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M1 Lent Bumps - Fourth Day: Bumped Magdalene (Race Report)The final day saw part two of the Peterhouse-Magdalene challenge. A drizzly foreboding had settled across the river as we rowed down to the start. It was, in retrospect a race that was meant to be. The heavy rain and hail simply added to the drama. A rumour ran through the ranks that Magdalene had forgotten their lifejacket, and we'd just have to row past station, but lo, another lifejacket was produced.
We rowed as we knew we had always been able to row. Once we had settled, every 30 seconds we moved on, getting stronger and faster. Finishes were strengthened, the catch brought forward. The motorway bridge saw us inside station, along First Post Reach the whistle for half a length came. Girton behind us made a push but quickly disappeared into the sodden haze. As we soared round Grassy and onto Plough Reach the crowds - undeterred by the rain - raised the club's battle cry. We knew Magdalene could hold us, we knew the risk of the previous day repeating itself. We refused to listen to such thoughts. As we came out of Ditton, we had never rowed so smoothly, every stroke getting faster, the whistles getting near frantic as we closed in. Out onto Long Reach, and we finished the job. As we pulled in we saw about half the college waiting, a fairly typical Peterhouse bank party, ready to celebrate.
Afterwards at the boat house, several Magdalene rowers came round to offer their congratulations. Everyone in Peterhouse would like to thank Magdalene for their sportsmanship and for two days of truly epic rowing.
M1 Lent Bumps 2010 - Third Day: Rowed Over (Race Report)Our start was considerably better than the previous two days and our reward was a whistle before the railway bridge. We moved on to get the second and third whistles by first post. However, despite good lines we failed to turn this into a bump and we learned the same frustration Fitzwilliam had known the day before. Magdalene simply did not get scared by a fast boat sitting less than a canvas away. Despite mounting frustration, we regrouped out of Ditton and matched them down Long Reach, but failed to get any closer. A final push out of the railway bridge saw every last effort put onto the ends of our blades but it was not to be, as we rowed over.
M1 Lent Bumps 2010 - Second Day: Bumped Fitzwilliam (Race Report)The second day was apparently - an uncomfortable race to watch. Despite problems pushing off we settled well, without the ill-discipline of the day before. Fitzwilliam were, however, in a position to challenge Magdalene long before we could challenge them. Coming into Grassy it looked as though they might beat us to it. Fortunately Magdalene were the masters of holding crews a canvas away, as we would later find out. Coming round Grassy we began to show what we were made of, gaining on Fitzwilliam every stroke. As we came round Ditton, we settled, driving forward to get the Bump.
M2 Lent Bumps : Day 4 (Race Report)Saturday - Chasing Jesus M3, being chased by LMBC M3
Today would be where we could prove whether we were a good boat or a great one, for on Saturdays - legends are made. A tad melodramatic perhaps but that was certainly how a lot of us felt, I didn't get much sleep the night before (and not just due to college Medic's dinner!) - no one was allowed to mention the 'b'(lades) word.
What stood between us and bumps racing immortality were Jesus M3, a 3rd crew perhaps but from one of the strongest rowing colleges and of course they hadn't started 6 places above us in bumps for no reason. As we rowed up to our starting stations we were buoyed by our passing W2 crew, resplendent with greenery of their own and vocal with their chants of 'Row House'. There was fantastic support from the bank today (as there had been all week it must be said, many thanks) but we tried to blank all other noises from our heads as we paddled, preparing ourselves mentally for the final battle.
4 minute cannon, 1 minute cannon, the longest one minute of my life...And we were off! Another good start but unlike the other 3 crews that we had raced against, Jesus M3 were starting to gain on Magdalene M2 ahead of them as well. We achieved our first whistle in between the gunsheds and first post corner, however nerves had started to get to us and rowing was not as slick and in time as it had been the day before. A mini crab on bow side and we had lost our whistle on Jesus, it was swiftly corrected and we continued. This wasn't how we could row nor how we wanted our term to be remembered. If we were going to catch Jesus before they got Magdalene though, we needed to take things up a several gears.
For the first time this bumps we had to make Emma take some corners, and she certainly earnt her bacon with a line around Grassy Corner as tight as was physically possible. From the bank, like a mother tuning into her crying child I could hear only one voice - Bomber's - 'Three Quarters!'. We had our whistle back, but unbeknownst to us Jesus were within a canvas of Magdalene. We needed to move, now. Emma kept the line tight all the way through Grassy and suddenly the whole crew was rejuvenated again, bow side finished taking us around the corner then we pushed, we pushed together, and it was good! We heard two whistles for the first time in the race and on the plough reach we could smell blood. Three whistles and then the sweet, sweet noise of Frank's airhorn, surely only a few strokes more? Indeed only two later and a shockwave was sent down the whole boat, I was thrown forward as we slammed our bows into Jesus's side, to my right the Jesus cox with George's blade rammed down their throat (no-one was hurt I hasten to add!). We had done it.
Pulled over by the bank we soaked up the applause, Emma hoisted the Peterhouse flag and adorned with greenery for the fourth time this campaign, we enjoyed a banterous and celebratory paddle back to the boat house. Blades. An incredible end to a term of dedication and hard work by the whole crew, Emma and the others who coxed us, and our loyal coaches. Hopefully this good work can be taken onto next term as we try to prove again that we are one of the fastest 2nd VIII's on the Cam.
Result - Bumped Jesus M3
Overall Lent Bumps 2010 result - Up 4 from 12th to 8th in Division 3, Blades.
M2 Lent Bumps : Day 1 (Race Report)Tuesday - chasing Girton M2, being chased by Clare M2
All of the early mornings, outings, gym and ergo sessions this term had all been leading up to this, the first day of Lent Bumps. With a relatively inexperienced crew, 5 of us never having raced bumps before and having just rowed for a term, we had no idea what to expect from the next 5 days. Nevertheless, we were all confident of our own boat speed and had been encouraged with strong showings at Robinson Head and Pembroke regatta earlier this term.
Sadly on Tuesday morning George Starling (2) was ill so supersub Rob Olford was called into the boat instead with his many eons of experience. Snow fell as we marshalled down the reach, a seemingly constant feature of M2 rowing this term, and any pre-race nerves were replaced with fear of one's extremities falling off. When it was finally time for our division to get up to our starting stations, practice starts had been cancelled and we had to settle with a rolling start instead. We were very confident that with the starts we'd been practising recently, we could take half a length out of many boats from the cannon.
4 minute cannon, 1 minute cannon, pushing out, 'bow pair take a tap', cannon! Despite what everyone tells you about bumps, nothing prepares you for the initial adrenaline rush that comes on that last cannon. A solid Peterhouse M2 start indeed saw us take half a length out of Girton and as the call for the stride came, our first whistle immediately followed from the bank. In fact stroke James 'Winnie' Winchester didn't even remember taking us down to race pace because one whistle became 2 and then 3 before I even knew it. In less than a minute our bows were bobbing up and down in the river, Frank's airhorn was being blown and Girton had conceded - by the gunsheds. Greenery was sourced and we rowed back, a perfect start but not all bumps would surely be this straightforward.
Result - Bumped Girton M2