Want to be part of the fabulous ladies of MECBC? Here is your opportunity. Just fill in the form below, and we will be in touch. Still unsure? Come and chat to our Lower Boats Captains and current members at the Boatie Tea in the walkway from 3-6pm today (5 Oct 2015).
To all current and aspiring boaties,
Welcome back to another year of early mornings, frozen blades, heavy boats, grumpy coxes, and pain. If this is your first experience of rowing, don’t worry – it’s great fun and the description I just gave was a complete lie. Just picture unicorns and fairies and you the most accurate picture of what rowing is really like.
I just wanted to briefly (re)introduce myself to everyone looking to return to MECBC or just dip their toes in the water with rowing. My name is Emily, and I’m a second-year HSPS student, professional procrastinator, and waaaay to keen on rowing. For those of you who know me, you know that my stomach is a bottomless pit, and I order Dominos Pizza far to often for my own good. But one of the perks of rowing, it must be said, is the great excuse it gives you to eat ALL THE CARBS. Anyway, if that doesn’t paint a picture of a responsible adult ready to handle the duties of being Captain of Club, I don’t know what will.In all seriousness, aside from the rainbows and unicorns, rowing has definitely been one of the highlights of my Cambridge experience so far. The camaraderie, the inside jokes, and the way that we all rely on each other to do our best in outings, (most) ergs, and races, means that rowing pushes you to your absolute limits as an individual and as a crew. And when the race is over and you feel like death and have absolutely nothing left in your legs or lungs, it’s the best feeling in the world. It sounds counterintuitive and terribly masochistic (we’re entering slightly strange territory here….), but the bonds you form with crews and coaches is unlike anything else. They are what keep you coming back for more. Of course you want to win, but it’s also about making your team proud, and representing your college, and making sure that, even if a race didn’t go as planned, it’s important that you as a crew did your absolute best, and stay motivated to keep going.Last year, I noviced in Michaelmas, and then was lucky enough to row with W1 for Lent and Easter term, as well as squishing my butt into the cox’s seat for the third boat in the last term. There was a massive intake of novices, but sadly many of the senior rowers graduated and left in 2014. There are a few still around kicking, and many alumni come to see us race, but on the whole we are quite young club in terms of rowing experience. That being said, we made the finals of Queen’s Ergs, our first boat moved up two places in Lent Bumps, and our second boat did the same in the Mays. I won’t lie, there’s still a lot of work to be done if W1 and W3 want to redeem themselves this coming May, but the only way we can go is up. Going down three places and spooning was crushing, but I hope that, instead of feeling disheartened and tempted to resign ourselves to that fact, we come back fighting hard.
I’ve made this joke too many times for it to still work, but I’ll do it anyway. It’s an incredible honour to take Christina’s place as Captain of MECBC. She was such a wonderful friend, leader, and cox and, even though her feet are very small, I hope that I can fill her shoes in this position. There’s a lot to look forward to this year, from off-Cam racing to (hopefully) an away training camp, as well as lots of pasta, stash, and boatie love.
This was the beginning of the end for some of the members of our crew, with two of them graduating after this bumps campaign – we all wanted to do them proud. A good practice start in front of the plough helped ease some of the nerves in the crew as we made our way to station seventeen, but the wait at Baitsbite lock allowed them to creep back in. The four minute cannon fires in the distance, a lot quieter than the roar of the cannon that was heard in Lents from closer to the motorway bridge. We hurry back into the boat and try and calm ourselves. Suddenly the countdown hits 30 seconds remaining and Mark starts to push us out, then bang and we’re off. The start was fast, faster than usual. We settled to rate 38 but it all felt frantic – we can do better than this!
After what seemed like an age we were pulled up on the bank – we had been bumped by an extremely strong Jesus II. This was the first time many of the crew had ever been bumped so it struck a particularly hard blow.
We all felt like we had let ourselves and the crew down, the start we did being nowhere near our best, but with the worst case scenario out of the way, we would enter the next days of bumps better prepared for the stress and the toil that would be awaiting us.
Tomorrow would have to be better. Tomorrow will be better.
Emilie Cousin, 4
Cox- Christina Larkin
S- Laurane Saliou
7- Abbie Vernon
6- Laura Robinson
5- Emma Roth
4- Emilie Cousin
3- Harriet Alford
2- Maria Rust
B- Emily Busvine
Coach- Mark Jacobs
Cox- Joaquina Delas Vives
S- Chloe Legard
7- Kate Wilkinson
6- Manuela Gross
5- Angelina Munabi
4- Heather Dudley
3- Nadia Blackshaw
2- Eleanor Gell
B- Simona Sulikova
Coach – Robert Gardiner
Cox- Emily Busvine
S- Marie-Elena Kleemann
7- Benedetta Pacella
6- Veera Panova
5- Georgia Thurston
4- Elizabeth Briggs
3- Brooke Longhurst
2- Taine Ranaghan
B- Julia Gillard
Coaches – Alex Massey & Rob Watson
Day 2 brought with it hotter weather and a more determined feeling to W2. The row up started solid and we returned to our starting place all ready to finally make up the last foot on Trinity Hall. The last few minutes were tense, with the sun beating down and Robert giving us some last encouraging advice.
The canon went off! As an eight, we surged forward through our start sequence, much more together then the first day. Before we knew it, we had one whistle and Joaquina, our cox, called for another power ten. Within another 30 seconds we had the second whistle and the third came soon after. The whole crew, encouraged by our swift catch up, pulled harder and just as we reached the first corner, the continuous whistle came and finally the complete overlap. It was spectacular as we pulled into the side cheering and overwhelmed. We had bumped Trinity Hall 2 in less than 3 minutes! All of the first days pain was worth it and now that we have experienced success, we are all ready for tomorrow and another bump!
Nadia Blackshaw, 3
The sun was out. Exams were (for some of us, literally just) over. Stash was prepared. W2 were ready to start their 2015 May Bumps campaign.
After a steady row up and encouraging practice start we made our way to Station 6. Being situated very close to the motorway bridge and right on top of the outflow made the start slightly more nerve-racking, but when the almighty cannon was fired we didn’t let it bother us and were ready to put all the hard work into practice.
Despite a slightly less balanced start than we know we are able to do, we went off with a solid row and managed to get one whistle fairly quickly. We knew it was going to be a hard fight, with Trinity Hall 2 not looking to go down without making us work for it. We stayed at about ¾ of a length for quite a while, but after a huge surge of power after Ditton managed to get down to 3 whistles and so close to an overlap. Although we didn’t quite realise it at the time, we were frustratingly close to bumping for the whole final stretch, but in the end had to settle for a well fought row over.
We know we were the faster crew, and we know we can get them, so bring on tomorrow when we will fight even harder for the bump.
Eleanor Gell, 2
The first day of bumps. Even the first time for some of us to ever race in bumps. The atmosphere was tense. But the sunny weather and the encouragement of our cox Emily helped to make it bearable. We rowed proud, better balanced than in most outings towards the starting point. We rowed as a team; full of hope and excitement. Clare Hall in front of us and Hughes Hall/Lucy Cavendish chasing us. When the canon went off we managed to stay focused. No one panicked, everyone put in their best. We settled into our rhythm and were ready to take on Clare Hall, but before we knew Hughes Hall/Lucy Cavendish were already dangerously close. We tried really hard, but they gave us no space. They bumped us this time, but we refuse to be defeated. This was our first day of bumps. There are three more days to come, where we will put in our everything and make all the hard work pay off!
The weather was perfect as we moved into position to start our first race of Easter term. The start was good, quick out of the draws and we pushed forward taking the first bend onto the reach. As a crew, we used the straight to settle our rhythm, putting into practice all the techniques worked on each morning. The boat was moving well through the river as we continued to push as hard as we could under the bridge. Far behind, we could now see the next boat racing and Joaquina shouted encouragement at us, one stroke for each crew member and one big push for Robert! We took the next bend a little less stable but quickly recovered for last stretch of the race. As the call came for the final ten strokes, as an eight we swung backwards, lengthening our strokes until the end.
With the call to wind down, we all celebrated, exhausted, knowing that we had completed our first race as a crew in very good form. In the end, we were rewarded for all the early morning starts as we finished first in our division!
Nadia Blackshaw, 3
It was the final day of lent bumps and we were feeling optimistic. We had soon forgotten about the disaster that was Friday and were sure that we would be able to catch Sidney Sussex w2. We had a strong row up, a great practise start on the reach, and we were looking forward to having the foliage in our hair as we triumphantly rowed home.
Unfortunately this was not to be.
As the gun went off and Iila called the draws, we pushed as hard as we could and began gaining on Sidney. Soon enough we heard the sound of one whistle and we carried on pushing. Queens, in front of Sidney, had bumped as Pete predicted, so we had the whole course to catch up with Sidney. However, today would not be our day. Wolfson crashed their boat, meaning that as Sidney overtook them, closely followed by us, they had effectively over-bumped so we had to settle for a row over.
Though disappointed by the result, we were able to row home proudly knowing that there was nothing more we could have done, and that had luck been on our side we may well have bumped. Despite not being presented with foliage, we have had a great time in Lent Bumps and come out of it feeling confident and ready to bump in the summer!
Rosanna Gregory, 6