Posted: Tuesday 10 March 2015, 8:21PM by Camille Lardy
Report by Evie Butcher:
W3 came together on 10th March at 14:45pm (well, half of W3 and five various subs - including a cox). We were a mismatched crew, a jumble of individuals that broke all boundaries between boats (with individuals *somewhat legally* subbing from W1 and W2), and we had only rowed one outing together - that fateful day had left one crew-mate with a juicy rowing war wound in the guise of a black eye. However we were still confident; the sun was shining and we felt like it was our time, Sidney rows best as the underdog and we were up first against Jesus W3 who had rowed in Bumps - but we knew we could take them.
After a generally successful row up we pulled in by the P&E to stretch our legs, no sooner doing so than we were told to hop back in - no time for sunbathing, shades pulled down, we got our heads in the game. For the first race we had prepared ourselves that Jesus’s start might be more spectacular than our own, since they had a few practice goes under their belt from bumps, but as the umpire called for attention, in the pause before ‘go’, I think the whole boat felt that despite our lack of continuity, we COULD row together. We powered through on the draws and the winds, settling into a strong and steady rhythm for the lengthens, and before you knew it we were edging slightly ahead. Though eyes were in the boat, as they are at all times, ever, I think we all felt the Tomminox surging beneath us and realised that we had this - as I said, this was our time. There was a slight glitch in the middle when after apparent divine inspiration Jesus caught up with us, but in true bulldozing, battle-paddle style, we put all the power down in the legs with some pair pushes and power tens, and once we had passed under the railway bridge we knew it was a power twenty to the finish. Basically. And Jesus were left in Sidney W3s wake.
After this ecstasy we realised we would have to row again, but after a brief team talk, basking in the light of the approaching evening, we restored our spirits and our energies and rowed back up to the start once more. It was a mentally tough race against FaT W3; we knew they were fresh from the row up, without the extra 800 on their legs, but at the same time our confidence in each other as a crew had grown tenfold after that powerful win, and we were going to give everything we had. We kept up with FaT pretty well off the start, and successfully recovered after a crab, giving them hardly any slack, however a few malfunctions throughout the boat slowed us down, and getting back up to their speed, though we did it with surprising efficiency and great determination, was just a little bit too much to ask, and we lost the grip we had on FaT W3. But all in all we powered through to the end (not an easy thing to do in that situation), and we could hold our heads high after a physically then a mentally strong race.
The makeshift crew that was Sidney W3 this day went away winners in the end, and what better way to bask in the glory of a Spring evening?