Today’s row up to the start was solid considering the challenging weather conditions. Much like yesterday, Queens’ W2 had a confident start and initially gained on St Edmund’s I. However, when we settled into a rhythm our power dropped and this coupled with a crab meant we lost the chance of a bump. Although we were supposedly being chased by Jesus W3 they crashed during their start piece and were quickly bumped meaning that we were pursued by St Catherine’s who were looking for the overbump. They demonstrated some strong rowing and managed to overtake our boat.
Although we are disappointed to slip from 4th to 7th position our ability to execute a strong start means hopes are high for a bump on Friday where we will chasing Jesus W3.
Result: technical row over (did not race)
Queens’ M3 had a great row up, possibly one of the best rowing we’ve seen all term. With several bursts and practice starts, the crew was hyped and ready for the race. The crew’s enthusiasm far outweighed the worsening weather conditions.
The team was focused and ready to give King’s trouble. Caius was going to be chasing us after bumping Sidney Sussex earlier today. We acknowledged that they were a formidable crew, but used that as motivation to bump King’s.
As we were paddling down to the start, umpires deemed the towpath too dangerous for bank parties and called the race off, with everyone rowing over.
Although disappointed with not racing, the team will be ready to race on Friday. If weather holds up on Friday, we will be chasing King’s and will be chased by Caius.
Bumped by Emma W3
A very determined W3 crew set off with the aim of ‘bumping back’ Sidney Sussex who we’d been bumped by yesterday. We put down a very strong start and got up to our third whistle, but unfortunately Sidney were also close to bumping and when they did so we had to steer around the two boats ahead. This slowed us down and we were caught up and bumped by Emma. Considering the heavy snowfall we still did really well though…bring on tomorrow!!
Result: Row over
After a disappointing first day of bumps, Queens’ M4 set out ready to race as the second last boat in the division. The row up was cold and snowy, and we arrived with 20 minutes to spare, spent desperately trying to keep warm before the race.
Our start was much cleaner than yesterday’s, and we didn’t feel threatened by Homerton M2 behind us as they struggled to catch up. We kept up with Hughes Hall M2 who bumped us yesterday, and soon after the start they caught a huge crab and we gained massively – but as we closed in to half a length they managed to recover and pull away. They soon bumped Pembroke M3, leaving us with Trinity Hall M3 in the distance ahead of us.
The rest of the race was spent keeping distance between us and Homerton M2, and we rowed over with plenty of space between us. Tomorrow we will chase Pembroke M3, and hopes are high for a bump.
Result: Bumped by Sidney M1 on Plough Reach
Queens’ had a good row up to the start and a very solid practice outside the Plough. Our plan was to race to First Post Corner – expecting to end up in a three boat sandwich with Darwin M1 ahead and Sidney M1 behind.
We started well, clocking rate 43. We quickly closed on Darwin and gained our first whistle before the motorway bridge. We kept closing and about halfway down first post reach we got a second whistle. Darwin then held us at about half a length for the next minute or so, before abruptly stopping and pulling in in the gut. With no one to chase, Queens’ started to falter and fade, and Sidney rapidly closed in. Coming around Grassy Sidney got to within a canvas, and although we briefly made a move and opened up clear water, they quickly won the bump outside the Plough.
It turned out that Downing M2 had crashed on First Post Reach on station 5, and hence Darwin had got the overbump on them. However Darwin hadn’t realised and so had kept racing until the gut. Queens’ made the case to the umpires that an extra minute of kill calls on two whistles had caused us to die, and ultimately allowed Sidney to close – however the bump stood.
Result: Technical row over (stopped right before motorway bridge)
Queens’ M3 had decent row up with several good bursts and practice starts on the way. We knew that Sidney Sussex were the sandwich boat behind us and our plan was to go for the bump (King’s) or row over, with slim chances of being bumped as Sidney Sussex had rowed over in the previous division and would have been well spent.
The crew was nervous but excited to race in our first ever bump. This showed in our first few strokes, which wasn’t our best performance. Just as we started to clean up our strokes around the first corner, a pile up 2 boats ahead of us stopped us in our path.
After a good amount of waiting, umpires decided that we would get a technical row over today as they deemed that we weren’t gaining on Kings fast enough for a bump. Sidney Sussex were also given a row over, while King’s and Fitzwilliam (the boat in front of King’s) re-rowed. King’s broke a blade during the re-row and positions have remained the same.
Queens’ will gun down King’s tomorrow and will be chased by Sidney Sussex unless they get bumped by Caius, which may very well happen.
Result: bumped by St Edmunds M1 on the Long Reach
Queens’ rowed well before the race demonstrating a strong practice start. Such a good start was then replicated in the race itself and at rate 40 we were moving a lot quicker than St Edmunds I and Corpus Christi I. Despite initially gaining on Corpus we could not sustain the pace round the corners and found ourselves falling behind. Our attention then turned to avoiding the approaching St Edmunds boat which we did so successfully for much of the course, even pulling away when we could hear three whistles from the bank. However, after a few shaky strokes we lost our lead and conceded the bump.
Queens’ will be hoping for another dominant start tomorrow to turn the tables and bump St Edmunds.
Result: bumped by Sydney Sussex W2
For most of us in W3 this was our very first Bumps race. We had a really strong start and got our first whistle with in our first 15 strokes. But as we were gaining on Lucy Cavendish, Sidney Sussex were gaining even more quickly on us…and so sadly we got bumped. However we are now feeling even more motivated to bump them back tomorrow!!
Due to crew availability, the M2 crew would be racing in a coxed four for this race. This was to be the first time racing off cam for 4 out of 5 of the crew, and we were all pretty excited. Everyone met at Parker’s Piece to get the bus to Bedford (having derigged boats and sent them on their way the night before) and we arrived on the riverside in Bedford in time to see W1 come under the bridge and finish their race.
Conditions were highly favourable, with a strong stream and tailwind – good news for a lightweight four.
After watching M1 race, we got the boat on the water (a very precarious manoeuvre due to a very high bank!) and began our row up to the start. We had a nice rhythm going, and at times the boat actually felt more sat than the eight. We arrived at marshalling in good time, although a bitter wind made for a less than pleasant wait for the start. Eventually it was our turn, and we span and set off under the starting bridge.
We made a strong start, with continuous power calls under the first three bridges. James wasn’t letting us give an inch, and we came out of the first 500m well. However the rate meter was broken and it was hard to judge the rate.
Into the middle third of the race, things got a bit scrappy. Our limited time together as a four started to show, and there were a few rigger-dipping incidents up the long straight that we’d decided to call ‘the Reach’. We were also being closed in on by a coxless quad behind.
As we approached the finish and heard the encouragement of M1 on the final bridge, we got things together and made for a strong finish – unfortunately so did the quad, and (after some miscommunications between stroke and cox regarding which way to steer out of their way) we ended up conceding a bump almost three weeks early.
Overall it felt like there was a bit of fire missing from the race – the rate was perhaps a little low in the absence of a rate meter, and the novelty of racing on a different river distracted us from the race at hand. However it was a good day out and an enjoyable experience to take forward into bumps.
The QCBC women’s crew arrived in plenty of time to unload the trailer and grab some last minute hot drinks before racing. The day was very cold and it was quickly pointed out that we would be racing in a head wind. A plan was formulated and we were soon rowing up to the start with purpose (see picture below).
We started off speedily and used the many bridges over the course to push off. There were some rough patches but by the finish we were going strong and with 500m to go performed a miraculous jumps re start to up the rate and send the boat flying over the finish line. Finishing off as the 3rd women’s 8s college boat, just 1s behind Downing W1, everyone was pleased with the outcome. Finishing off the day, we watching the Queens’ men’s 1st boat finish as we munched on our captain’s (Georgie) homemade brownies.