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May Bumps 2013, M3 Day 3

We started. We raced. We bumped Wolfson M2 before first post.

Good job. Looking forward to the slightly more challenging bump on Darwin M2 tomorrow...

May Bumps 2013, M1 Day 1

Bumped First and Third M1

A strong peformance on our first day, finishing with a bump on FaT M1 beside the railings.

After a pretty dodgy start and first few corners we settled down into a strong rhythm that eventually ate up the metres between us and FaT without too much drama. Coming onto the blustery reach we lost less speed than both Pembroke (behind us) and FaT, and took the final length off of FaT very quickly.

Rumour has it that LMBC (in front tomorrow) blew up on the reach after chasing Jesus hard so we are looking forward to trying to row a similar race, relying on our faster cruising pace, although also hoping to have a more clinical start.

May Bumps 2013 W1 Day 1

After the humiliation of being bumped by Girton under the motorway bridge on the last day of Bumps last year today was the day we have been waiting for: the opportunity to take our revenge! Afer some fantastic outings we felt as prepared as we could be for Bumps, and with Georgie's help had mentally prepared ourselves with a great race plan. 

We had a strong start and were quickly feeding our puddles to Selwyn who were nowhere to be seen for the rest of the race. Girton have an immense start and so were making an early move on LMBC. However, we stuck to our race plan and focused on grinding them down. By grassy this plan was working perfectly and we got our first whistle. At some point Johns bumped Tit Hall, and without the desire to push for the bump Girton began to struggle. I don't think any of us could believe quite how quickly we gained ground. We pretty much went from one whistle coming into grassy to threes whistles on the way out! Jemma at stroke expertly led the builds to get overlap, and when Beth gave our final finish call we slammed into them very convincingly to get our long awaited bump. 

Apart from getting our revenge on Girton for last year, we have a lot to be pleased with from today. We had a plan, we executed it well, and we got the desired result. Although the wind may have made our row slightly messier than usual, we were mentally strong and dealt with the wind well. On Day 2 we are chasing Trinity Hall and the plan is to exactly the same again!

May Bumps 2013 W1 Day 2

Day two and bump two for Catz W1!! We knew that we were going to be faster than Trinity Hall, but our main concern was getting away from Girton off the start and giving them no chance to bump us back. This was exactly what we did!  We pushed away from Girton off the start rating higher than we normally would leaving Girton eating our puddles and leaving no doubt that we are the faster crew. 

We got our first whistle on Trinity hall very early, and it was down to half a length coming out of first post corner. We bumped them shortly after around first post corner :) Bumping on first post corner is a rare event in the W1 division and so it is a testament to how well we are working together as a crew, and how we have peaked mentally and physically at exactly the right moment.

Job well done. Tomorrow we face Queens, and plan to do exactly the same again. 

May Bumps 2013, M2 Day 2

Bumped First and Third III

My dreams over the past year have been haunted by images of the last day of May Bumps last year. The jubilation when Emmanuel II bumped out behind. That wind when we came around Ditton onto the reach. First and Third III not noticing the wind, and hitting us like a steam train. Overbump. One word - so much pain.

So it was with mixed emotions that I cycled to the boathouse this afternoon. The gusty wind an all too familiar reminder of that day - but this time the tables had turned. First and Third III were no longer a gents boat, and we had actually trained coherently as a crew this time. Things would be different. Revenge would be sweet, and rapid.

Very rapid, in fact. In the end, FaT caught a massive crab and more or less stopped moving. We had barely entered our stride when we hit them, before First Post Corner. FaT failed to clear, causing carnage in the rest of the division below us but we were able to row home merrily.

Tomorrow will be a sterner test behind Selwyn II - particularly if that wind keeps blowing.

May Bumps 2013, M3 Day 2

Today was a better day.

A very solid start led to us being up about half a length on Selwyn by the motorway bridge, and we were soon getting our first and second whistles up the way to first post. We were getting 3 whistles as we started to take the corner, and got our "legs down, go for the bump" call. After beginning to tire from the push, we finally heard the "Well Done Catz! Hold it up" shouts from our umpire, shortly after first post.

The hold up was apparently slightly light hearted, which caused a slight crunch and a lost bow ball on the bank and a slightly irate umpire, but Steve's on the damage for tomorrow, and we're on the holding up!

 Jesus bumped Wolfson ahead, so we should hopefully have a just as easy (or perhaps even easier!) bump on the cards tomorrow. Fingers crossed. But as always, you never know what's going to happen in a division like ours, so we'll just have to wait and see...

May Bumps 2013, M1 Day 2

Rowed over 5th on the river

A worse row and a worse result, but we still held off FaT and took some distance out of Maggie towards the end of the course. All the crews from Downing down to FaT look to be similar speeds and what happens in the next few days is anybody's guess! If we row well we can hit Maggie and that is certainly what we intend to do tomorrow. 

May Bumps 2013, M3 Day 1 (Wednesday)

Today was going to be tough. We were chasing Jesus M3, who had followed up blades in Mays with some very respectable times in the recent regatta, rivalling Darwin M1, so we were pretty confident we'd be chasing the overbump (by times, we were the second fastest boat in the division behind Jesus, but that doesn't really help when the luck of the draw puts you behind them..!) In front of Jesus M3, were Selywn M3, who we were expecting to be bumped out before first post corner. Darwin M3 were in front of Selwyn, and we got a much faster time over a similar distance at Champ's Head earlier in term, so the overbump was definitely possible (and certainly more plausible than when we were chasing a similar feat on the last day of Lent's, when the course ended at the start of the reach).

After earlier carnage in the day, our division was already running about 20 minutes behind, so we were banned from practice starts on the way up to spin.

Thankfully, we got our practice start. Unfortunately it came on the third cannon. The start apparently looked good, but felt pretty shoddy, and I think we can do even better later in the week. We rapidly pushed off Christ's M3 behind us, keeping pretty good ground on Jesus M3, as they pushed onwards towards the bump.

Nearing first post, there was suddenly commotion, as we were only half-way through the stride. There was a carcophany from the bank party "Take it wide! Maria, wide!". Expertly steering wide, I saw determination in Maria's eyes. Then came the calls "Hold it up! Hold it up!". Darwin M2 were at a lovely 90 degree angle to the bank around first post, and we slammed on the brakes and drew to a halt. The next 5 minutes were spent floating about yelling at the bank wondering what just happened.

Turns out Darwin M2 somehow bumped up on Wolfson M2... And then their novice cox proceeded to have an interesting parking experience. Selwyn got impeded, and bumped by Jesus, but Jesus basically had overlap anyway, and we were about a length and three quarters behind. After a few minutes of CUCBC dilemma, Jesus were awarded a technical bump on Selywn, and we were well ahead of Christs, so awarded a technical row over. 30 minutes later, Selywn must have lodged a complaint, and they were both given row overs instead (which would have probably set up an unfortunate repeat of today tomorrow). But then this was once more over-ruled this evening thankfully.

We expected today to be tough. Turns out it was, but the strength required turned out to be mental rather than physical. It was an interesting day, and given the situation, at least we had a technical row over instead of a re-row. No blades now, but given our unlucky starting position, it would never have been easy.

Onwards and upwards tomorrow. Selywn, you best be ready... 

May Bumps 2013, M2 Day 1

I think it would be fair to say that M2 have had a good term leading up to May Bumps - victories in our division in the Spring Head to Head, Head of the Cam and Nines Regatta have left us reasonably optimistic for a good week. Certainly a good first day anyway, given that we were chasing Emma II, who we beat at Nines Regatta. Having said that, Emma have been out on the river a lot since then, and it was very windy, so we knew it wouldn't be easy. Besides, you should never write off a University Challenge champion in the 6 seat.

The combination of the wind and the sewage outlet made the start tricky, but Alistair handled it well and we went off strongly. The stride didn't really occur, but remarkably it all seemed quite neat, if not very sustainable, at rate 38. As we began to relax though the rate came down and we held a solid 34 for most of the rest of the race.

We got our whistle for one length on Emma at about the same time as Peterhouse got theirs for us. Either Peterhouse's boat lengths are based on ocean liners, or their bank party was just a bit optimistic, but they never really threatened. Emma held us at a length for a good while, with both crews battling against the headwind. Nonetheless By Ditton we had started to close the gap. The two whistles for half a length really spurred us on and from there it was only a matter of time. Once on the reach there was the usual courting as Emma tried to duck and weave, but a solid push closed the final inches and we got the bump about halfway up the reach.

All in all not our best, but still a solid row, and certainly good building point for the week. Tomorrow sees us chasing another previously vanquished foe from Nines Regatta in the form of First and Third III.

A photo of us (sporting our dashing new zephyrs) is attached.

W1 IV+ Radegund Mile 2013

Radegund Mile is renowned for being the most prestigious event of the rowing year, and after coming home victorious in the Women's IV category last year W1 were determined to show the field what we were made of. For this special event the glory four reunited, with the wonderful addition of Beth as our cox. 

With only a handful of IVs in the mix, and as we have actually been able to have a trial run beforehand this year, we felt fairly confident and prepared. We had a strong start, and after a perfect corner fom Beth around Ditton we motored down the reach for a good solid row which felt powerful and together.

It was only after we finished that we found out that the yellow fire had come out in force with the Clare IV being composed completely of blues and blondie rowers. Fairly inevitably, Clare won with Wolfson 2nd (not sure where they came from!) and we came third out of eight womens IVs. However, we did manage to smash our time from last year by 12 seconds which we were very happy with. The hard work in the gym seems to be translating into power on the water.

With a strong race under our belt in week one it looks like it will be an exciting term for W1!