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Our bumps week started with marshalling in the rain, waiting for the third men’s division to come through. Then we were off to the lock, getting in a good rolling start on the reach and again along Plough reach. We parked at station 14, just round the corner before Baitsbite lock. For most of our crew this was our first ever bumps race. Everyone was feeling excited and a little nervous as Kate pushed us off the bank. When the final cannon went off we got our full start sequence in before catching a crab on first post reach. The girls recovered well and we managed to keep going.
We had the rare enjoyment of racing regatta-style on the cam on Saturday. The race is a 1 kilometer course, starting from the stumps at the top of the reach, and finishing at Peter’s posts at Chesterton. The weather on the day started with a strong headwind on the reach as we lined up on the meadow side against Caius W1 for our first race. We beat them by 1 second in Newnham regatta 2 weeks previously so we were excited to see how the race would end. Caius had a slightly more explosive start than us, but we held them and pulled it back before they moved into their advantage corner.
This race took place over the 2km stretch of river between the motorway bridge and the railway bridge. We were entered into one of the afternoon divisions, and the weather was surprisingly warm and sunny. The plan for the race was similar to that for Winter head to head, but was to hold a good rhythm at rate 32 throughout the race rather than rate 30. We had been working, prior to the race, on separation through the drive and a strong hips-through movement to increase the power through the drive.
Back in September 2012 I arrived at Christ's Boathouse, having not rowed for 34 years.
This year I have come second in the English Indoor Rowing champs today (7.04.1) (See picture!). In June I was 4th at the British Masters Champs in a 4+ in the 45 to 50 yo section, missing a medal by less than a metre.
English Indoor rowing Championships (Manchester).
- 5th February
- Men’s heavyweight Category, age 60 to 69.
- 2000m race on Concept 2 indoor rowers.
Our first race of term was City's Winter Head to Head - two 2km timed pieces completed back to back. Eager to test ourselves after the long Christmas break, M1 paddled to the Railway Bridge, where we were to go off second behind Jesus. Catz were behind us, as they will be on the first day of Bumps.
This was our first race of the term Lent’s W1 crew, including two rowers who have just made the transition from NW1 to W1. The aim for the race was to find a good solid rhythm at about rate 30 and to effectively put the power through the drive on every stroke. The race consisted of two 2 km legs, from the railway bridge to the motorway bridge and back again.
From unlikely beginnings to placing 5th of Cambridge colleges in Fairbairns, M1 has had a blinder of a term. All those long ergs and over-the-lock morning outings paid off in the end.
M1 arrived at the shed an hour before push-off time and settled into a hearty warm-up. When the time came we placed Todd in the water and paddled down to Jesus lock to marshal with some of our most perfectly sat strokes all term. We stayed calm and cool as Pembroke M2 attempted to rattle us by spouting mathematical definitions and theorems through their speakers.
After several hard weeks of training following the Autumn Head disaster, M1 were ready to redeem ourselves. A trip to Peterborough had cemented the crew and we were prepared to spend ourselves.
The paddle down to the lock went smoothly and we managed to get in a burst at pace. With a ridiculous number of crews entered, and a proportional amount of organisational work for Cantabs, the wait at the lock was rather long. We used the opportunity to eye up the crew in front of us - Imperial College School of Medicine BC.
Spurred on by visions of glory, we set to work preparing this boat for the University Fours regatta in the last week of October. Alas, it was not to be. We soon discovered that we had drawn Lady Margaret, the only crew with any chance of beating us, in the first round. Fully prepared to put everything into that first race, we continued with our training, but it was not long before disaster struck. Two days before Race Day, our two-man Simcha Brownson dislocated his shoulder.