W1 Lent 2020 - Day 2

After a not totally unexpected bump from Queens’ on Wednesday we were ready for a tough rowover ahead of a record breaking Darwin crew. The marshalling proved much less dull than Wednesday, with no M3 division to rerow and Darwin dunking their cox in the river for good luck. The race followed a similar pattern to the day before with a solid start. Darwin’s cox dunking evidently brought them some free speed as they then steadily advanced to catch us at almost exactly the same point as Queens’. Charlie even chose to park us in the same bush, this time accompanied by the dry heaves of Amelia Syruphands. We gave it everything and left it all on the river to try to avoid sandwich boating. This was clearly noticed by one spectator who later submitted a Rowbridge in honour of our “desperation screams”. On the row home we received many a compliment on our hats, which lifted our spirits as we prepared for the possibility of two races the next day.

FTW!

 

 


W1 Lent 2020 - Day 2

After a not totally unexpected bump from Queens’ on Wednesday we were ready for a tough rowover ahead of a record breaking Darwin crew. The marshalling proved much less dull than Wednesday, with no M3 division to rerow and Darwin dunking their cox in the river for good luck. The race followed a similar pattern to the day before with a solid start. Darwin’s cox dunking evidently brought them some free speed as they then steadily advanced to catch us at almost exactly the same point as Queens’. Charlie even chose to park us in the same bush, this time accompanied by the dry heaves of Amelia Syruphands. We gave it everything and left it all on the river to try to avoid sandwich boating. This was clearly noticed by one spectator who later submitted a Rowbridge in honour of our “desperation screams”. On the row home we received many a compliment on our hats, which lifted our spirits as we prepared for the possibility of two races the next day.

FTW!

 

 


W1 Lent 2020 - Day 1

W1 this year has seen a complete overhaul following a mass exodus at the end of last June. It is the first bumps for Amelia (3), Claire (4) and Izzi (5), and first bumps in the W1 boat for Fiona (B), Anousa (2) and Charlie (C). Following a successful crew pasta and pancakes (that earned Amelia the nickname of “Amelia Syruphands”), we were feeling carbed up and ready to chase down Fitz. With the free speed of our Catz colour coordinated caps (worn in reverse, of course), we held Queens’ well off the start and round the first corner, with Darwin gaining strongly on them. But unfortunately our free speed ran out, and despite our best efforts Queens’ reeled us in after the motorway bridge resulting in a bump. Despite the outcome, our morale remained high following a solid row.

FTW!


#freespeed

M1 Lent 2020 - Day 2

Weird that getting bumped serves as such a good reminder of why we row, but it does. Yes, today didn't end with the result we wanted; Tit Hall were too rapid for that, giving us a nifty bump instead. I admit it was well-earned on their part, as at no point in this Bumps campaign have our Catz rowers not given each stroke everything they've got. Our start was strong and healthy from the very get-go and our determination to catch Jesus (and, in turn, bat away the approaches of the impending Tit Hall VIII) carried us through from the motorway bridge to the site of our eventual demise on the infamous Reach. Despite this perhaps unfortunate result, especially after the comfortable ending of the row-over yesterday after all the boats around us bumped out without coming within a country mile, I was reminded after all why we sacrifice so much to row: the exhilaration of such a primal chase that comes down, in the end, to do or die, to win or lose, to breaking them back or breaking your own. The thrill of Bumps, victory or not, makes it all worth it. 

M1 Lent 2020 - Day 3

3 Minutes to push-off, the boys settled into their seats with a couple of jokes lightening the nerves. As the last checks were being done, we suddenly realised the cox box had stopped working. The time was ticking down and while scrambling to salvage for any life signs of the microphone, the second canon had gone and Carmen pushed us into the river. We knew it was going to be a tough race. The final canon blew, adrenaline kicked in and time slowed down as the Catz M1 pushed against the heavy water in unison and accelerated Lady Helena towards Trinity Hall. We rowed in a powerful rhythm to the drum of Nick’s stroke and Carmen blew the first whistle, which set our minds firmly onto Trinity Hall. While taking a wide line through grassy corner, a gust of wind almost pushed us into the bank. Yet Stephen kept his cool and held on strong, but Kings was coming closer. After getting out of grassy corner, Kings was now half a boat length away, but we were ready to fight. With lactic acid pumping through our veins and our hearts beating up to our throats, we powered down the plough reach. The intensity kept mounting and we held on through sheer willpower in this competitive brawl. Then as we rowed past the spinning zone, we had to concede the bump to Kings. But the Catz crew stood tall and proud, as we knew we had given it everything.

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