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M1 May Bumps 2014 - Day 2

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!

M2 May Bumps 2014 - Day 2

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.


M1 May Bumps 2014 - Day 1

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!

M2 May Bumps 2014 - Day 1

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!

M2 Champs Eights Head 2014

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.

W2 Champs Eights Head 2014

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!

Edited on Mon, 19th May 14 by Lois Overvoorde


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!

Edited on Sun, 23rd Mar 14 by Lois Overvoorde

W2 Lent Bumps 2014 - Day 3 & 4

Posted: Sunday 02 March 2014, 1:09PM by Emma Moffatt


W2 started day 3 of bumps feeling very optimistic about catching Murray Edwards W2, especially after them being bumped the previous two days. Our start was a little rocky but we quickly got into our rhythm with some great lengthens. Queens W2 were straight away hot on our heels with a whistle, but we too had gained half a length on the boat in front. A few strokes later and Queens were crabbing, allowing us to pull away and start reeling in the Medwards, getting to just a canvas away. Unfortunately, in the excitement of it all, we caught a crab resulting in Medwards pulling away and us steering full pelt into a tree...Bow 4 took one for the team and we had to watch Queens row past us, claiming the bump.

Day 4 and we were in the mind set for a long and strong row. We were determined to stay focused, and our confidence was boosted after a fantastic practice start outside The Plough. The cannon went off and we immediately lost St Catz behind us with a powerful start. Soon after we heard a single whistle, Queens had crabbed! The whistles quickly increased as we put the pressure down and we were suddenly rowing past them, parked up on the bank. We had bumped them back!! After a highly eventful week we were all completely ecstatic to end on such a high, and very proud to finish as a crew that had stayed head strong and focused under all the pressure and excitement.

We all want to give a massive thank you to Jessie, Callum and Sarah for timing, bank partying and motivational speeches, and of course to Pete's friend John for his words of wisdom, pushing us out, whistling for us and cheering us on every single day! I would also like to thank W2 for making this term, and particularly this week, so much fun. It has definitely been my favourite bumps so far, helped of course by ending as SSBC's most successful crew of Lents 2014!!

W1 Lent Bumps 2014 - Day 4

Posted: Sunday 02 March 2014, 12:39PM by Sarah Robinson


After being denied the overbump on Maggie, W1 were fired up for the last day of racing. Hungry for a bump, it was do or die! It was a great row up to our station with a blistering practice start outside the plough, we were just desperate to get on with the race. Gun goes off and we immediately leave Robinson behind. Without the pressure of being bumped we bore down on Emma II quickly getting to inside a length of bumping but they put up a fight and pulled away going into grassy corner. However, once we got onto the reach Emma were finished. All week we had proved that the reach is where we row best. With an incredible power 10 after Ditton we got back to a length. Again with some mighty pair pushes we went from one length to overlap in less than 20 strokes! Two strokes into a "bump in 10" call we finally caught them! After a bit of an unlucky week we finally we got to row home with greenery in our hair and smiles on our faces!

A huge thank-you to Tim and Pete for bank partying us all week! And well done to W1 for what has been an incredible set of bumps, my favourite by far!

W1 Lent Bumps - Day 2 & 3

Posted: Friday 28 February 2014, 5:51PM by Sarah Robinson


Day 2: After a days rest W1 were determined to catch Emma II in the second race of bumps. A relaxed row up to the start line, we were fully prepared to chase down Emma. Another great start we started to reel them in getting to 1/2 length of bumping! Unfortunately we were being chased a far superior Hughes Hall/Lucy Cav crew who caught us by first post corner. Not dwelling on the result our row home was the best steady state piece we had produced all term.

Day 3: We knew we were in for a long race. Hughes Hall were going to catch Emma (which they did) leaving us with the prospect of a row over or potential overbump on Maggie. It proved to be an absolute monster of a race! Robinson tried hard to catch us but we held them at their distance before pulling away with a mammoth power 10 after Ditton corner! With Maggie in Grace's sight we continued to power down the reach! With some huge pair pushes we started to gain on Maggie pretty quickly! The whistles came under the railway bridge. With all the mens crews screaming at us to get them we gave it everything we had and it went right down to the finish line! Amongst all the excitement we had no idea whether we had overbumped them or not, I was convinced we had. Unfortunately the umpire declared that is was not a bump. Regardless we were absolutely buzzing from the best rowing we had produced all term! We're pumped for tomorrow! With a second chance at Emma and Robinson still behind us things are looking like we might finally get that bump!

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