Category Archives: W3

Notices for the 3rd boat/squad of each term

LENT BUMPS 2017: DAY 4 W3 RACE REPORT

It was the last day of Bumps and, actually, the first time during the campaign we rowed as a complete crew. The race results table showed our record as a straight line which meant that we were not bumped but also that we did not bump either. This time we definitely wanted to catch the boat in front of us and all the augurs were in our favour.

Rowing to the starting point, the boat was sat and moved so smoothly that we were all much encouraged. I thought that being with the crew with which you spent so many hours on the river and off it really makes a difference. While waiting for the starting canon, we went out of the boat, ate lots of sweets, made photos…and felt a bit nervous when the shots rung out marking the start of the men’s crews race.

Our starting sequence was effective and very soon our cox, “the queen of the corners”, begun to tell us that we are very close to our rivals. The only thought I had was “How close is this very close?”. Before the start we decided that our coach, Paivi, will shout “Tequilla” to call upon all our power to push the boat harder and bump. Even if I did not hear this call, I pushed with all my might, hearing the whistles, people shouting from the bank, but I did not understand what was happening and where we were, I was just pushing hard. Everything happened very quickly and we bumped Lucy Cavendish/Hugh Hall W3 just after the Newnham bridge. “That is it?” was my first thought after Paivi called us to hold it up. After some minutes of confusion, we moored to the bank, made photos and felt very happy and proud.

Lisa Al-Faradzh, 5

LENT BUMPS 2017: DAY 3 W3 RACE REPORT

It is the third consecutive day that we row over. Some of us were somewhat tired after rowing 2K at a rate of about 35 on two consecutive days. However, we kept encouraging one another and kept the morale high.

The short delay before the start of the race added to the suspense of the wait. After having only nearly missed the chance to bump Maggie yesterday, we were determined to bump them today. Initially we did gain on them by about a quarter length but they kept the distance constant. Some of us started panicking when Queen’s started gaining on us but we got it back together soon afterwards. It was quite nerve-racking when we heard the sound of whistle which we were not sure was for Jesus gaining on Queen’s or for Queen’s gaining on us. It was not before long when Jesus bumped Queen’s and Maggie bumped Lucy Cav/Hughes, leaving only us and Clare which was three boats ahead of us. We didn’t stop putting pressures down our legs in case Clare accidentally crashed. Unfortunately, we had no luck of bumping Clare although we caught up with them slightly.

We are resolved to bump Lucy Cav/Hughes on Saturday with a full crew!

Katherine Wong, 6

LENT BUMPS 2017: DAY 2 W3 RACE REPORT

After a thorough warmup that had W3 feeling limber and ready to fight for our place in the bumps, we were making our final preparations when we saw that we were lucky enough to have the college president, our very own Dame Barbara Stocking, as our cheerleader! With this encouragement we felt sure that we would bump, and were as prepared as we had ever been. As we sat there on the bank, the distant thump of the cannon marking each passing minute matching the thumping of our hearts, feeling a cocktail of anticipation and adrenaline running through our veins, we thought back to all the hours of preparation that had built up to this moment; the brutally early starts, the back-breaking work and the nail-bitingly close qualifier.

W3 entered the race with high hopes – having witnessed Lady Margaret III have a spectacular altercation with a tree the day before, and now being behind them, we could not help but wish for a repeat spectacle. Sadly, this was not to be, as throughout the race they remained tantalisingly, frustratingly close to us, by the end less than a foot away. Though we pumped at our oars with the power and regularity of machine pistons, rapidly outpacing Queens’ III and leaving them in our wake, ignoring the pain in our screaming muscles and the pent-up fatigue threatening to overwhelm us, try as we might we simply could not close the gap.

Then, almost as soon as it had started, the race was over. Another hundred metres and we would have bumped, I later learned from my coach. As we rested, shivering in the February wind, allowing our bodies to at last acknowledge the aches that come from such exertion, we were not swayed. Perhaps we did not make this bump, but I believe that victory awaits us on Thursday! To quote Dame Stocking, as she had been yelling at us throughout the race:

“COME ON MURRAY EDWARDS!”

Zoe Ye, bow

LENT BUMPS 2017: DAY 1 W3 RACE REPORT

I think it’s safe to say W3 felt surprised and scared to have made it onto Bumps – a new experience for us all!

After the success of our races this term in the Newnham Short Course and naturally the Getting On Race there was a certain expectation amongst us for our first ever Bumps.

We were racing in fourth place in our division: Lucy/Hughes, Maggie and Clare in front, Jesus and Queens behind. As we were lining up the tension was rising; we had only practised Bumps starts that morning and the weather seemed to be (quite literally) turning against us, as the wind became fiercer.

We heard the cannons sound and suddenly it was the final countdown and then we were off! Jesus seemed to be gaining on us at first, but caught a crab and the rest of the way were fending off Queens for as long as possible before they were inevitably bumped. So the pressure was off in that respect…. However with continuing calls from Emily and Païvi that we were approaching Clare quite quickly we put everything we had into our strokes. Unfortunately Maggie had crashed into a tree allowing for Clare to bump them too, leaving only us in the race to row over.

It was an exciting but terrifying first experience of Bumps. Hopefully we’ll catch up to Maggie tomorrow.

Clara Percival, stroke

GETTING ON RACE: W3 RACE REPORT

The anxiety and excitement surrounding the getting-on race had been building ever since we had achieved a good time in the Newnham Short Course race – we had even surprised ourselves. This time, we couldn’t see a term’s worth of intense training go to waste. We had something to prove – W3 are a serious and competitive crew. We were coming back with a vengeance.

We have never raced in bad weather before and the sun certainly didn’t disappoint. However, the closure of the river the previous day due to storm Doris had left its mark in high winds for our race. Nerves were building.

In our paddle up to marshalling we were rowing reasonably well. An encounter with a rather narky bank party put a few of us off before the big moment but this only added to our determination; we wouldn’t let that crew catch us in the race.

We were really together in our standing start but the high wind and pressure gave us a few tricky patches. We stooped down to a rate 27 but we had been working on bringing this down for weeks. In every single stroke we all gave it our all and finished off with 2 power tens that brought us speeding through the finish line.

We were exhilarated to have finished but for some reason this race had seemed so much harder than the others – we were all in pain for the final few strokes. We had no idea how well we had done, other than that we had done our best and were proud of each other.
The wait for the result was worse than exam results, but now we’ve got on, the River Cam better watch out for our W3 – we’re getting stronger every day.

Bethany Cross, 4

NEWNHAM SHORT COURSE: W3 RACE REPORT

The Newnham short course was the first race for some of us in a senior crew in W3. We were all very excited to see how much we have improved since novice term. Although one of our crew members injured her back earlier in the week, we managed to find a sub in order to race.

The weather was sunny and warm for February- a perfect day for rowing. We were off to a strong start once the race began, with a great start sequence we had tried to perfect many times during training sessions. We maintained race pace at rate 31 spm throughout the first part of the race. Halfway through the race, some of us were starting to get tired, but with persistence and continued encouragement from our cox and coach on the bank, we maintained the pace and finished strongly with a power ten. This was certainly the best 2km we as a crew have ever done, and even managed to beat a few W2 and one W1 crew in total racing time!
We were all cheering and smiling happily rowing back to the boat house, knowing all the training and fitness sessions have paid off. Special thanks to Päivi for coaching us this term and giving us so much invaluable advice and tips. We are now looking forward to other races happening this term, having the confidence that we can do well.

Vanessa Cheung, 2

NEWNHAM SHORT COURSE: W3 RACE REPORT

Now we were officially in a senior crew, there was a lot of pressure to do well in this race and as we got the boat ready there were nerves tingling everywhere. Having practiced those 2k sprints and pieces, we were determined to give it our best and make the rest of MECBC proud.

As we headed up the river, we were a bit shaky and our strokes weren’t quite in time, however we put our best smiles on and focused on our target: “Come on guys, we can’t come last”. As we nibbled on our Haribo, (we got an extra packet because they forgot to print out our number) with the determination of coming at least second to last, we watched all the boats ahead of us start their race with anticipation.

We started with a steady rolling start and increased speed once we were past Newnham bridge. Our initial aim was to row at a steady rate 27 to avoid getting too out of time, however with effective calls, adrenaline, skill developed after all that training, and maybe a bit of a sugar rush from that extra packet of Haribo we rowed in time at rate 32 most of the way. Exhilarating! Päivi cheered us on as we powered along and we ended the race on a high.

We found out later in the day that we had come second place and were beaten by just a second, ONE second!!! We were all over the moon considering our initial target. Päivi has been a great coach and we have all improved significantly with her coaching. W1 and W2, watch out!

Emily Larcombe, cox

May Bumps 2016: Day 4 W3 Race Report

As it was the final day of bumps, W3 were in high and hopeful spirits on the row down. Throughout the week, our row downs had been solid and improving with each day; Saturday was no exception. The weather was slightly cooler than it had been for the past week which bode well for the anticipated conclusion of a row-over. Everyone was still relieved, however, that Lulu’s warning of thunder and lightning wasn’t realised.

Race time! Having moved one place further away from being right next to the cannon, we were fully prepared for the bang and as a result we executed one of our best starts yet. We knew our only chance of a bump would be to try and catch King’s W2 before they caught Fitz W2. Unfortunately, despite a terrific start and settling into a strong rhythm, King’s caught Fitz very quickly, causing us to take a wide line around grassy corner. At this point, we knew we were in it for the long run but got much satisfaction from pulling further and further away from Christ’s W3 with each stroke. It was an exhausting row but one to be proud of.

Upon finishing the row over, it is safe to say that the whole of W3 were extremely proud of themselves and the crew, despite not managing to bump King’s. It was the furthest we had ever rowed at race pace (which we kept up with ferocity and pride even as, behind us, Christ’s were eventually bumped). It was a fantastic and satisfying conclusion to the end of an immensely fun and rewarding bumps campaign. Our wonderful coach topped off the afternoon by whipping out the prosecco that we all enjoyed back at the boathouse.

Here’s to next year’s bumps! WELL HARD

Hope Mason, 7

May Bumps 2016: Day 3 W3 Race Report

From the start we had been warned that we should expect a longer race than the last couple of days and, feeling confident from yesterday’s bump, we focused on facing up against Christ’s.

We began with our usual warm up and sank into a rhythm during the row up. Just before the practice start we managed to keep tapped up with a sat boat and were pleased with our perfectly lifted blades on the ‘easy there’. Most importantly, we landed a resounding SMACK on the water as the drop was called, hailed with a cheer from Reana and with all nine of us grinning in the boat. Best drop yet.

The practice start was promising and we were encouraged to keep pushed away from Christ’s who were just behind us. We were excited to finally not have to start underneath the bridge to be deafened by the cannons, and instead were washed up near the outflow which threatened to throw off our starting position. Luckily, Mark was ready to engineer a way to get us straightened out, which involved Ying leaning precariously over the edge of the bank and holding onto bow’s blade until just before the 10 second countdown. We decided we didn’t really like this new position after all and would really prefer to swap with Christ’s.

On the plus side, we christened Bill the dragonfly who must have been a good omen because after our start we steadily gained on Christ’s with every stroke. A flurry of whistles came from the bank a little later, and after yesterday’s confusion with the calls we heard an assuring “these are yours, girls!”

That was when we pressed hard with our power fives and panic began to rise within the boat as the calls and whistles seemed to get louder. With Emily our cox almost inaudible now we got messy near the end and caught a couple of last minute crabs. These made no difference though, as just then we were told to hold it and quickly clear the way. Confused, we desperately asked what had happened as there was a chaotic pile up of boats on the river. Fortunately, we had managed to bump Christ’s and not be affected by the re-row- and so we finished our day by proudly rowing home with tree branches stuffed in our hair.

Anthea Chui, 2

May Bumps 2016: Day 2 W3 Race Report

Yesterday’s result was slightly anti-climactic, especially for the rowers of W3 who had never rowed in Bumps before. But, since the race was very short, everyone was fresh for a new start today.

Since King’s had caught Sidney in such a short space of time, and we held station with King’s for the few strokes we managed to row, we were fairly confident that we could catch Sidney fairly soon as well. However, Reana, our coach, was very clear that we still had to actually race, and to not get complacent and over-confident. Churchill behind us were strong competition, and they were definitely out for blood.

Like yesterday, the row down was strong and confident, with everyone making an effort to show off their best rowing as we came past the previous men’s division on the Reach. In front of the Plough, we had a very quick countdown (an angry umpire yesterday ensured that we would NEVER take a whole 15 seconds to count down again…), and the start, while slightly rough around the edges, got the boat moving, and once we hit our rhythm, we hit a solid race pace.

Once we had spun at our station, under the bridge, we were told that, because the boats further down the river hadn’t been able to hear the cannon yesterday, that they would be using stronger gunpowder. Unsurprisingly, we were less enthusiastic about the idea, which made the idea of bumping even more appealing!

The actual start: the cannon was very loud, but we did not let it phase us. Since Mark had pushed us out earlier and straighter than yesterday, I didn’t have to use as much rudder, and so the start was much cleaner and more sat up. We got the boat moving and were quickly moving up on Sidney, and once we had whistles on them, I called for power strokes on the legs. Despite the excitement of potentially bumping, the girls never shortened up or started rushing, but instead kept their strokes long and confident, and we hit Sidney in style.

We also demonstrated that we are better at clearing the river than King’s were yesterday, and wrapped up the day with collecting greenery and rowing home to the tune of applause and lots of cheers from the bank.

Emily Busvine, cox