W2 Race Report for Fairbairns

All properly carbed up, we gathered bright and early at the boathouse, knowing we’d be there for quite a long time, since we were marshalling on the hard and were last but one in our division. We thus just stayed around with our first boat, waiting for the bank to be clear to get Owen out. This gave us plenty of time to become more and more nervous as we wanted to do our best considering we were a very fresh crew and had very few outings to get ready for the race. The initial plan was then to close the gate on the men’s VIII that was to follow us and to make it as hard as possible for them to overtake us. But as we pushed for the start and settled into a nice rhythm, it soon became obvious to our cox Nadia that she will have to change the race plan. It was clear before Chesterton that we were gaining on the St Catz boat ahead and that we will have to overtake them. Yet, I was not aware of this and was thus quite worried when as we were pushing the railway bridge away, I started to hear, on top of the loud shouting of Ying and Watson, the calls of another girl. My first thought was that something had happened to one of bow 4 and it was only when Nadia asked for repetitive pushes for ten that I realised it was the voice of the coach of the St Catz boat we were actually overtaking!!

We were all very happy to have overtaken one boat but this would not satisfy Nadia. When we were steering along the corners and pushing away from St Catz, she set her mind on catching up with the Sidney boat ahead! Sending the corners away and pushing for the last stretch under the motorway bridge, she called for more and more power until we overtook Sidney on the finish line and under the eyes of our W1! That was overall such an epic race – “like Bumps, but longer” to quote Ying – and I cannot tell how proud I am of this fresh crew quickly coming up together to be, after four only outings, the fastest college senior second VIII in Fairbairn’s! WELL DONE W2 AND BRING ON LENT!

Pauline Pilote, W2

W2 Race Report for Winter Head

This was the first race for a recently formed IV crew so setting off from the boathouse we were all quite nervous and unsure of what to expect. Paddling down to the start we got into a good rhythm and Nadia got us warmed up with some solid pushes for ten. On the way down we passed one of our novice crews (Silver Arrow) and despite being slightly unnerved by their very tired faces, we were encouraged by our fellow college boaties (if they survived so would we). Once we arrived at the marshalling station Laura brought out the Haribo for a last minute energy boost, though by then the adrenaline had already started to kick in, and Matt gave us some reassuring last words. Before we knew it we were paddling up to the line and Nadia was shouting for our first push for ten. We started off well (the Haribo were clearing working) and we soon settled into a good rhythm. We kept it strong until the finish- as pictures of our reddened faces and pained expressions will no doubt confirm- and were pleased to come fifth in our division!

Well done W2!

Lizzie Allen, W2

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 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 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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Support Murray Edwards in May Bumps 2012

View Cambridge May Bumps 2012 in a larger map
Map with helpful tips on where to watch the races, and where you can and can’t cycle.

Wednesday 13 June – Friday 15 June 2012
W3 starting 16th in W4 division, racing at 2:30pm
W2 starting 16th in W3 division, racing at 4pm
W1 starting 6th in W2 division, racing at 5:30pm

Saturday 16 June 2012
W3 racing at 12:30pm
W2 racing at 2pm
W1 racing at 3:30pm

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/426253914074509/
Twitter supporters: our hashtags are #supportmecbc and #mecbcwellhard

Nines Regatta from the Cox’s seat

Georgie Field, W2 cox

Regattas are always challenging for a cox; keeping an eye on the other crew as motivation for your own rowers, making sure you get the best line whilst avoiding leaving your station and clashing blades with your opposition… however, Nines was awesome!

Marshaling was surprisingly simple, except from the insistence of marshals to make us spin on the narrowest parts of the river. The racing was well organised so there wasn’t too much hanging around and spirits were high as we sat eating haribos in between races.

W2 attacked each race with gusto (yes I just said gusto) and it paid off. Our starts were very fast meaning that we could get ahead early on and psyche out the opposition. It also meant that I could move across the river to get the best line around corners, leaving the other crew to fight through our dirty water. The crew responded well to “two seat moves” and power 10s, including some motivational calls dedicating each stroke to each member of the crew. We finished off our final against Queens with ‘hammer time’ and took tankards home for the second time in two weeks.

So proud of w2, they worked really hard and made coxing Nines really enjoyable, go and have a rest- you have deserved it, and watch out Cambridge, bumps is approaching… xx

Race video:

 round 1 – beat Christs W2
 round 2 – beat Corpus W1
 round 3 – beat Queen's W2 (2.5 lengths)
 winner of women Div B

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Champs Head 2012 W2 report

Harriet Christie, W2, seat 3

Some last minute crew changes and relatively few outings as a complete crew were not able to stop W2's determined course to victory on this beautifully sunny May morning. A nice neat row down and some promising practice starts had the crew excited and eager to prove themselves. We knew the race was short, and so we would have to give our all right from the beginning, and all nine crew members were ready to do just that.

We went off with a good fast start and attacked the race head on. Georgie guided an excellent first corner, calling names individually for that extra push to bring us around. Rounding the bend, we hit the headwind, but managed to keep our drive speed up by staying loose and relaxed through the pressure. Calls along the way kept us focused and pushing hard, and there were some excellent pickups on the Reach and a particularly good change under the railway bridge coming into the last 500 metres of the course. We were gaining fast on Girton, giving us all that extra motivation to catch them, and heard Matt, our coach, calling '5 lengths!', '3 lengths', '1 length!!' (speckled with some slightly less restrained language), until as we were just crossing the finish line we had managed to were overlapping by about half a length.

It was an excellent performance from every single crew member and the success of the day really lifted the crew and gave us some confidence in our abilities. Now we will use this lift to get us training hard for bumps, where hopefully we can continue to rule the river! Well done W2!

Results: W2 – time – 6:20.8

-1st in Mays 3rd division – CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!

-1st of college W2’s

                -beat 13 other W2’s (Downing, Newnham, Emma, Jesus, Christ’s, Queens’, Caius, Selwyn, FaT, Girton, King’s, Sidney and Hughes/Lucy)

-beat 7 W1’s (FaT, Churchill, Selwyn, Hughes/Lucy, Robinson, Wolfson and Clare Hall)

-17 of those boats are ahead of W2 in May Bumps, 6 in the 2nd division, 3 in the 1st division

                -FaT W1 is 12th on the river in May Bumps, MECBC W2 is 50th (16th in 3rd division), W2 beat a crew who is 38 places ahead of them in May Bumps

-beat 3 men’s crews

-beat last year’s W2 Champs Head time of 6:37.6

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Lent Bumps Day 4 W2

Christie Bates, WII, 6

After having been robbed the chance to catch Hughes Hall on 2 of the 3 days, WII was champing at the bit as we set out. There was a marked silence amongst the crew. Were we psyching ourselves into the game-day mentality? Were we so exhausted that conversation seemed too taxing? Did our kits reek to the point where we didn’t want to have to take in more air than necessary? Probably a mix of all three, but there was no doubt a gravity about us.

After one amazing practice start, the crew was roaring to go. As the seconds were being counted down by our illustrious leader, who may have displayed a slight difficulty with subtraction, the tension was palpable. We shot off at the sound of the canon, and after a dozen strokes, the piercing cry of the whistle could be heard. But this had happened before, and we knew not to be lulled into a false sense of security. We had been warned this would be a bitter fight to the end, and so we pushed on even harder, our legs searing with pain after several days of giving it our all. A symphony of whistles could be heard, and then, suddenly, it was done. We had reigned victorious, and the shrubbery would be ours for the taking (well, we had foliage, but if there had been shrubbery, we would have happily adorned ourselves accordingly).

All in all, it was an outstanding week. While our results display a categorical improvement, more importantly, the crew as a whole became more satisfied with our performance as the week drew to a close. WELLL HARD GIRLS!!! WII, WE DID IT!!!

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Lent Bumps Day 3 W2

Gaby Rimmer, W2, 5.

What a glorious day for W2. The sun was out and our spirits were high, everyone keen to get some bumping action after two days of tiring row overs. Chasing Clare Hall and being chased by Anglia Ruskin we set off. We pushed hard and strong and took down Clare Hall just after the motorway bridge. First bump ever and it felt good! We may have been the cause of Clare Hall's boat getting stuck in a marshy bank but nothing could bring our happiness levels down as we rowed back to the boathouse with all our greenery, singing out ABBA, Queen and S Club 7 tunes. Bring on Hughes Hall tomorrow!

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