Yesterday’s result was slightly anti-climactic, especially for the rowers of W3 who had never rowed in Bumps before. But, since the race was very short, everyone was fresh for a new start today.
Since King’s had caught Sidney in such a short space of time, and we held station with King’s for the few strokes we managed to row, we were fairly confident that we could catch Sidney fairly soon as well. However, Reana, our coach, was very clear that we still had to actually race, and to not get complacent and over-confident. Churchill behind us were strong competition, and they were definitely out for blood.
Like yesterday, the row down was strong and confident, with everyone making an effort to show off their best rowing as we came past the previous men’s division on the Reach. In front of the Plough, we had a very quick countdown (an angry umpire yesterday ensured that we would NEVER take a whole 15 seconds to count down again…), and the start, while slightly rough around the edges, got the boat moving, and once we hit our rhythm, we hit a solid race pace.
Once we had spun at our station, under the bridge, we were told that, because the boats further down the river hadn’t been able to hear the cannon yesterday, that they would be using stronger gunpowder. Unsurprisingly, we were less enthusiastic about the idea, which made the idea of bumping even more appealing!
The actual start: the cannon was very loud, but we did not let it phase us. Since Mark had pushed us out earlier and straighter than yesterday, I didn’t have to use as much rudder, and so the start was much cleaner and more sat up. We got the boat moving and were quickly moving up on Sidney, and once we had whistles on them, I called for power strokes on the legs. Despite the excitement of potentially bumping, the girls never shortened up or started rushing, but instead kept their strokes long and confident, and we hit Sidney in style.
We also demonstrated that we are better at clearing the river than King’s were yesterday, and wrapped up the day with collecting greenery and rowing home to the tune of applause and lots of cheers from the bank.
Emily Busvine, cox