Selwyn were clearly not happy with the previous days result and so came off the start extremely fast, pulling away from Robinson behind and moving in on us. FaT ahead were clearly faster than us and quickly moved away. Selwyn moved in to around half a length through the gut but we didn’t let them an inch closer. Out of grassy we started to move away and Selwyn lost heart, eventually being bumped by Robinson coming out of Ditton. After that we rowed over with both crews either side of us having bumped out.
W2 were ready and raring to go on day 2 of Bumps. Showing off our skilled paused rowing to intimidate new sandwich boat Maggie W2 on the row up, our heads were focused on our task to improve on yesterday’s row over. Our practice starts were calmer and we controlled the rating better, so we felt confident as we pulled in at our station.
As the cannon fired our focus shone through with an improved start and more cohesion in the crew. We quickly settled into a strong powerful rhythm but were surprised that we could not hear any whistles! It turned out that Downing W2 ahead of us had gunned it off the start and ended up re-bumping Corpus W1 on First Post Corner.
However we didn’t let that dishearten us and we continued in our solid rhythm, settling around rate 34, all the way to the finish. Maggie W2 never posed any threat to us and we crossed the finish line at least 6 lengths ahead of them. Corpus W1, we have you in our sights!
Bumped by St Catherine’s W4
W4 were pretty nervous but hyped! Trinity Hall bumped us pretty comfortably yesterday and Catz were very fast so we knew it would be a tough one!
Our paddle up was some of the best rowing we have ever done. Our practice starts were strong so we were excited and ready for the race ahead.
We had a great start flying to our first whistle within seconds! Sadly we were quickly caught up by Catz, who caught up just before the motorway bridge.
We had a great row back and can’t wait to do it all again tomorrow – with no threat from behind we hope to steadily push onto the crews ahead.
Race 1 – Rowed Over
After a tough day yesterday, QM2 was ready to do it all again. This time being chased by Maggie M3, we were all a bit concerned after watching them very quickly catch Catz yesterday. However we’d built a bit of confidence after day 1, and our row up was improved.
Into strong winds we decided to fit clams, and off the start we hit rate 42. Quickly we settled into a rhythm, but Maggie closed and closed fast. Around First Post Corner, they were within a length and closing. A disastrous line around Grassy (with blades inches from clipping the outside bank) allowed them within a third, and at this point something clicked. Our pre-planned walk away call came out of the bag, and boy did we walk away.
By the time we reached Ditton, we were back on station, and as we came onto the Reach we were all very happy that we’d fitted the clams! We opened up more and more space, until eventually Maggie were overbumped by Emma, about three and a half lengths off our stern. We took it down to 28, then 24, then 20, and crossed the line comfortably – celebrating as though we’d just bumped!
Race 2 – Rowed Over
Unfortunately Clare had failed to catch Darwin yesterday, meaning we were chasing the same crew, and so we knew the job at hand was a very tough one. We decided to race to First Post, and take stock there.
A very strong start meant that we stayed on station in the early phases of the race, and indeed the first minute or so felt fresh and strong.
However the fatigue of three row overs started to set in, and we dropped back. Around First Post we were still in contact, and so kept going. However by the time we were around Grassy we’d dropped back significantly, and decided to wind down and paddle home at rate 18 – for row over number 12 in a row.
Bumped by Churchill M2
A faulty coxbox (bad workers blame their tools, we know) and a shaky start gave Churchill an early whistle. Despite having entirely failed to park on the first day, to the point where they simply decided not to and sat on the wrong side while the W3 division took place, it turns out that Churchill M2 have some legs on ’em, and despite our gaining a whistle on Trinity Hall M2 in front of us (rather depressingly for most of us our first whistle in bumps), a minor crab and general sloppiness in the face of an advancing foe led to a fairly conclusive bump.
A strong start allowed us to hold our own against a rapid Magdalene M2 in front, but they quickly bumped off, leaving the river in front clear as we all settled in for a full bumps course. To our rear, Fitz M2 threatened to make gains but we stayed calm, and they were soon bumped off by Churchill M2, leaving only Jesus M3 to attempt an overbump. In a feat of hubris, we briefly went down to rate 28 to conserve energy, but as Jesus veered into sight around the corner we decided that may not be the best approach, and carried on to a successful row over.
Bumped Fitzwilliam W2 then Rowed Over
We started out with a strong start, immediately gaining on Fitz. We kept powering through, and bumped Fitz just after grassy after an impressive corner from Kristina closing the gap between us, with Lucy Cav still quite a way behind us.
We were now head of the division and so the sandwich boat, so we had to row back to race in the next division. Already tired from our previous race, we had a slow start, with Homerton II pushing ahead off the start. Only a minute into the race, we had to hold it up due to a collision further down the river and then restart from the railway bridge.
After a better start, we were at one point two whistles away from Homerton after a crab, but they pulled away and although we put up a good fight, we ended with a rowover.
Excited by this terms prospect of more than 2 days of bumps, W1 had a strong paddle up to station 15, executing a rapid practice start at the Plough to rapturous cheers from onlookers. With Pembroke in front and Jesus W2 posing little threat from behind, we were looking to secure a solid bump on day one.
At the cannon we flew off at rate 45, striding out to 40 before the motorway bridge and eventually settling at a solid 36. As predicted, we moved away from Jesus and onto Pembroke, pushing to almost a length away around First Post – however, Pembroke smelt blood with Fitzwilliam ahead and gradually pushed onto them, pulling away from us. The inevitable bumping of Jesus 2 also removed any pressure from behind, and we struggled to match Pembroke’s gains ahead. By the time we hit the Long Reach we were some distance away from our targets, who bumped out under the railway bridge leaving us with a row over.
Whilst not the result we wanted, we are approaching tomorrow’s racing with a fresh and more proactive gameplan to push onto Fitz and escape the new pressure of Homerton behind.
W2 had a solid row up to our start at the penultimate station. Aware that both Corpus W1 ahead and Clare W2 behind had achieved similar times to us at Champs Eights Head a month ago, we were unsure about how our first race would go.
Our nerves were apparent as the boat veered slightly to strokeside off the start and we came out of our winds at rate 45. Despite our excessively high rate we clearly had some decent speed since we immediately started gaining on Corpus and it was clear that Clare (who had just rowed over as sandwich boat in the W3 division) were not much of a threat.
Our first whistle on Corpus came just before the Motorway Bridge followed by a second halfway down First Post Reach. Keen to finish the job off, India called for a Jumps 10 where we took the rate back up to 39 and came close to 3 whistles. With our legs burning after such a rapid start we tired around First Post Corner and Corpus began to pull away from us in the Gut. We pushed out of Grassy Corner but sadly Corpus caught Downing W2 just before Ditton Corner.
We finished the race with a strong row-over, leaving Clare W2 far behind us. The adrenaline is now hopefully out of our systems so we are aiming for a quick bump on Downing W2 tomorrow.
Starting at 12th on the river, we made a slightly wobbly start and Robinson quickly pulled in a length on first post reach. However once we hit the race rhythm we knew we could produce we held them at a fixed distance and started work on reeling in Selwyn. As we pulled in to a length from Selwyn, their bowman caught a crab on first post corner and we bumped them soon after producing the first bump for M1 in three years. Things are looking up!