May Bumps Day 4 – W2

W2 met at the boathouse on Saturday determined to prove that whilst lucky crews get blades, good crews go up three. A combination of the warm, though very breezy weather and the fact that W4 had managed to bump again meant that our row down was relaxed; we made the most of our marshalling by sunbathing (or in some cases having a nap in preparation for May Week!)
The race itself was short – our start reflected the unsettled weather, but we managed to have a whistle on Selwyn as we passed under the motorway bridge and bumped them before First Post Corner. Wearing greenery for the third time this week was amazing (even if the branches seem to have a habit of getting tangled in our hair) and we’re already looking forward to chasing Girton W2 next year!

Felicia Lane, 3, W2

May Bumps Day 2 – W2

When I opened my eyes on this morning of the second day of May Bumps, the very first thought that came to my mind was “REVENGE”. This was to be the day to make up for the long epic row-over of Day 1.
We all turned up to the boat house, willing to bump FaT II to get back to chasing Magdalene II for our revenge bump. Passing our victorious W3 crew under Chesterton Bridge, we arrived at the marshalling station in good spirits, singing songs and picking flowers. But we left this bucolic mood on the bank and went back in the boat as fierce as ever. The row down had to be focused and technical, the bump quick and clean.
And it was to be so. The first whistle came during our start sequence, 2 and 3 whistles as we rowed under the Motorway Bridge and the bump happened a couple of lengths after the bridge.
With the first greenery of the week in our hair, we braced ourselves for the row home in the wind but enjoyed some victorious pausing around Grassy, past the Plough, at the marshaling station of the next division, showing everyone that Murray Edwards W2 was not to be trifled with! WELL HARD

Pauline Pilote, 6, W2


Additional race report from Ola Janusz, stroke, W2 : “We got fat”.

May Bumps Day 1 – W2

Ola Janusz, stroke, W2

We rowed. We stopped. We thought we bumped. We didn’t. Magdalene did. We rowed some more. We went into a bridge. We stopped again. We thought we should have over-bumped. We didn’t. It hurt. They told me foul language is unacceptable so this it what’s left of my race report. Love, Ola Janusz, stroke, W2,

* I promise I will clean up my karma by tomorrow, just please please let me bump FaT

Support MECBC in May Bumps 2013

View Cambridge May Bumps 2013 in a larger map
Map with helpful tips on where to watch the races, and where you can and can’t cycle.

MECBC have FOUR boats on for Bumps this year. W4 had an excellent row in GoR and secured their spot, and will be racing in Winston. W3 will be looking for a repeat of last year’s blades in Greta. W2, in Owen, can’t wait to show the Cam that they are the fastest boat in their division, and W1 in Octopussy will be aiming to continue their upward trend into the first division!

Wednesday 12 June – Friday 14 June 2013
W4 starting 3rd in 5th division, racing at 1pm
W3 starting 8th in 4th division, racing at 2:30pm
W2 starting 12th in 3rd division, racing at 4pm
W1 starting 3rd in 2nd division, racing at 5:30pm

Saturday 15 June 2013
W4 racing at 11am
W3 racing at 12:30pm
W2 racing at 2pm
W1 racing at 3:30pm

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Champs Head Race Report – W2

We were expected to row WELL HARD, having had last year’s crews set the bar high. First race of the term meant we were HUNGRY for SUCCESS. On the warm up, we stayed loose and sharp. Reana on the bank was looking particularly FIERCE that morning, Matt was giving us enthusiastic cheerleading, and I have decided that it is a good day to DOMINATE. Temporarily choosing Beyonce as my role model, I stepped back in the boat, with a crew I knew I could count on, who like no-one else respond to a call for power: with FIERCE DOMINATION. Our Captain, in true leadership manner, was spotting nominations for the OoP, as we gave it a particularly aggressive burst for 10 on the warm up. Was fabulous.

The race went pretty much like this: we gave it all at the start, then we gave it a 10, during which the boat has lifted about 1.5m above the water surface, then we gave it another 10, flew over the bridge, landed, and gave it a last push for 10. Not scientifically accurate but possibly the closest to what it felt like. Flying is painful but satisfying. I heard the time-measurement staff at the finish said ‘wow’ when we crossed. Special mention to Nadia for gaining pilot points.

We won our division, and with this time could have won the one above us if W1 didn’t take the spot. We came 1st of all second boats, which feels sweet, beat a couple of W1s as well, and a couple of men’s boats too. This gave us a great motivation to work hard, practice and give it all in the next races, and try to get better and better. Watch out, Division 3, we’re coming.

Ola Janusz, stroke

WEHoRR Race Report – W2

WEHoRR Race Report – W2

London baby! As we all made our way to the capital, we knew we were set for an exciting weekend – racing on the Thames would certainly require a change in style and a heck of a lot of concentration (whoever chose to run HoRR on a different day – good call). But first, carbs! Hiring out the top floor of Putney’s Pizza Express provided the perfect place to meet some of our lovely alumnae, talk about the race, and fill up on doughy goodness.

Staying in Emma’s beautiful house was exactly what we needed to rest before the race. A mash of stash and sleeping bags, we settled down to watch Little Miss Sunshine (not the suggested Lord of the Rings or Star Wars which would have taken us neatly to the start of the race). Unfortunately I can’t tell you much about the film; I don’t think I made it past the title sequence.

Spoilt again, Saturday started leisurely with a hearty breakfast which set us up for the day ahead. After walking to Thames Rowing Club it was time to find the changing rooms, a task Evie did in style – never wasting a moment for some cheeky talent spotting. Then, after setting the boats up and taking a quick trip to a nearby shopping centre, we were set to go.

If you haven’t rowed on the Thames before, do it. We were lucky; hardly any wind and a relatively warm day made for an enjoyable row up to marshalling. Waiting to spin, we sat next to 203, Sons of the Thames RC B. Little did we know they would be a big part of our journey back to Putney. Now with the stream and tide, spinning was an easy task and before we knew it we were in under the bridge and into our start sequence. Before the race I was apprehensive, personally I’d never raced this distance before and I’d been told it was going to hurt, but all I remember thinking was that Hammersmith Bridge had come up fast. Nadia called for a mental restart and we were with another strong power ten. 203 were close behind, but plenty of calls for ‘legs down’ kept them at bay. Just as quickly as Hammersmith, Fulham Stadium came into sight – we were on the home straight. A final call to ‘empty the tank’ at the black buoy saw us through to the finish, exhausted but happy with our result – 21:19, a solid race and a great day for MECBC!

N.B. from the train journey home: buy ‘MECBC APPROVES/ED BADGES’.

Rowanne Willett, W2, 3

Lent Bumps Day 2 W2

The sun, for what felt like the first time in weeks, had decided to make an appearance for Bumps today, and it was with warmer fingers and an optimistic outlook that W2 paddled up to the Loch for the second day of racing. The prospect of bumping Wolfson W1 however was not so sunny, especially when parked in the chill underneath the motorway bridge waiting for the cannon to go off only a few feet away. Having heard ‘defend your ears!’ for the third time as the start gun blasted, we gained three whistles quickly with a good start but their cox refused to concede and a few 100m in, our legs protesting at every stroke, the boat speed started to drop, allowing Wolfson to gain another half boat-length round First Post corner. Then, Peterhouse W2 bumped and didn’t manage to clear the river in time for Wolfson to take the best line round Grassy, allowing our brilliant cox Nadia to guide the boat round to take the advantage off Wolfson and allow the crew to regain three whistles on them. We finally caught up the now tiring pack of wolves soon after the corner in true ‘well hard’ style. Another day of chocolate chip cookies well-deserved W2!

Siena Carver, 5, W2

Lent Bumps Day 1 W2

Due to our relatively late start from the boathouse, we had to forgo
our usual frontstops warmup and instead paddle down in fours. We
quickly caught up to the boat ahead which was paddling in sixes, and
our confidence was further boosted by great practice starts at the
railway bridge and at plough reach. Before we knew it, we were spun,
parked at our station, and the first cannon had gone off.

The next few minutes were a complete blur. Everybody checked their
gates and their footplates for the last time. Matt pushed us out while
Alex counted down. We quickly reached the end of our chain and I was
so focused on holding on to the bung that I didn’t realize we were
aiming for the opposite bank. A few quick taps by Emily (which almost
dislocated my shoulder) set us semi-straight and BOOM! we were off. We
were still in our start sequence when I heard the first whistle.
Having agreed as a crew to push for 10 at every whistle, I called for
a power 10 instead of finishing our sequence. This may or may not have
been a good idea, as we ended up doing power 10 after power 10 at rate
40! Luckily, we soon heard calls of “hold it up” from the bank.

We had bumped!

What a great start to lent bumps! Tomorrow, we are stationed under the
bridge. Bring on the cannons!

Nadia Tsao, cox W2

W2 Race Report for the Getting on Race

Feeling quite confident after our last outing before the race, we pushed off from the boathouse after much faffing and bearing in our minds the very last words of our coach Matt to one of his friends cycling past : “I’m sure they’ll get on.”

But, as we rowed to the marshalling point, I started feeling a bit nervous and was eager to do a good nice race to feel more confident in the prospect of the oncoming Bumps. As we were meant to row at the very bottom of the men’s division, we knew we’d wait for quite a long time and enjoyed the Jelly Babies Amy brought to cheer us up. Waiting at the very bottom of the queue for spinning, we took the opportunity to have a look at the men’s crews doing their starts just in front of us. It seemed to last for ages, however, and, as nervousness crept up, we were getting colder and colder, to the point that, when Nadia told us to dekit, we were all very reluctant to do so.

And then, suddenly, after such a long time of marshalling and about an hour later than when we were meant to start our race, off we were for the most consistent race I’ve ever done. After a powerful rolling start, we settled into a nice rhythm that we managed to keep throughout the 2k, thanks to the encouraging shouts coming from the bank and the expectation of Reana’s long-renowned chocolate-chip-peanut-butter cookies awaiting us at the boathouse.

A very solid race after all, punctuated by various calls in the name of our absent coaches, that helped us to get on despite the freezing wind, the long wait, and the splashes of icy water. WELL HARD MECBC AND BRING ON BUMPS NOW!!!

Pauline Pilote – W2 stroke

W2 Race Report for Robinson Head

With the prospect of a puppy still high on the agenda, the composite W2 enthusiastically pushed off the bank for their first race of what is set to be an exciting year.  A brisk paddle to the lock in addition to delay caused by rogue barge drivers allowed us plenty of time to think about the race ahead, spot talent, and for conversation to become progressively more bizarre. Who wants one puppy when you can have a selection box style variety of eight? A push for the MECBC menagerie to branch out into aquatic species was strongly supported; fish trained to swim alongside the boat would surely help improve head race results; a whale could strike fear into the hearts of the those being chased in Bumps; and a kraken, well that would just be cool. Personally, I blame the accumulation of sugary sweets in the bow for sending imaginations astray; nevertheless hopes were high for the race ahead.

Our bank party of two happily became a three when Alex returned from the ‘real world’ of conference calls, emails, and general importance, but tensions mounted in the de-kitting process. Two, reluctant to remove gloves for the race, was politely reminded that the definition of ‘WELL HARD’ does not accommodate for those with soft hands. As we approached the Plough Reach, mentally prepared to ‘embrace the pain’, Nadia called for the start sequence of five builds and a power ten. With the rate sat at 32, we sliced down the Cam and had a particularly powerful push off the bridge. This was followed by a call for Alex (or words to that effect) which brought us to the finish at Peter’s Post.

Overall an exciting race with results to prove it! W2 came top of their division, managing to beat three men’s boats and two W1’s. Hopes are high for the Getting on Race. WELL HARD girls, regardless of the gloves!

Rowanne Willett, 3