Emma, W1 four
Four starts, three races, two row overs and one bump – a challenging and memorable final day for W1.
Setting out to marshal for our first race chasing Churchill at the top of the second division, the crew had rage – and lots of it, not for Churchill, but for Peterhouse who had narrowly evaded our bump for the past two days. Our revenge plan seemed simple enough – bump Churchill, race again at the bottom of the first division, and bump Peterhouse back down to sandwich boat. Easy. Or not, as it turned out.
As the cannon went for the start of the second division, we powered into our start, eager to catch Churchill as soon as possible. They weren't going to give it us easily though, and the whistles did not come as fast as we had hoped. When three whistles finally became continuous, we pushed into the last few strokes, determined not to let them pull away. They didn't, and we won our second bump of the week.
As we rowed back to the marshalling point for our next race at the bottom of the first division, we were delighted with our greenery, but thinking ahead to our coming 'revenge row' against Peterhouse. After a break of Haribo eating and watching the men's second division race past, it was time for us to row back up to the start – all the way to the lock, since we were now at the end of the division. As we waited for the cannons, there were mixed feelings of nerves, anger and excitement, and as Mark gave us our pre-race talk, we focused on the challenge ahead. The four minute cannon, the one minute cannon, pushing out, coming to front stops, and we were off. We fought hard to gain on them coming out of the start, and were down to a length when confusion set in as Georgie called for us to hold it up. Ahead of us, Selwyn and Peterhouse seemed to have stopped for no reason – what was going on? Nothing, it turned out – and with no warning, the two crews started racing again. We followed suit, but not before Peterhouse had pulled ahead by two and a half lengths. Extremely angry, we channelled our rage into an attempt at a new powerful start, but we had no chance of catching them now.
We stopped racing after they bumped Selwyn and pulled into the bank – feeling cheated at the unfairness of the situation. Mark shared our anger, and after he had had a long discussion with the marshals, it was decided that there should be a re-row.
So back we went, up to the start one more time – cold, wet, and tired, but determined to catch Peterhouse. As soon as the men's division were clear, we were back in the boat and lining up for the final cannon. Pushing out of the start we knew we had nothing to lose, and gave every stroke all that we had – but Peterhouse were stronger and fresher, and bumped Selwyn before we could get within one whistle of them.
So that was that – Peterhouse got away – but only just. We went out fighting to the bitter end, and at least now we won't be chasing them at the start of next year's lent bumps.
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