Leaflets for coxing/rowing with MECBC

Thanks to all those who made it to our Boatie Tea this afternoon, it was great to meet so many keen new faces! For those who haven't managed to make it, no worries– here's some leaflets that will give you more information about coxing or rowing with MECBC, and you can still sign up for a taster session (see post below). Do hurry though, we plan to run the taster sessions this weekend and need to know numbers soon.

coxing brochure.pdf Download this file

Rowing Brochure.pdf Download this file

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MECBC 2011-2012

Video by our lovely alumna Eve Bonner, capturing the many highlights of this year. Looking forward to seeing old and new faces in Michaelmas 2012!

May Bumps Day 4 W2

Bumps, day 4 and it is do or die for Murray Edwards W2. Having started the week with a pleasantly surprising bump on Newhnam III, followed by 2 pretty swift collisions upon Clare Hall and Emma III, day 4 represented the opportunity to cement our position as the best W2 on the river.

Yet, as what always happens in these situations, things don’t always go according to plan.

A prolonged marshalling caused by some animal rights protestors jamming the river in a boat worthy of the Cardboard Boat Race allowed us to contemplate the situation at hand. With nothing to worry about chasing us, the main question remained not can we catch First and Third II, but when can we catch them. Knowing they were chasing the ‘spooner barge’ Magdalene II, it was a case of charging through the wind and slamming FAT hard before they could perform a similar feat on Magdalene. Alas, this was not to be.

3 booms later, and we make good headway off the start, earning 2 whistles by the motorway bridge. Unfortunately, as our number 2 later informed me, FAT had the same whistles before we did. We fought valiantly and painfully up first post reach with spatterings of 3 whistles heard from the bank. Then: HOLD IT UP! I look to Mark on the bank, and ask the question of which I sadly already know the answer: ‘Did we bump…?’

No we had not bumped, but in the most infuriating of scenarios, we had instead become wedged between the bumping victors and incompetently parked FAT. The feeling of being unable to even go for an over-bump can only be described as like sticking an open wound in a ditch of seawater. As The Cambridge Tab eloquently put it, the final result of a technical rowover was little consolation.

However, as this is my last term rowing with Murray Edwards II, I would like to say that I am absolutely thrilled and delighted with the progress we have made together as a crew this term. Though our name is not on a blade, our final result of moving up 3 positions, on top of 2 wins this term, is nothing short of impressive. I am so proud to have rowed with you this term and with MECBC these last two years.

Magdalene II should be quivering in their lycra because Murray Edwards II are coming to get them. MECBCWellHard, over and out.

Eleanor Dickinson, W2, 6

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May Bumps Day 4 W1

Arriving at the boat house, I had already heard that W3 had bumped, earning their blades, but was pleased to find them still around, and about to throw Christina in the Cam. She went in, along with the rest of W3, and all of W1 were watching: we knew that our division was going to be delayed by around 45 minutes and so had time to relax, if that’s possible before bumps.

Eventually we decided it was time to get the boat out, but having pushed off, Downing told us that the men were still marshalling, so we decided to pull in at the combined boat houses. These happen to be where Kings and Churchill boat from, and with us chasing Kings, and Kings chasing Churchill, who were at the top of the division, it was an interesting place to pull in to say the least. Soon after we headed off to marshal properly.

Pulling in, we wanted our bank party to take the NHBC flag to W2, but we were surprised and disappointed (neither of those words are strong enough) to discover they had been awarded a technical rowover (Magdalene are just too slow). It didn’t make marshalling very happy, but did give us a determination that we would blade for W2.

Rowing down to the start, we had an acceptable practice start, but Mark warned us we would need more to get Kings before they got Churchill. In the race, we got an excellent start, and our first whistle came almost immediately – far quicker than any other day this week. In the middle of a push for ten, I heard 2 whistles, but sadly they were not for us: they were for Kings. We kept pushing, but our whistles stayed single.

Turning into the gut, we hit both a wall of wind and a wall of sound. We pushed through it, but Churchill obviously didn’t: they were caught by Kings and for a stroke we stopped rowing as they cleared. We immediately restarted, and were still far from Pembroke II (chasing us) as we rowed for what we now knew had to be a rowover.

I have no idea whether it was a strong rowover, or if we just rowed acceptably. Pembroke didn’t get close to us, and were bumped out on the extremely windy reach, whilst we put all our frustration into fighting the wind. Crossing the finish line, we wound down and easied immediately, disappointed, but watching a tight race between Fitz and Homerton, who were chasing the overbump. Happily (for Gina and for our hopes for the Pegasus cup), despite having overlap across the finish line, Homerton did not bump.

Rowing back to the boathouse was difficult after the lengthy race and with the wind, but we got back to an amazing array of cookies etc. including an excellent chocolate cake from Siena.

Ying’s plan for a race report tells me I have to ‘tell you one thing that I hope will happen in the next outing/race’. That doesn’t quite fit, since it’s the last time we’ll be rowing together, but I can either claim that Peterhouse May Ball, or Bumps Breakfast is the next ‘outing’. Either way, it’s going to be an incredible and memorable next outing for the boat club.

Sally-Anne Bennett, W1, bow

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May Bumps Day 2 W2

About 60 seconds – that's how long it took us to catch Claire Hall WII. We heard the first whistle before we had finished out start sequence, and we were only about 20 strokes in before we were holding it up. As a result, the spectators unfortunately did not get a chance to witness WII's world-renown battle cries of exertion. However, MECBC WII will not disappoint their fan-base, and will continue to drive hard, push down, stay loose and shout out until every last ounce of energy has been spent bumping whatever may lie ahead.

Christie Bates, W2, 4

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May Bumps Day 2 W3

After a very successful first day of bumps, spirits were high when we met at the boat house for the second round, and lifted even higher by the unexpected sunshine. But as our rhetorically honed coaches had emphasised during one of their inspirational speeches, “things don’t usually go to plan in bumps”, and a crab during a practice start reminded us that now was not the time to be complacent.

Well, we weren’t. We started off strong, kept going strong, and finished strong. Clare in front of us just seemed to surrender the moment we had a whistle on them, so that the second and third whistles followed in quick succession and our bank party shouted at us to “hold it up” mere seconds later. We had also gained half a length or so on Trinity Hall behind us, vindicating yesterday’s result, and adorned ourselves with plenty of shrubbery for the row home.

More of the same tomorrow, girls!

–Teresa Krieger, W3, 7

With the sun finally managing to peek out of the clouds at the boathouse, we set off feeling optimistic, despite the strong winds that seemed to be trying to emulate the gales we experienced at GoR. After a long, tense wait by the lock, we drove off chasing Clare Hall for around two minutes until they were forced to concede. More greenery for W3!

–Siena Carver, W3, 3

May Bumps Day 1 W3

First day of bumps, and with W1 and W2 backed by the Tab for blades, each crew set off with determination to completely obliterate the boat ahead on the river. W3 started off the show, bumping Trinity Hall within a few hundred meters after a catastrophic restart broke one of their riggers. This success was quickly followed by W1 finishing off Emma II with W2 gaining greenery from Newnham. An altogether successful first day at Bumps for the boat club.

Siena Carver, W3, 3

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May Bumps Day 2 W1

So the Tab asks “can Murray Edwards keep the Blades dream alive?” No pressure, uh huh. While it’s GREAT that both W3 and W2 have bumped today (and in such good style) there were some nerves in the boat as we faced up to the task of chasing Sidney, who failed to catch Pembroke II yesterday. At the Boat House, we talked strategy for a bit (read, “faffed”) and basically decided it’s too risky to pretend we are going to row a head piece, and a quick start will be essential (wow, rocket science!).We managed to push off in due course and marshalled in good time (yay for meeting early). As boats parked around us, and Percy Pigs and Haribos were passed around, we talked more strategy, focusing on the fact that we have caught Sidney before, and we probably can do it again. After M3 raced past us we pushed off again, and were told we actually do get two practise starts today (yay for catching up on schedule). Awesome.The row up was fairly uneventful. First practise start on the windy reach was ok, but the second one off the Plough was better. We put lots of distance between us and Sidney. Some of our best steady-state rowing is on the row up to Bumps and today is no different. We stayed loose and focused, maximising drive through the water and maintaining good balance. There was lots of cheering from our girls on the bank especially around Grassy to First Post, giving us encouragement to squeeze down that little bit more power and keep the bladework tidy. We spun, parked (really far from our station), spoke to the SU, and settled down to wait for the 4 minute gun.

Mark gave a little speech of sorts at the station, commenting that both Sidney and Pembroke II have “competent starts”, so we should expect the first whistle to come in time, but until we get it, we should get the legs down and keep pushing. He speculated on the possibility of Sidney catching Pembroke, suggesting (as we have agreed) that we go off hard and not expect to have the full river to catch Sidney. He also waxed lyrical on how station 5 is the “best station for pushing out, well past the outflow with a nice straight line to the corner”, while I was more interested in thinking about whether it is a good idea to row without zephyrs, as it was getting chilly sitting around. Of course, a cruiser was trying to get to the lock as 18 boats of 8 girls + 1 girl/guy slowly lose body heat parked at the start…

The 4 minute gun came as a surprise; it was still very loud at station 5. Decided to row without zephyrs, so it felt like an even longer count down than normal as it was really getting quite cold. 1 minute gun came and went, and Mark collected the pole (with somewhat nervous prompting from us) and pushed us out, blades square, all good, and we were off. The start was reasonably strong, not our very best, but felt like a good start though not sure what rating we were. I think I heard Mark shouting “just outside a length” for a little, then entering first post we got a lot of calls of “toes-heels-swing” and we got to one length, one whistle. Chloe called “give me their cox” and we responded with power, though getting a touch sloppy with bladework. I heard “three quarters” from Mark, the two whistle followed, and Chloe started calling for push for 10, which collected us a bit and gave us a good surge out of the corner. I think I heard 3 whistles after that, and I remember Chloe calling “this is it girls, push for 10”, and that was a good push. We tidied up and put our legs down and the boat moved. The whistles went to continuous and it was a bump going into grassy. Not a bad location considering that most of our supporters are on that bit of river.

It was only afterwards that we found out how close Sidney was to Pembroke — apparently it was down to half a length at one point (and apparently nearly gave Mark a heart attack) but all is well, the bump is done, and we can look forward to catching Pembroke II a little sooner tomorrow. Not  sure what will happen on day 4 yet. We will take it one race at a time…

For today, we’ve kept that Blades dream alive. Still lots of bumping to do before the dream comes true. But hey, 3 crews, 2 days, 6 bumps— WELL HARD.

Wing Ying Chow, W1, 7

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May Bumps Day 1 W2

In true English style, as we got to the boat house, we saw the sun was shining and the river was flooded. For a faff-prone crew, this added precious minutes to our pushing-off time. Luckily in the scheme of things, this didn’t particularly matter as the whole division was delayed due to earlier carnage. However this delay meant that both of our practice starts were cancelled. We vented out excess adrenaline into some really strong paddling, eventually we ended up pausing to avoid crashing into St Eds, a reassuring signal that there was nothing too threatening chasing us from behind. Newnham were keeping their distance as well, we had caught glimpses of a sneaky start they’d managed to fit in; they looked neat and powerful.We pulled into our station quite close the lock, a testament to last years W2 who only recently thrust the crew into division 3 glory. Our nerves were compounded by words from coach Watson, who told us that although we were probably the fastest boat in the division, Newnham III were probably the second fastest. The question was; could we catch Newnham before they caught Clare Hall? In the boat, we began to steel ourselves for the prospect of having to overbump.Conditions were perfect; the sun was out and there was virtually no wind. The expert hand of W1’s coach Mark pushed us out with 15 seconds to the start cannon. Poised and primed, we waited for the resounding boom of the cannon. BOOM. Our cox Georgie called ‘draw one’, and I saw strokes blade sweep out of the water. Knowing that our stroke was a perfectionist, she would not be happy with those draws, and she followed it with some of the best winds we have ever done. The whistles from our bank party started ringing – we had gained on Newnham! After a sustained push they held us off at two whistles. Coming under the motorway bridge we managed to crank it up and gain three whistles on them.

We could feel the boat rocking around in their dirty water; we were close and so thirsty for the bump. As Georgie called for a ‘Hammer time’, we stood on our footplates, the entire crew powering towards their stern. The sound of continuous whistles rang about us and we knew the bump was imminent. The Umpire and our bank party suddenly yelled for us to hold it up, we turned to see a shocked Newham clearing and a plucky Clare Hall rowing on, having only just escaped Newnham’s clutches. According to our coaches, Newnham were a quarter of a length or less on Clare Hall when we caught them. Unfortunately for Clare Hall, it’s out of the frying pan and into the fire.

Holly Smith, W2, 7

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