May Bumps Day 1 – W1

Sally-Anne Bennett, Bow, W1

Nerves in my stomach, but exams over, can only mean one thing – bumps! I was definitely feeling nervous at the boathouse, but a good crew huddle/chat/very girly “wooo” call – which will be changed to the more solid “well hard” call tomorrow – calmed me down and made me focus. The row to marshalling settled us down, and then Haribo whilst marshalling hyped us up. Amy’s news about W2’s disappointing row over just made us keener to bump.

The row to the start was good, keeping up with Sidney and having to pause to give us space for the rolling starts we wanted to practice – late divisions meant no proper practice starts. I thought the cannon would go off whilst we were still in the middle of the river when Churchill decided they wanted to row from our starting position instead of their own, but a fault with their coxbox meant the start was delayed anyway.

Eventually we were into the countdown, with only the slight worry that I couldn’t see our pole, but Mark had that covered and we were pushed out early. The cannon went, and so did we. Despite a messy start, we got a whistle on Churchill fairly quickly, then it was two. We firmed the finishes and had several big pushes, but couldn’t close beyond the half length. We stayed between half a length and a length for much of the course, at one point suddenly hearing a Churchill whistle: clearly they were gaining on Kings. We had a wonderful push at the railings, regaining some whistles, but we didn’t have enough to close the gap and Churchill got away from us.

Four row overs at the top of the division means we have the same fight tomorrow, but we know we didn’t row our best today and can definitely do better tomorrow – let’s bump!