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

May Bumps 2014 Day 1: W3

Gauging from the great results in Lent, W3 pushed off knowing that bumping a second boat is a very achievable target. The row up in the sun was quite calm and in controlled; once we had pulled in at station 11, our coach Robert joined us and gave the final motivational speech. We tried to keep calm and focused but one could feel the tension in the silence that preceded the countdown.

The start run smoothly, the boat was well sat and we had good cover since the very first few strokes. As we passed under the bridge, there were some minor issues in the “bucket” and this gave Clare III the opportunity to get as close as a length away from us. However, we recovered very promptly and we started gaining on our boathouse buddies Peterhouse II, giving coach Robert the opportunity to use his brand new whistle. When we reached the first corner, everything became quite confusing as we could hear many whistles and bankparties yelling at their boats. However, our cox Katie did not lose focus and asked for more power. The crew was very responsive to the calls, and after a chase that lasted two minutes, we bumped Peterhouse II!!!

Covered in greenery, we headed back to the boathouse to return Owen and wish good luck to our W2. Tomorrow we will be chasing after Sidney Sussex II who was bumped today by Homerton II. Hence, we have a solid opportunity to bump again!

Stay tuned!

Olimpia Onelli

Lent Bumps 2014 Day 5: W3

On Saturday, W3 met at the boathouse one last time to show that the only 3rd womens’ crew entered in the Lent Bumps 2014 was a force to be reckoned with. A brilliant blue sky only increased our excitement and confidence as we got Greta out, kindly lent by Peterhouse Boat Club. We had a calm row-up, and two strong practice starts. The final scene was set.

Our bank party–coach Thea, Reana and Ying– helped to diffuse last-minute nerves, administering Haribo where necessary. Senior Treasurer of MECBC Dr. Owen Saxton came to wish us luck as we marshalled, and promised to watch the race from just behind the Motorway Bridge. That, as it turned out, was not where events would unfold however.

And then we set off. Very shortly after the start sequence, we heard Thea shout ” TWO WHISTLES!!”, and just as quickly, we had bumped Clare Hall W1–a good distance BEFORE the Motorway Bridge in fact.

Covered in greenery, we enjoyed the last row home, with cox Laura providing hilarious in-boat entertainment, and our own W2 (they, too, boasting bits of vegetation) just behind. Bringing back news of two bumps to the boat house at once is probably my best memory of this day–let’s remember how good it felt as we prepare for Mays!

Henny Schulte to Buehne

Lent Bumps Day 1: W3

It was the first day of the first Bumps of my life. The only 3rd boat in the division, having beaten several 2nd boats, we felt pretty awesome. With nothing behind us to be bumped by and the bright sunshine in our eyes during the row-up, it seemed that nothing could stop us from bumping.

The four minutes, then one minute cannons went off; the butterflies in our stomachs were released. Sitting at bow, I felt the additional anxiety of what would happen if I missed an order and crashed our boat. The start: Our slightly make-shift crew set out beautifully, we closed in ‘half a length on Darwin W2’ that was in front of us. The wind pushing against us, our legs and wills were pushing harder, much harder.

What seemed like just a couple seconds into the race, though, some carnage seemed to be occurring in stern pair. Why aren’t the ores moving? Two crabs and a seat that came off. But we got it back together, powered on – and then held up. Darwin W2 stopped in the middle of the river – but then they started to move up again. Our second start and power ten was, however, definitively quashed by a signal from the umpire. We were awarded a technical row-over.

One of the shortest races, although the first day of Lent Bumps did not exactly hold up to W3’s hopes, it was a great preparation for what’s to come – the next three days of Bumps.

Simona Sulikova, Bow

Support MECBC in Lent Bumps 2014

Map with helpful tips on where to watch the races, and where you can and can’t cycle.

MECBC have three boats on for Lent Bumps this year. W1 is a mix of familiar and fresh faces, who made a strong showing at Newnham Short Course placing 4th of all womens’ crews in very windy conditions. Let’s see how much they have come on since then! W2 and W3 has had a very interrupted term, full of flags, flooding, wind and subbing… but all the erging has paid off in the getting on race, with both securing a spot in Bumps. In the week ahead they will show that they are faster, stronger and tidier than the other crews around them. For many this will be their first set of Bumps and they are SO excited!

As per usual not all crews will race every day from Tuesday to Friday. See schedule below for details. Aim to arrive before the start of the race as some races can be very short (several minutes!)

Tuesday 25 February
W2 and W3 racing in women’s third division at 1440

Wednesday 26 February
W2 and W3 racing in women’s third division at 1440
W1 racing in women’s first division at 1600

Thursday 27 February
W1 racing in women’s first division at 1600

Friday 28 February
W2 and W3 racing in women’s third division at 1320
W1 racing in women’s first division at 1600

Saturday 1 March
W2 and W3 racing in women’s third division at 1320
W1 racing in women’s first division at 1600

Facebook event:
Twitter supporters: our hashtags are #supportmecbc and #mecbcwellhard

Lent Bumps Getting on Race: W3 Race Report

After a confusing row up involving marshalling in the wrong place, swapping boats with W2 and having to jog past all the mens’ boats, W3 finally arrived at the lock ready to push ourselves as hard as we could in our first race of term and use the techniques learnt in the weeks of erging when the river was red- or yellow-flagged.

With Coach Thea’s 5 important rules for the race firmly in our minds, we spun and prepared to pick up the pace over a few strokes and start racing. The wind had picked up over the course of the day and, after a strong start, the wind hit us at the top of the reach and it felt like we were rowing into a brick wall. We weren’t going to let that stop us though! Cox Laura called for a “push for ten” to get us moving again, which helped us power through the wind and find a sustainable rate, allowing us to concentrate on looking up and driving through the legs.

I think all our outings, during which we practised being intimidating, keeping in time and focusing on improving technique, paid off as the race felt like it went well. It wasn’t until later in the evening that we realised quite how well it had gone though, we had qualified for Lent Bumps! As the only W3 in the university to do so we are excited for this opportunity and keen to keep up the intimidation/timing/technique focus and chase down the crews in front of us.

Let’s get bumping!

Laura King (W3)

May Bumps Day 4 – W3

The tension was high as the sun rose on the final day of bumps, as we found ourselves chasing our boathousemates – Peterhouse W2. The row-up was strong and resolute, fuelled by our epic chase and bump of Queens’ W3 the day before. Nerves were high; though soothed during marshalling by attempts to finish off all the Haribo we had accumulated over the week, they were refounded as we pulled in at our starting station.
In due course though, the cannon had sounded and we were racing off the start with grim determination. This transferred into a powerful start, and we quickly gained a whistle on Peterhouse. We continued to gain on them, and a good line by our cox Christina around First Post Corner led to a second whistle as we entered the gut – we were half a boat length away and still gaining!
Alas, it was not to be. We continued to gain as we raced up to Grassy Corner, but as we came round I saw the panicked look on Christina’s face – Peterhouse were significantly gaining on St Ed’s W1. A burst of energy pushed us on as we came onto Plough Reach, triggered by our coaches’ screams of “Now or never, girls!” but it was not enough, and Peterhouse bumped St Ed’s just after the Plough.
Despite the disappointment, we held our heads high and rowed the rest of the course with similar drive. The row home was similarly determined though slightly more relaxed as we fulfilled our namesake of the banterous boat with a cheerful rendition of the Lion King soundtrack. Congrats to Peterhouse, and perhaps we will find ourselves with a rematch next Mays!
Katie, Stroke, W3

May Bumps Day 3 – W3

With less of a gale to contend with W3 could feel confident that we had one less opponent to fight against on Day 3 of bumps. Starting from right underneath the bridge there was no chance of missing the canon when off it a few metres away after a few seconds warning to ‘defend your ears’! After the initial shock of the huge canon blast we got underway to catch Queen’s who had narrowly evaded us on Day 1 having bumped Lucy Cavendish. It seemed to take a long time to gain on Queen’s after Day 2’s record-time bump of Lucy Cavendish but W3 relentlessly kept at the task gaining one whistle on them and then finishing off the bump as Queen’s rounded Ditton Corner, saving Peterhouse who were within a quarter of a canvas of them. Another day another bump for W3!

Siena, 7, W3

May Bumps Day 2 – W3

The banter boat of MECBC took to the river once again, the pain of the gruelling row over of the previous day still fresh in their minds. Queen’s III had got lucky and bumped out quickly by crashing into a spoon barge on the previous day – and we were now chasing said spoon barge. A bump was on the horizon – we could feel it; taste it.

The banter boat lived up to their reputation with a pep talk from coach Pete, who had finished his exams that day, that consisted of, “Row vigorously but delicately…. I’m really really drunk”. Pete then assured me that I could “Cox that Christina… You cox that! Yeah!” With a strong row up and more banter over marshalling – including more words of wisdom from Pete (“Nail time, girls”) the start was upon us. Tension in the air, poised and ready the third boat of MECBC started on the gun with a distinct lack of banter, which was replaced tenacity. However; the tenacity was unnecessary as the spoon barge that was Hughes/Lucy Cavendish preceded their reputation by having an unexpected meeting with the bank alongside and untimely crab. The rest needs no description – a quick few easy strokes allowed for a bump by overtaking.

Pete assured us the next day that he could remember “absolutely nothing” about the bump.

Christina Larkin, cox, W3