First up M2 – With Maggie M4 firmly in their sights there was an air of calm and contemplation at the Boat House. A solid start from the canon and our guys were making ground in the first 10 strokes. They pushed hard and quickly had an overlap, the next two strokes into the Maggie crew would seal the bump! But no! Disaster struck! We crabbed! Power dropped, but the cox kept focus as we struggled to retrieve the blade. It looked as though glory may be cruelly snatched from our grasp … but no! M2 had kept their rhythm so when they were ready to put down the power again ‘all eight’, they flew! Amazingly Maggie M4 were taken down in the next 20 strokes, with a strong clean bump at Grassy! Cheers of victory, relief and exhaustion, the Eddies flag flew triumphantly for the winners paddle home. Great work guys! BUMP! BLADES! GLORY!
Next to W1 – One can’t help but wonder just what do these girls have to do to score a bump!! Luck has been firmly against them all week, but the final day delivered it’s cruelest blow! Untroubled by Wolfson W1 who were left for dead at the start, we made excellent ground on Newnham W2 coming under the A14 – a couple of whistles the bump looked inevitable. But no … the two boats in front of Newnham bumped out but were slow to clear. The racing line was free, but the Newnham cox chose to ‘hold it up’ rather than race through. Following closely, we had no other option that to ‘hold it hard’! The umpires were called for a decision – as we were within half a length this would ordinarily been a rerow, however they decided to evoke the ‘no rerun on the last day’ rule and were awarded a TECHNICAL ROWOVER! It could be argued that Newnham were guilty of some cynical coxing knowing they were about to be bumped, or perhaps more simply that they were the weaker and less experienced crew. Either way, whilst there is no point in the girls buying any lottery tickets at the moment I am confident they will put the week’s disappointments behind them and now look towards The Mays!
Finally M1 – our second crew of the day looking for blades. Steely determination and a similar scenario as M2 but this time not such a happy ending. A couple of unlucky crabs in the start sequence, which although were expertly recovered, meant the boat was slow to hit race pace. Whilst we were strong enough to fend off Pembroke M2 (who were subsequently bumped by Christ’s M2), Clare M2 made sufficient progress on Sidney M1 to bump out ahead of us. The overbump was a herculean task too far, but I’m most proud that our guys sat up tall and gave it everything to the line. ROWOVER!
Marconi Cup score: 24 , slipped a little again, but finished in a most splendid 6th position overallJ
And just for the record, Caius retained the headship for the guys. Jesus W1 deposed Christ’s W1 for the top of the table for the women.
My sincere thanks to everyone who supported us throughout the week, the tireless bp’s on the towpath, rousing cheering from spectators on the bank and all the kind messages on social media. It is a tremendous boost to the crews, especially when the going gets tough and legs get tired – mine included having clocked up some 90 miles on my bike over the week! Blades and bumps aside, it is also worth celebrating M1’s move up to Division 2 and out of the sandwich zone. Similarly our new boat ‘Lily’ has proved a most valuable addition to our Club fleet and has yet to be bumped, may it long continue!