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Bumps Diary 2016

24 Feb 2016
Tuesday, 23 February 2016 - The Results
by Lily Harter, Senior Captain
A bright, sunny afternoon with a light breeze on The Cam saw the start to the Lents’ battles on the water. Such are the thrills and spills, highs and lows, agonies and ecstasies of Bumps, there were indeed mixed fortunes for the Eddies’ crews – 
First to go was M2 – jubilant from bumping Sidney in the Getting On Race, these guys have tasted victory and were hungry for more. Queens’ M4 was easily dispensed with in the first 200 m and the guys will be hunting down a rowed-over Caius M3 today. BUMP!
Next to M1 – despite making easy ground on Emma M2 by First Post Corner, they were desperately unlucky not to translate the overlap into a bump. Emma know they had a lucky escape and it is anticipated our guys have unfinished business today. ROW OVER!
Finally to W1 – a slow start from the gun gave the chasing Corpus W1 a ¼ length gift. Although the girls battled hard, a few mini crabs saw their lead slowly eroded and were finally caught at the top of Long Reach. Eddies will be looking for pay back on Thursday in a Eddies/Corpus tussle similar to last year! BUMPED!
Marconi Cup score: 0, currently 15th place
Race Reports from the Crews.......
M2 #4 Matthew Psycharis 
Eddies M2 report – Lent Bumps day 1: The race was over in approx. 45 strokes, just over a minute.... The crew arrived at our marshalling point, by the lock, with about 10 minutes to go before the start gun fired. T -4 minutes and adrenaline was running high. All of the usual chatter within the boat died down. Silence. Our target, the Queens boat, was stationed 25 metres in front of us. Daniel, our cox, asked us close our eyes and visualise the start sequence. The 1-minute gun fired and seconds later, Florian (our coach), pushed us off the bank – no return from here. The crew moved to the start position and waited for the start gun to fire. It went off. Suddenly, the silence was broken by a flurry of noise and activity – water splashing into the boat, the bank party cheering and updating us on our progress. Our start was shaky. The Pembroke crew chasing us gained a few metres in the initial seconds. But once Eddies M2 hit our ‘power 10’ strokes, making our stride, we quickly gained the upper hand. Eddies M2 may not be the fittest boat out there, but our greatest asset is strength/power in the water. After the first 15 strokes we had pulled away from Pembroke, and were gaining on our target, the Queens boat in front. A single whistle blew, signifying that we were only one boat-length away from bumping Queen’s. Then, only seconds later, two whistles blew – we were only one-half boat length away. Seconds later, the third whistle blew – a quarter boat-length. Our cox called for the ‘kill sequence’ – a series of powerful, deliberate strokes designed to close the gap. Our cox, Daniel, took an excellent, tight line around the first corner, which allowed us to cut-off Queens, who had gone too wide. It was soon over. We overlapped with Queens – and Aviv (in Bow seat) managed to score a few hits on Queen’s stern with his oar. The Queens cox raised her hand to concede, and the bank party ordered us to clear the river. First bump on the first day! A big thanks to Florian, Silvia, Captains, Lily and others for their commitment to our training – could not have done it without you.
M1, #6 Joe Duffy 
After a crisp, clean start Eddies’ M1 were bearing down on Emmanuel 2 from the start. Fearsome rowing and a perfectly executed top post corner saw Eddies close the gap to a mere ¼ of a boat length within 100 metres. With strong fast strokes seeing Eddies power ever closer, and the clarion call of our cox demanding a kill, disaster struck. The hidden corner at Grassy was too steep, too soon and we found ourselves within an inch of hitting the bank – coming to an ungraceful stop. The Emmanuel team had pulled away by 3 boat lengths, and so Eddie’s settled in for the long haul. Across 2 kilometres, beating out a rhythm of power and pain our brave boys in blue closed the gap to 1 boat length by the finish. 
Captain’s Comments – Glen Chua
Victory evaded M1 today, but they have a lot to be proud of. The crew to feel sorry for today is Emmanuel. They saw how close we came. They know how fast we are. Tonight they will be wide awake for they know tomorrow brings that same relentless rhythm, that same hunger for victory and that same furious rage snapping on their heels.
W1, #5 Sonja Kinna
After some powerful, perfectly set paddling and a couple of strong practice starts, Eddies W1 were confident and keen on measuring with two first crews – Robinson W1 ahead of us, and Corpus Christi W1 chasing us. At the start, we took a minute to focus our minds while hearing Caroline’s calm voice going through the race plan for a last time. Time to strip off some unnecessary layers on that mild and sunny day. We were pushed out, came to front stops, a last tap from bow, five seconds to go, everything’s great – but where’s the start gun? Well, obviously Corpus pretended to have heard a gun because they were already “draaaaaw”ing. The honest Eddies women needed a shout from coach Silvia on the bank, but then we were on our way! A bit scrappy due to the gun confusion, maybe a bit late too, and certainly not as good as we had shown in training. We knew we could have done better. And Corpus had a whistle on us. We pushed away a bit in the corners due to excellent coxing and good response in the bows, and showed some great lifts on the straight parts. But this tall-grown crew on our heels, they undoubtedly did some good pushes, too. All the way through Grassy and past the Plough, we gritted our teeth and held them at half a length. They started to look increasingly tired and untidy, and surely their lungs and muscles burned as much as ours. But when we thought we had grinded them down and could safely escape them on the Long Reach, Corpus went for an all-or-nothing push into Ditton Corner, and almost gently touched Dotty’s side. We showed them a great fight over more than a kilometre – they’ll be scared of the revenge on Thursday!
M2 – Division M4, gun at 2pm. 
          Hunting Caius M3, chased by Queens’ M4
M1 – Division M3, gun at 3.20pm.
          Hunting Emma M2, chased by Catz M2
W1 – Division W2, rest day! Enjoy girls.
If you would like to come and cheer on our valiant crews there are plenty of great vantage points along the river to see some action - especially around the bends at the Gut and Grassy. Please do be aware that the towpath can be very busy with bank crews, marshals and spectators alike – do be careful! For those seeking a more salubrious experience, The Plough at Fen Ditton is the place to be!!
May the river gods smile on all of our crews!