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M3 Mays 2019 - Day 2

M3 set out on Thursday to right Wednesday’s wrongs.  Drawing inspiration from a variety of sources, including Hunter’s future children, Tom Nixon’s legacy and Rocky Balboa, we set out from our boathouse as the underdog.  After Hunter’s promise to name one of the aforementioned future kids after one of us should we bump, we were raring to go.  Things did not go entirely to plan.  The pursuing Downing M3 was (and, at the time of writing, still is) a very good crew.  At certain points, it felt as if we could pull away from them, but it was not to be, and we were bumped fairly quickly.  Again, there were many positives to take out of the race.  Our start sequence was solid, we showed that we could push ourselves deeper, and there will not be a Jeroen Sims running around southern Indiana.  We were simply beaten by a better crew.

- Tom Cleere

M1 Mays 2019 - Day 2

Despite yesterdays blow, there was much optimism within M1 about the possibility of a double overbump to sandwich boat today. The emotional heart of the crew, the late C. Eddy, correctly pointed out we needed to first set the platform of a row over. A feat only managed once in 4 years by the mighty Catz M1. Starting from within the raging outflow, we initially opened out on the chasing Fitz. However through the corners we lost speed avoiding clearing crews and we were reeled in to 1/2 length. Yet Geoff called us to push on together and we held firm down plough reach. Around grassy we hit the strong headwind, yet the inspiring thoughts of turning the week around held our nerve. 
Down the reach a glorious battle unfolded: Fitz desperately closing for the bump until we found new reserves of mental and physical strength. At one point overlap was whistled for by an optimistic Fitz coach. Having cursed every hard erg Carmen set we were now thankful for the fitness they brought. Through the railway bridge we stepped on for a final time, W1 raising the roof with the loudest support ever heard. Finally at the P&E Fitz broke and we opened out 1/2 length by the top finish. Having passed over the finish line, exhausted, we knew that we can turn this week around. Onto tomorrow chasing a slow Homerton boat, whilst holding off a no doubt frustrated Fitz

W1 Mays 2019 - Day 2

W1 hoped that the campaign to catch Homerton today might be a fairly short and sweet affair as Peterhouse (who we had bumped yesterday) had been closing on Homerton before we caught them at first post corner.

After a fairly speedy start, we were roughly on station both in front and behind but closed to a length on Homerton by around the motorway bridge. Unfortunately it wouldn't be the quick bump we'd hoped for as Homerton seemed to have found some extra pace from yesterday and held us around a length for most of first post reach. Peterhouse had gone off hard and closed to around a length on us coming into first post corner, but they then fell away and didn't worry us for the rest of the race.

The adrenaline was surging as we had settled to a not-very-sustainable 35spm, so although we gained gradually on Homerton, it came in fits and starts. A big four out of first post corner briefly settled the rhythm and we were rewarded with two whistles and "great move!" from Rory on the bank. We were around canvas going into grassy but, again, it got a bit untidy and rumour has it that three whistles became two. But a big four out of the corner brought us back together and our fleeting moments of composure were enough to take us to canvas by the end of plough reach. On overlap all the way around Ditton, Homerton went wide and we took the racing line, sealing the deal in traditional fashion as we pulled out onto the reach - almost perfectly in time with Queens' catching Peterhouse behind us. Not the prettiest rowing but it got the job done!

Rounding Grassy

M3 Mays 2019 - Day 1

After a rousing speech by Hunter "Abraham Lincoln" Sims, M3 set off to annihilate Tit Hall M3 in our own version of Gettysburg. Unfortunately, this was not to be the case. A solid start allowed us to pull towards Tit Hall, a length separating us. This could not be maintained, however. Despite their poor start, the pink spectre of Churchill loomed large. At Grassy Corner, on the bend, we were bumped. While our campaign did not start particularly well, neither did the Union's, and many positives can be taken from today. We'll get them next time.

- Tom Cleere

W2 Mays 2019 - Day 1

After over an hour in torrential rain, the last thing that w2 wanted was a rerow, but due to a couple of slow clearing crews ahead of us, followed by an unfortunate incident involving our bow and Eddies’ stern becoming, shall we say, connected, we had to head back to the motorway bridge to race again. As Eddies had caught us in Lents after an unlucky crab on day 3, and a fast Downing crew had denied us our chance at a revenge bump, we were keen to have a good row and try to get Catz our first bump of the day! A solid start saw us making ground on Eddies, with whistles being blown throughout the race. A couple of good corners coming up to the reach saw us gain another half a length on them! Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, and Charlie ‘No kill calls’ Lamb calling a truly ungodly number of “Power 10s” and “Kill 10s”, we didn’t manage to close that final half a length, and so the bump eluded us. Nevertheless, a strong rowover leaves us in the perfect position to bump them tomorrow!

- Anousa Parkin

M2 Mays 2019 - Day 1

"As grey clouds brooded over day 1 of Mays, M2 had a battle ahead. Having denied Magdalene M2 blades at Lents, they were pursuing us with a score to settle. Robinson M2 stood in front of us, also hoping to avoid a repeat of Lents where they were bumped by Catz M2. The cannon’s roar sounded the start of the race and the oars flew into motion; we charged down the river and soon came within our first whistle of Robinson. However, like some Lovecraftian beast, Magdalene crept up on us. Despite digging into hitherto unexplored reserves when the kill call was shouted, we found ourselves bumped. We weren’t disheartened however: the banter in the boat and knowledge that we rowed our best soon brightened our dampened spirits. We now look towards day 2 with a vigour and resolve to yet make a success of this Mays campaign."

- Nathaniel Tye

W1 Mays 2019 - Day 1

Today was a particularly special first day of Bumps as W1 lined up in our shiny new boat The Sandy, kindly donated to the club by Mr Sandy Robinson (1960). Starting in front of Queens' W1 for the fourth time this year, Catz were ready for another showdown. We were chasing Peterhouse in front. It was time to give Sandy the christening he deserved. A strong start left us immediately with our first whistle on Peterhouse. We settled to a nice leisurely 36spm and they held us at a length going under the motorway bridge. Pushing off bridge, we closed to half a length on Peterhouse while Queens', deploying what can only have been their familiar fly-and-die-at-grassy strategy, had cut the gap down to around a length behind us. Unphased by the familiar looming presence of Queens', we stayed composed and continued to reel Peterhouse in along first post reach, though they had other plans as we were driving them forwards to close on Homerton in front. A four boat sandwich began to develop as we closed to canvas approaching first post corner. It was time to make a move. A sharp line from Sid and a big four out of the corner finished the job as we bumped Peterhouse and denied Queens' once again. Bring on Homerton tomorrow.

- Fiona Conlon

M1 Mays 2019 - Day 1

M1 executed the fastest start possible to try for an early bump on Trinity Hall. At first post M1 had a whistle on Trinity Hall, however Hughes Hall had a whistle on them. Unfortunately through the gut Hughes, powered by their returners (including CUBC President Dara Alizadeh), had higher speed and Geoff was forced to concede in the entry to Grassy. It was an unlucky start to the campaign, but M1 are hoping to righting this wrong later in the week.

- Nick Palmer

M1 Lent Bumps Race Report

Lent Bumps was a very successful week for M1. We went up 3 places to 8th on the River which is the highest position we have been in Lent Bumps for over 25 years.

Day one saw us chasing FaT (Trinity) while we were being chased by Queens’. We knew it was going to be a tough chase, but we thought we could get them over the course. Unfortunately, Clare didn’t get the memo and FaT caught them after 500m meaning our only hope was the over bump on Peterhouse. We managed to slowly close on them in the strong headwind as we pulled away from Queens’ behind. Sadly, we didn’t quite manage to make up the 6 and a half lengths needed for the over bump despite a very strong row and coming within 1 length by the end of the course. Despite our hopes of blades being lost on day 1, we were confident we could have a successful week after a strong row over.

On day 2 we were chasing Clare and being chased by Trinity Hall.  After a slow start we gave away about half a length to the crews either side of us but as we hit our rhythm our superior boat speed showed, and we began to close. Having seen them get caught very quickly on Day 1, we were hoping for a quick bump and by First Post corner we were half a length off. Ahead of us though, FaT bumped Peterhouse who had crabbed and were unable to clear in time, meaning our race had to be stopped. After some confusion it was decided that were going back to the start for a re-row.  Despite being wet and bit cold we got ourselves into a similar position 2nd time round. Clare made us work for it but we ground them down and got the bump on Ditton corner with Trinity Hall nowhere near us.

On Day 3 we got our 2nd chance to get Peterhouse, this time only needing to catch 1 and a half lengths for the bump. Given our performance on days 1 and 2 we were fairly confident of catching Peterhouse without much bother from Clare behind with the wind at the lowest level of the week. Despite Clare closing a little on the start we rowed well and this time got the bump in good time at 1st post corner despite a late concession from the Peterhouse cox.

The wind returned on day 4 and we needed to catch Christ’s to go up 3. After our best start of the week we consistently walked into them. They really put up a fight on the plough reach, taking the rate up in a last-ditch attempt to get away from us but we stayed on our strong rhythm in the headwind and managed to keep closing despite rowing directly into their wash. We finally got the dump around Ditton corner to round off a successful week.

Lent Bumps 2019 - W1 Day 1

It all started with a life jacket...

We couldn’t have known on the row down to our starting post that the forgetfulness of an LMBC cox would cause us so much drama! In position at station 14, the canon blasts and Catz W1 were off with a very strong start sequence.

Not long after, the density of shouts and whistles up-ahead signalled that chaos was coming yet Catz were undeterred, we were ready to storm straight through it. We were gaining on Tit Hall when disaster ensued. Churchill drifted across the river in the wind after being bumped out and, with another boat already parked at the bank on the other side, there was no way for us to get through.

The next thing we know, Sid had to call for us to “Hold it up!”. The race was over. Or was it...?! The pile-up of boats under the motorway bridge was all caused by Maggie forgetting their lifejacket. Because Maggie weren’t allowed to race, all Pembroke had to do to secure a technical bump was to row past Maggie’s starting station. However, this wasn’t communicated to Girton who saw Pembroke pull in and thought that they had crashed. Thinking they had bumped Pembroke, Girton stopped rowing meaning that then Churchill had to stop so as not to plow into Girton. This then meant that Tit Hall bumped Churchill, who didn’t get out of the middle of the river in time, thus causing Catz, Queens’ and Caius to have to hold it up.

After 10 very tense minutes of waiting for the umpires to deliberate the chaos that had just occurred, they finally made a decision - Catz, Queen’s and Caius were going to re-row. We made it down to our new starting station and prepared for part 2.

This time we were racing at the head of a 3 boat sandwich and the only way to come out victorious was to row over. The second race began and all 3 crews surged down the Cam. After a minute or so the distance between the boats had shortened. From the bows it looked as though Queen’s were closing in on us. It was time for some drastic action. “POWER 4!!” Catz summoned all their might to push away but with Caius hot on Queens’ tail they were not letting us get away that easily.

Catz W1 were definitely not ready to be bumped on the first day of racing and as Sid heroically called for 2 more power 4s, Catz soared ahead down the river, pulling away from Queens’. Coming round Ditton corner, Caius bumped Queens’ and the race was finished. But the drama didn’t end there... On the row home we unexpectedly received the call, “Build it up to race pace...Ready...Go!”. Downing M1 were charging down the river in the next division and we had only just gone past the P&E. A short burst to the Green Dragon to get off the race course and then the last of the day’s drama was over.

A chaotic first day for Catz W1 but nevertheless a great row and we are excited to see what the rest of the week brings!