It was the sunniest day of term, the clouds were but harmless wads of cotton in the sky, the wind had receded. The tension was in the air. With W3 in Bumps as one of only two women’s third boats to get on, and most of the girls never having raced Bumps before, we were anxious to get out and prove that we were worth our place in this campaign, that we were WELL HARD.
The row down was calm, but tense. A slight incident – a stray dog swimming joyfully in the river, pausing our boat – broke some of the nerves and eased us in for the actual race. First boat to station, we had the opportunity to observe our competition from an elevated (superior, *cough cough*) position. Haribos were passed around, last pieces of advice given out.
Gun. 9 minutes until W3 goes off.
Gun. 1 minute until we go off. The new Doctor Reana Maier pushed us out, we gripped onto our blades in wait of the final shot. This is it. We started off hard and gained half a length on St Cat’s W2 within seconds of the start, but then had to push hard to keep at it. Suddenly, two whistles. Then three, then four, and “Concede!” followed so fast we barely had time to realise what had happened. W3 bumped! It had been a great start to the Lent’s campaign. May the rest be just as good.
Simona Sulikova, 7