May Bumps 2019, Day 3: Putting in the mileage

It was a long day of racing for SSBC. M1, W1 and W2 all rowed over, and the rowers’ bodies were again pushed to their limits. Coming up to the last day of racing, one is lucky if there’s a muscle that isn’t aching. Regardless of the lack of reward, Sidney keep proving that they are a tough bunch who do not relent. M2, on the other hand, keep proving that they’re lethal.

W1: Sweet dreams

At the time of publishing, W1’s Frankie Povey, 2-seat, has not yet submitted a race report. The editorial office of SSBC speculates that she has fallen asleep – a testament to her efforts in today’s race, the third row-over of the campaign for the women’s first boat. The editorial office wishes her a well-earned good sleep and the best of luck for tomorrow’s race. Considering her priorities, she will hopefully be rested and ready for the last day of May Bumps, which is of course a very commendable course of action for a rower.

** 15 June, 11:00: Frankie has now handed over her report. It reads as follows:

Day three was most likely going to be another gruelling rowover for W1, however this time with the added pressure of Downing W2 chasing us, a boat whose speedy start we had observed on previous days. Straight off the canon Sidney built and once again got the now slightly repetitive one-whistle on Medwards, however, Medwards on a mission to bump pulled away. Downing were at a safe distance but then began to gain on us by first post reach. A huge effort and multiple builds managed to stave them off, and W1 remained calm despite some very enthusiastic and perhaps optimistic triple whistles from the Downing bank party.

Coming out of grassy corner Downing supposedly had three whistles, but were by this point flagging. It was outside the Plough that Sidney built and pulled away, just in time for an unfortunate crab in the Downing boat to cause carnage for the rest of the division. Slightly perplexed as to what had happened we continued to move swiftly down to the reach, where we avoided the carnage and completed the third strong rowover of the week. Having managed to avoid the pile up, our row-over thankfully eliminated the risk of a dreaded re-row!

A huge effort from W1, who remained calm and collected in strong winds and under great pressure. Fingers crossed for a bump on day 4!

— Frankie Povey, 2-seat **

M1: Not letting Downing close again

After an epic row over in front of Downing II yesterday, M1 came into Day 3 with quiet confidence knowing that they can race the entire course while keeping it together and continuously pushing off a chasing crew.  Today, the boys knew Downing would come fast and hard off the start, wanting to seal the deal before Emma II, who are now on for Blades, caught them.  We agreed that we needed to sharpen up a bit to lift the boat together, and this served the crew well during the warm up.  The ghost pressure start and the above race pace burst were rapid and clean, and was just the thing we needed to replicate during the race.  

At the gun, our start was precise, controlled, and most importantly, fast. As expected, Downing came at us quickly and gained a whistle, but we stayed cool and pushed off, leaving them to be reeled in by Emma.  We gained a momentary whistle on Corpus ahead, but they managed to evade us and pushed out a safe distance between us for the rest of the course.  That being said, once we reset after the corners and hit the wind on the Reach, we sat up and dug in and did some of the cleanest, fastest racing we’ve done all term.  Today was a solid race, and tomorrow the crew enters Day 4 with the intent of giving their all.

— Tim Schmalz, Coach

W2: Close – just not close enough

W2 began the day with dampened spirits in the knowledge that they’d be chasing Maggie W3, who had bumped them early in the race yesterday. Having to navigate a few unforeseen obstacles (7-seat Lauren Gomez-Cullen was unfortunately taken ill, replaced by super-sub Jemima Barr) they rowed assuredly to their start point. The crew were prepared to take on the course in its entirety and felt that, as they had not had the chance to row much of the course the day before, they would cruise confidently to the finish.

Confidence momentarily wavered, however, as stroke Joscelyn Miller, who had selflessly agreed to continue to row with the crew despite hurting her back earlier in the term, felt her injury worsen on the row down. After much deliberation with members of the Sidney bank party, it was decided that Jos would have to step out of the boat to prevent any serious damage. 

While it appeared for one terrifying moment that W2 might not be able to fulfil all their rowing dreams and complete the course, the crew were relieved when it was announced that Sidney alumnus and CUWBC rower Kate Shipley would be subbing in as stroke. Maggie W3, buoyed up by their previous success against Sidney W2, suddenly felt their spirits sink as they saw Shipley, clad in Cambridge blue, strapping her feet into the Sidney stroke seat.

After coxswain Tinglin Huang had revealed to Shipley the coveted secrets of the renowned Sidney W2 start sequence; the key to their unparalleled successes so far, the crew were ready for the countdown. Each member responded to the change seamlessly, resulting in a powerful start that pushed chasers Trinity Hall far into the distance. Despite having been bumped by Maggie the day before, Sidney gained on their rivals immediately, earning one whistle within the first 500m. One whistle became two, two whistles quickly became three, and Sidney’s bow even came parallel with the Maggie stern. Sadly, it wasn’t quite enough, and Maggie just managed to wriggle free from Sidney’s snapping jaws. Nevertheless, the crew finished the race in high spirits with Trinity Hall a mere dot on the horizon of the Cam. While they may have narrowly missed out on catching St John’s, W2’s strong performance was certified as Trinity Hall returned home to their boathouse shouting ‘you killed us Sidney!’

— Alice Bergin, 4-seat

M2: Clean rowing pays off

Focus and concentration were high when M2 met again at the boathouse on day three of May bumps 2019. After satisfying results, having bumped Anglia Ruskin M1 right before First Post Corner, but a rather unsatisfying, edgy row home on day two of bumps the team was eager to show its ability to row clean, strong and still bring the results to the scoreboard. After motivating words by our fabulous stern pair (Joe & Paav) and our notorious but highly effective crap-warm-up the crew hit the Cam and put together a sharply focused warm-up row up to the Green Dragon bridge.

Although having moved up position by position the last days felt good, we knew that the Angela Ruskin Crew we had bumped on day two was out for revenge. Darwin 2, who were stationed in front of us, had a row-through the last day and seemed to be an optimistic and powerful crew. While getting back into the boat we started cheering enthusiastically for our W2 crew who were impressively fighting for their bump after they regained a whistle under the railway bridge. Although we were not allowed to do a practice start, both our ghost-pressure starts, under the motorway bridge as well as right in front of the Plough, felt clean and decisive. After arriving at our station 9 we had another 10 minutes to get nervous and practice the start in our heads repeatedly.

We got pushed out by the Tims and into our station right before the start canon went off. Our desire for a clean start really showed in controlled draws, winds and strong power fives. Although Angela Ruskin was gaining on us within the first few strokes we could hold them at a distance even before we had finished our starting sequence. Now it was on us to get closer to Darwin M2. With focus on the cleanness of the start we had lost a bit of our aggression and continued with controlled but steady strokes. After the first 30 strokes we could hear Tims whistle for the first time – we were gaining on Darwin M2. Thomas decided to go for a strong move and we gained a second whistle right before First Post Corner. The cheers and encouragement from the bank party and visitors kept us going at high rates. Shortly after First Post Corner and after another clean move-call by Thomas we heard the notorious shouts to hold it up – we had bumped again! Unfortunately, while bumping, we hit the Cox of Darwin M2 with our boat. We hope that he is feeling better again and that he did not get injured. Although the accident and concerns for Darwins Cox hindered celebration, we felt very good as we had achieved a clean but still strong bump. We congratulated each other and received the well–deserved greenery. After three relatively short rows before bumping we tried to have a controlled row home, which worked out alright. M2 is getting exited for the last day of bumps. With Kings M2 in front of us and Darwin M2 right behind us, we will need to be prepared for a long and tiring race. Tomorrow we will try to focus even more on a common rhythm and controlled but fast strokes.

— Julius Ibel, 6-seat

N.B. Because of the festivities that traditionally follow upon the end of Bumps, the race reports for the last day of this year’s May Bumps will be delayed until Monday. Not only does SSBC celebrate with a Boat Club Dinner; On Sunday the Sidney gardens will overflow with boaties, as SSBC host our annual Garden Party. We ask for your patience while we go crazy for a weekend.

— Tor Svenungsson, Editor-in-chief, M1 5-seat

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