M1 Day 3 – Jody Bragger
Success, it is said, is built not in fleeting moments of excellence, but in the grinding reality of repetitive hard work. Now as a boat we have put in the effort, almost a year and half of training for some of the M1. Day three Torpids. Hump day of the competition. We are knee deep in and the only way out is long, hard and involves bringing your bum to your ankles on a small piece of laminated wood over and over again, subconsciously moving 50% of your muscles whilst paralysing the other 50%.
As creatures of habit, we have slipped into a somewhat addictive regime that can be best boiled down to pilates, power and poetry. At 14.40 on the dot we have 14 minutes of ‘happy time’. This is pilates stretching with some light pressure banter. At 14.54 the atmosphere turns to steely determination when we head to the Erg Room to diligently line up sliders and demonstrate perfect power, hands away and rock over to the dulcet tones of our internal monologue convincing us that we should 100% try out for lightweights. This is then followed by a group huddle where we read William Ernest Henley’s Invictus with the kind of conviction that convinces us we are original and not just softbois who all study STEM subjects and think Instagram poetry is edgy.
Of course this routine sets us up in perfect preparation to achieve athletic greatness. Until we remember we share the erg room with 5 other crews, meaning our early slot leaves us standing in the rain for twenty minutes, with the echoes of I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul, lost to the sounds of Mansfield M1 crabbing on an erg. (How is that even possible?). This long introduction is to bring excitement to what was a very vanilla day of Oxford College rowing.
Despite starting about 3 centimetres from yesterdays victims St Johns due to some dodgy boatmen antics, a heavy stream and a very slow start gun, we managed to close in on LMH just pass boat house island with still some more in the tank but it just wasn’t enough. Sounds like I am making excuses? You are right. But a good worker blames his tools. Watch your backs LMH. Today was hump day, but tomorrow is bump day. It’s also the last day of rowing so see you in the pub.
W1 Day 3
On day 3 our W1 rowed over, showing strong committment to their power and precision over the length of the course.
M2 Day 3 – Jakub Trybull
Day 3 was the most intense by far. After successfully securing ourselves back in Div 5 the day before, the hump day of torpids was upon us. After a quick warm up, motivational speech from Matt, and triple-checking of our gates (the paranoia continued to linger), we pushed off into the river.
Seeing how quickly Univ was making its way up the table, we knew that we had to row smart and pick our battles wisely. From the starting gun, despite all our efforts Univ were evidently a stronger team so did catch up and bump us. In spite of the previous days we knew we could bump the crew in front of us (Trinity), but they managed to get a bump just as we were closing in. We continued rowing, jolting our legs down and powering the boat forward.
Then, at the gut, knowing our glorious boathouse was going to be on our right, it was time to grit our teeth and give it our all. From bow seat, with every stroke you could feel the sheer force of the boat powering up the river. As we approached Teddy, the bump was in sight. At the back I had the best experience of seeing the bow make contact with the other boat, just as a bump should be. To achieve such a comeback was exhilarating, and secured us a solid place for the last day of the event.