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

May Bumps 2015: Day 1 W3 Race Report

The first day of bumps. Even the first time for some of us to ever race in bumps. The atmosphere was tense. But the sunny weather and the encouragement of our cox Emily helped to make it bearable. We rowed proud, better balanced than in most outings towards the starting point. We rowed as a team; full of hope and excitement. Clare Hall in front of us and Hughes Hall/Lucy Cavendish chasing us. When the canon went off we managed to stay focused. No one panicked, everyone put in their best. We settled into our rhythm and were ready to take on Clare Hall, but before we knew Hughes Hall/Lucy Cavendish were already dangerously close. We tried really hard, but they gave us no space. They bumped us this time, but we refuse to be defeated. This was our first day of bumps. There are three more days to come, where we will put in our everything and make all the hard work pay off!

Marie-Elena, stroke

LENT BUMPS 2015: DAY 3 W3 RACE REPORT

After yesterday’s miserable downpour, it was nice to have the sun shining on us as we rowed away from the boathouse. We had two good practice starts and a solid row down the river. As we waited for our 4 minute canon and passed around sweets, there was a positive atmosphere among the crew. We felt ready to revenge-bump St. Catz.

At the canon, we had a strong start and immediately gained on St. Catz. The rhythm of the boat felt good and we soon heard one whistle, and then two, as we moved closer. Unfortunately, a slick Darwin crew were gaining on us. We rowed a hard power 10 in a sandwich between Darwin and St. Catz but sadly Darwin caught us before we could reel in St. Catz, just as we passed under the motorway bridge.

Despite being bumped, we were proud of our ‘honourable row’ and our attitudes remain positive for tomorrow. With our full crew, we look forward to an awesome day to finish our Lent Bumps campaign.

 

Chloe Legard, 4

LENT BUMPS 2015: DAY 1 W3 RACE REPORT

It was the sunniest day of term, the clouds were but harmless wads of cotton in the sky, the wind had receded. The tension was in the air. With W3 in Bumps as one of only two women’s third boats to get on, and most of the girls never having raced Bumps before, we were anxious to get out and prove that we were worth our place in this campaign, that we were WELL HARD.

The row down was calm, but tense. A slight incident – a stray dog swimming joyfully in the river, pausing our boat – broke some of the nerves and eased us in for the actual race. First boat to station, we had the opportunity to observe our competition from an elevated (superior, *cough cough*) position. Haribos were passed around, last pieces of advice given out.

Gun. 9 minutes until W3 goes off.

Gun. 1 minute until we go off. The new Doctor Reana Maier pushed us out, we gripped onto our blades in wait of the final shot. This is it. We started off hard and gained half a length on St Cat’s W2 within seconds of the start, but then had to push hard to keep at it. Suddenly, two whistles. Then three, then four, and “Concede!” followed so fast we barely had time to realise what had happened. W3 bumped! It had been a great start to the Lent’s campaign. May the rest be just as good.

 

Simona Sulikova, 7

GETTING ON RACE LENT 2015: W3 RACE REPORT

W3 got up bright and early for one last outing before the Getting On Race. Starts had been practiced, candid motivational speeches made. As the only W3 to get on the year before, we had a reputation to keep up. The afternoon consisted of a pleasant row to the start, rather enjoyable for a February day. At the start, we got off at a steady rate, and kept it there for the whole time, grinding on the boat in front of us with every stroke. What the cox called for, we pushed for. For those two kilometres, there was just one crew, one boat, perfectly synchronised and focused. We finished the course before we thought we would have, and rowed back to the boathouse with a strong sense of reward; even if we did not get on, this was an amazing race. Then, later in the evening, came the wonderful news: W3 got on!

Simona Sulikova, 7

May Bumps 2014 Day 4: W3

When W3 gathered at the boat house for the final day of May Bumps, we did it in the spirit of finally catching and bumping Homerton II, who had just escaped in an exhausting and exciting race on day 3. With the weather being much cooler than the days before, our spirits were high – we wanted to give our best and enjoy this last day as a crew.
Our row up to marshal was calm and controlled; we moved as a crew and had a good practice start in front of the Plough.

Marshalling at station 4 was almost getting a routine now for us, and our lovely bank party including Dame Barbara, our College President, joined us for our last race as a crew – we were eager enough to leave this station behind and move up one place!

Knowing that we had to bump fast on Homerton II, as they were chasing a spooning Clare Hall, we gave everything we had from the start. We pushed stronger and moved our hands quicker than ever and soon gained a whistle on Homerton. However, they had an easy catch with Clare Hall and bumped on them before we could seriously close the gap. Once more, we tried for the overbump – this time on Sidney Sussex II: we sat up tall, moved together, pushed even harder and did not give up chasing them over the whole course. With the cheers of spectators on the banks and waiting crews, we rowed over for the 3rd time.

Although not exactly the outcome that we had hoped for, we knew that we couldn’t have done more and overall we had a very successful racing week of which we can be proud. See you in next year’s bumps!

Manuela Gross

May Bumps 2014 Day 2: W3

Having had a taste of bumps success on Day 1, W3 were feeling eager to get on the water for Thursday of Mays 2014. Having bumped Peterhouse II, we were pitched against Sidney Sussex II for Day 2. We had a strong row up to marshall, with a promising practice start on the Plough Reach. We arrived at our station early, and tried to relax with Dr. Saxton and our bank party pre-race.

The four minute men’s cannon sounded, and we prepared for battle. Gates were tightened, footplates were tightened, abs were tightened. Shoulders were relaxed and deep breaths were taken. We were ready.

We had a solid start, and were moving together as a crew. However, so were Sidney, and by First Post Corner it became evident that if we were to bump, it would have to be an over-bump on Jesus III, currently head of our division. Spurred on by this challenge and the fearsome motivation of W3 cox Katie Prescott, we dug as deep as we could, ignoring the sweltering heat. Despite a good line round Grassy Corner, we didn’t manage to gain significantly on Jesus, and reached the finish line exhausted but not having conceded distance to the Queen’s boat behind us.

Rowing over was not what we had planned, but as a crew it felt positive to know that we had given the race our all and that come Friday, we had another chance to prove ourselves.

Olwen Wilson