M1: Down 1 – Overall down 1
New gained half a length quickly and continued to eat away at the deficit as we exited the gut. They had to work hard but we eventually succumbed by Boathouse Island, having held them with overlap for quite some time.
W1: Row over – Overall level
Going into today’s race, we had no idea what to expect. Unlike in the longer build up to Torpids last term, we had no race experience as a crew nor any indication of the quality of Wolfson ahead of us nor of Oriel behind. However, the one thing we knew we had going for us was our commitment to race together, that we could push when Joe called us to, secure in the knowledge that every other girl in the boat would do the same, and that our 2k times showed that when we did we would put down some serious power.
We boated early and warmed up under Connie’s watchful gaze from the bank, settling into our place on bungline 11 in time for the five minute gun. Visors down and focus on, when the start gun went we executed our start order and settled out on to a strong race pace. This was some of the most committed rowing we’d done all term, and it was clear by the time we reached Longbridges and put down a power ten for the home crowd that we were matching both Wolfson and Oriel in pace and power. It stayed that way down the entire course, everyone pushing through and staying strong in time with Holly’s impeccable rhythm, with all three crews rowing over to take the same positions again tomorrow.
– Rosie Worster (5th seat/V-Captn)
M2: Up 1 – Overall up 1
The cannon fired and M2 surged off the bung line with the steely efficiency of a well-oiled rowing machine. Taking the shorter initial slides off the start in our stride, we propelled the Graham Topping II to race pace, completing each catch with confident composure. In our wake, carnage ensued almost instantaneously, with Exeter appearing to forget their start and subsequently conceding to John’s almost before the cannon had even fired. After a seemingly fleeting moment of calm, still waters gave way to wash that wouldn’t be out of place in the North sea in December. Eyes set on our goal, M2 remained focussed, though a particularly large wave almost caught us a crab as it clawed at our blades. The call of “half a length” from our cox brought us back to our senses however, and our vessel tore forward, cleaving through the ever decreasing stretch of water to Merton’s stern. Ranks of Hertfordian supporters cheered us on as we raced from the gloom of Donnington Bridge, maintaining our steady advance on our prey. Squeezing out an extra ounce of power, the boat edged closer and closer, nearly grazing the stern of our quarry. Their cox looked round, gazing into the face of her impending doom, and raised her hand. Taking the concession, M2 wound down, shoulders heaving from the intense – albeit brief – exertion. We had succeeded in our aim, and thoughts were already drifting to day two where Osler will be doing their best to outstrip us. One down, three to go.
W2: Down 1 – Overall down 1
‘The (L)Oar(d) of the Ri(n)gs’: The Fellowship of the Bumps
‘The new fellowship, formed under the leadership of Stuartalf the Sab. and supervised by the watchful eye of Rosielrond, was set to begin their epic quest to retrieve the precious bump, via the Misty Magdalentains. Led by Roodo, the fellowship consisted of Samwise-Naomi; Gimlessye; Mendy; and, subbing for Corellippin was Laurarwen; Gandallison; Marianne-mir; Laralas; and Ellagorn. These were warriors in their own kingdoms and brave of heart despite their overall fun size.
The motley crew had trained for this quest fiercely, determined to retrieve their rightful bump. They paddled across the safe lands of the Rivendell Isis, knowing that some of the army of the Dark Lord Sauro-eights, the Oriel-hai, had set their sights on the Hertford fellowship, but the fellowship knew their skills and speed excelled the slow orcs of the Misty Magdalentains.
With a flying start the battle began, the fellowship flying like arrows from Laralas’ quiver towards the Magdalentain army. The fellowship were riding hard and fast towards the Misty Magdalentains, staving away the Oriel-hai until the gut. However, the orc army in the Magdalentains had found a new slow prey ahead – they craved the manflesh of the Lincoln mine dwarves. The Lincoln dwarves were easily captured and consumed by the Misty Magdalentains orc army, much to the dismay of the fellowship who had promised to burn the orcs down and bury them in the ashes.
Still, the fellowship battled on against the oncoming tirade of Oriel-hai. In two tosses of a dwarf, the battle was over. The Oriel-hai had chased the fellowship into the gut of the Mines of Moria (where the skeletons of the Lincoln dwarves and the hungry Bumprog lay) since the Misty Magdalentians army lay stuck in the fellowship’s way after celebrating their addition of Lincoln back on their menu. The fellowship met with the Oriel-hai and the Bumprog, and fled back to Rivendell Longbridges to await the final judgement of their battle. But they knew that the next day, they would do everything in their power to take the precious bump back where it belonged.
To be continued…’
M3: Down 1 – Overall down 1
The seconds counted down to the first bumps race that most of M3 had ever experienced from the inside of a boat. The cannon released us from the emotional hell that was waiting but threw us into the physical hell that was rowing. The start was quick, the strokes clean. Before long, however, we could see Keble M3 rearing its ugly bow. “Half a league, half a league, half a league onward. All in the valley of death rowed the six hundred.” We were gaining on Linacre M2, but not quickly enough. While Gary was navigating through the gut like Han Solo flying the Millennium Falcon, They were closing in. Right in the gut of the gut, Keble M3 made their move. Noticeable overlap was all that was needed, before, quite honourably, our cox conceded.