This was the beginning of the end for some of the members of our crew, with two of them graduating after this bumps campaign – we all wanted to do them proud. A good practice start in front of the plough helped ease some of the nerves in the crew as we made our way to station seventeen, but the wait at Baitsbite lock allowed them to creep back in. The four minute cannon fires in the distance, a lot quieter than the roar of the cannon that was heard in Lents from closer to the motorway bridge. We hurry back into the boat and try and calm ourselves. Suddenly the countdown hits 30 seconds remaining and Mark starts to push us out, then bang and we’re off. The start was fast, faster than usual. We settled to rate 38 but it all felt frantic – we can do better than this!
After what seemed like an age we were pulled up on the bank – we had been bumped by an extremely strong Jesus II. This was the first time many of the crew had ever been bumped so it struck a particularly hard blow.
We all felt like we had let ourselves and the crew down, the start we did being nowhere near our best, but with the worst case scenario out of the way, we would enter the next days of bumps better prepared for the stress and the toil that would be awaiting us.
Tomorrow would have to be better. Tomorrow will be better.
Emilie Cousin, 4
Day 2 brought with it hotter weather and a more determined feeling to W2. The row up started solid and we returned to our starting place all ready to finally make up the last foot on Trinity Hall. The last few minutes were tense, with the sun beating down and Robert giving us some last encouraging advice.
The canon went off! As an eight, we surged forward through our start sequence, much more together then the first day. Before we knew it, we had one whistle and Joaquina, our cox, called for another power ten. Within another 30 seconds we had the second whistle and the third came soon after. The whole crew, encouraged by our swift catch up, pulled harder and just as we reached the first corner, the continuous whistle came and finally the complete overlap. It was spectacular as we pulled into the side cheering and overwhelmed. We had bumped Trinity Hall 2 in less than 3 minutes! All of the first days pain was worth it and now that we have experienced success, we are all ready for tomorrow and another bump!
Nadia Blackshaw, 3
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!