We where starting to think that we were punching above our weight. We were a 3rd boat in the midst of a 2nd boat game. We’d played our cards. We’d lost twice. First fair and square – King II were fast; second by a mere technicality, Queens II had got the luck of the draw. The grit, the goal, the determination of the galactic unit that once was Murray Edwards III, was it to waver once more? We stood together in the boathouse, revenge in our eyes. No. Not this day, we said. This day Darwin II cannot snatch the elusive victory from us.
With the canons absent, it was a scramble at the start. Time had to be collected; stopwatches synchronized. The start was shouted from the core of the coaches and marshals; no gun was to fire today. And so Murray Edwards III was not to be shot down.
We were off the start fast, pushing, pulling, driving away from Darwin; the fire within raging. Carnage was to ensue before us; Queens II caught Catz, like a lion upon a mouse. Kings II seized Churchill II. After weaving and meandering across the river we bid farewell to the elusive bump, all that was left was the abyss until the end caught our fall.
Or so we thought.
We were complacent, sloppy, we had already unleashed the tiger within and it had drifted off behind us. The survival of the fittest had come to take us down; Darwin II had appeared like the grim reaper tapping our collective shoulder. A whistle shrill, cold as as our imminent demise pierced the air. They crept up on us; two whistles arose from the bank – canvas. We where thrashing, panicky; the end was nigh and yet so distant. We drove through, pulled away a morsel of water between us – but was it too late?
Ditton came to save us, as angelic as a corner can be. We had the faster line; Darwin was as wide as a hippopotamus’s bottom. We crossed the finish line with full speed, and full power, in galactic warp drive once again. The risk of spoons had finally been obliterated.
Tomorrow, with the prospect of a forthcoming “spoon-barge”, the taste of success clings to the air. But we cannot be complacent; we must row hard and we must fight well.
One must learn how to lose before one can triumph. Tomorrow; we bump.
Christina Larkin, cox, W3