From the start we had been warned that we should expect a longer race than the last couple of days and, feeling confident from yesterday’s bump, we focused on facing up against Christ’s.
We began with our usual warm up and sank into a rhythm during the row up. Just before the practice start we managed to keep tapped up with a sat boat and were pleased with our perfectly lifted blades on the ‘easy there’. Most importantly, we landed a resounding SMACK on the water as the drop was called, hailed with a cheer from Reana and with all nine of us grinning in the boat. Best drop yet.
The practice start was promising and we were encouraged to keep pushed away from Christ’s who were just behind us. We were excited to finally not have to start underneath the bridge to be deafened by the cannons, and instead were washed up near the outflow which threatened to throw off our starting position. Luckily, Mark was ready to engineer a way to get us straightened out, which involved Ying leaning precariously over the edge of the bank and holding onto bow’s blade until just before the 10 second countdown. We decided we didn’t really like this new position after all and would really prefer to swap with Christ’s.
On the plus side, we christened Bill the dragonfly who must have been a good omen because after our start we steadily gained on Christ’s with every stroke. A flurry of whistles came from the bank a little later, and after yesterday’s confusion with the calls we heard an assuring “these are yours, girls!”
That was when we pressed hard with our power fives and panic began to rise within the boat as the calls and whistles seemed to get louder. With Emily our cox almost inaudible now we got messy near the end and caught a couple of last minute crabs. These made no difference though, as just then we were told to hold it and quickly clear the way. Confused, we desperately asked what had happened as there was a chaotic pile up of boats on the river. Fortunately, we had managed to bump Christ’s and not be affected by the re-row- and so we finished our day by proudly rowing home with tree branches stuffed in our hair.
Anthea Chui, 2