some chocolate raisins kindly supplied by Lois's Mum, we set off to the start to race Homerton. Despite being a few places behind us in Lent Bumps, they looked to be a strong crew. This time round our start was much better, keeping out bow ball just in front. A blade crash incident gave us a half length lead, which we fought to maintain until they took a tight corner under the railway bridge and quickly gained the half a length back. As the finish approached they put in a big push and began to move through us. Unfortunately we didn't quite respond with a big enough push and so they took us by a nose at the finish line.
This outcome was a real shame, as we felt we were the faster crew, but we definitely took a lot away from the experience. With a hard week of training scheduled for this week, we have much to build on for Norwhich head on Saturday, and more importantly for bumps next week!
A big well done to all the girls, who put up with hours of waiting in the cold and who had to fight through ridiculous conditions on the reach!