Posted: Saturday 28 June 2014, 10:26PM by David Woods
Early tomorrow morning, 25 members of SSBC are setting off to race in Philadelphia at the Independence Day Regatta.
Aided by a generous donation from the college, we are flying to New York on the 29th June before travelling to Philadelphia on the evening of Monday 30th.
As racing in Philly begins on the 4th, we will be training on the Schuykill river before competing in 4+'s and 8+'s. Before we fly back on the 9th we also hope to visit Washington DC and Atlantic City.
If you're in America, come and support us! It promises to be a great trip.
Posted: Saturday 14 June 2014, 5:10PM by C M Stacey
The final day of what had already been a spectacular Bumps campaign for Sidney M2 finally arrived. We were chasing Christ's M3 who had held on the deny FaT M4 yesterday, which in turn had allowed us to gain the over-bump. Behind us was none other than our rivals from day one, Magdalene M3 who had already bumped three times and, like ourselves, secured promotion to Division 4. The stage was set for a fitting showdown.
Having - until today - been behind Magdalene in the Bumps order all we had to go on was the speed with which they'd made their bumps, which meant that we arrived our station fully focussed and resolved to row as well as we had all week. The end was in sight.
As we expected Magdalene made a fast start, but we were able to hold them out of whistle range as we settled into a strong rhythm approaching first post corner. Christ's M3 had also got a strong start, but to our delight we heard whistles from the bank as we came up to the corner. With Magdalene fading behind us we powered around the corner moving within a canvas as we did so.
To their credit, Christ's did not give up and held us off as we approached Grassy Corner. However, we were not to be denied on our final day and, aided as ever by Tom's excellent line coming into Grassy we bumped them just before they were able to take the corner.
Today was the perfect end to what has been an excellent week for M2. The commitment shown by the crew in training shone through in both our speed and endurance. We ended the week undefeated with an aggregate of +6. An outstanding achievement that not only secured us promotion to Division 4 but also Blades!
We would like to thank everyone who has helped and encouraged us to achieve this term, whether it was by turning out to cheer us on or subbing in for someone on a cold, early morning outing. In particular we would like to thank our coaches Nick Porter and David Winch for training us, supporting us and bank partying for us this week.
Posted: Friday 13 June 2014, 11:50PM by C M Stacey
Our bumps campaign had started about as well as could be expected with a row-over on Wednesday and a bump yesterday. However we all knew that today would possibly be the biggest day of our campaign. Second place in our division gave us a chance to go for sandwiching into Division 4 providing we could catch the Jesus crew ahead of us.
No loose horses today, so when the third cannon sounded it really was crunch-time. Our start was probably our best of the week and we'd barely finished our lengthens before we were in whistle range. Once again Tom managed to outmanoeuvre our rivals, taking the outside though the gut and coming tight into Grassy Corner to pin Jesus against the bank. A few powerful strokes later and we bumped them, almost a mirror of our bump the previous day!
Yet our work was only half done, as we were now head of Division 5, meaning we would be have to race again at the bottom of Division 4. Our early bump on Jesus meant that we were able to spin and row up to the lock with time to spare. We knew that the Magdalene crew in front of us were likely to bump quickly so our prospects looked slim for this race. Nevertheless we resolved to give it our best shot and enjoy not being chased for once.
Our predictions about Magdalene bumping soon proved to be correct, and we rowed up towards first post corner seeing more and more boats parked on the bank behind us. To our delight they cheered us on, and we maintained a strong pace. Amazingly we heard whistles approaching Ditton Corner: First and Third M4 (who started 3 places ahead of us) had not only failed to catch Corpus but were tiring! Galvanised by this knowledge we increased our pace. The whistles came again and again as we chased them down the Reach until we practically overtook them just short of the railway bridge. It'd gone down to the wire but we had an over-bump!
Achieving an over-bump rounded off a perfect day on the river for Sidney M2. A fantastic show of determination, endurance and skill from the crew!
Posted: Friday 13 June 2014, 2:35PM by C Radoux
Day 2 of bumps, Hughes hall ahead, Darwin behind and another gorgeous day for racing. We had a strong paddle down to marshalling, and discussion about the race ahead turned to more pressing matters such as dealing with your onsie tan and the fact that Hughes Hall had missed marshalling. Could the race be over as soon as we pass their station?
Tash brought us back down to Earth and made us focus on the race we had ahead of us, and we set off for the start. A strong start past the plough gave us a pre-race boost. Unfortunately the Hughes Hall divas spoilt our fun by turning up fashionably late to the start, looks like the race is going to be longer than a few boat lengths.
Despite Houston’s rigger becoming submerged during the start, we put some distance between us and Darwin, and we soon had a whistle on Hughes hall. We pressed on under the motorway bridge, but Tash had to take a wide line around first post corner to avoid some clearing crews. Our whistle fell silent, replaced by Darwin’s rather strange horn.
The row remained gutsy, but with a hint of scrappiness, leading to a couple of minor crabs as we headed towards grassy and Darwin started to reel us in. They managed to get a slightly tighter line, so Tash took us wide to make them have to put down every last stroke to get that bump. Sadly we eventually fell victim to another crew on for blades.
Day 3 puts us ahead of Wolfson, our boat house mates. We have unfinished business with Darwin, and would love a shot at Queens’ M2 on the final day of bumps, so have plenty of incentive to leave Wolfson behind!
Posted: Thursday 12 June 2014, 11:25PM by C M Stacey
Following a row-over in which we left the rest of Division 5 for dead morale was high as we assembled at the boathouse for the second day. Queen's were firmly in our sights.
However, even as we came up to the starting positions at the 4 minute gun M5 Division once again proved equal to the challenge of holding up proceedings. Yesterday it was a pile-up which caused the re-row and today it was an escaped horse thundering down the tow-path!
However, once the equine obstacle had been removed we continued our run of strong starts to move within whistle range of Queens on first post corner. A little over-excitement amongst the crew meant that we failed to close the race out before Grassy Corner. However, our dependable cox Tom took an excellent line coming into Plough Reach to gain an extra half-length and before the onlooking crowds we made our first bump of the week!
An excellent effort by all that moves us up to second place in our division for tomorrow.
Posted: Thursday 12 June 2014, 10:12AM by C Radoux
For the majority of the boat, today marked the start of either their first or last May bumps. We knew today was going to be tough, with a fast Jesus M2 ahead and Hughes Hall M1 behind. We had set faster times than Hughes hall in previous races this term, but there was a lot of speculation before the race as to whether they would have some blues joining them for bumps. We set out to row our best and give everything we could give regardless of the boats around us.
The nerves of day one showed with a slightly scrappy start, but we recovered well and built up a solid pace. We managed to maintain our distance from Hughes Hall initially, but shortly after the motorway bridge they had a whistle on us. A push out of first post corner meant we were able to hold them off a little longer, but they soon reeled us back in and bumped us just before grassy.
To add insult to injury (or more accurately injury to insult), the Hughes Hall bow ran into Houston’s blade, causing our stroke to crab and sending his blade handle straight into his chest, adding further heartache to the day.
We rowed home with our heads held high, as we knew we had given it our all. Day 2 puts us ahead of Darwin, who we rowed over ahead of in Lent bumps, despite my best efforts with two crabs on the reach!
Posted: Wednesday 11 June 2014, 6:44PM by C M Stacey
Following our win at the Champs Eights Head earlier on in the term we felt confident going into what for some of us was our first bumps. We were chasing a strong Magdalen boat who had had given us a run for our money at Champs. We made a decent start and quickly pulled away from our Kings pursuers to get within whistle range of Magdalene. Sadly we were not given a chance to consolidate this as Magdalene caught the hapless division leaders on first post corner.
Immediately following this the entire division was halted due to a collision further back. The verdict was that the entire division would have to row again, minus boats who had bumped or had been bumped, leaving us at the front.
Unfortunately this meant that the best result we could achieve would be a row-over but we were determined to make the best of it which we certainly did. We opened up the gap with Kings to three lengths by first post corner which was extended to eight by the Plough Reach. A fantastic effort from the crew despite the disappointment of not catching Magdalene, and we will approach Day 2 with exactly the same attitude!
Posted: Saturday 31 May 2014, 3:27PM by C M Stacey
The Champs Eights Head was the first time that M2 had raced together as a crew, and for some of our rowers it was also their first race since novice term. With this in mind, we approached the race with both nerves and excitement in equal measure. We were also acutely aware that our immediate rivals for Bumps had also entered, so the race would prove an important test of our progress.
Despite the fierce heat our confidence was boosted by two excellent practice starts on our way to marshal and some calm words of encouragement from our coach Nick. When the start finally came and Tom, our cox, called for the draw strokes we continued the example we had set earlier that morning by making a terrific start in front of the on-looking crowd at The Plough. A fantastic push from stroke side combined with Tom’s excellent line around Ditton saw us onto the Long Reach in a flash.
We maintained momentum down to the railway bridge, but despite Tom’s calls for a final push we faded slightly. Concentration and pace dropped, and we suffered a crab (guilty!). Despite these setbacks we quickly rallied ourselves to Nick’s encouragement from the bank and managed to make a final surge to cross the finishing line.
We rowed back to the boathouse utterly exhausted, happy for having made it through our first real test as a crew but wondering whether we could have possibly done any more. Despite what misgivings we may have had we were delighted to see we had set a very competitive time of 05:22.41. One very tense wait for the final results to come in later and it was revealed that we had won our division by a comfortable margin, not only beating our rivals for Bumps but also several boats in the division above us! An amazing achievement that reflects the commitment and resolve shown by the crew in training over the past few weeks, and sets us up perfectly for our Bumps campaign to come.
Posted: Sunday 18 May 2014, 11:32PM by Camille Lardy
W2 gathered at the Boat House hyped up on sunshine, the confidence of a strong practice erg for the 1450m distance, and the thrill of racing in brand-new onesies. Despite having relinquished Emily to her graduation and Ant to W1, the crew atmosphere was stronger than ever thanks to Juliane and Ruby’s frequent subbing over the past weeks.
Our Amazing Coach John focused our excitement with a fiercely motivational speech, calling on our training of pushing through mental boundaries - for 2 and 4 to row like never before around Ditton, for each girl to back the other 7 up every stroke - and we set off. Having treated ourselves to our most solid battle-paddle down to First Post, we happily sunburned our way through marshalling, entertained by our Women’s Captain Lois and guest star Georgina.
Then the race, which I remember only in flashes: half-front-stops before the tempest / GO strong winds and lengthen! GOOD START LADIES / Ditton now TWO AND FOUR doing their jobs aaaand we’re striding down the Reach / am I seriously crabbing?! / Val and Elly you absolute legends fastest recovery ever / BEAUTIFUL LINE under the Railway Bridge / Power Ten down Morley’s Holt everyone keeping it up / Amy’s I-can-see-the-end face / WE’RE DONE!
After a happy burst of pride from the whole crew and a tired but technical row-back, John was able to recap the race in more elegant terms: after a strong start, W2 stayed utterly focused and we rowed outside our puddles for longer than ever, displaying both the stamina and the mental steel we will be bringing to the double race on the first day of Bumps. Finishing a close fourth of our category at 6’22’’00, we also proved faster than crews in the division we are hoping to bump into. And beware, for we are embarking on a power-regime of squat jumps, as kindly demonstrated by John - to whom, as ever, we wish to express our boundless gratitude and admiration! Many thanks again to Ruby and Juliane, our regular lifesavers, to Lois for her bank-partying, and to the crew for their undying motivation - bring on Mays!
Posted: Sunday 23 March 2014, 11:11PM by Lois Overvoorde
The journey to WEHORR was perhaps beset with more obstacles than usual this year. Firstly, we lost Ros Gregory to a post-BCD ankle injury, whose seat was valiantly filled by Florence Chaffey. Secondly, due to the Thames being particularly fast flowing, we weren't sure we would be allowed to take part until the Thursday before the race. It transpired that we would be allowed to on the provision that our cox had tideway experience, which, sadly, W1's regular cox Grace Dickinson did not have. Whilst I am confident that she could have handled the conditions we did not want to fall foul of race entry regulations, and so she gallantly stepped aside to be replaced by the heroic Tom 'You are our only hope!' Ash.
After a lot of frantic admin and a final outing cancelled due to fog we set off to Chiswick bright and early on Saturday morning. We arrived at Tideway Scullers School with plenty of time for re-rigging with help from the wonderful Tim Rhodes followed by a delightful pub lunch.
We set off for marshalling perhaps a little early, but this gave us time to get used to the stream, work on our onesie tans and watch about seven footballs and half a tree float past us.
Finally the race began. Our keenness to stretch out our muscles after the long wait combined with the adrenaline associated with an important race meant that we were a little rushed off the start, but Tom and our esteemed stroke Sarah Robinson managed to keep us in line. We forged ahead making substantial gains on Poplar, Blackwall & District Rowing Club by Hammersmith bridge, where we were met by cheers and shouting from a group of Sidney supporters led by the venerable Natalie Tapley. This spurred us on to overtake PBDRC soon after Hammersmith and continue on for some gusty pair pushes towards the finish line. The race ended with a mighty push to empty out, leaving us tired, sore but proud to have finished.
Our row back against the stream was long and slightly gruelling, but livened up by some imaginative pair pushes. We returned to Tideway Scullers school just as the light was beginning to fade, and the results began to come in as we were de-rigging: we had gone up from 277th place to 207th. This result bodes well for Mays next term, particularly in terms of our depth of talent as three of the women taking part were from W2. An impressive performance from all, let's keep it up next term!