Here’s the reports from the last day of racing!
We Shall Go On To The End…
The final hurdle of M3’s Lent Bumps campaign had come upon us today. This sunny Saturday morning found our crew prepared for the ultimate stride towards our first bump. As a premiere, we had a full crew. A full crew of rowers at least.
Equipped with our substitute cox, we started heading towards the Lock for our last row of term. To our amazement, Mr. Bayliss was talking continuously. Our crew was not accustomed with this kind of practice, being used to only listening to the essential words of wisdom spoken by David. However, repeatedly hearing encouragements such as “Lovely stuff” (more than 10 times before the P&E) embedded us with growing confidence and growing strength in the air strokes. Rowing down the Reach, we realized that once again the conditions more closely resembled the seas and oceans and not the river Cam. Having learned from Thursday’s mistakes, we only hit the bank once while trying to spin at the station.
Certainly there was no calm before this storm as the wind was already picking up. Despite that, upon hearing the second cannon we were all prepared to show all our power and might.. and the race commenced. Our cox decided to test our readiness and mental sharpness, only calling the first three strokes of our start sequence. Seeing us pass by the Motorway Bridge, even the marshals decided to show their respect and gave us a deafening cannon salute. Soon enough, we heard a sound we almost forgot existed. A whistle. The power surged. We remembered that there was always the chance to bump, and it is that chance that has excited and befooled the imagination of many Cambridge rowers. The effort output was maximal. Getting on to the Reach, we were desperately fighting against the wind, being encouraged to give our all as we could “win this race” (which for me was as puzzling as the time I was asked “Who won Bumps?”). The end then came quickly. Two things were clear:
1) We were the clear fan favourites, hearing cheers from most of the boats aligned at the P&E which probably got used to seeing us as a sign of the M4 divison ending.
2) We defended the Footship Island whatever the future banter may be. From start to finish, we never gave up on it. And it was not easy. We had to face trickeries from other crews such as rowing in 6s or crashing into the bank. But such events could not deter us from our mission to improve our cutlery collection.
With all the dedication our crew had this term, one thing is for sure: the situation in Mays will definitely prove more fruitful for M3. (at least then we could get some proper spoons, not this rip-off Footship ones).
As it is now the end, I’d like to thank all the subs that made our outings possible, our super large coaching department, with special mentions for Tom (“Idk about tomorrow, it’s like 50/50, maybe you’ll bump”) and future rower Katie (“I don’t know what I expected from this outing, but it’s better than that”), and most importantly our crew and our captain, Lord Sam, Protector of the Spoon.
Radu Udrea, 2 seat
The finale of Lent Bumps was not devoid of action for W2. We tried our best to get the revenge bump on Queens alas, this was not written in the stars for W2. The team had a nervy and a shaky start to the day on our warm up, however despite this, we gave it our all when the cannon went off.
The cannon apparently also signified a dramatic change in weather. The sun immediately went, replaced by harsh winds and rain. The rowing conditions were not in our favour, but despite this, we pushed to keep Hughes Hall at bay and keep chasing Queens.
Unfortunately, we were unable to get the bump on Queens, and we were being pressured by Hughes Hall who were within a few meters of our boat. Luckily, we were able to power 20 our way to the finish without getting bumped. Overall, W2 had enjoyed their first bumps race (well for most of the boat) and of course, we celebrated a solid week of racing with copious amounts of cake afterwards.
Namrah Shahid, 4 seat
The tension was palpable in the boathouse today as M2’s task dawned on them. In a twist of fate, we were chasing Fitzwilliam M2 and, should they bump quickly, our old friends Clare Hall M1 for the overbump just as we were on Wednesday. With a full crew for the first time and more motivation than ever, we knew we were fast, but were we fast enough?
The instant the start gun went the Torpedo flew off its station, every member of the crew poised and hungry for the kill. We were in the race for the long haul – but what’s this? It looked like Fitz were hardly moving and there was certainly more water in front of them than us. This was our moment. I threw out the carefully thought-out race plan and decided this is it: now or never, fly or die.
The rate was almost as high as the adrenaline levels – that is, totally unsustainable – but I called for power and, as ever, every member of the mighty Torpedo delivered. We motored down First Post Reach at a blistering pace and in no time we were right on Fitz. Their concession came late and reluctant – but concede they must and thus, unexpectedly quickly, our bumps campaign finished on a big high.
With that, Churchill’s almighty M2 has finished on +3, pushing us up to 10th in the division for next year, and achieving our target while remaining unbumped (indeed, physically bumping every day, just not officially…). The unrelenting dedication of the crew – every early morning, every erg, every stroke of bumps – has truly shone through and left us with a term to remember. I salute you all.
Forward to Mays!
Danny O’Toole, Cox
A short report today to match our quick bump: to the delight of many former Churchill W1 rowers wronged by Medwards in the past, after a somewhat shaky start we held it together and secured the bump just as we came around first post corner! This leaves us at +1 and was a great way to the end the week after a disappointing first day.
For more than half of our crew, this was their first set of bumps races, and so I’d just like to say a huge well done to everyone for their amazing performance throughout the week against some far more experienced crews. Yeah Churchill!
Nairi Weston, Women’s Captain and Stroke
There was a boat called M1
Who started so strong at the gun
But by the first post
They knew they were toast
And now they’ve left division 1
From the M1 collective.