Newnham Shortcourse Race report
First race of Lent term for MECBC’s W1! A deceptively sunny sky left some of us rather chilly –
mistakenly thinking t-shirts would be enough. Though never fear – the row towards marshalling
provided an excellent talent-spotting opportunity and our minds were soon suitably distracted
from the cool breeze. Once marshalled by the P&E however, it became clear that a MECBC puppy
was much higher on our agenda than the men’s crews rowing past. Whist Mollie did lengths of
the boat, passing Haribo from bow to stern, we persuaded Reana to concede that if we beat every
other women’s crew we could get a puppy! With “puppy power” vetoed, the talk then turned to
alternative motivational calls: “legs for a Labrador”; “drive for a Dalmatian”; and “spring back for a
Spaniel”, amongst others.
Remembering what we were actually there for, we began the race under the bridge with 3 draws, 7
winds and quickly lengthened out into a good rhythm. After some ups and downs at the beginning
of term – mostly down on stroke side – we set off to a promising start. Gathering speed and
maintaining a good rating we pushed around the first corner, then rookie 4 caught a crab (sorry!),
but luckily the crew was unfazed and the next 10 strokes were a determined drive to make up for
any lost time. As we reached the reach everyone pushed that little bit more, hoping to make up as
much ground before the expected wall of wind hit us… It never did. The psychological effect clearly
worked though. With that – alongside a powerful “push for Mollie” as we approached the finish –
we came 3rd and beat some men’s crews too! Well hard already, eh? Things are looking good for
Bumps with Selwyn finishing over half a minute slower than us.
Back at the boat house, Jess and I quickly found the nearest radiator as we attempted to warm our
freezing feet. Race baking was particularly exciting with a tin of Banoffee Whoopee Pies and Amy
worried Mark as she started peeling off lycra during the race breakdown.
So, sadly not a puppy this race – maybe we’ll have the same deal next time, Reana? And I’ve
probably missed lots of important actual rowing details – it was all quite exciting and a bit of a blur –
but a great first race with W1!
Evie Hampson, ‘rookie 4’ W1