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After a solid start, our rowing got a bit sloppy after we entered the stride, allowing Wolfson to gain on us. In front of us, Darwin quickly bumped Caius as we had expected, so we were chasing the overbump on Fitz 2. As we came past the plow, Wolfson were within a canvas of our boat and we knew we had to react. We pushed hard, managed to stop them from gaining more and held them at a canvas all around Ditton. Coming onto the reach it looked like we had cracked them. We began pulling away and they were now in danger themselves from a St Edmund's boat that seemed to come out of nowhere. Meanwhile the gap between Fitzwilliam and us was closing quickly. We didn't get there in the end but we came within 2 lengths of the overbump.
Overall, a tremendous performance from the whole crew. We reacted when we had to and rowed well, especially in the second half of the race.
The results may not have been as exceptional as in recent bumps campaigns. But we rowed some fantastic races this week and finished level with strong crews around us. Congratulations to Glenn and Matt for rowing their first set of bumps races and huge thanks to Chris Eddy for being a great coach.
We didn't manage to catch Caius on Thursday, so we wanted to fix that on day 3. We knew we were fast off the start and the plan was to push for an early bump before Darwin could get too close.
Our start was good, and as on the first two days, we gained immediately and got a whistle just as we moved into the stride. We were determined to not let them slip away again, and we did continue gaining this time. The second whistle came as we were approaching grassy, but by this point Darwin were getting dangerously close behind us and getting whistles. We continued pushing hard but Caius weren't coming any closer and Darwin soon had overlap. Some excellent steering held them off for a bit longer, but they bumped us just as we were coming into Ditton corner.
This was obviously a disappointing result, and the first time anyone in this crew had been bumped, but we got much closer to Caius than on the day before and didn't row a bad race. Credit to Darwin for being the faster crew on the day.
Today, finally, we bumped! Our start was far from perfect as nerves mixed with fatigue caused by yesterday’s heroics meant we didn’t get composed start we usually produce. Yet despite this, we soon gained on Homerton, getting a quick bump by second station (we started at 15). This, as I mentioned yesterday, was our reward for a great fight back the day before. Indulging in the bizarre custom of putting bits of foliage in our hair – no one has explained why crews do this – we cruised back to the boathouse to the applause of a swelling crowd. We perhaps didn’t get the results across the four days we deserved, but it was great to go out on the up. Thanks for everyone involved in the M4, especially our coaches, Simon Wright and Alistair Nelson, and the captains, Chris Eddy and Chris Quarton. FTW.
After the disappointments of the last 2 days, all we wanted from today was a solid rowover to prove that we could do it. If we were to gain on FaT, naturally we wouldn't say no to bumping back, but the rowover had to be the priority. In the end, we didn't gain at all, but we did achieve the main goal - Queens never came closer than just inside station, despite being pushed hard by Clare behind.
Overall this week, obviously we didn't get the result we wanted, but as Josh put it - "there's no shame in anything at the top of the first division". Given that only 3 of the crew (plus cox) had experience of the first mays division, and one noviced this year in Michelmas, we've achieved an incredible amount, and proved on day 4 that we deserved to be where we are on the river. Huge thanks to the whole crew for all their hard work, and to coach Lianne.