May Bumps Day 1 – W3

Emma Heydon, W3, Bow

We’d been dubbed “the banter boat, who approach everything with inspiring spirit and optimism”. So we weren’t about to be fazed by a change of boat & blades (including a blade that was taped up because it had been taking on water…), an extended marshalling time, being told there wasn’t time for practice starts, a few drops of rain or a lot of wind. Not when we’d seen the greenery adorning W4 as we passed them on our row up.

Alas it was not to be our day for greenery. One station back from the cannon there was no way we could miss the thunderous call to launch W3’s May Bumps campaign. As our cox and bank party set their eyes to Queens’ W3 ahead, the rest of us were distracted from the effort of our first power ten by the sight behind as we watched Selwyn W3 set off at right angles and plough straight into the opposing bank. With our focus returning to the chase, the call from the bank that we were down to a boat length drove us on. Sadly the continuous whistles soon after were for the boats ahead as Queens’ bumped before we could catch them. Any hope of trying for an overbump disappeared as we were forced to hold it up to avoid an otherwise inevitable crash. But wait. Our race was not over. Out of the confusion came the call to carry on and go for the row over. Rapidly pushed back out and Christina called us back into time as we set off again. Yes the way ahead was clear and we weren’t threatened from behind, but W3 has “inspiring spirit” and we weren’t slacking off as we powered into the wind and headed for the finish.

Row over today. Tomorrow we get that bump. And the next day. And the next day. Because then Christina promised we can throw her in the Cam despite today’s result!