Another rainy day on the Cam couldn’t dampen the spirits of MEdwards W2. Channelling the energy of a spectacular Plough-side bump on day one, we paddled up for day two with high hopes. We were chasing Newnham III, a crew we had met before in a gripping Lent term chase all the way back to the P&E. Although we were closely matched then, we had proven in Wednesday’s rowover that we had the stamina and strength to catch Newnham in a long chase.
A disappointing start off station 10 saw the chasing Pembroke come within a whistle, but a quick power 10 held them off and brought us within a whistle of Newnham. But before we could gain a second whistle, the race was called to an emergency stop as Hughes failed to row on after bumped by Tit Hall II. Confusion and fury reigned as the umpires began to negotiate a re-row. Most of the division had passed the magical point on the river where technical rowovers are awarded… including our rivals at Newnham! In fact, for reasons not yet clear to us, it was deemed that the four boats ahead of us were all to be awarded technical rowovers. With the rest of the division already having bumped, this left only two boats in the rerow: MEdwards and Pembroke.
As we took our place on first station ahead of Pembroke at two, the frustration in the air was palpable. With nothing to chase, there was no hope of a bump, and little to keep us motivated. Cox Lucy urged us to channel that anger into productive energy and the well hard ladies of MEdwards provided! A flying start built into a strong power 10 around First Post leaving Pembroke in our wash. Instead of settling into stride, we kept a bumps pace all the way past the Plough and on towards the Reach. As we watched Pembroke fading behind us, we could have wound it down but instead we put on a show for the spectators who were surprised to see us still racing after the earlier confusion.
As we flew under the Railway Bridge several lengths ahead of Pembroke, the marshalling M3 division cheered us on showing the sportsmanship and good cheer which is one of the real joys of bumps. Spurred on by all the male attention (and somewhat confused about which finish line to aim for), we put another length behind us and steamed into top finish with five lengths behind us. We may have been denied the opportunity to catch Newnham but nevertheless we took the chance to show Cambridge what MEdwards women are made of.
Tamzin Byrne, 4