Day 2 of May Bumps 2011 – W1 Race Report

Day 2 of May Bumps – W1 Race Report

With yesterday’s victory still fresh in my mind, I’m cautiously
optimistic. I’m not a terribly superstitious person, but allowing
myself to imagine a second bump this afternoon too confidently seems
like tempting fate. I note with some dismay the gloomy weather,
thinking how miserable it will be to marshall in the rain.

Fortunately, the skies clear somewhat as I listen with friends to
radio commentary for the women’s 4th division in which MECBC’s W2 is
racing. Another terrific performance from them, bumping Addenbrooke’s
with ease, puts them at the top of their division and has us cheering.

The wind picks up a bit, but the rain holds off as W1 departs from the
boathouse to head to the marshalling stations, then up to the lock.
We’re chasing Anglia Ruskin today, and I’m sure they’re intimidated by
our practice starts as they follow us up the river. Yeah.
Intimidated. Not that I actually see their faces or anything because
my concentration is, naturally, in the boat, but I assume.

Four minute cannon scares the bejeezus out of me. Forgot how close we
were to it. One minute cannon, and the countdown starts.

BOOM. Bit of a shaky start, but nothing we can’t smooth out as we
wind up. Today, we actually finish our start sequence before we get
our first whistle. We’re gaining. Single whistles, and the water is
starting to get choppy. Two whistles, followed quickly by three, and
the water is really bouncing us around in the bows. Fortunately, we
didn’t have to cope for long as we catch them at first post. Woo-hoo!
Another bump! We collect and arrange our greenery, and then take
another gratifying victory row home.

Halfway there. Carb up and sleep well, ladies. Day 3 awaits.

Reana Maier

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Day 1 of May Bumps

Day 1 of May Bumps – W1 Race Report 

Here is the long and short of my history with the Bumps: popped gate, broken boat, row of shame, spoons and finishing at the bottom of the bottom division. Not terribly auspicious. But that was last term, and it’s time for a fresh start. Hello, Bumps. I’m Reana. Let’s try to like each other.

Having moved up a crew this term into the first boat (who got blades in the Lent Bumps, no pressure), I’ve been helpfully reminded that there are a few girls in the boat who have never been bumped before (no pressure). I anxiously tuned in to CamFM to see how the second boat, my boat last term, fare in their division. Yes! An impressively quick bump (just over a minute, no pressure), and Darwin II are out of the way.

Thanks to delays, marshalling takes what feels like forever, though thankfully the clouds that kept threatening rain never followed through. It’s incredibly humid. Nerves build. Finally, we’re on our way up to the starting stations, squeezing in a couple of practice rolling starts along the way. In a somewhat poetic twist, we are also chasing a Darwin boat, their W1. We’re not long at the starting
stations when the four minute cannon goes. De-kit and recheck gate. Stomach is quite twisty now. One minute cannon. We push off at twenty seconds, and get into position. Front stops, blades buried, back straight, tension radiating off every one of us.

BOOM. Draaaaaw 1, draw 2, draw 3. Did we just get a whistle? Already? We’ve barely finished our start sequence, and the whistles are going like mad, two then three then continuous. It doesn’t even feel like we’ve settled into a race pace when we’re getting the call to hold it up, and we pull off to the side as quickly as we can. The whole thing is over in less than a minute.

After all the build-up, do I wish it had gone on longer, that I really had a chance to savour it? Uh, no. No, that’s fine. I will not look a quick-bump-gift-horse in the mouth. Besides, if savouring is what we were looking for, there was the entire victory row back to the boathouse, adorned with our foliage, basking in the cheers from the spectators. Not gonna lie – that didn’t suck.

Bumps, this may be the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Bring on Day 2.

Reana Maier

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W1 Champs Head 2011

Last week W1 raced in the Champs Head, a race for all crews to get an idea of where they stand for May Bumps as they draw closer.
Despite appallingly windy conditions, the crew held together really well, coming second in the Mays W2 division and fourth overall out of all college women’s crews: a terrific performance for a crew containing three ex-novices! These results shows how our hard work has paid off, and that we are set to do really well come May Bumps.

Head to Head 2011

At the start of May W1 competed in the Head to Head, which involves rowing two legs of 2k (spinning in between). This race was a chance for us to see how much we had developed as a crew, having had a big reshuffle after the Easter Vacation. Overall we did quite well, beating a few other W1 crews such as King’s and First and Third. Most importantly, however, we showed that after only a few outings together we have a solid basis to build up on as we continue training this term.