Captain: Georgie Lloyd
Having just enjoyed their first weekend of fun one week before, the novice girls were ready and itching to win some medals. Unfortunately the curse of illness struck hard in the lead up, and we were left down to 7 rowers. However, thanks to a last minute sub in from Alice as we pushed off from the boathouse, we could still race, and race we did! Our first match up was against Bart’s, a strong crew who we’d faced before. Sadly, as our crew had never rowed together before, we hadn’t had a chance to perfect our start, and Bart’s pulled away. Despite some strong efforts to pull it back, we weren’t quite able to bring home the bacon. But our spirits were not crushed as we aimed to dominate the repecharge. Our next showdown was with ICSM, another crew we’d faced before, and another crew that we were determined to beat. Some interesting coxing from the ICSM crew meant that they clashed blades in the first half of the race, but that just spurred us on and we took the lead, leaving ICSM in our wake. It was at this point where Jerry stopped us and demanded a re-row. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to recreate the magic of the first time around, and ICSM took the victory. Despite our losses, the girls gave it their all in every race, and we left the day knowing that with some more training (and less illness!) we’ll be well on our way to medals next time around. UH Head, bring it on.
Massive thanks to Alice Storrie, who stepped in at the last minute and meant we were able to race.
Novice Men's VIII
On a dark and cold Saturday morning, the chimps of RUMSBC descended upon Chiswick to wreck havoc on the final sprints of the year. Having suffered extraordinarily the previous weekend, most were feeling slightly worse for wear. Their pre-race paddle with new cox Grace (herein to be know as the guiding light) went swimmingly and they contentedly lined up at the start to face their mortal nemeses, Barts. As they pulled off with a sprint start worthy of the Olympics, each boy gritted his teeth and thought back to the previous night's preparatory film - Crank.
Alas, it was clear Barts had actually done some ergs since Christmas and they pulled ahead and easily took the finish. Unfettered, the Guiding Light gave them a quick pep talk before their repechage against Georges. Of course, everyone knows my grandmother can row better than this lot of 3rd rate medics, so the boys didn't even have to try in order to cruise across the line. Well done boys, not only did you manage to get through a weekend of fun with just a couple of (quite serious) chest infections between you; but you showed the rest of RUMSBC that UH Head medals aren't just a pipe dream.
Now, this is where the story really gets interesting. Our delightful Social Sec kindly organised a few tables at Spoons for some lovely pints post-race. As is their wont, the vast majority of the club were late to this but luckily William (cardio-machine) Wilson was there to entertain this fair maiden. Here begins one of the most enchanting love stories of modern times.
Rumour has it that the relationship has blossomed like the daffodils of Spring. In fact, word on the grapevine is that save the date cards will be sent out shortly.
Men's 1st VIII
Captain: Will McCaughran
So finding themselves somewhat short of rowers, M1 roped in captains past and present to make up the numbers. Following a brief discussion, the outcome of which was that Alex Cowan would not be sitting in the stroke seat, we boated for a pre-race paddle in the new combination. It was interesting, the "Weekend of Fun" hadn't been a blessing for fitness and we all felt a bit slower than usual but came off the water fairly confident. After all we'd wiped the floor at Allom cup. Oh how wrong we were... Off the start both Georges and Barts gained ground on us and continued to do so as our rowing grew more and more disjointed. The less said about this race the better, but it was a must needed kick in the behind that we had gotten a bit too complacent after Allom and in the long run I'm very glad it happened now than later in the season. Following the "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger" philosophy M1 are now hungry of UH blood and we will be back, having trained harder than any RUMS crew ever has to prove that we are so much better than one anomalous result!
Women's 1st & 2nd VIIIs
Captain: Eimear McKavanagh
A mere week after social tour, the women were once again ready to take on the other UH crews in the only regatta to take place in the month of January in the UK; UH Winter Regatta.
W1 were up first taking on GKT. Now the girl weren’t too happy with the draw, we lost to Kings at Allom Cup and know that they have a strong crew (as well as us not being on our top form straight after Christmas). However this doesn’t stop RUMSBC and the girls were all determined to put in a good fight and not simply bend over in fear of a little competition. W1 fell behind slightly at the start but through sheer grit they managed to start pulling back. A much better row than we had at Allom, we lost by a smaller margin and knew that we were clawing it back. Roll on UH Head. We were next up against ICSM in the repechage which was another nice row and an easy win as we cruised ahead to the finish. No it wasn’t a perfect day results wise but it gave us a taste for what is to come and encouraged everyone to get back on the ergs so that we can put in a proper fight. RUMSBC will not go down easily.
W2 seemed to have a slightly easier day with only a three-way final against Vets and ICSM standing between them and medals. However with a team blighted by injuries, a few changes of side and some last minute substitutions (thanks again Kate!) it wasn’t going to be a walk in the park. Although they had a few mishaps along the way, the girls put in a strong performance with all saying once they were off the water how strong-willed the rowing felt with everyone battling through to the finish. The girls beat ICSM by an impressive 5 lengths however it wasn’t enough for them to win the medal sadly missing out to Vets.
Winter Sprints is the beginning of 2016 and it simply wetted the appetite for future competition. With training tour this weekend and a few big races in the next few weeks, the RUMSBC women are on the up.
Men's 2nd VIII
On a cold January morning M2 descended on the boathouse for UH winter regatta.
Tensions were raised, the high risk, low reward tactic of not doing any starts was starting to rustle some Jim-jams on the row up to the start line. As we pulled alongside LSE proudly sporting their UKIP colours, time seemed to stop.
Suddenly we were off and when the splash off Jack Merritt's blade finally cleared we were ahead! We kept striding confidently towards the line, winning by a comfortable 4.20 lengths. We then had a few hours (and a few mal-formed poos) before the inevitable final with ICSM, rowing up to the start on slack water we knew we had a hard race ahead of us. ISCM after some considerable mental gymnastics had ended up putting some of their 1sts in the intermediate category because they "didn't have enough rowers" Lining up against the fine physical specimens of the ICSM crew we definitely felt out-gunned but after a blisteringly fast start we had a length on them after 20 strokes.
We decided to showboat the rest of the race at R20 so they eventually caught a few seats on us by the end, but by then, it was too late. M2 had won "another one" continuing the vespoli's winning streak.