The Club's Results
Lent Bumps archive
1st women's VIII
This page runs chronologically from bottom to top. To follow it in order jump to Lent Term 1992.
- Lent Term 2013: 2nd in division 1
Up 1 - Bumped Emmanuel
- Lent Term 2012: 3rd in division 1
Up 1 - Bumped Pembroke
- Lent Term 2011: 4th in division 1
Down 3 - Bumped by Downing, Emmanuel and Pembroke
- Lent Term 2010: Head of the River
Up 1 - Bumped Emmanuel
- Lent Term 2009: 2nd in division 1
Down 1 - Bumped Jesus, bumped by Emmanuel and Jesus
- Lent Term 2008: Head of the River
- Lent Term 2007: Head of the River
Up 3 - Bumped Emmanuel, Caius and Clare
- Lent Term 2006: 4th in division 1
Up 3 - Bumped LMBC, Jesus and Downing
- Lent Term 2005: 7th in division 1
Up 6 - Bumped Christ's, Churchill, Girton and Newnham
- Lent Term 2004: 13th in division 1
Up 1 - Bumped Queens'
- Lent Term 2003, Women's 1st Lent VIII: 14th in division 1
Up 1 - Bumped New Hall
- Lent Term 2002: 15th in division 1
Down 1 - Bumped Churchill, bumped by Churchill and Girton
- Lent Term 2001: 14th in division 1
- Lent Term 2000: 14th in division 1
Down 4 - Bumped by Caius, Downing, New Hall and Clare
- Lent Term 1999: 10th in division 1
Stayed level - Bumped St. Catharine's, bumped by Churchill
- Lent Term 1998: 10th in division 1
Up 6 - Bumped Girton, Caius, New Hall and Churchill
- Lent Term 1997: 16th in division 1
Up 4 - Bumped Corpus, CCAT, Selwyn and Sidney Sussex
- Lent Term 1996: 3rd in division 2
Down 2 - Bumped by CCAT and Corpus
- Lent Term 1995: Head of division 2
Down 4 - Bumped by Christ's, Caius, Pembroke and Downing
- Lent Term 1994: 14th in division 1
Up 1 - Bumped Caius
- Lent Term 1993: 15th in division 1
Up 4 - Bumped Pembroke, Christ's, Robinson and Downing
- Lent Term 1992: th in division
Down 2 - Bumped by Robinson and Pembroke
After moving up strongly through the corners, the 1st women gained overlap on Emmanuel at the entry to Ditton. Sadly as both crews turned for the corner, the overlap drifted away and Emmanuel moved away down the reach to leave us several lengths behind under the railway bridge. We'll be back tomorrow!
We were in high spirits coming off what was probably our best outing of term Tuesday (was it only yesterday?) morning. Decent paddling on the row up and some clean and length-ful practise starts looked promising for our first day of bumps.
A blade stuck in the water disrupted our start slightly but we recovered immediately, pushing out our previously massive rhythm change to an unprecedented but clean 38. We quickly lengthened out again, taking a reasonable line around First Post while moving up on Emma. Our first whistle from Iain came along the Gut and took us all by surprise, especially as Emma were taking a predictable push out of First Post. We closed in steadily around Grassy and committed to our big Plough Reach burn out of the corner.
Almost too soon we heard two whistles, brought in our back swing and suddenly we had three feet of overlap coming towards the pub. We launched into our bumps push but things began to fall apart and Emma were able to pull away. Ditton was incredibly difficult and we gave them half a length of clear water as we blew up. Pure psychology kept Emma going down the Reach, but the girls were able to recover enough to take our well-rehearsed wind to the line, finishing at about station.
A hard race today but we have proven that we are faster than Emma. Day two tomorrow. Bring it!
Good luck for the 2 remaining days.
Wooohoooo!! Well done everyone!
After yesterday's frantic dash to oblivion and a missed bump, the plan was to stay calm and row Emmanuel down in control. Unfortunately, the first "Jesus!" call came as we came straight in the gut; with a much sharper start than I was expecting after watching their practise, Jesus were pushing up hard and a lift in the pressure was called for.
With far more control than at any point in yesterday's race, the girls pushed Jesus back down the Gut, took a clean Grassy, and at the start of Plough Reach it was clear we were in a true sandwich; we had another shell within a few feet of both ends of Valkyrie. The FaT girls held it together and came out of it best, moving away from Jesus down the Plough Reach and clipping Emma's stern as we turned in for Ditton.
Unfortunately the contact was gentle enough that although the Peterhouse umpire was calling for both crews to stop rowing, neither crew believed it had happened and (all three crews) raced round Ditton before easying.
I think Jesus, other than the disappointment of failing to bump, appreciated not having to chase the overbump on Downing (!) as they tucked in behind us and held it up.
Yeaaaaaahhh Girls! Finally we got them!!! Well done for an amazing result and now go get us a boat to burn.
Wooohey, well done holding up the good old tradition of bumping Emmanuel!! Next one: Downing! :-D
As textbook as it gets. We believed in our rhythm and we made the boat fly, clean and natural. Simple lifts kept Jesus at bay and reeled Emma in; "keep calm and bump" was never executed so perfectly. Great work, girls - looking forward to more tomorrow!
After yesterday's lesson on the importance of staying calm and technical during bumps, we came into the race today determined to focus on building boat speed as best we could, regardless of our surroundings. Today's result reflects that commitment. Once we had dealt with Jesus, I was pleasantly surprised by how effortlessly we closed on Emma - there couldn't have been a bigger contrast between yesterday and today. I'm beginning to be convinced that you can indeed make a boat go faster by rowing cleanly!
Looking forward to tomorrow and Saturday, as I still have some unfinished business with Ditton Corner. Even having bumped Emma today, I'm still hungry for that elusive perfect race...
An exciting race.
As W1 rounded Grassy, there was just half a length separating them from both Emma (infront) and Jesus (behind). I couldn't bare the tension and so spontaneously broke into a run chasing the crews down Plough Reach. The gap between all crews tightened but as Ditton approached the girls finally got overlap on Emma with Jesus still a third of a length off their stern. The rest was all pretty confusing. Firstly, Jesus were unsure whether or not a bump was happening between FaT and Emma and after steering wide to avoid FaT, then began steering back in for the bump. The umpire then raised their hand to signal a bump but all three crews continued to race. The crews finally stopped and despite protests from Emma, the umpire's declared that they had witnessed the bump on Emma through Ditton and were awarding Jesus a technical row-over.
Well done girls on a great performance. A very composed race given the circumstances.
FaT Bottomed Girls, you make the rockin' world go round!
After the race, Fordy rightly asked me not to publish too much detail on our heavily trafficked website, in case it gave Downing a clue as to what we were planning for the next two days. However, most of the crew had no idea what had been going on either in front or behind, and asked for a detailed race plan, so this is what I wrote at crew pasta immediately after the race, and what I will publish after racing on Saturday.
Thursday was a terrible day for me. I dreamt about a murderer chasing me through a graveyard shooting at me, woke up at 6.30 and couldn't get back to sleep, had to evacuate from Hall partway through breakfast, re-did a lot of my work in the lab, and flicked the (very greasy) chain off my bike on my way to the boathouse. After all this, I knew we were going to bump today. It was the only reasonable outcome.
Marshalling was interesting, with Emma and Downing pre-emptively pushing off around the corner and creating a pretty weave of W1 and M2 blades across the river at Chesterton. I was promised 26 mph gusts, but they didn't appear. Our practice starts were sharp, and we sat on Jesus' stern for the purposes of psychological warfare, while Emma lagged far behind. A brief sojourn into a tree/reeds while spinning at our station made me even more positive that after all this chaos, a bump was surely in our future. I've never been in a FaT crew that reacted well to everything going well.
The start was so much better than yesterday, sharp and crisp. The wind felt solid, and though I was meant to be on Jesus-watch I resolved to really lock into Eva's rhythm for the first 30 seconds of the race. The rhythm change at the lengthen was massive, we strode to a beautiful 34 and began 'our race' in earnest.
Going down first post reach, Jesus began to gain. When they reached what I thought was half a length at the end of first post reach, I started looking at their bank party, confused that they weren't getting any whistles. I mistook a camera for an airhorn, and then had to readjust my expectations when listening for their whistles. I was relying on 10 years of piano lessons for an ability to tell the tone of their whistle from that of Iain's. Turns out they must have bought them at the same place, as there was no discernable difference. Badger. Jesus gained strongly around first post corner and I screamed 'YINING! JESUS!' as we had agreed. When she made the call I had the distinct impression that we were sat in a business meeting, discussing future strategies, rather than at a critical point in a hell-for-leather race with hoards of screaming cyclists. The cool, collected call was 'Ok. Lift.' Perfect delivery, perfect execution. I didn't feel any change in rhythm, there were no personal pushes, just a resolve to squeeze on the legs and move the boat faster. The boat complied and we pushed Jesus away, earning us our first whistle on Emma coming out of the Gut.
At Grassy, we were well and truly in a sandwich. Stern 3, who could see behind us, were using the closing Jesus bows as motivation to push away, and bow 4 and Yining used our approach of Emma's stern to drive us on. We took Grassy well, as we usually do, took some distance back from Jesus here, and got 2 whistles on Emma. Coming out of the corner, before we got back up to speed, Jesus gained again, coming to about a metre off our stern. At this point I heard an impassioned shout from Daisy behind me, but I was no longer worried about them. We had this in hand. They were sticking in the wash generated by stern 4's massive puddles, and we had just got 3 whistles from Iain. They then drifted out to take a wide line, and seemed to zig zag across the course, making it very hard for me to judge distances, so I gave up. Our plough reach burn called for big legs, and by this point the boat was flying. Outside the Plough we heard our overlap whistle and continued grinding them down with a strong rhythm and cleanly technical rowing. Someone screamed '2 feet!' and I'm told by practically everyone that we then bumped Emma (kissed their stern was the lovely phrase someone used) and that the umpire was trying to call it, but neither crew was willing to stop at such uncertain calls. Emma must have called a push after this 'near miss' as we fell back slightly. Coming up to Ditton we knuckled down and prepared to fix our mistakes from yesterday. Iain gave us 3 whistles again, swiftly followed by overlap as we took the corner, and once we were straight Yining (and everyone on the bank) was screaming for us to hold it up. Jesus had fallen back to about 2 metres off our stern at this point and kept moving back. With not much going on behind our little 3 boat race, they decided not to attempt the carnage and tucked in for a technical row over.
This was a very personal race for me, a bump a year and a day in the making. We came so close to them last year and were denied. We came so close yesterday when panicking cost us the bump. Today we were calm and strong, we rowed our race, coolly dealt with pressure from Jesus, and delivered the performance we had been preparing all term. Thank you to everyone who helped us get to this moment. It was very sweet. I'm so proud of the girls for keeping their heads, for following the plan, and for pressing the water away every stroke, every outing.
Now we get to bring the game to Downing. This is what we've been waiting for.
I arrived at the P&E happy to have finally made it round the bridge ahead of the girls. However this turned out to be because Julia's seat had lost a wheel on the paddle from our newly elevated marshalling position round the corner. Ian Watson kindly assisted us to put it back together, and we paddled down to the start without feeling too frantic.
When the start gun eventually went, we were expecting to be pushed from behind, but Emma and Jesus quickly dropped back to leave us concentrating on the crew ahead.
We stuck with them for some time, but they drew away down the reach to leave us with too much of a gap to close coming into the finish.
Today's catastrophe took place just after pushing off from Chesterton, when I heard an ominous clunk from my seat and began scraping up and down the slide. I swore, and Daisy told me my wheel had come off. Yining steered us to the side and I shouted to Fordy that my seat was broken. Our bank party dispersed to notify umpires (though I can't believe they didn't hear my hearty yell) and we attracted the attention of Ian Watson as well. As we pulled in I was scrambling to try and put my seat back together, but was sure I was missing pieces. Luckily the other half of engineer pair, at 6, was able to explain the mechanics of it to me. A big thank you to Ian Watson for calmly taking control of the situation, convincing me that I did not need a nut, but in fact just the bolt I was holding, and for fixing my botched repair job. Thank you also to Fordy for the set of allen keys he had just scolded me for not having, as an engineer, not an hour ago in the boathouse. Disaster averted.
Despite arriving out of order, we managed not to hold up the division and put our jitters aside for a clean, powerful start. We moved effectively away from Emma, and by First Post corner I stopped paying attention to them. Fordy also used this point, where we were closest to the bank, to deliver his call of "EMMA. ARE. NOWHERE!" The closest they ever were was 2 lengths off just after the start. We squeezed on through the Gut, took a clean Grassy, and then made a move at the Plough. I'm told we held Downing through the corners and began to move on Plough reach, but their strength and grit meant they soon started to move away.
The rowing felt powerful and controlled as we came to Ditton, our beloved and much discussed corner. We took a push to get back up to racing speed, but by now Downing were cruising away. We were amused by the serpentine lines from Emma and Jesus behind us, and the odd, insistent whistling style from the Jesus bank party.
We ground on, buoyed by enthusiastic calls from the bank party, and at the white house started to prepare for our end-of-the-line wind. At the post before the railway bridge we began our unsustainable minute and I started cranking it. We lifted from our chunky 34 to 36 and started hacking away at Downing's lead. My rowing deteriorated at Morley's Holt, as I clung onto my little remaining technique. We crossed the line at race pace, amid screams from the control desk to hold it up. We hadn't realized that Downing had wound it down before the line, and in general we like to be sure we're across the line when we stop racing. But apparently someone had very strong words with the people at control on our behalf.
The intimidation tactics began anew on the row home as we resolutely belted 'Fat Bottomed Girls' and 'Tomorrow' as we rowed past the boathouses, greeting Downing on the way.
Today was the race we had planned. It was clinical and clean and well executed. Tomorrow will be a blaze of glory, one way or another. Do or die.
We went off hard, aiming to scare Downing. In the end they were just the faster crew, holding us for a while off the start and then confidently moving away. Coming onto the reach it was clear no bump was happening ahead, and Yining called to settle from the mad sprint and defend from Jesus.
Having sat a little inside station early in the course, Jesus moved up strongly on the reach, and coming under the railway bridge they had overlap (but were on the wrong side of the river). Coming through Morley's Holt, there was a terrifying stroke when I thought the bump had to happen; Jesus gently steered across, our stern sank as we approached the catch, and Jesus's bow floated over our stern with at least an inch of clearance. After that W1 squeezed it out to a comfortable few feet and crossed the line before taking avoiding action yet again from Downing, who had stopped 3/4 of a length beyond the line.
Commitment, belief, ability to change strategy on the fly and keep pushing through the pain... that's what it takes to go the distance. So proud of what we accomplished and thank you for laying it all on the line (quite literally)!
One step further, ladies - 3rd to 1st we're bound, Downing will go down!
I don't think I've ever been so excited for a race as I was for this. We had talked about what we were going to do, and had decided to lay everything on the line to go for the Headship, even if this meant getting bumped by Jesus later in the race. Our plan was basically to throw the kitchen sink at Downing and hope they sunk.
For the first time in my life, bumps was running early, so Yining, Fordy and eventually Iain had a long chat with our very experienced umpire. With the adrenaline pumping we squared, buried and prepared for the race of our lives.
The start was clean and racy. Yining told us afterwards that we strode to 37, but it felt like 32 to me. Eva's rhythm gives us an amazing number of pips. We were solid round First Post corner and lifted in the Gut to get back up to speed. Undeterred by the huge Jesus bank party at Grassy, which effectively drowned out everything else, we took a clean corner and headed onto Plough Reach for our epic burn. 2 strokes for catches and we started lifting. The boat was flying, but we were sticking on Downing. We kept it strong and in control, but we were all at our red lines.
Coming into Ditton we took a tight line and kept the catches and tap downs in control, smoothly coming onto the reach preparing to cross that line and destroy ourselves. Jesus got one whistle here, which I called as bullshit, and we began our unsustainable minute to try to make an impression on Downing. It was not to be. They cruised away from us once they had a straight course. However, our warrior's spirit didn't go to waste, as Jesus was preparing to bring a new battle upon us.
Clearly rowing a long race, Jesus began to take advantage of the face that we were completely spent. They started inching up on the reach, and the whistles began. At the kink, they got to 1/4 length and I screamed 'YINING!' and prayed for as effective a move as 2 days ago. The girls delivered. With cool, collected calls from Yining, who was revising the race plan as we went along, we pulled away slightly. Jesus responded. We oscillated for a few strokes, and then they began moving up on us aggressively. I screamed for a lift and we started cranking it. They were staying close to the bank, giving them overlap without contact and Yining steered for the corner early to avoid them. When we reached the post, we began yet another unsustainable minute and wind to the line.
My eyes were fixed on the Jesus bow as we came under the railway bridge. Yining was calling move after move but Jesus were taking inches every stroke. Just at the first barges their bows were riding next to our stern and I saw them skip over ours. We pulled away and thought they were finished, having steered for the bump and missed, but they stuck with us.
As if bound together, we ploughed our way round Morley's Holt, Iain calling for Yining to stay straight, Yining steering to avoid Jesus. Every stroke we held them and held them, working our spent legs to their limits.
We crossed the line with no contact. Never before have I rowed away from something like that. This race was won by two things. The guts and grit of the girls and Yining's cool execution and steering.
This bumps has given me two of my most epic races. I never would have believed that I would be here, this time last year, but I am so grateful that I am. It has been a privilege to row with you girls. I need to thank Fordy for, consciously or not, bringing me back to the club and making me realize that I'm not done with the Cam.
We have the potential to do something special in Mays. This crew has shown that we can commit to a race and follow it through to the bitter end. Do the same with the 2013 campaign. Stick with us, and we'll row to glory. I'll be there.
As Laura correctly pointed out on the way home, W1 2013 now has a war story to pass down to future generations of the boat club.
Coming into Saturday, everyone had agreed that today was going to be a "death-or-glory" race to the railings. We were going to take the corners technically, build speed on the straights, make it to Ditton in one piece, and then batten down the hatches and hold on for dear life. We'd spent weeks working on our catches, watching "Inches", and learning to move as one crew. Today was our day to push our boundaries and see just how fast we could make the boat move. I can't say it better than Steve Prefontaine and so I'm going to paraphrase him instead (note: it is always appropriate to invoke Pre): The only good race pace is a suicide pace, and today looked like a good day to die.
Spirits were high on the paddle down to the station. We were greeted by a very welcome (and surely illegal) bank party, and settled in to wait. Iain's watch did its thing, the minute gun fired, and we pushed off.
Our start felt quick and clean. Before I knew it, Yining had called to lengthen, and we were rounding first post corner. Sophia and Laura (and Yining, of course!) saw us through Grassy without trouble. I saw the first set of barges, and I knew it was time for the (already all-too-familiar) Plough Reach burn.
Ditton. Before bumps, I thought Ditton corner was my friend - the inevitable carnage zone during morning outings that guaranteed a few moments of rest during the middle of whatever piece we were doing. To any strokeside ex-novices at 2 reading this race report: Ditton Corner is not your friend. Ditton comes up just when your body is beginning to put up a serious fight and the lactate is starting to burn. Ditton is a harsh and unforgiving master that requires decent bladework and early catches. Ditton is a place where minds break, and crews get bumped.
Twenty incredibly tense and stressful strokes later, we were straight. Unfortunately, not five (or so) strokes later, so were (was? I'm so confused about whether other crews are singular or plural) Jesus. The race had changed.
We pushed hard off of Jesus as they got their second whistle. The Long Reach had never seemed so long before. I told myself the bump was imminent, and I was ready to commit when Yining called for our unsustainable minute. Things were less than ideal, but we weren't going down without a fight.
The video seems to suggest we did a reasonable job of holding them off until the Railway Bridge. Yining's bridge call finally came, and I knew the race was going to be won or lost by Morley's Holt. An "everything you've got" call came as we steered for the final bend. I looked at the girls in the Jesus boat one last time - the Jesus girls, with their carefully matched scrunchies.
I don't like losing to girls who wear scrunchies.
Morley's Holt. Gurns all round. Pain. Evasive coxing. More pain. Noise from the bank. So much pain. I didn't realize Jesus were going for the kill, but I knew this was it. Yining called for a bumps push. We took a stroke. Yining's hand stayed down. We took another stroke. Yining's hand was still down. Again we took a stroke, and the hand stayed down. I knew we could hold them until the line, and stroke by stroke we did.
Saturday's race was the kind of race that tells you that things you didn't think were possible, are possible. I'm sure no other club on the river thinks we'll hold the headship in a year's time. They could be right. But I believe they're wrong. Saturday's race was the spark we needed to get us back where we belong.
Good luck tomorrow. Find that extra bit of speed!
I think this race is best summed up by what I heard from the bank:
"Yeah Michael, great line!"
Michael continuously gave us distance around the corners with brilliant lines. Queens, behind us, took a 'Garcia Bumps line' round Ditton, which distracted me momentarily from the pain.
"Wolfson have dropped out behind you!"
Obviously this was garbled in the distance between the towpath and the river, they must have meant Queens or Christs. However, this call came a good 2 minutes before Christs actually bumped Queens and the epic battle behind us came to an end. However, the confusion did result in more pain relief.
"Remember what they did to you!"
Neil's motivational call seemed frighteningly close to us, to the point where I wondered if he had fallen in the river and was clambering back out. Apparently you can just be heard a lot better from the grass near the water.
*2 faint whistles* - all the way down the reach
We sat in a 2/3 length sandwich consisting of Pembroke, Emma and us for most of the reach, oscillating from time to time. I kept hearing whistles that seemed too faint and the wrong tone. They were so insistent and seemed so close that I wondered if Iain had bought a new whistle. In an uncharacteristic breach of my 'eyes dead ahead' policy, I turned to look at him, realized it was Emma's whistle, and resumed what Neil referred to as a 'personal push' with gusto.
And finally, after the race,
"None of the women at the top of the division were the speed I thought they were."
At least we have a better idea of what we're dealing with tomorrow...
Having come into Bumps believing (based purely on Pembroke Regatta) that Downing, Caius and Christs were comfortably faster than the rest of the division, I nearly fell off my bike trying to work out what Christs were doing behind us (nearly getting bumped by Jesus before remembering to row a bit faster).
Returning to the race we were involved in, FaT and Emma were fast enough to threaten the crew in front of them, and Emma and Pembroke were tough enough to avoid being bumped.
Gooooooooo get Emma girls!!! :-D
Denied! Go get Pembroke tomorrow girls!
Well done for the row girls - definitely robbed, Pembroke had better watch out :)
We got our first whistle at Grassy, lost some distance dealing with the corners poorly, but then gained back to two whistles in our Plough Reach burn.
Michael took a brilliant line round Ditton and we quickly heard 3 whistles, then the overlap whistle. We knew it was make or break, but Emma did too, and used their push off of us to gain on Pembroke.
Motivation to push was lost when they bumped out in front of us and we let it slip until we came under pressure from Christs, giving everyone on the finish line the wrong impression. Never mind.
There's not much to add to the report itself, but the flavour is very different after sleeping on it. After some initial wobbles, all we could feel until Ditton was real commitment to following the race plan, grinding them down inch by inch. Michael and the bank parties report some misterious occurences around Grassy affecting the line, but not the feeling in the boat.
The inch-by-inch approach meant that we didn't have a whole lot to give once we heard the overlap whistle, but the rise in speed was noticeable and we emptied the tank. Drained it completely. In such a situation, with legs all over the place, not even the 2-3 lengths ahead of Christ's were enough to feel comfortable (pardon my incapability to judge from the 4 seat).
Our bank parties found this race great fun, so they were very excited right away. We were overwhelmed with thoughts and questions about what would / could have happened if... But after thorough investigation, the answer is - not much. We still have enough time to achieve our target, and knowing that we can bump Pembroke and hold Christ's off means that we should just go out and do everything as we did today.
Well done girls (and Michael)! Can't wait to be cheering from the bank tomorrow!
Yay! I am so happy for you! Well done!!! I look forward to tomorrow and the bump on Emma. Nothing to lose, just give it all. Ra ra!
First time I have ever seen W1 as the first listed FaT crew. If Julia had said you could reasonably finish second on the river at the start of term, would you have believed her?
Finish the week on a high. Go get Emma. They haven't got anyone to catch to get away from you. Hope to see it all.
The result we wanted, but probably not the way we wanted it.
We were feeling nervous rowing up to the start (in fact, our paddling was so bad that Fordy felt the need to jump in after the race to remind us how to row).
Our start wasn't great, I was distracted by Christs appearing to point into the bank rather than at us. We strode to 40 and kept it high through Grassy. I was concerned about how much Christs were gaining through the corners, and Kerrie kept calling for pushes. Michael responded with calls for length and power, which worked well.
Iain was calling for time over the feet to calm our frantic rowing, and Kerrie tried to change the rhythm, but it was feeling sharp and I wanted to keep it that way through the corners, consoling myself that we would stride properly on the reach.
Michael was excellent, telling us what was going on in front of us and exactly how we were going to respond to it.
I think we heard 2 whistles in Plough Reach, 3 just after coming round Ditton and then overlap on the reach. The whistles came mercifully quickly as we dug deep for a bit more at the end of Pembroke's sprint.
A very welcome result, my first greenery since Mays in my 3rd year. Pembroke gave us a very good fight, and were exceptionally gracious, congratulating us as we paddled past their boathouse. I wish I could have found the wisdom to be as magnanimous last year. All credit to them.
Bring on tomorrow girls!
Woooooooo!! Go girls :- D
A great race. The margins were bit like yesterday, but the girls had the final killer push out of Ditton and finished the job as their blade caught our stern. Hopefully they'll go one further tomorrow and end up 2nd on the river...
To answer Thomas' point, <statto>today is the first time that the 1st Women have been higher on the river than the 1st Men since 1982 - 30 years ago.</statto>
So so proud of you girls, amazing! Go finish off Emma now and put yourself in the perfect position to attack Downing next year!
To the Emma crew, respect. If I'm ever in a similar situation then I hope I'm able to lift my game and hold my nerve like you did today.
To the FaT crew and our wonderful coaching team, I thank you. It's been immense.
Well done girls, a very credible Bumps this Lent term. Bring on the Mays!
Well done. I didn't watch this race but I can only assume it was close. I wanted to congratulate you not only for doing well this term, but also for being honourable and fair. When we won in a close race with Emma in Lents 2008, they gave us only offensive words.
And remember, there will be other races to come...
I've been hesitant to write much about how we were feeling during the races, or whether they went as planned since our race plans were almost the same each day. However, with the benefit of hindsight and a long rest in front of me, I'd like to go back to each of the races.
Day 1: We had no idea what we were getting into. The Pembroke regatta results suggested that Christs would bump Queens' early in the race, leaving us with clear water behind so that we could go after Emma without worrying about blowing up. We weren't sure how we measured up against Emma or Pembroke, but were fairly certain that Downing would badger off into the distance.
What actually happened was that Christs and Queens' were behind us for most of the race, and we soon realized that our sprint for Emma might have to be more sustainable than we intended. Some confusion about how to deal with sitting 2/3 of a length off of Emma meant we never really put them under much pressure. We crossed the line largely confused.
Day 2: We resolved to really go for it on Day 2, knowing that Emma had a slower start than us, and figuring that the only reason for Christs appearing to lose a huge amount of speed since Pembroke was that they were holding back, thinking the bump on Queens' was inevitable. Iain came to us after the race the day before and said there wasn't much between us, Pembroke and Emma, but that if we actually settled the next day, we might have a chance. We did attempt to, but were far too excited when we started getting whistles on Emma. It was heartbreaking to get so close and miss, but you don't expect crews to break and give up at the top of the first division. Christs were nowhere until our pressure died significantly on the reach, and they got a few whistles after the railway bridge. By this point, we had stopped worrying about them, and were thinking about trying to bump Pembroke.
Day 3: Frantic, manic, crazed. Iain was not happy. We were after the bump, and it was a fantastic result considering what the women's side has been through in the past year. We were told Pembroke were inside station on Emma when we bumped them, so were focusing on bumping the next day as well.
Day 4: We were cocky. We thought we were going to bump. After coming away from a day with overlap on Emma, we figured they would be terrified of us. As it turned out, they weren't, they kept their heads, and it was day 1 all over again.
We actually did settle this time, albeit only to 35. Better than 40, like on day 3. It was a good row, and I said afterwards that if it had been a 2k head race, I wouldn't have done anything different. We didn't take as much out of them on Plough Reach as we had on days before, and as the race went on, there was no obvious place to make a move. It was committed and it was fast, but it was only when we returned to frantic rowing after the railway bridge that we closed to 1/2 length. It reminds me of not quite bumping Maggie on day 2 in Mays '10, but in reality it was nowhere near that close. However, unlike day 2 this year, the expectation was there.
Fordy said that obviously when both we and Emma rowed well, we were a length faster. We both had good races that day. To their credit, Emma were ladies about it, and seeing the 5 top crews collapsed at the finish line seemed to sum up the Bumps this year.
We have to look at this result in terms of what we, and everyone around us were expecting. My goal for this Lents was to stay level. I wanted to keep W1 within reach of the headship. Instead, we defied the early results, and most of Bumpit, and went up. The headship can still be the target for the crews that come after us, and we've pushed them closer to it. In a race which requires as much sweat and toil and history as Bumps, I think this is the best possible thing we could have done.
Now it's up to you, W1 2013.
Bumped by Downing
Well, Downing were seriously rapid off the start. Not a whole lot we could have done, got bumped on First Post corner.
Credit to an excellent Downing crew.
Not the ideal result, but in bumps anything can happen, and keep waiting to pounce if Downing make the slightest slip over the next 3 days.
Bumped by Emmanuel
hmmm, decentish row. Could have been faster. Ended up wide on Ditton as I couldn't cut in, tried to get round the corner but ended up practically holding their 2 girl's blade.
Bumped by Pembroke
A committed row, that cannot be doubted. Our start was pretty rubbish, some people got stuck in, but these things happen. We recovered pretty well, however, and moved into an aggressive racing rhythm. We appeared to gain slightly on Emma ahead by the gut, but that may have just been perspective. As we went into grassy, I became aware that Pembroke had closed significantly, and a sneaky peek told me they were overlapped. Half way through the corner it looked like they were steering for it, so a quick move and a stern swap put us on the pub side. This was perhaps an error later on. Coming onto Plough reach, we moved to clear water as they straightened out of the corner, however once they moved up to straight water speed they started moving back. Committed push after committed push held them slightly, but they came back to large overlap by Ditton. At this point I attempted to take a wide line to prolong as far as possible, but they steered for it and it was all over.
Finally, a decent row. We moved off pretty well from Christ's behind, although were dropped pretty quickly by Pembroke ahead. No real need for drama as Queens' dealt with Christ's behind leaving us a pretty relaxed row over. With more time we were better able to settle into a rhythm, something which didn't happen on any of the previous three days, hopefully this will be of some use come WeHorr.
In all, this bumps has been, ultimately, disappointing. The aim was to retain the headship, and had anybody asked me whether we would before day 1, I'd have said probably yes. I still think our best cruising speed may have held Downing, but their speed off the start was nothing short of phenomenal, and it was something to which we just had no answer.
The archives of results and race reports on the website tell a lot of stories, but mostly they tell stories of success. After the boys' epic row-over on Wednesday, everyone is (rightly) eager to congratulate them. After we got bumped on Wednesday, there was radio silence. Now that bumps is over I thought it might be worth spelling out what's happened this week, and beyond.
(The crew has learned this term how cheesy I can be, and I'm afraid you haven't seen the end of my rambling yet).
We started out this term in a tough spot - coaching was patchy, crews weren't definite, and we've been plagued by illness and injury throughout. Neil arrived with three weeks til bumps, and transformed us from a group of girls of varying standards and commitment levels to a crew that buckled down and manned up.
With three weeks to go, Neil didn't have much to work with - too late for huge technical changes, but he did inspire us, and ultimately create a crew in the best sense of the word. With sketchy results all the way up to bumps, and an early loss in Pembroke Regatta, we knew we had a lot to prove. The day after we lost in Pembroke, we sparred with Queens W1 and our confidence was restored. Later that week we sparred with both M2 and M3, with decent results that proved to the crew that we had a lot more potential to move boat than we'd had a chance to demonstrate.
With this attitude, we looked forward to bumps as a chance to finally prove that we weren't the spoonbarge everyone expected.
Day one saw us bumped by an explosive Downing crew, whose standard we really didn't understand until that day. They very clearly deserve the headship, and are really in a league of their own. They completely raised the bar in women's college rowing. We were both shocked and devastated to have been bumped so quickly, but realised that there really wasn't much we could have done when faced with such formidable opposition.
Day two we went into the race with Emma chasing us relatively confident that we could hold them and looking forward for a second chance to show what we had. Again, they gained on us off the start and steadily closed. We realised again that despite how far we'd come as crew, we hadn't come far enough, and despite some impressive evasive coxing from Swords we were bumped coming round Ditton.
By day three we had been through two separate devastations, but, if anything, had grown closer as a crew. We looked forward to finally proving ourselves. After a less-than-perfect start, however, Pembroke soon began to close, and had overlap by Grassy. We enlisted the 'do-or-die' push to open up to clear water, while they steered for the bump and missed. We managed to open up the gap slightly, but they responded with another massive move to get back to overlap. At this point, I started finishing short so as not to hit their bows with my blade. Swords called another massive move, and somehow the boat responded and I was taking full strokes again as we pushed them away a second time. All credit to Pembroke who responded again and closed again, and there was no where for us to go as we came round Ditton, where they finally bumped us. The disappointment that we'd bounced back from twice returned for a third go, and again the crew rallied.
Day four we had the 'Christ's buffer' behind us, and looked forward to finally being able to row past Ditton, and do the 2k that we'd been training for. We moved off with a decent rhythm, Christ's and Queens' bumped out behind us, and we finally got our long row down the reach, although not in the kind of 'glorious isolation' we had hoped for.
My only regret is that we weren't able to give Neil the result he deserved. When he arrived in Cambridge three weeks before bumps and encountered a 'crew' desperate and terrified, he never faltered, but gave literally everything he could to help us make the most of what we had. Turbo ergs, epic outings, and lots of pasta eventually saw us come together in a way I've never experienced before. Personally, this is my worst bumps result (unless you count not getting on in W3), but my experience this term in this crew has probably been the best I've had in First and Third.
We suffered this year from a serious increase in the standard of women's rowing in Cambridge. However, as JPD said after the race, the fact that we're devastated by finishing fourth on the river indicates just how far FaT women have come over the years. The only real disappointment I feel now that bumps is over is not that we should have trained more or pushed harder - we did all we could - but that we weren't able to keep the position that so many girls before us fought so hard to put us in. On the flip side, we now know how it feels to go down, and are that much more determined to go up in the future. (Weights sessions start this week).
So, our result didn't follow our plan, and is disappointing for both our crew and our club, but this term has been far from a wasted effort, and I don't have any regrets. The eight girls and one boy in this boat have grown as athletes and as team members - thanks to Neil and to each other. Thank you girls & Swords & Neil - it's been immense.
Amazing, well done! Wish I'd been there to see it.
FAB :- D congratulations girls, see you tomorrow!
I was watching in the Gut and at Grassy. I thought you'd have had them just comingout of Grassy but they put in a do-or-die push to hold you to Ditton. The same place they got us last year. Good luck for the next 3 races!
P.S. Just found a video of the bump http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=78OLDaQNfOg
P.P.S. I was told this year's W1 got Emma earlier than Emma got us last year, contrary to what I wrote earlier. I apologise to Julijana for this mistake.
Trivial. And you lost me a pint :(. Oh well, well done :).
I may be a rather impatient person....but this was one hell of a bump worth waiting for!
FaT W1 - Back Where We Belong :oD Well done!!
Massive congratulations girls - fantastic to see.
Good work. I think a competition with M1 for largest finishing margin is in order.
Well done girls, most of you've seen my footage already but here it is edited and with an apropriate soundtrack, part of a work in progress montage
just watched that back, its a bit cack, the version I have on my computer is much better, will find a way of getting the good one on youtube
CONGRATULATIONS!!! BWWB :-) (and no, caps lock isn't on, I'm just excited and proud)
I've just got all emotional watching that. Very, very pleased for all you guys. Well done girls, absolutely fantastic :D
Rowed over Head
Well done girls!
Rowed well until the bump behind was inevitable, about the exit of grassy, then rowed fairly poorly over the rest of the course, saving a little for tomorrow.
Hopefully a little pressure tomorrow will bring out the best of FaT W1.
Rowed over Head
Well Downing gave it some welly but you seemed to take it all comfortably. Downing got some dubious "bullsh*t" whistles on the Reach but never could improve further on a small gain from a massive push.
Rowed over Head
Massive :D. Major congrats!
HUGE congratulations!! And very well deserved.
Held Downing on station to Ditton, with a push out of Ditton beginning the move away, and increasing the distance until the finish line was crossed. 19 seconds was the final margin.
What a finale to my college Bumps career! After lots of issues with nerves meant that we started into the week signifacantly below our usual performance, we gradually found back to our rowing and improved from day to day. On the last day, we finally showed spectators and opposition why 'Head of the River' is really the only position we can be in this term!
The first stroke was still a bit nervous but already during the 'build'-strokes it became obvious that there was nothing to worry about at all. Downing had announced that they would treat this as a 'race to the Plough', giving it all off the start and sprinting for us, but they never got anywhere near us. We found our rhythm, pushed through the corners and down the gut, and flew down Plough reach, carried by the cheers of the crowd. Coming out of Ditton, we did our usual push onto the reach and started walking away. The sight of Downing fading into the distance between Ditton and the kink will stay in my mind as one of the sweetest rowing memories ever!
From then on, it was really only about how much margin we could put between us and them. Our bankparty called 3 1/2 lengths coming under the railway bridge, and we gradually extended that to 4 lengths on the finish line.
All that is left is to say a heartfelt thank you to my crew and the coaches. I have never enjoyed rowing as much as in the last two terms. I've never before been part of a crew with such an amazing crew spirit, where the feeling of belonging together and trusting each other extends far beyond the boathouse! Thanks to all of you! Rowing with you guys is a pure pleasure!
And thanks to Sonya for being our 'brain', our motivation and simply the most amazing cox we could possibly have!
Massive thanks to Tom for uncounted hours at the river, for carrying huge amounts of kit while cycling like crazy, for offering your place for crew pasta again and again, and for organising all and everything around us so smoothly that we never had to worry about anything and could totally focus on our rowing. This would not have been possible without your commitment to captaincy!
Finally, our deepest thanks go to the coaches that forged us into the fastest women's college crew currently on the Cam. JPD, who came down from London so often that we gained the impression he'd moved to Cambridge, and who even came out to Ely to see us sparring with CUW. And Iain. Having you back, believing in us, giving us confidence and sharing your experience with us meant more than I can describe with words. Your smile at the finish line was the sweetest reward after every race, better than any pot or medal in the world could be! Thanks for every early morning this term, for every Saturday you came to see us race, for coming all the way to Peterborough and Ely with us! This is your headship as much as ours.
Fuck yeah. I called this before we got Emma on day 1, and a few times on day 4 walking away from Downing. It really sums it up. Total Domination! (Watching Bring it on was indeed great pre-race preparation :))
Since Fairbairns everyone knew FaT W1 are coming to get the headship and we were determined to not only stay head but do so with a great margin. On day 4 I have to say we executed this race plan to perfection.
Repeating what was said at the dinner, I want to thank Tom for being a great Captain, JPD and Neil for putting so much hope and effort into us and Iain for always making rowing seem so simple.
A thanks to all who carried the boat with me and Natasha on it. I know we are heavy but it was an amazing experience!!
And finally, thanks to all my girls. I love you all!
Reaching the top is hard and staying there is harder, but getting there again after slipping back is probably the hardest of all - just ask the England rugby team. This Headship was the culmination not just of two terms' rowing but of 18 months' effort since the women's boat club suffered its second huge turnover of personnel in two summers, and as well as those that others have mentioned enormous thanks and congratulations are due to last year's 1st Lent VIII for having bumped back to second on the river, and in particular to Liz for having steered the club brilliantly through a challenging year, making this year's domination possible. Much better conditions than on Friday allowed the girls to show their true standard: Downing barely took any distance off the start and were annihilated on the Reach, with the margin at least three lengths coming into the Railway Bridge and around four by the finish. Canada might 'own the podium' but First and Third, complete with all-star Canadian imports (if not Tom Coker's lycra this time round), own the river. Well done girls - legends one and all.
Bumped by Jesus
Very panicked, very messy. Air strokes in the draw strokes made us lose momentum right off the start and into the corner, and an explosive Jesus start had them close to 1 length by our 5th stroke.
We knew Jesus would give it all off the start due to a fast Downing chasing them, and our aim was to hold them off for long enough so that Downing would have a shot at the Headship later in the week. Unfortunately our lack of momentum round First Post meant that Jesus closed rapidly and we were bumped on the entrance to the Gut.
Our lack of experience showed today, as it did yesterday, but every time we go out there we build on that experience, so come Mays, and even next Lents, we'll be in a better position to fight back.
Just listened on the radio.. Sounds like a really amazing row - awesome effort girls!
Just saw the smiley pop up!!! :- D well done girls!
Amazing!! Well done!! Looking forward to watching you go hell for leather at Emmanuel tomorrow!
YEAAAAAAAAAAAAH! Well done girls!!!!!!
Girls, this is PHENOMENAL! I am so happy for you!
Woohooo! Go girls!! Good luck for tomorrow.
Well done, ladies! Go return Emma's bump tomorrow!
Well done girls, everyone is so proud of you, and you should be so proud of yourselves!
Well done, fantastic! A really great result to bump a crew back. Good luck for tomorrow.
This sounded immense on the radio. Huge Congratulations!!!!!! Go whack Emma tomorrow!
Awesome!!! Can someone please put up a descriptive race report for all of us who missed out on this when it happened live.
Hearing this news made my day. Best of luck on day 4 - I wanna see a V for victory traced out on the top of that table!
Woop woop, huge congratulations girls and boy :) Just listened to the radio commentary whilst eating my breakfast and I almost choked on my museli with excitement! Best of luck for tomorrow, wish I could be there cheering you on tomorrow but I'll be dreaming of another bump tonight :)
You have no idea how pleased I am! Well I am sure you do. Awesome job, I am so proud of you. This is how you know how to row, so none of that fear again please. Go and bump Emma tomorrow! I will be checking the website during my conference talks... All the best!!!
We were quite sure that Downing would bump us at some point, so our plan was to make it as hard as possible for them. With a demoralising bump on Thursday it was a case of damage limitation.
Our start was not perfect, but much better and a lot more relaxed than Wednesday or Thursday despite Downing getting an early whistle at First Post. That was the last whistle I heard from behind and we managed to stride (finally!) to 30 before squeezing to our race rate of 32. By this stage Jesus had opened the gap by an extra length or so.
We had a good Grassy corner thanks to bowside, and a good push into the Plough. By this stage I noticed Jesus wasn't getting any smaller. A tight Ditton thanks to strokeside pressure brought us back on station with Jesus, and an almighty push followed by an excellent rhythm brought us our first whistle (confusing several in the boat, given Downing was far behind!). A quick check of the cox box showed 31, and I could see ahead that Jesus was rating much higher than us, and their faces showed exhaustion. This was followed shortly by two blasts, the Jesus cox steering to the left and my voice apparently going up in pitch.
Absolutely loving the ride at this stage another squeeze got us three, then a continuous whistle. Calls to steer left along with a bumps push were followed by bow hitting 7's blade, creating an unusual double cross shape on the bumps chart, and completely messing up people's BumpIt predictions...
Utterly ecstatic, we don't care how the rest of bumps goes. We proved we weren't a spooning crew and we deserved a place high in the table, despite our general lack of experience.
***Video*** at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tm4V21WVtKo
Good job girls, and sorry it didn't work out today, but you are all here next year, so it's certainly something to look forward to. I am very proud of you! Have a good time at the dinner and the bop tonight, and I expect some awesome rowing next term and blades in May bumps. Also, please can someone write a detailed report on the rowing once everything is over?
A really good row.
Not many nerves existed now since there was nothing to really lose. Even if we were bumped we had already stopped the general consensus that we would go a long way down, and that made us very happy.
We showed that, despite having a slower start, we were quicker than Jesus over the course, and we knew that Jesus would have their whistles early on in this race.
Our start was perhaps the best out of all our bumps races, but the stride took a little longer than yesterday. Jesus got two whistles very early on and for quite a long time too, around First Post and into the Gut - turned out to very optimistic given there was still about a length between the boats during this time(?)
No more whistles followed and we opened up the gap from then on. Onto the Plough we were probably about on station with Emma, if a little out, but coming around Ditton Emma gradually opened up the gap until the end showing their speed and strength.
An excellent row from Emma who showed how they deserved the Headship this time round, but also an excellent row from the girls who beat the odds to drop no further than 2nd.
To overcome so many disappointments with injury, obvious from our performance at Pembroke Regatta, and no permanent replacement up until a week before bumps we have done ourselves proud.
Many thanks to all our supporters, and especially to Julijana for subbing in whenever we've needed her, to Kim for being our lifeline, to Jenny and Anne for supporting us on the bank, and of course to Iain who kept us going through the rough times and got us up to speed despite all of the hurdles.
We're already so up for fighting for it back next year.
Congratualtions girls - a fantastic achievement to have bumped back yesterday and held your position today, that takes real guts and is something you should be very proud of :) I hope all the ex-novices enjoyed their first taste of senior racing proper and are hungry for more, and that the experienced pros are now keener than ever for Mays (Liz you know you want to...!). Enjoy a well-deserved rest and the dinner/bop (3 boat clubs = triple carnage... news please!) and I really look forward to watching some more bumping action on the last day of Mays :)
Well done FaT W1. Looking at the last couple of years, there seems to be a history of underestimating this crew. I don't know whether that's a reflection of your own lack of confidence or just misjudgment by everyone else, but in either case I think you have proved a point this week. It takes a lot of guts to turn around and fight after going down two in the first two days, especially from the Headship, and all the more so when many of you have so little racing experience. You might not realise it, especially the freshers among you, but there are a lot of us bufties out there (in the Real World!) watching the progress of First and Third up and down the bumps charts. You've done us proud this week. Well rowed.
Rowed over Head
Been listening on CUR1350. Great start!
I've been trying to listen to the radio but it keeps crashing so had to resort to refreshing the website every few seconds.
WELL DONE GIRLS!!!!!!!!!!!!
Ra Ra First and Third!
Not our best row ever, but job more than done. Tomorrow we will hopefully be a good deal less nervous and row as pretty as we know we can!
Spectating isn't usually fun when the opposition doesn't even put up a decent fight. But this was very satisfying.
We made Iain and Seb smile... or was it just a facial twitch?! :) Bit nervous on the start, but turned into a good solid row. More of the same tomorrow please. (And on a personal note I went up 52 places today...that's got to do wonders for my Bumps average!)
Awesome! And if that's not even your best yet, the other crews must be shaking in their shoes! (I should add a thanks to Erica for her intercontinental text update service).
By the Mays, FaT should be running its own intercontinental service on +447797800300. You read it here first!
Rowed over Head
Well done again! All guns firing for tomorrow then...
Good work girls. You have a lot of great results behind you to take into tomorrow's race. Halfway there now.
Well done!!! Go make Emma cry tomorrow!!!!!!
Well done girls! It was looking neat from the meadow side - good luck for tomorrow!
Rowed over Head
More of the same tomorrow, please. Will be watching. Cannot wait to see you!
Yes!! Listened on CUR. Now go finish the job tomorrow!
Rowed over Head
This is the best thing ever! ever ever! you are legends, I'm so very pleased for you!
Awe inspiring! It was thrilling to run alongside for the final segment. I'm really really happy for you all!
We did it :) Our hardest race of the week, but we do like to make it exciting for our supporters... When it came down to it we were the stronger, fitter, mentally tougher crew - all those ergs, circuits and early mornings were totally worth it. We were completely unrecognisable from the fairly random selection of girls who rocked up to the boat house in Mich term: 5 from W2, 1 from W3, a couple of funny foreigners and someone who'd never been in a boat before! Thankyou to everyone who believed in us and helped us make history by giving us their time and experience (and sanity!), but thankyou mainly to the other 8 girls in W1 who have made such a difficult term so much fun and something to remember forever - now our names go on the black board atbh for people to look at doing circuits in 250 years time :)
Stroke: Height - 5'7"; weight - 10st (before crew pasta); finish position last Lents - Arse of the River; highest boat before Mich 2007 - W3
Apparently word on the bank was that you had been down to London in the morning, done WeHORR and had just returned for Bumps.
Wow what a day! I woke up this morning, a day after, and the first thought that came up to my mind was, damn I am late for our morning paddle! But then it dawned that there is no morning paddle today. We did it! We retained the headship!
We started Mich term as a crew who was miles away from staying head. None of us had rowed in W1, none had a 2k sub 8 min. The numerous ergs, circuits, and not to mention crazy long outings nearly every day, were all worth it! Race by race we were climbing up, from being 5 places down the top (Fairbairn's), to being 1s slower (Winter Head-to-Head), to being 5 seconds faster (Head of the Nene), and finally to being winners (Pembroke Regatta), when we finally realized that we can do this. It was certainly not easy. Rowing to the start every day was a huge mental challenge. We had amazing four calm starts (we had trained our bodies with all those practice starts this term), beautiful strides, and good powerful rowing (despite the wind) to push off any crew behind us. We really wanted this, we had bigger hearts and more determination than anyone else. We rowed over head four times as a crew, and trusted each other completely that everyone will give their best. And we did it! We are FaT W1! I am proud to have rowed with you girls and to have fought hard for this headship.
Many thanks to Iain, Seb, Neil, Tom, Peter Summers and everyone else who helped us become this crew and who believed in us.
Bow: Height - 5'2" (smaller than our cox!!!); weight - 8.1 st; finish position last Lents - 5th W3 division; highest boat before Mich 2007 - W2.
*Footnote: Trained for 7 weeks and rowed over head with a rib stress fracture, which I am finally going to give a rest (or at least until I get into a boat or do an erg).
You deserve this so much. I was going to email you all separately, but then I thought, I want other people to know too. I want the boys, and the lower boats, and all the other crews on the river to read these reports, and realise just how much this Headship meant to First and Third W1.
You've come so far since I coached you last year in the second and third boats. It's great to see that despite the problems you've had, you've all taken the self-belief that W2 and W3 had last year, and brought that into W1. It hasn't been an easy year, but you guys stuck it out and all that hard work has paid off now.
Crew spirit brings so much to a boat. This is an achievement you will never forget. I'm looking forward to see what you can do in the Mays (you only need one overbump and three bumps to get that Headship)!
PS You're the first ever FaT crew (men or women, since the merger) to retain a Headship for a second year! For 40 minutes you were the only ones. It's great to see the women getting somewhere first ;o)
The toughest race I ever had. It felt like dying instantly when we rowed past the kink, and I remember thinking 'sh**, another 3 mins to go'. I have no idea how I managed to keep moving and putting power down until we finally (ages later, it seemed) passed the finish line. And I will never understand how the distance between the Railway Bridge and Peter's Posts can extend so much that it ends up being longer than all the way down from the start to there (somehow it did though).
Back in Michaelmas Term, when I thought of defending the headship all I felt was naked fear, and I was sure this would end up in total embarressment. Nobody believed we could do this, including ourselves. 5 months later, finding ourselves reffered to as 'legends', I still feel like living in a totally irrealistic dream! I keep waking up at nighttime, turning on the light to have a quick glance at my headship medal, just to confirm it is there and things really happened!
We worked hard to achieve this, and we paid with sweat and blood (most oar handles had stains after the race) for this victory. I personally was so knackered that I couldn't even open my water bottle anymore, and Iain had to heave me out of the boat. I hope I never have to go thus far beyond my physical limits again, but at the same time it was totally worth it!
We did it! (Still can't quite believe it.) WE REALLY DID IT!!!
We wrote history and made FaT the first club ever to retain a double headship!
Ra Ra First and Third!!!
3: Height - 5'6''; weight - 9.6 st; age - 33; highest boat before Mich 2007 - W2.
I'm still grinning for you! It was nervewracking chasing you down the towpath, but the result was fantastic. You guys have worked so hard for this, you really deserve it. Make sure you gloat for all its worth!
Woke up this morning and... yep, still head of the river!
When I joined up, nooooobody thought we would do it, least of all the girls! I always knew that we could, but that it would take a lot of work, but now that we did it, I still can't quite believe it. I'm not really sure how that medal got on my desk...
And now, a cheesy interlude:
Charley: You've always got a cheerful attitude and a big smile for everyone, but you can snap into serious rower mode in no time at all, and as stroke you make sure the others do too. You'll try anything for the coach and give it your all, despite whatever hard work came before, and lead the team into ANOTHER 8 min. bumps piece with perfect fortitude.
Tera: You bring some serious raw power to the boat, stroke after stroke, and your total determination shuts out pain and loss of sight and sound. When you slam in the finish, I feel it! Your commitment to the boat is an inspiration; always the first to offer to sneak out of a commitment or jump out of bed at 5.00 am.
Julia: You are our real Cinderella story, from novice to headship in two terms flat! The team is lucky to have snapped up you're natural talent and strength, and the world of rowing is all yours if you want it.
Harriet: You handle all the organizing and management so well you make it look effortless, I can't imagine how you do it, dealing with the dramas with real style, and still show up with a leadership attitude and the will to row strong day after day after day. You've led a scratch crew to headship!
Aline: Wow are we lucky to have you this year; you taught yourself English rowing style (frankly I still think American style is more effective but hey) with no complaints and no excuses, just determination to make sure that all you're power gets into the water with the rest of the girls. When I glance down the rows of oars making sure no one is slipping into their bad habits, I always have confidence in your blade and your stroke.
Ulrike: You alone, I think, were the most determined and the most sure that we could do it, and your faith was contagious. Your strength is unbelievable, through and around all the work you do outside of rowing, and you really set an example for making each stroke stronger and stronger and faster and faster than the last. You are right, rowing is fun, A LOT of fun when we get it right, and I hope you had as much fun in Lent Bumps as celebrating it!
Hanna: You care so much about this boat and the boat cares so much about you. You always took the good and the bad, and set an example for the boat in confronting the bad and fixing it. You knew when we could do better, and you made sure it happened! You're soft-spoken, sweet smiles are really misleading compared to the rowing animal you can become! Keep that smile for a long time now, because every hard outing and every rough stroke was sooo so worth it.
Julijana: Best for last :) You are way to hard on yourself, looking back, I mean look what you did! You are hard as nails, through and through, with the strength, power, and will to train to keep up and surpass rowers twice your size. You always knew that there was more to give and you gave it, every stroke. I think you deserve this more than any one of us.
Also, a very very very special thank you to Ian who is a psychological master and somehow kept the girls calm on the banks before their big races. I think in a real way they did it for you. Your face after the Pembroke victory was one I will never forget and made it all worth wild even if we hadn't won headship.
Whew! Well girls, they were stronger, bigger, with better erg scores, and they gave us a real fight to the death, but you battled through with blood sweat and tears (literally), and brought heart and soul to the boat, even when the rowing wasn't very pretty, it was still sexy as hell! You are an unbelievably class act!
Cox: 5'2'' and a bit (slightly bigger than bow), 7.5 stn., couldn't cox the Cam without banging into the bank until about a month ago, complete novice to bumps races but being in front helped!
Looking at your card next to my computer I think it is time for me to thank you as well. You have made this term definitely worth it for me not only because I could have some great food with you at crew pasta ( oh..Juljiana's cake), I also had great fun and learnt a lot from Natasha, but mostly because you have taught me a very important lesson - determination and dedication allow you to get ANYTHING you want, even if it seems almost impossible at first sight.
Girls, thank you for the inspiration and you should be incredibly proud of yourselves- you are by far the best women's crew on the Cam!!
Rather a lot of photos for this epic race. Basically it's all of them! I thought it would help the crew and spectators relive every moment (if anyone wants to!). Well done guys, really stunning result. I hope that the record on this website stands for at least 40 years for you to show your grand-children!!
Fantastic start! Wish I could be there this week...
What more can I say, but wooooooooohooooooooo!!
To rephrase the gibberish I came up with earlier in more coherent fashion -
a) fucken' legends the lot of you! (look will, no actual swearwords there;)) Guy told me that I'm going to have a tough time getting in the may VIII :S
b) you are way too keen. save tomorrow's bump till the reach. or at least give me a better estimate of how fast you're going to hit them!
c) heheh, i'm SO glad you bumped emma ;)
d) you guys are unstoppable now - go get that headship - you all deserve it, it's been many years of hard work coming!
Good solid bump on Grassy. Caius (2 in front) had been a worry, but in the race Emma made little ground on them so all was well.
Good stuff. Still lots of work to do this week though...
Going into this race it looked like being make-or-break for us. Emma were evidently a better crew than Caius and likely to bump out at some stage, so it was a question of catching them before they caught the crew ahead. If we hadn't made this bump, it would have used our get-out-of-jail-free card (the extra day) very early on, putting us under some pressure.
We nailed the first few strokes and shot off the blocks, closing to a length almost before Iain could raise the whistle to his mouth. An awesome start which broke Emma; we continued to walk through them and they conceded just out of Grassy.
I think after this race I knew we would make the Headship. With three days to take two places and a confident and buoyant crew, we had the best chance possible.
And again, woooooooooooooo!!!!!!
Wish I could've been there.
Held station with Caius whilst they went all-out for a bump on Clare. Caius closed to half a length on Clare at about Grassy and then faded - bumped out of Ditton.
Super stylish - why bother to actually hit them when you can just overtake? i'm SOOO excited about today (Friday)!
WOOOOOOOOOOO - donkeys for everyone! (nearly..)
Further crew illness worries. Amelia had been unwell at the weekend, Lynsey on Tuesday. Today, Jane turned up to our morning paddle looking distinctly pale and feeling queasy, and was sent home to bed. By lunchtime she had been throwing up and felt worse, so Jo was drafted in from the second eight to sub.
The row down was decent and Jo fitted straight back in to W1 in the 4 seat. Chesterton was a rather depressing place to marshal, as we attempted not to watch a Robinson rower chucking up his (seemingly very large) lunch into the river after rowing over. The crew plague had spread further than we realised - Catherine was sick at Chesterton, but did her best to hide it from the rest of the crew (only myself and Amelia realised).
Given all this, it's unsurprising that our start was not the best we have done. We took longer than usual to settle into the race, with some wobbles in the gut. Coming into Plough Reach, we found our rhythm and suddenly, from calls of "on station", we were somehow magically at a quarter-length coming into the corner. Magnificent cornering gave us a considerably tighter line as Caius swung out wide to avoid (postpone) the bump. Sticking to his guns, Magnus steered us down the racing line on the Reach, and we had over half a length of overlap without concession before we finally moved across to take them down.
As we pulled in to the bank, Jesus bumped Emma right next us. They are a good crew looking to blade in parallel with us - hope we can continue sending crews down to them.
Crew pasta cancelled in an attempt to avoid further spread of the vomiting bug.
Oh my goooooood! You girls are soooooo awesome!!!!!! I am so happy I am going to pop! I wish I was there to see you in person but at least I was listening live! Congratulations! Keep it strong tomorrow. YAY!!!
Bring on the double headship!
At risk of getting repetitive: woooooooo!!!!!
I'm still pinching myself. Can't believe we really did it. Us, head???!!!
Good strong start saw the crew move up rapidly. By Grassy the gap was down to a canvas and further reduced to just a couple of feet by the exit of the corner with a good inside line from Magnus. This awesome and dominant row was finished off in style with the crew drawing partially alongside Clare to bump them at the Plough.
Very many congratulations to the crew and to all their predecessors over the past 4 years, who have achieved what must surely be the most dramatic rise to the Head of the River of all time. From a position of 15th in 2002
, today was the culmination of a rise of 13 places over 12 consecutive days racing in the Lents.
Up 1, bumped New Hall
Up 1, bumped Queens
Up 6, bumped Christ's, Churchill and Newnham, overbumped Girton
Up 3, bumped LMBC, Jesus and Downing
Jane and Catherine back on form, if not at full strength. Good to have a full crew back.
This is what we'd been waiting for all term. The Headship ours to take; we wanted to take it in style. Another good start and we gained a lot of ground on the corners. Clare tried to avoid the bump in the same way as Caius, by steering out of the racing line. We stuck to it and again made considerable overlap before Clare conceded the Headship outside the Plough. Much jubilation.
Rowed over Head
We anticipated that Clare, behind, would go off hard in a last-ditch effort to reclaim the Headship before being bumped by Jesus. So it happened; they made some ground off the start and closed to around a length before fading into the distance.
As we pushed out of Ditton, to huge noise from the banks, it became clear that Clare were not going to appear behind us. The row over as Head would not be pressured at all. A beautiful day and we took the opportunity of clear water to do another great race piece almost to the line, marred only by a small incident with a log causing Julia to lose her blade completely, leaving it floating in the water behind us. Catherine at 7 stroked us across the line.
Link to boat burning video from last night. Very very poor quality. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YaJ51dQG3aw
This is to the whole Club, but seems most appropriate for me to submit to W1...
Just looking at all the reports and pictures at work and I started crying a little, oops. So happy this was achieved, I feel rewarded for all the time invested in the Club.
Absolutely fantastic results throughout the Club. Thanks for capitalising on all your potential.
another boat burning video, complete with chanting!
This wasn't our best ever row but we did what we needed to do and did it reasonably quickly. I think first-day-of-bumps nerves got to us a little bit and so the start and subsequent stride(s) were slightly rushed and not as well together as we have been in training. Fortunately Maggie took a rather erratic line both off the start and around Grassy, making for a relatively quick bump. Tomorrow we know far more what to expect from the crews around us and should hopefully be able to find the rhythm we will need to take us through the rest of the week.
All in all, a satisfactory race, and the result we were hoping for. Job done.
I don't know, I don't know... LMBC W1's calls for "Jeeeesus, Jeeeeesus!!" while beating their tree this morning sounded more like a plea to a Higher Power than their 'power in the water'...
unfortunately neither Jesus W1 nor Divine Providence yielded and we hit them coming into Grassy.
Favourite call: "Draw One-Finish here-quick catches- Oh, Maggie have taken a d... awefull line off the start!"
Favourite opposition comment: Jesus stroke to crew "We're going to get bumped tomorrow!"
A good start and all the sweeter because W2 had come back at Newnham with a vengeance!!!!
As has already been said, not the best row, but it did the job and got the nerves out of the way. Looking forward to something a bit more solid tomorrow.
Fined for "megaphone abuse"?? I love it!
Apparently Iain blew at full power into his whistle into his megaphone into an umpire's ear.
Good race girls! I really enjoyed bank partying you today, it was Very exciting, YAY! Good luck bumping Emma tomorrow :)
From station 6 in the outflow our first few strokes were in dirty water but nevertheless our start was reasonably controlled and powerful and we settled into a strong rhythm after a couple of strides and some gentle encouragement from Jenny. Around first post Jesus, who had caned it off the start to go slightly outside distance, got to within half a length on Emma, but Iain loudly assured us from the bank that they'd gone off too hard and would be dying soon.
Anyway Jesus didn't die quite as soon as I'd hoped and although we closed to a length in Plough reach they pushed away again. Coming around Ditton we encountered a small headwind, and Jenny's instructions to sit up enabled us to finally find the crew rhythm we'd been trying to get. Before too long we were closing on Jesus fairly rapidly, and the confidence of bumping I'd had before Ditton became a feeling of certainty. We soon pushed to half a length and then quickly to a canvas and Jenny told me this one was for me. One killer push from the crew and three smashes of my blade into their stern later saw us eventually get the much desired bump, just before the railway bridge.
In summary, a good hard row against some determined and strong opposition. Tomorrow we're hoping to catch Emma before they get Downing, who are currently on for spoons. I can't wait!
Thoroughly pleasing and purposeful rowing from boating to deboating. We did all we could but with all due credit to our speed, a bump on Emma on First Post was never going to happen!
On the bright side... the one way we could have avoided today's unfortunate starting constellation would have been the Headship for Caius... ahem... you have to admit there are worse trade-offs! ;)
Also very happy to see that all crews but the 1st VIIIs bumped today!!!!
Tomorrow W2 and W1 will strive to become the 3rd and 4th FaT crews to bump Downing this week.
Today we rowed as we had intended to (and ultimately failed to) row all week, rather than battering up and down the slide and getting nowhere fast. Unfortunately even our best efforts, strong rhythm, desire to bump (and no doubt Downing's attempts to avoid spoons) were not enough to get a bump on Emma. We had a good start and pushed Jesus away, but even before First Post Emma had whistles on Downing and bumped them shortly after exiting the corner. Jenny managed to steer us through the bumped out crews and we refocussed on trying to make up ground on Caius, but unfortunately today it was just not meant to be.
It's gutting to be denied our blades, but it's happened to many crews before us and will happen to many again in the future. I guess that's just Bumps. We'll be fired up for chasing Downing tomorrow and hopefully can find the same easy rhythm we got today. From 14th to 5th in seven days of racing is certainly not a bad result! :D
PS Well done to Emma for a very quick bump. Yes, you were outside distance on us. I'll look forward to some good racing at the top of W1 next Lents! :)
I'm sure giving Downing spoons will be more satisfying than winning your own oars...
For the first time this week, we actually nailed the start, which helped us move up on Downing pretty quickly. After that, we did as instructed from the bank, and rowed clinically. Then we got to 1/2 a length and reverted to overenthusiastic spacking for a while - which meant we didn't finish the job quite as quickly as we should have done.
We got them round grassy, but they took an age to concede (a recurring theme), risking serious damage to yet another of their boats.
It's been a really fun week. I'm delighted to have been part of FaT women's journey up the first division, and I can't wait to watch the crew take the headship next year.
jo (I know it says graham, but its not!)
Today we had a much better start and reeled Downing in pretty much as we had intended. Towards the end when we were at a canvas/overlap it was incredibly rocky and as Jo says, we spacked around a bit, but fortunately it didn't matter too much. They eventually followed Jenny's eloquent instructions to concede as we exited Grassy, and became the fourth Downing crew of the week to succumb to a FaT crew.
Up 3 for the week, well done everyone! Training for Lents 2007 begins now.... :)
Their crab meant the last half a length was easier than expected, but were gaining consistently from the start. A slightly scrappy bit of rowing to the bridge, but the second stride felt really good!
And I think we've given a new meaning to club stripeys :)
Hurrah! A nice start; strode down to 38 and closed to within a length, then strode again to 32 and finished them off. Bumped just before first post (? I think... am still slightly hazy on geography beyond the motorway bridge after last year)
Bow 4: up 44, all before first post corner. It's kind of getting annoying now, looking forward to a proper gutsy row tomorrow, might even get beynd ditton :D
Well this was fun. We knew that from previous race form, we were much quicker than Christs, but didn't want to get too complacent. In the end, it was very quick and very easy and the race was over before we'd even really got going, I don't think anyone was really even tired when we stopped. :)
Tomorrow we're hoping to hunt down Churchill; brilliantly, Pembroke hit them today which we hadn't expected. I'm excited already!
I think we're great. THANK YOU PEMBROKE!! (Thank God we called them last night...)
Good start, bit of a spacky first stride [to 38]. Second stride went well though, and we started to reel them in comfortably. The nearly-but-not-quite-best-ever-first-post-corner by Jenners helped us along nicely, and as we approached grassy I could start to feel their wash. They took it quite wide, and we held our [again] good line round grassy to go straight into their stern. BUMP! Tomorrow will be HARD as Girton bumped an apparently spannering Tit Hall, depriving pembroke of their blades, but giving them a [probably] easy bump tomorrow. Well, we will see. For now - Ra ra 1st & 3rd!
!!!! We did it!!!!
Despite a somewhat uncoordinated start, and knowing that Pembroke were likely to get Tit Hall in about ten seconds, we strode to a really solid race pace and just kept it there, closing to station on Girton by Ditton. Pushing out of the corner, we hauled them in and they conceded about halfway down the reach.
A really confident row; we knew we could do it on paper and we showed them we could do it on the water.
Newnham will be a hard row tomorrow but they've got to be scared by our meteoric rise thus far (and the STRIPES!).
And we are now 8th on the river - 8th! Think it's the highest we've ever been :) :)
Ground them down over the course, bumped, oh sorry I mean _overbumped_ half way down the reach.
Cue mad jubilation and Cath swinging the honourary cox [not quite as good as our actual cox] round and round...!
WOOHOOO! Most satisfying row *ever*
Ra Ra 1st & 3rd
AMAZING!!! This felt better even than beating the Red Menace in Pembroke Regatta!
We had been feverishly trying to work out a way to engineer an overbump, this, bar the world's biggest equipment failure on Pembroke, being our only way to secure some seriously desired blades. One of our post-stomping plans included using Paracetamol against the effects of lactic acid (but Cath says it doesnt work, so dont try... she's gonna be a double Dr...) but in the end we managed it, unbelievably, yet fairly and squarly....
ish... a gust of cross-tailwind stretched Jenny's bung-arm in a Braveheart kind of manner until even she could not hold on to it any longer and let go... before the gun. This put me in a state of shock so that our eventually ensuing start was what one might call well spacky. We strode to 38+ but subsequent strides established our race pace of 35/36. As expected the Pembroke ladies bumped out fairly soon after and with Tit Hall having steered towards the non-towpath side to avoid the bump, übercox Jenny took an insanely successful line through the two stationary crews.
Passing Pembroke was truly one of the most encouraging moments of the race- with a good 5 1/2 length to go (at around First Post) self belief hadn't quite set in, and the wall of cheers from last week's surprise sparring partner really kept us going as we pushed, still spackily, towards Grassy.
Becca North later said that seeing us come into Grassy, it seemed like we had given up the idea of hitting Girton, but following a 'push out of the corner call' from Iain, we suddenly seemed to lift it and this is when we FINALLY found our race form. At this point, it might have been just over 4 lengths, I personally dont have a clue. But as we moved into Ditton, Amelia claims to have heard Iain shout '2 lengths'.
I only got the 'we're on station' from Jenny, who had been continually telling us that we were reeling them in and to make the best of our corners, which she, obviously, took brilliantly. But Ditton was the critical moment when Little Jenners turned into The Overbump Biest... there was a lot of agression coming through the coxbox, making clear that we had little choice in what was going to happen between the, arbitrary, ends of the reach. Coming out of Grassy, Iain shouted 'inside station'.
I think at this point every one of us had realised that we were going to make it and the distance calls to the bump at the railings came in shorter and shorter succession. It is unbelievable how our speed did not drop once throughout the race and how much we were still able to lift it towards the end.
'Hold it up!!!' was the signal for all hell to break lose. I seem to remember sort of crying, everyone was screaming with relief and we got out to obstruct the towpath jumping around and hugging (after the last crews had come by of course) for ages and ages. We went to thank Girton, who must have been gutted but were very gracious, then got back into the boat sans greenery. We managed to find some later and had the most elated row back to the boat house.
Who would have thought we'd be starting 8th on Saturday... I can't wait for that gun tomorrow. As much as I like Newnham... and as much as tradition obliges us to wish they could bump LMBC... we're very much up for a last day of carnage!
Thanks everyone for a fantastic row, to all our bankparties, biased and unbiased umpires and Bumps organisers (...) and all those other lovely people cheering. FCUK ©, I love being captain!!!
Wow. This was a truly amazing row, definitely our best ever piece, and such a fantastic result. We all knew we had it in us, and as soon as we heard we were on station the boat lifted and went into a whole new gear. I can't honestly remember most of the race - it's all a bit of a hazy blur - but I certainly do remember the sensation of us hitting them! :)
Jenny, you were brilliant today, we couldn't have done half as well without your encouragement (and downright bloodymindedness!).
If we stay switched on and row as we rowed today and have done all week, we can definitely get Newnham, which would put the icing on our enormous, very extravagant, multi-tiered, blue and gold cake. :) :) :)
xxxxxxxx (for the rest of the crew)
xxxxxxxx (to share amongst the bank party)
xxxxxxxx (for Iain!)
xxxxxxxx (for all the totally unbiased FaT SUs, DUs etc)
xxxxxxxxxxxxx (for everyone else!)
PS I also _love_ the fact that we bumped Girton whilst wearing their colours!! Ho ho ho!
I was standing at the finish, listening in on the CUCBC radios, and the reports from the umpires went something along these lines....
FaT within 4 lengths of Girton,
(a minute later) within 3 lengths of Girton,
(20 seconds later, if even that much) First and Third within 3/4 of a length for the overbump on Girton
(10 seconds later) whoops of excitement from all at the finish (especailly given that 6 out of 7 were FaT affiliated!)
Well done FaT! Fantastic performance. And well done little Jenners for what must have been first-rate coxing!
I think I probably had the best seat on the river for this one!
Gusty wind on the start and slight confusion from the bank about the bow-rigged nature of our boat meant a dropped bung (oops!) and a spacky first 3 strokes. We brought it back together and kept approximately on distance with Pembroke down 1st post reach until they inevitably hit Trinity Hall before the corner. In a last gasp attempt to avoid the bump, Tit Hall caused me a couple of heart stopping moments by moving across the river. Both crews cleared quickly though and (with a little gentle encouragement) pulled their blades out of our path.
Then was my first sight of Girton, i'd guess about 4-5 lengths ahead.
Into the corner a powerful ratio shift took us to our race rhythm. A couple of good corners later, we were 3 lengths away and gaining fast.
More bumped out crews on the entrance to Ditton were 'advised' by Iain to move their blades, so we could get a good line, eating into Girton's lead as they went slightly wide.
The explosion of power as we came onto the reach was amazing, and spurred on by Iain's 'you're inside distance' call, we knew that we were going to do it. It happened so quickly after that, a length.... half a length...... quarter....overlap.....BUMP!!!!!
A truly great achievement from everyone in the boat :)
Such an awesome and well deserved result for a fantastic crew!
Newnham were simply out-classed, although even if they had got LMBC, this crew were more than capable of an(other) overbump on Jesus!
SO well done! xxxx xxxx
Bumped just on grassy after Newnham clipped both corners. Sure Pia will clarify in her essay/report, but a bit of a shame that we did bump so soon as the over bump may have been on again!! Woohoo though, 'proper' blades this time, bring on the headship next year hehe!
:D Ra Ra 1st and 3rd!
p.s well done Cath for now having an aggregate of 'staying level' :D
p.p.s and self congratulation for bow 4: up 64..!
p.p.p.s and of course super cox/rower Jenners: crossed blades and a rudder?!
mmmm off to go and bask in self-glorification and get drunk!
and [finally] thanks to Pembroke for being such good sports :)
Sorry we messed up ;) or was it the Newnham cox?
Despite a spacky first minute which saw Pembroke come slightly inside station, we settled into our race rhythm nicely and were in the process of grinding them down when, as far as I can make out, they clipped the corner, someone came off her seat and we ploughed into them coming out of Grassy.
Rowing home with the flag was just so fantastic, thanks to all of those making up the wall of blue and gold sound at the Plough and down the rest of the course.
I just wanted to reiterate thanks to Pia, Iain and Jenny who have all done their jobs brilliantly this term. :)
All a bit anticlimactic really. I'd psyched myself up for a row similar to Friday, expecting Newnham to put up a good fight and be ground down over the course. However, they (or especially their cox) must have been scared by the way we shot up the charts behind them, because they clipped both corners in the gut, resulting in their 7-girl losing her seat and a somewhat earlier bump than expected.
More interesting to note is that they were closing on Maggie at the time, who were closing on Jesus - so if only Newnham had rowed a little faster, we would certainly have been on for our second overbump of the week on Jesus. So, a *slightly* disappointing result but I guess we can settle for Up Six this year... never mind!
I think it's fair to say that today was a bit disapointing in the end. We had a great start and after our first stride (!), settled on 36 heading into the Motorway bridge. We flew towards first post corner, slightly gaining on Pembroke.
After a lovely tight line through first post corner, we continued to gain on Pembroke towards Grassy, and heard our first whistles as we pulled out of Grassy.
We continued to gain on Pembroke along Plough Reach and as we entered Ditton corner we had decreased the distance to half a length.
However, when it came to Ditton corner, we had technical problems that pushed us out of the racing line and lost us about half a length.
We recovered and got moving again on the Reach, but Pembroke had moved away and we were unable to get close again.
Bring on tomorrow....
Gained half a length off the start, settled nicely into a lovely, more controlled stride and then got our first and second whistles before the plough. We had overlap heading into Ditton but Pembroke pulled away slightly just before the corner avoiding the bump. We pulled it back in the reach and our bows were "dancing" either side of their stern all the way to the railway bridge. But somehow we couldn't finish it off. Still no bump but a much better row overall. Frustrating.
I think that today really drove home the disappointment of yesterday. We had a reasonable start, and did close on Pembroke, but not fast enough. They hit Queens pretty swiftly, meaning we had to easy briefly, then pick it up again for the long and lonely slog home. Not a spectacular row, but we would have needed much more speed to have stood a chance of hitting them on time.
A fantastic start saw us pull away from Catz, who never stood a chance of catching us and were swiftly caught by Sidney Sussex, leaving us to concentrate on chasing Girton. We caught them slightly early on, but they managed to pull it back and we rowed over, never under any threat from Selwyn, doomed to be sandwich boat for another day. A good row from all of us
Another day, another row over behind Girton with no-one in pursuit except a distant Selwyn, this time because Sidney Sussex somehow managed to be lifejacketless, earning them a nice fine and Catz an automatic bump. While it was a relief having little threat of being bumped, we may have made more ground on Girton with Sidney snapping at our heels. As it was we kept on station for a fair amount of the course but began to lose them on plough reach and never got it back. Not as good as yesterday, but not bad. Another crack at Girton tomorrow then...
A rather less good start, but still considerably better than Disney (whose cox managed to forget her lifejacket.....). With no boat within miles of our stern, we held a solid girton at station until the plough, but never really committed 100% to catching them and lacked yesterday's impressive determination. The reach at technical half pressure however, will set us up nicely for a storming row tomorrow. Bring it on....
We knew that today would be a short race.
We had Girton ahead of us who have kept us at bay for the last two days. Today they were chasing New Hall who have been bumped every day so far. Behind us, Sidney were chasing Catz (again...) This race was going to be all over by Ditton.
We got a pretty good start, and closed Girton down to about a length, but to no avail: Girton hit New Hall pretty swiftly. Sidney made fairly short work of Catz again.
Selwyn were never much of a threat as sandwich boat, and the overbump was never within our reach.
Another row-over, but tomorrow we are chasing New Hall. Bring it on!
Bumped New Hall
We knew today was not going to be another row over. Sidney had caught Catz pretty quickly on both wednesday and friday, and looked likely to close on us, while we had a length on Girton when they bumped New Hall on friday. So we set out for a race to first post. Our start was an improvement on the previous two days, and we closed fairly quickly on NH. The threat from behind was perhaps not as great as was feared, since despite my fine display of muppetry under the motorway bridge Sidney "we'd've taken any amount of fine to have a shot at 1st&3rd (and got them by grassy, no doubt)" Sussex didnt creep up much. NH put up a good fight, and held us at half a length for what seemed like forever, but we got them just in time to give our mass of supporters at the plough something to smile about. And ourselves of course- a fantastic first bump for many of us, and a row that showed our determination and committment. Andrews wenches done good :-)
Andrew got us psyched up before the race and put some kind of killer instinct in us. That strategy worked, we wanted it and we went and got it. Ra Ra 1st and 3rd.
First women set out yet again between Churchill and Girton. After a good start, we were closing slowly but steadily on Churchill until, when we were approx half to quarter of a length away, Clare failed to clear,having bumped New Hall. Churchill were forced to steer wide and, in the wind, hit the opposite bank. Following close behind there was nowhere for us to go but straight into them, Girton then piling in on top of that. Technical rowovers all round. Grrrrr.
After three years and two technical row overs chasing Churchill we finally bumped them in 23 strokes and before the motorway bridge. A fantastic row that saw us reaching the potential that we tried to get yesterday but didn't quite achieve. My first bump, what more can I say....
At last the ladies' luck changes...! They got going well, whereas the Churchill girls lost it utterly. What a relief, at last.
Bumped by Churchill
Well, officially it was Saturday and it was the second rerow of the day....
Row #1: we were going for the bump on Newhall but Queens' and Christs got in the way so there was a rerow from Clare down.
Rerow #1: in theory we had nothing to lose as Newhall was infront, Pembroke was in front of them and then Clare was at the start of the rerow. Churchill had been nowhere to be seen on Friday so we were hoping for at least a bump. Unfortunately Newhall messed up pulling into the bank having bumped Pembroke and allowed Clare an easy row over. Another rerow was called for...
Rerow #2: Us in front followed by Churchill then Catz and Girton at the rear. Girton and Churchill were out for blood having both been bumped by the respective crews in front of them. Despite diversive coxing tactics from Julia, there was nothing we could do to get away from a determined Churchill crew, finally conceding in the plough reach.
Bumped by Girton
Row no three of the day and yet again we were stuck between Churchill and Girton. Baz was back in the coxes seat and the crew was out to show Churchill that we meant to bump them on Thursday and that their flukey row earlier was due to the substitution they had made for the rerow. Unfortunately they were still on a high from their earlier bump and managed to bump out Pembroke leaving us no choice but to defend our place from Girton. We put up a good fight and gave as much as we could so the fact that we had to give in to Girton at the top of the reach was a disappointment to say the least. Next year we will be back.....
After a term of fire and flood the Ladies 1st VIII were prepared for battle today, albeit minus our college chaplain Ruth who is unfortunately too ill to row (many thanks to Cass Chideock for subbing at bow). Despite some pre-race nerves (50% of the crew have never rowed in the bumps before) the row down was focused. Our start was good, though not as fast as the neat Catz crew behind who gained on us. However we pushed away from them into Clare, unhindered by 7 catching a crab under the motorway bridge. Clare bumped out leaving us clear water to continue our fight with Catz, themselves pursued by Girton who bumped them in the gut. Thus alone, aside from a sizeable bank party, we proceeded to the railway bridge. The row was powerful and determined, yet again the crew made it clear that we will not be beaten. We look forward to an exciting race tommorow.
Technical row over
As expected a very exciting day for the 1st Ladies! Coming under the motorway bridge we closed up on Churchill, and by first post had 6 to 8 foot of overlap. Unfortunately the fast Girton crew behind also had overlap on us. The Churchill cox took evasive action, going very wide round the corner, and refused to acknowledge. Meanwhile Girton made a final push for us and Will had no choice but to raise his hand. An immediate re-row was decided upon, so First and Third birds achieved their aim of rowing in M1 (well at least down to the start). Various delays followed during which the crew became increasingly wound up - not aided by some rather unsporting behaviour from Girton and Churchill - and also cold as it had started to snow. We were not as tense as Girton though, as one of their crew suffered a panic attack and the re-row was cancelled (if anyone fron Girton reads this we hope your 2(?) girl is OK now). We are now waiting to hear what the outcome will be...watch this space.
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