Posted: Monday 02 March 2015, 12:23PM by Camille Lardy
Report by Anna Lawrence:
W2 went into the last day of bumps with open minds; with one bump, a defeat and a row over under our belts the pressure was off and we joked that we should go for the overbump in order to complete our set.
Chasing a strong Queens crew we made a good start and settled into a rhythm prepared for a long row. Coming up to the Gut we saw Queens had bumped out First and Third and there were several boats clearing on all sides around the corner. Expecting a row over, we continued until we saw our bank party began yelling at us to pull in. Turns out we had got an overbump on Wolfson who had unfortunately crashed on First Post Corner.
A jubilant if disbelieving W2 pulled in on Grassy corner, displacing a few unsuspecting spectators from the bank and running into a commentator from Cam FM who swiftly caught us for an interview. After collecting some well-earned foliage from the bank, we pushed off for the row home, subjecting the crowd outside the Plough to our rendition of ‘One Row More’ in preparation for our BCD speech. The celebrations continued at the Boathouse with Ant’s kindly provided cider and a quick dip in the Cam for me.
Ending the week on +3, we have steadily improved day on day. I can honestly say it has been a joy and privilege to cox this boat; a fantastic crew spirit exists and our strength truly lies in each other. It is our determination to do our best for the team which has seen our hard work rewarded at the end of the day.
Posted: Saturday 28 February 2015, 12:09AM by Camille Lardy
Report by Anna Lawrence:
After an early bump from Queens on Day 1 and an impressively strong row over on Day 2, W2 met with excitement and anticipation in the beautiful sun on Day 3.
Confident that we would not be caught, we faced Medwards 2 in front of us; a foe we could have caught on Day 1 had it not been for Queens’ impressive start. Not letting the pressure get to us on the row down and suitably inspired by Flo’s inspirational speech, we focused as the one minute cannon sounded.
Getting a fantastic start, we powered down to the Motorway Bridge. From the beginning Medwards were not much more than a length away and after we had scared them into catching a crab, we swiftly moved up. Not more than five strokes after the stride call and we caught them just beyond the bridge, touching their stern with our bow blade three times before their cox conceded the bump.
Claiming our well-earned foliage from the bank, we began a beautifully controlled row home, replete with vocal accompaniment ranging from the Sound of Music through Disney to the classic S-Club. Many thanks go to our fantastic and dedicated bank party – James Moore, Nick Porter, the injured Eleanor and of course our coach John – and massive thanks to everyone who has subbed for us over the last few days – Rebecca, Imogen, Jessie and Emma. Onwards and upwards to tomorrow when we’ll be going for the revenge bump on Queens!
Posted: Friday 27 February 2015, 7:33PM by Camille Lardy
W1 were a little jittery when they met at the boathouse today: we knew Fitz W1 would be our greatest challenge so far, as they had had similar race results throughout the term. We resolved to row as technically as we’d done yesterday, and to pursue Fitz all the way to the finish if need be.
After a particularly clean Peterborough Paddle (like battle paddle, but better) down to our station, we spun and pulled in right under the Motorway Bridge, next to the cannons.
Our start sequence was controlled and slightly faster than Fitz’s. Unfortunately, carnage ahead denied Lucy Cavendish/Hughes Hall their predicted quick bump, and they thus had to row the whole course ahead of Fitz. Fitz, having someone to chase, never let the power down. We’d known they’d be a tough nut to crack, so we stayed extra lucid and unrolled our race plan, doing pair pushes up the Gut and gaining on Fitz inch by inch. Tom took a flawless line around Grassy, where we hovered a length away from Fitz through a powerful middle-four push.
Sitting up tall against the wind after Ditton, motivated by SSBC alumnus Tom Ash’s very loud and coxly cheering, we sank our teeth into Fitz and refused to let the gap widen. The crews behind us had bumped out, but we never relaxed the pressure, alternating between power 10’s and up 2’s all the way up the Reach. We pushed our way past the Railway Bridge, cheered on by the entirety of the marshalling M2 division, and gave everything we had on every stroke to Peter’s Post, where we finished within station of Fitz.
A glance at Lucy Cav, whose dream of blades had been shot by sheer bad luck, made us take conscience that our own row-over had at least been the most honest, gutsy row we could have given — we never allowed Fitz to pull away from us. Back at the boathouse and past our first moment of disappointment, we built our confidence anew by reminding each other that W1 are currently +2 in the charts, and that we are über-prepared for whatever happens tomorrow. The word ‘stubborn’ having been thrown around during the crew meal last weekend (although I prefer ‘tenacious’ when it is applied to yours truly), we concluded that Sidney W1 has a wealth of determination to pour into tomorrow’s race — we’ll grip Fitz, and we’ll grip them tight.
Many thanks as ever to Silvia for her bank-partying and unfailing support in our daily mental preparation, to Tim for pushing us out and Pete for counting down, and to Oli for being there for us again with smiley motivation. See you all tomorrow !
Posted: Thursday 26 February 2015, 7:36PM by Camille Lardy
W1 started Day 2 buoyed by yesterday’s bump and the knowledge that Christ’s II, whom we were chasing, were on their way down. A pesky cold rain kept us from getting too excited though, and we settled into quiet determination on our way up to marshalling. The wait at the P&E was longer than expected due to the previous division having to be re-rowed, but by the time we finally made it up to station 8 we were fully focused again.
Our start was good: the winds were a bit scrappy, but we lengthened out together and by the end of the sequence, we were Striding Beauty. Moving as one to settle into our strong race pace, we steadily gained on Christ’s II, getting our first whistle by the Ditch. We rolled out our signature pair pushes, getting inside a length around First Post Corner, and then two whistles by the end of the Gut. Tom took an incredibly good line around Grassy, aided by Phoebe at 2 and Charlotte at 4, before calling for a push from middle four as we came out of the corner. The boat surged, and it is with our best combo of technique and strength than we got three whistles and the bump immediately afterwards, a dozen meters before the Plough!
Of course from the stern I had no idea what was going on, but Claire, at bow, later explained that we overlapped, she stared down Christ’s II’s cox, and we hit their stroke’s rigger.
Now at the 7th place in Div 2, W1 have overtaken all the second women’s boats on the river, and will be chasing first crews from now on. We will be picking up the challenge behind Fitz W1 tomorrow, with the past two days’ knowledge that not only can we bump, we can do it in style, with technique and focus throughout.
Many thanks to Silvia who met us at the boat house, kept us calm through marshalling, and bank-partied the race, to Tim who pushed us out and whistled us to victory, to Pete who counted down the last minute and kept us company on the row home, and finally to Oli, who braved the rain and carried on this term’s tradition of motivating us through hard exercizes by his presence :) Congrats again to the entire crew, and see you all tomorrow at 14:40!
Posted: Thursday 26 February 2015, 11:49AM by C Radoux
Day 1 of Lent bumps for M1 was a memorable one, and will be used for as a lesson for many Sidney crews in the future. Unfortunately, Chad had fallen ill the day before the race, confined to his room for 48 hours until he is better, we are still hoping he is able to make it back in time for at least Saturday! Luckily, Heywood stepped in to take his place to maintain the experience in stern pair.
This was the first bumps race for much of the crew; excitement was high as it was a chance to put all those 30r20s and squat jumps to use. We had FaT II ahead, winners of spoons last year. Although their recent race times suggested they’d managed to get their act together, they were still within our reach. A strong looking Corpus crew were chasing us, with an equally strong Darwin crew behind them. We knew that Corpus would be looking to go off strong to catch us before Darwin caught them, so we would do the same.
Our start could have been tidier, but once we got into the winds and the power 10 we made up for the scrappy draw strokes. Corpus had managed an incredibly quick start, so had quickly reduced the gap to one boat length and left Darwin behind – we could no longer count on Darwin to take out Corpus.
As we came into first post corner, Corpus had 3 whistles and then overlap. Amy, backed up by Rob and Nathan, had given us a beautiful line around first post corner meaning Corpus was on the outside of us. Amy called for us to make a move off Corpus as we continued down the gut, and in a fantastic display of keeping our cool under pressure, we pushed off them again and Corpus lost their overlap. The Corpus cox steered for the bump and missed! At this point, for some reason Corpus completely fell apart. They attempted to wind it up again, but they were sitting ducks served on a platter for Darwin.
The push to escape Corpus was big and cost us a lot of energy. We had wound it up to rate 39, which probably wasn’t our most efficient rowing, but it did bring us within 1 boat length of FaT II. With no boats behind us, the pressure dropped off past the plough. As we came out of Ditton Amy called for a “Push for Chad,” which brought the boat speed back up again. Sidney own the reach, we don’t wind it down early. In the end, an epic row over and a lesson in not giving up.
Day two sees us chased by Darwin, with FaT II ahead once again. Darwin look strong, but not as strong as Corpus. We will be aiming to nail FaT II and staying out of the Darwin/Corpus battle.
Posted: Wednesday 25 February 2015, 5:30PM by Camille Lardy
W1 started their Lent Bumps campaign confident but determined not to count their chickens too early. We were chasing Lady Margaret II, whom we knew had been slower than us throughout the term, and chased by Emmanuel II, whom we’d actually never discussed before the race, preferring to focus forward.
Having met Silvia at the boat house, we rowed to marshalling under a brilliant sun, which had unfortunately disappeared by the time the four-minute gun went off. We were starting on station 9, just downstream enough of the Motorway Bridge that Claire and Phoebe, who were racing their first Bumps, didn’t get the worst of the cannon blast! Our start sequence was very fast, and we got our first whistle on Maggie quickly after the bridge. Two things happened at that point... Those of us who’d never been bank-partied by Tim didn’t know that he only whistles the distances once, rather than repeatedly, and thought that the lack of following whistles meant we’d lost some of our length on Maggie — so we rowed extra hard. The others did know that we were still within a length but had never had whistles so fast in their previous Bumps with W1 — excited, they rowed extra hard too!
So after striding to rate in the upper 30s (ahem), W1 barrelled down the Ditch through some pretty dirty water, getting two whistles, and three almost immediately after. Two crews who’d bumped out were parked on the inside of First Post Corner, forcing Tom to take a wide line — by that point he’d channelled his inner Silvia and was chanting “CON-CEDE! CON-CEDE!”. We rounded the corner with continuous overlap, and Maggie indeed had to concede right outside of First Post.
Extatic, we pulled in and passed greenery around, justifiably proud of our row! Keith Willox, from Sidney, had also been bank-partying — we hope he enjoyed the show, because the people on Grassy and at the Plough had to be content with our paddle of victory on the way home... Without the ‘Day 1 jitters’, we hope that tomorrow’s race chasing Christ’s II will be a bit more technical, but equally strong! Many thanks to all who cheered us on, to Pete who cycled back to the boat house with us, and of course to the crew who did an amazing job!
Posted: Saturday 07 February 2015, 4:28PM by Camille Lardy
Report by Ros Gregory:
W1 had their first off-Cam race of the term in grey-but-not-too-cold Peterborough — the Head of the Nene. As we struggled out of bed at 6-something am and got on an early train, I'm not sure any of us were particularly confident that it would go well, but it turned out that it was definitely worth the early morning! We reconstructed Mark, watched over by Tim, before we had a crew chat with Silvia about our race plan — we were going to grind those 2.5km out and make the other crews hurt! The row down to the start was strong and Tom definitely enjoyed the width of the river and lack of corners. As we spun and marshalled we saw that Churchill W1 were going to be chasing us, and we resolved that we would do our best to push off them and not let them near us. To keep warm we had synchronised arm waving and even Silvia joined in on the bank with some pretty cool dance moves! Then it was time to de-kit and for the race to begin...
We wound up to race pace and crossed the start line at full speed, keeping it controlled and powerful at rate 32 following Camille's lead. The focus in the crew was brilliant and we were spurred on by Silvia on the bank and by Churchill behind us. Before we were halfway Tom was saying we were reeling in the crew ahead and soon we could hear them, and then see them! We overtook them seat by seat and pushed off them to maintain our advantage; Churchill were basically on station behind us. As it got to the last 500m we were all hurting, but we knew we were nearly there and when we heard Silvia's shout to take it up 2 we all responded and whizzed past Tim who was on the bank. We emptied out and got across the line within a canvas of the crew who’d started two places before us. Knowing that our row was the best we'd done all term, we battle-paddled back with our heads held high making other crews stare! The results were out about an hour later — we had come 2nd in our division (11:09), with Churchill only beating us by 3 seconds! Though I'm sure we'd all love to have beaten them it's an excellent sign that we are a fast crew, giving us all extra confidence for bumps.
Well done ladies (and Tom!) and I'll see you in the bar tonight ;)
Posted: Saturday 24 January 2015, 9:12PM by Lois Overvoorde
W1 started off their Lent bumps campaign in style today in the Winter Head to Head. We started this term optimistic for good results after a successful rowing week and some very promising first outings, and today did not disappoint. We headed down to marshalling with our stalwart coach and supporter Pete Langley and bank-partying newcomer Tom Lawson, complete with oversized rucksack full of bananas. There we met with with our very own crowd of supporters - Chris, Lucian, Nathan and Elliot - who had braved hangovers and chilly weather to come and shout for us on the reach.
Spurred on by this show of SSBC solidarity, we headed for the start line. We settled into a decent rhythm, and our fitness paid off as we kept up some excellent speed all the way to the motorway bridge with some beautiful corners from Tom Hitchcock. After catching our breaths and listening to Taylor Swift's 'Shake it off' thanks to one of the other parked crews we were ready for our second 2 km.
We knew we'd left Caius W2 far behind in the first race and caught up on Clare W2, and we managed to go one better in the second. As is traditional for Sidney W1 we came into our own on the reach and, thanks to an eye-wateringly precise line along the bank and some excellent motivational shouting from Tom Hitchcock and our crowd of supporters, we managed to get our bow-ball level with Clare's 4 seat by the finish line.
The row home was euphoric, and for the first time in my rather long SSBC memory the whole crew went to the City boat house to wait for good results. We didn't quite manage to win pots, finishing 4th in our division, but we're still thoroughly pleased with the result. We can now head towards bumps knowing that if we train hard we have a really good chance of doing well.
I am incredibly proud of what we have achieved so far this term and am really pleased with the keenness and effort from everyone in the crew. A special shout-out goes to our two newest members, Phoebe and Claire, for slotting into the crew so well and absolutely nailing their first senior race. Thanks go to Pete, Tom, Chris, Lucian, Nathan and Elliot for supporting today, to Silvia and Ant for coaching, to Tim for keeping our boat in racing condition and to all of SSBC for training, support and general hilarity.
Let's keep this going W1, the bump is in sight!
Posted: Monday 24 November 2014, 12:24PM by Lois Overvoorde
Casey's first water race against Emma NM2 was hampered by a series of disasters: an encounter with the bank near the start, a detached seat and a cox-box so sodden it temporarily refused to function. However, for the parts of the course where all eight were rowing they were blisteringly fast, catching up with Emma although sadly not enough to win the race.
Their second race was much more controlled, but sadly they were matched against a particularly fast Selwyn crew and despite a strong power ten at the end they didn't quite catch up with Selwyn, losing by half a boat length.
Casey's team spirit in the face in the face of equipment failure and miserable weather was wonderful, good luck in Fairbairns boys!
Posted: Monday 24 November 2014, 12:14PM by Lois Overvoorde
Harrison's race day started (excessively) early on Sunday morning with handing out our pac-man themed costumes - an inspired idea were it not for the combination of T-shirts and freezing drizzle. We set off for marshalling in plenty of time, and found ourselves at the deserted remains of the P&E. Our survival training kicked in and we took shelter from the elements under the Green Dragon footbridge.
Eventually our competition and the marshals arrived, and we re-parked (with much more success than some of the crews around us) at our correct marshalling point before setting off to race. By this time we were thoroughly drenched and racing at least served to warm us up a bit.
We lost out to a strong Emma NW3 in the first race, but after yet more sitting around in the rain we came back fighting against Fitz NW2 and pulled away from them impressively off the start. Fitz were presumably so astounded by our superior speed that they crashed into the bank, letting Harrison win by a huge margin.
We set off home shivering and with our paper pac-man ghost eyes shredded to soggy confetti in the bottom of the boat, but proud of our first racing victory. Bring on Fairbairns!