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Lent Bumps 2014 M2 Day 2

Bumped Emmanuel II

In the last few years, M2 has enjoyed considerable success over Emma II (eg here, here, here, and here), and we were determined not to let this slip today. After some detective work from Scott spying on the (somewhat obvious) Clare II race plan at marshalling - "go hard off the start and hit Catz before they disappear" - we knew what we had to do.

The start of the race was slightly more composed than yesterday, although there is still room for improvement. As with yesterday, a second stride was required to bring the rate under 40, and this led to a large, positive jump in the quality of the rowing. We gained a whistle on the way into first post corner, by which time Clare, who had held us through the start sequence, were being pushed away quickly, and pushed for the second out of the corner. When it came, the legs came on and it was over in 15 strokes, bumping on the entrance to Grassy.

We're now in slightly uncharted waters with no second boats ahead of us for a while, and we look forward to challenging the ARU 1st VIII on Friday after a well earned day off.

Lent Bumps 2014 W1 Day 1

Rowed over

With a strong Queens' crew behind us hungry for revenge after last year's skirmish we knew we would have a fight ahead of us today. Despite Queens' early gain to one whistle off the start, St Catz proved the tougher crew, keeping their heads and keeping Queens' at a distance.

We held them at a whistle to the Plough, responding to any pushes they made with pushes of own, and strode away from them down the reach, finishing the race a comfortable four lengths ahead. The grit and determination paid off.

Lent Bumps 2014 M1 Day 1

Bumped Trinity Hall M1

The start of M1's campaign was more than usually nervy, with almost no data to back up the (still remarkably confident) predictions, Trinity Hall ahead having entered no races. The chasing crew, Kings, were known to be fast though, and it was going to have to be a good performance to hold them off. 

Planning for a 3 minute race rather than the usual full course, we started strongly and got our first whistle almost immediately. Hitting choppier water we dropped back down to station, but were surprised to see Kings making very little impression on the gap behind. Although they did eventually close this to inside a length, they never looked a serious threat. Trinity Hall more importantly held us on station until a massive push out of first post took us back to the first whistle, and then they crumbled quickly to the bump just after grassy.

With the "Catz-Kings buffer" now firmly back in place, and the ghosts of last lents campaign laid to rest, we look to be set up for a solid week, chasing Clare M1 tomorrow.  

Lent Bumps 2014

Lent Bumps starts on Tuesday 23rd February and we have 4 Catz crews participating. M1 and W1 are racing in the respective first divisions, M2 are in the men's third division, and W2 are racing in the women's third/men's fourth division. Hover over a result to see if a race report is available. Click on the crew name to see its members.

  Day 1 (Tue) Day 2 (Wed) Day 3 (Thu) Day 3 (Fri) Day 4 (Sat)
M1 Rest Day Bump
on Trinity Hall I
on Clare I
on Girton I
on Peterhouse I
W1 Rest Day Row-Over Bump
on Pembroke I
on Newnham I
M2 Over-bump
on Peterhouse II
on Emmanuel II
Rest Day Bump
on ARU I
on Hughes Hall I
W2 (Technical)
Row-Over Rest Day Bump
on Clare Hall I

For information on where to watch the bumps from see 
here. Division times are here.
Follow the action on the radio at and see official results here

Winter Head to Head, 25/1/14

Winter Head to Head is always a good way to kick off a term, with 2km of racing downstream followed by another 2km back upstream. Catz had a strong showing on Saturday, with W1, W2, M1 and M2 all racing.

Even better, the results were pretty good too! Both of the second boats came first in their respective divisions (although unfortunately for W2 not enough crews entered to earn them pots), whilst W1 came 11th and M1 came 8th (beating head of the river Caius along the way).

All in all a strong start to the term. Crews will now be looking to build on these results as they prepare for Lent Bumps in a month's time.

M2 on their way to winning their division

Fairbairns 2013 - M2

This Michaelmas was highly unusual for Catz as we managed to field not only two, but three senior men's eights.  This immediately put us in unfamiliar waters with no idea what position we should be aiming for.  Winter Head had been a disappointing result and the weeks leading up to Fairbairn's were much more focused and driven.  M2 showed real thirst as our rowing improved consistently week after week, looking more powerful and professional.  A few injuries and a lack of outings the week before left us a little nervous, but when the day came M2 fought off the cold quickly and settled into a strong rhythm.  The M1 boat behind us were incredibly selfish and gave us nothing to push off, leaving us to make ground on Emma ahead by ourselves.  We crossed the finish line feeling as strong as we started and knowing it was a good row, which the results later confirmed.  We placed 4th out of the college 2nd boats, beating several 1st boats in the process.  A fantastic end to the term.

Fairbairns 2013 - M1

 "It's not supposed to be comfortable, it's supposed to hurt" said Priya, 20 minutes before push-off. Maybe not most encouraging of team talks, but we all agreed that was how it was meant to be. The start though, was strangely confident - we could all feel the effects of the cold after a long wait for marshalling (that's Fairbairns for you) but something clicked as we passed the flagpole, and felt the first icy touches of Chris Q's racing back-splash. The race plan, in all its glorious detail, was executed to perfection, the 6 focusses demolished one after the other, with an unremitting efficiency that belied the weary bodies producing it. All in all, this was by far our best row of the term, and the final surge for the line added a touch of class to a relentless performance. (And yes, it did hurt...).

While we weren't quite good enough to beat the lightweights, we did find to our pleasant surprise that we'd beaten Caius M1, Queens M1 and FaT M1, to come in an excellent 7th place. It was particularly nice to note that the cluster of colleges which finished seconds ahead of us at Winter Head were now several seconds behind (the inches we need...). M1 can be incredibly proud of themselves this term - a huge investment of effort definitely paid off, and I look forward to seeing more of the same next term. 


Fairbairns 2013 - M3

I'll quickly start with some perspective... Catz has only fielded two or three M2s in Michaelmas since 2000, and whilst we haven't managed to locate earlier archives, it's fair to say it has been a long time since we've had 3 Senior Men's boats in Michaelmas term. This is a great testament to the current strength and immense keeness of the boat club.

Now onto Fairbairns. After some confusion before the start, we had to wind up quickly, and were soon underway. We held a good rate throughout, and whilst the power that saw us match M2 at Winter Head earlier in term was slightly diminished, we held strong and had a consistent race. We finished in a very respectable 16 minutes, 58 seconds. Whilst we certainly weren't the top boat on the Cam, it was easily quick enough to beat the three other M3s as well as a number of M1s, and to be (temporarily) recorded as fastest Women's VIII due to a minor admin oversight!

Overall we had a really fun term, and I'm sure I can speak for the crew in saying - bring on Lent!

Winter Head 2013 - W1

Both the first and the last race before Fairbairns, Winter Head was a solid performance from the W1 IV. Rowing the course at an unflagging rate 32 they finished in a time of 11:57, placed more or less exactly in the middle of the field. (20th out of 36 IVs.) Particular credit should be given to the stroke, Alex, for maintaining her usual metronome-like rythmn despite a shoulder injury.

This puts us in an exciting position for Fairbairns. We'll be hoping to use our Winter Head race as a solid platform to build from.

Winter Head 2013 - M1

If you judge races purely by additions to one's trophy cabinet, then Winter Head was definitely a successful day for M1. Fortunately, even if you count actually rowing well as a requirement, we still passed. The first casualty of the race was the plan, and the second the cox box (the third and fourth were James' shoulder and Anthony's general breathing apparatus, but never mind that now). M2's cacophonous support shocked us into taking the rate slightly higher than intended, but it still felt solid, so it seems churlish to complain... It did drop through the course, and coming round Ditton we strode out to a solid 32, just in time to cruise past first 'some guys' and then 'some other guys', who kindly conceded the racing line, in a final sprint for the finish, to the now familiar accompaniment of James' roars.  

Some superb rule-book reading from inveterate administrator Admiral V-P had kept us away from the student division, meaning our unpolished-but-ultimately-pretty-decent-for-a-first-race run was good enough to top our category, and secure our shiny new hip-flasks. However, the more important comparison places us 10th of the colleges, with only 10 seconds separating us and 4th. All in all, a decent result for the first race of the year, but there's always room for improvement...