Bumped by Catz M1
M1 had a much better race today, with a strong start seeing us hold station with Clare ahead. Catz drew up on us through the gut, and we held them at 1/4 of a length down plough reach. Some strong coxing avoided being bumped round Ditton corner, and we held Catz at overlap for the majority of the reach before finally conceding the bump.
Rowed over within metres of overbump
Armed with a steely determination and spare whistles, W1 rowed up for the second and last day of racing with a two-pronged plan; go straight for the bump on Tit Hall, and if they bumped out, aim for the overbump on Churchill. As the cannon fired, we went into a much more controlled start sequence, capping our wind at 40 and settling into a chunky rhythm. Initially we gained on Tit Hall, however they were gunning for a bump themselves and bumped out just after First Post. Immediately ‘Operation Overbump’ came into play, and we ramped up the power to start eating away at the water between us and Churchill, 6 and a half boat lengths away.
By the time we hit the reach we’d closed the gap to three lengths, and under the railway bridge we were on station – a jump call from India gave us our first whistle and the second came shortly after. Churchill seemed to be slowing down and an overbump looked like it was on the cards – however this was because we had in fact crossed the finish line, ending our race about half a length away from our targets. Although disappointed not to have sealed the deal, we were proud of our efforts and the distance we made up; it was a gutsy row and we really gave it everything! We celebrated in style with champagne and brownies at the boathouse and look forward to one last week of training as a crew ready for WeHorr next weekend.
Result: bumped by Pembroke M2 in The Gut
Queens’ gathered in the coaching room before pushing off to watch a video from one year ago today – QM2 being closed in on by Sidney M1 to within a canvas outside the Plough, and then walking away and leaving them trailing by 10 lengths by the finish. The aim was to show that it could be done. That – should Pembroke close in on us – we could walk away.
In the boat on the row up and then on to marshalling at the start, this video was in the forefront of our minds. The aim was simple – row over, and not let Pembroke catch us.
We started strong. Unfortunately, Pembroke started stronger. Pembroke gained on us right away, and while we held them off for a few minutes and made several valiant pushes where it looked like we might just about get away, they eventually closed and Queens’ conceded the bump in the Gut, finishing the week a disappointing minus 3.
Bumped by Downing W2 before first post corner
After a disappointing race on Tuesday, and race cancellations on Friday, W2 were determined to end Lent Bumps on a high. Chasing Jesus W3 and being chased by Downing W2, and in improved weather conditions, the team felt fairly confident to begin with. Being stationed under the bridge for the first time, the volume of the cannon took the crew by surprise. Though our previous race starts had been strong, there was a serious crab on the 3rd stroke of the start sequence meaning that a powerhouse pair had to drop out. The crab wasn’t resolved until 15 strokes in. Despite this, W2 gained half a length on Jesus W3, and the power calls from cox were met well by the crew. Nevertheless, timing was a bit off and starting effectively with 6 rowers meant that Downing W2 were able to rapidly gain on W2, concluding in a bump before first post corner.
Result: bumped (right before motorway bridge)
Amazing efforts by colleges and CUCBC meant that the towpath was clear and bumps could carry on. Queens’ M3 had a good row up, the boat was sat and the crew was calm. We were ready to finally have a proper race, after not being able to finish a single race the whole campaign.
Our plan was simple, hold Caius off for as long as possible, maybe long enough to bump King’s. Ready to give our best efforts for our last race, we rowed up to the starting position with several good bursts along the way.
Our start wasn’t the best, tearing the water and splashing into the boat. Just as we were going around the first corner, disaster struck and our stroke man caught a crab in the first minute. Caius quickly closed the gap and the rest is history. The crew was disappointed and M3 ended the week with a bump.
Our goal for the last day of Bumps was a row over. After our third day of racing was cancelled, we were behind our latest bumpers, Emmanuel College W2, and we were chased by Homerton W2. Since Murray Edwards W3 failed to turn up, Emma only rowed just to get to their starting position for a bump, so unfortunately we didn’t even get the chance to bump them back. After they left the race course, we were giving all we had to pull away from Homerton, and hoped that they would get bumped. After a short scare of them gaining on us, we managed to leave them behind, and they crabbed as well, so Pembroke was able to catch them. After a short few meters of scrappy and happy rowing we got our heads back into the boat and finished the race with a steady 32ish rate, putting in all the effort that we could.
Result: Row over
Ready for the last day of bumps, Queens’ M4 set out in much nicer weather conditions than the start of the week.
After a calm row up to the lock, we began with a clean racing start at high rate, aiming to slowly gain on and ultimately bump Pembroke M3 over the course. We pushed to within a length of them on the first half of the course, but after that they gradually pulled away, leaving us just trying to stay ahead of Homerton M2, which we did with no trouble and rowed over.
This marks the end of a good term for the Queens’ M4 boat, and we look forward to the next.
M1 set off well, close on station with the adjacent crews. Girton were bumped in the gut without producing any real challenge, so we were left to chase Clare; however, on this occasion some scrappy rowing made it hard to maintain rate and Clare pulled away on the reach leaving us to row over.
Bumped Lucy Cavendish at Grassy
With racing cancelled for Wednesday and Thursday, by the time Friday came around W1 were itching to get out and show Lucy Cav who was boss. We’d kept up an impressive campaign of hatred against them all term and the thought of them escaping our grasp because of a ‘beast from the east’ was not a pleasant one. Hence, on Thursday evening over half the crew came down to the river armed with shovels and buckets to clear the towpath of snow and raise our chances of racing. Thankfully it paid off and a fast-paced race saw us secure QCBC’s first bump of the 2018 campaign, and W1’s first Lent bump since 2015!
We did have a slight hiccup before we’d even started, realising on the bank that we had no working whistles – however, Paul’s assurance that he has ‘a very loud voice’ put our minds (somewhat) at ease. After a very excitable start, winding up to 43, we were holding Lucy Cav at a length whilst Tit Hall hovered a length away from us; the next thirty seconds felt like a real slog as we struggled to gain ground or put any water between us and our chasers. On India’s call we got it together under the motorway bridge and had pushed to half a length by First Post; ahead, Lucy Cav were close to overlap on Caius in front and looked set to bump out. However, out of First Post the crew shifted up a gear, putting down what can only be described as the mother of all power 10’s – before we had time to think, half a length became a quarter and we caught Lucy Cav coming around Grassy. For Ulrika and Maya, this was their first bump ever with Queens’, and my first since 2015 – after an elated row home we’re now setting our sights on fluke overbumpers Tit Hall ahead of us when we race tomorrow.
Result: bumped by Hughes Hall M1 on First Post Corner
After a day of cancelled racing (where QM2 had had an outing instead) the crew were restless and eager to go. However, due to a combination of unmissable labs, classes, and illness, the crew had four subs!
Having pulled out a length clear of Sidney on day 1 (even though they eventually closed back and bumped us) we were confident that if we went hard off the start, then we could do the same again and go for the bump back.
In bitterly cold, windy conditions, the bursts and practice start were heavier than usual and rated slightly lower at 38. We knew we had to up our game, and that this was going to be a race down First Post Reach.
Off the start we indeed picked up, clocking 41 even in the tough weather conditions. As planned, we quickly closed on Sidney gaining to within a length, and then to within three quarters. However, Hughes Hall were simply too strong a crew to be reckoned with and ground us down, eventually bumping us just short of First Post Corner, with Sidney still about three quarters off our bow.
The crew are disappointed but not disheartened – tomorrow we will have to hold off Pembroke M2 and go for the row over. It will be tough, but we’re confident that we can do it (with the full crew back in the boat!).