Ali has taken to adapting Winston Churchill quotes this bumps and sent this round the M1 mailing list Tuesday evening:
“We shall go on to the end. We shall fight off the start, we shall fight on the seas and oceans of first post reach, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength through the first post corner, we shall defend our college, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight through grassy, we shall fight past the plough, we shall fight round Ditton and on to the reach, we shall fight to the finish; we shall never surrender.”
If he was predicting how today’s race would go he couldn’t have done a much better job. The following is what I’ve been told happened, because frankly I was hurting so much I don’t remember a lot of it:
Christ’s had a devastatingly quick start and took half a length out of us very quickly. They continued to relentlessly close through first post and into grassy, after which they alternated between 3 whistles and overlap until Ditton. By this point we had closed to around half a length off Pembroke. Coming onto the reach a total unwillingness to allow ourselves to be bumped combined with some well-timed, motivational shouts of ‘MOVING’ from Ali and excellent coxing by Katie allowed us to pull away from Christ’s. With the immediate threat dealt with we pushed on, doing our best to close on Pembroke. 3 minutes or so of agony later we finished a length clear of Christ’s and half a length off Pembroke.
Whilst a step on from yesterday there are still some areas to polish up. It was however an incredibly gutsy performance with no one giving less than their utmost. Tomorrow we’ll go off even harder, row well and earn the bump we so badly want.
I’m going to continue the Churchill theme and leave you with two more appropriate quotes:
“If you’re going through hell, keep going.”
“Never, never, never give up.”
3 seat Sub
(Raf get well soon – I’m broken!)
We knew we had it in us to bump Maggie. We knew we were faster than them. And we knew we weren’t going to let the same mistake happen twice. Tuesday’s jitters were gone, and we rowed down excited, confident and determined to hit them hard! …And that’s exactly what we did!
As the final canon went, we stayed relaxed while pushing down hard and winding it up. We settled into a decent rhythm, and were soon rewarded by the sound of the first whistle. Somewhere around Grassy Three caught a mini-crab, turning her blade the wrong way round for her stroke! But we just rowed right on; nothing could stop us today! We closed in to two whistles on LMBC, and it felt like we were holding them there forever as we hammered down along Plough Reach. Our chance came at Ditton corner: seeing they had taken the corner slightly wide, our cox took the daring inside line beautifully. We put in everything we had there, and in a blur we were closing in, overlapping, bumping! Before I could even work out what was happening, we were holding it up and hurrying to the side…we’d bumped? We’d bumped!
I could hardly call today easy, and we have an even tougher day ahead of us tomorrow, when we’ll chase Selwyn. But we’re ready, bring it on!
PS. Shout out to Alyssa’s parents, our biggest fans across the pond!
M2 – rest day
Today M2 had the day off, which meant we didn’t get bumped! As mentioned yesterday the crew were visualising the row-over, in particular seeing the railway bridge in the distance as we powered down the reach several lengths clear of the boat behind.
I bank-partied W1, who showed us how bumps should be done, gaining the revenge bump on LMBC W2 on Ditton Corner, whilst Gareth took in a few divisions in his marshalling slot before bank-partying M1 to a hard fought row-over in front of a strong Christ’s boat.
After a day off M2 are ready to go and show people what we can do tomorrow with our eternal optimism. We know tomorrow will be difficult, but believe that we can get something out of it and put ourselves in a good position going into Saturday.
On a side note, Gareth wants me to mention the point when an entire Murray Edwards boat shouted out to him as we rowed past yesterday, it makes him happy.