W1 were very pleased to be the most successful Queens’ boat this campaign, going up from 11th to 9th place in Division 1.

After many hours training and being coached by the wonderful Bill, we were raring to go on Day 1 and lined up at station 11, behind arch rivals Catz. This first day evolved into an incredibly gruelling row over. Despite our determination, Catz held us at half a length the whole way and we trailed in their dirty water, never quite able to close the gap. We were as demoralised as if we had been bumped (although King’s behind us had been bumped by Ditton) and returned to the boathouse to cheer ourselves up with cake.

On the second day, things were over much quicker than expected when Catz bumped Pembroke on First Post and neither cleared the river, forcing us and LMBC behind to stop. We were given a technical rowover (although LMBC were asking for a re-row) and rowed the rest of the way home calmly to conserve our energy for the next day when we would have a shot at a bump on the rather slow Pembroke crew who were coming down.

Day 3 we were quietly confident if not a bit scared of the very angry LMBC crew behind. Sure enough, one whistle of the start was easily ours, but then for an agonising minute or 2 down the motorway reach, LMBC got a whistle on us and we had nothing more on Pembroke in front. Then we made our move, LMBC dropped away and then within a few seconds it was 2 whistles, 3 whistles and Anisha shouting ‘2 feet!’ down the cox box and it was all over. We rowed home adorned in foliage; for some it was their first bump in Lents and it was Claire’s first since 2009!

On the final day of Lents, we had Newnham in front who had been bumped twice and rowed over once. We had hopes of catching them but knew it would take longer and we wouldn’t have any threat behind us pushing us on. Again, we had a whistle off the start and then until grassy we held them more or less on station as they got 2 whistles on Catz who had bumped them the day before. Coming out of grassy, Catz made a move to get away, Newnham died as they had given everything already and Anisha’s line easily gave us a length in a few strokes. We bumped them outside The Plough (clearly just waiting until we had the largest audience!), which importantly was quicker than Catz had bumped them the day before.

We finished the week pleased with the result and had a great Bumps dinner to celebrate. A huge thanks you to Paul, Dr Walker and friends who came to bank party and support us each day and Bill who has coached us with great dedication all term. We now look to Wehorr on the Thames with great excitement! Crew:

Cox: Anisha Mistry

Str: Jemima Graham (Captain)

7 Elaina Davis

6 Helena Wickham

5 Anna te Water Naudé

4 Sammy Wallace

3 Rachel Salter

2 Laura Dearman

B: Claire Armstrong Jemima Graham, Captain W1