RUMSBC started off 2019's racing season as we mean to go on- with a hat trick of medals courtesy of our Senior Women, literally #medalmedalmedal. Huge congratulations to our Novice Women who reached the final and big love to both the Senior and Novice Men for powerful displays which bode well for the upcoming training tour and of course, the big dog, UH Head.
Women's First VIII
After a joyous Wetherspoons-fuelled weekend in Manchester, W1 made it back to the sunny Tideway just in time for the highly anticipated winter sprints race! In the interests of not getting too complacent over our victory at Allom Cup, we managed to fit in a quick prep outing before 9am on Saturday, allowing us enough time in the day to carb-load before the 3-way straight final come Sunday. Ensuring our position on Middlesex side, we drifted into alignment, setting off with a fairly rushed start. We quickly brought back our timing, brought up the rate and finally settled into a strong and consistent rhythm. After an initially very close start, we started gaining on both boats, gaining our confidence to battle out the final stretch. There were a few moments where we lost our rhythm but we brought it back quickly, maintaining our position in first place. With medals in sight, we emptied the tank with a final 10 powerful strokes, achieving a full length on both boats; “Middle Middle Middle!” -Anna Shadwell
Women's Second VIII
'When W2 Won Winter Sprints'- a masterpiece by Claire Shadwell
A new year shineth on RUMSBC
And the bladies are raring to go,
We’ve sank our body weight in pints
And now we’re ready to row
At bow we had the Staggsman,
She’s bold with tiny hands
her fierce enthusiasm for the sport
keeps her off dry land
Next at 2 it’s Rad the LAD
She’s got a trick or two
She’ll chin that Guinn in half the time
It takes me to do a pre-race poo
At 3 we have the dashing Munro
Churning watts at an incredible pace
Beers, boys, blades and bant
She’s a weapon in every case
Princess Ceyda is our number 4
Stores strength in the hair on her head
But go near her with a pair of scissors
And you may just find yourself dead
At number 5, oh lord alive
It’s Laura Dan the man
Winning medals and winning hearts
This UCL girl can
Number 6 is a fiery spark
With a wholesome love of rivers
Winning is the only option
When your name is Charlotte Withers
Number 7 is distinctly average
I can’t even remember her name
Nothing much to say on this
Except her rhyming is truly lame
Our stroke has made a glorious return
Rowing as hard as she can peddle
What a wonderful day for Liz Sinclair
bringing home her very first medal
Last but not least it’s Georgie Lloyd
Without whom this boat would have sank
She inspires us all to reach for glory
And her coxing is really dank
And finally thanks to Billy Smith
We now know how to hold an oar
And much love to our dearest Jenny Budden
It’s this blady whom we row for
If this poem has left you sad and confused
I’m afraid I’m not sorry one bit
W2 won Winter Sprints
I’ve got a feeling this year will be lit.
Straight after the exhilarating win in the WS8 threeway, the WS4 climbed into our beloved Hudson kindly lent to us by UCL and set off to try and complete the double! It was a straight final against RVC starting by the boathouse. The race got off to an unfortunate start when half the boat didn’t hear the starting shout, but we quickly recovered and settled into a strong rhythm. As we continued to push with all our might, we gradually saw more of the other boat behind us and soon we were into the final push for 10s, trying to make as much space between us and them before crossing the finish line! In the end it was a satisfying win of three lengths and we were proud to have ended such a fun day with a great race and an excuse to throw Georgie in the freezing cold Thames! -Gloria Smith
Men's First VIII
The UH winter regatta saw the final opportunity for the men’s squad to test themselves over the short-course before the head race grind really begins. We knew it was going to be a tough day, but after the boys had hit the gym hard over Christmas, we were excited to see where we stood. Our biggest challenge was to come in our first race of the day, against the strongest of the UH crews in the form of Barts London. The crew that has been the bane of the RUMSBC men’s squad over the last 2 years proved to be so once again, and despite a strong row, we didn’t quite manage to execute the race we hoped for and ended up falling just short. The repechage against RVC provided us with a strong win, indicative of the positive work that we’ve been doing over the last few months, and a suitable sprints race send-off for the 5th years that have led the squad throughout the year.
Whilst the sprint season has not yielded the medals we had hoped for, there is no doubt that the competition for UH is still alive and kicking. Our attention now turns towards the Head season, which culminates in just 5 weeks’ time when we take to the tideway for UH head. With the desire to elevate RUMSBC back to the top of the pecking order undented, this men’s squad is not to be underestimated. - Alex Lane
The Men’s intermediate four’s bid for gold on Sunday the 20th at winter sprints could only be compared to a feat of immense rowing prowess. After only having one outing the day before as a boat with Jai Sidpra stroking, Ben Southgate at 3, Adam Jones at 2 and Felix von Spreckelsen at bow we were completely unprepared.
With only a short paddle up to the start where we were unable to practice a sprint start but instead were showered by an inconsiderate launch and gained about 6.5 litres of water on board. Our adversities were still however not over, for as we tried to bail out some water whilst turning in the river for the start of the race a nightmare only true rowers will appreciate occurred. A buoy was heading straight for Adam jones! Like the Norse God Loki he thought quickly and with precision he grasped the top of the boy and submerged it under the boat, letting it pass underneath and pop out the other side narrowly missing putting a hole in our boat. As we rowed up to the start we were rattled to say the least and of course although our start was ok the st George’s A crew were up on us from the start. Regaining confidence as we found our speed we start to fight back and a small overlap appeared which we held for 3/4 of the race. But to our dismay in that last crucial 200 meters the George’s crew pulled away to win with about a lengths difference.
Into the repechage we went never the less against no other than George’s B crew. With boosted confidence that if we only lost to the A’s by a length we stood a chance against their second boat we waited at the start line with fire in our bellies, eager to prove ourselves. From the sound of the starting gun we flew out of the gates with the best ever race start we had done to date. Swiftly we took a one length lead which they held for half the race, and then, as if some primordial energy had brewed inside of us we just started to pull away, putting an extra one percent into each stroke, sending the boat across the finish line with about four lengths between us. We were so far ahead when the George’s four finally finished and did their three cheers we couldn’t actually hear them. A truly joyous occasion until all we realised was that we had secured third. But do not fear this four has a lot more to give and prove. Imagine what we can achieve under the watchful eye of Will Shorrocks our cox and Jamie Glenister our captain. Who knows, if we had had a few more water sessions as a four before the sprints we may have even taken the George’s A crew. Till next time. -Felix Von Spreckelsen
Women's Novice VIII
We arrived at the University of London boat house, excited for what would be the first race of the year, but our last sprints race as novices. Despite the weather being a bit chilly, it was a bright and sunny morning, and this helped elevate our competitive spirits. Although one member of the crew hadn’t rowed in sprint races for a while, and another needed to switch sides, we were still determined that we’d perform better than ever before.
Our cox for the first race, Georgie, gave us an extremely motivational talk beforehand about how important it was to maintain our focus, keeping our eyes in the boat and always on the person in front of us – this would ensure we were always winning mentally and therefore have better chances of winning the race overall. We knew that our first race against RVC would be a tough one. Having raced against (but lost to) them during Novice Sprints last month, they were potentially our greatest competition.
Fuelled with adrenaline and Georgie’s crew talk, we rowed onto Surrey side. We had a great start against our opponents and for some time we were neck-and-neck. Knowing that we wanted to win and make our captain, Rosa, proud our determination powered us on, and we managed to win by 1 ¼ lengths! It was extremely rewarding to see that by working on our weaker factors, such as the timing of the first three strokes and erging in-between outings to build power and endurance, we could improve by so much and achieve great results.
Unfortunately, the crew for our opponents didn’t turn up, but that meant we were straight to the final! This was an exciting first for us, since we’d never previously been so close to winning medals – we’d only raced in repechage finals before. Whilst we were waiting for our final race, we joined in the cheers of “Middle middle middle” and supported the senior women and men during their races.
As soon as we heard “GO” we pushed hard, focused on rowing the best we could. Unfortunately, we were defeated by ICSM, but having claimed 2nd place overall, we left feeling happy and excited for the upcoming races this term! Seeing the senior women in particular perform so well, with W1, W2 and WS4 all deservedly winning medals gave us extra motivation towards preparing for our next big race, UH Head, next month. - Daniella Wu
Men's Novice VIII
What a day for the Nov Boys.
Matched with Queen Mary’s finest in our first sprint, this race can be summed up by the following: (Beans, with his hand in the air) “Ok Nov men, just a littl... WE HAVE ALIGNMENT, GO! ... ‘I’m so sorry”. Caught off guard by the marshals, the race was off to a shoddy start. Although disheartened, we tried not to let our emotions get the better of us; powering through to chase the lengthens with a mighty power 10, to then settle on a steady rhythm (motivated by the loud groans of Ash as he pulled the blade). As we picked up speed, Beans reported we were gaining on Mary’s! - motivating us to squeeze harder and harder, using every last drop of power and energy we had, until we sped past the red flags that signalled the end of the race. Sadly unsuccessful in a victory, we finished a boat length and a half behind Mary’s. Yet despite the odds, we fought well and pushed through.
A running theme might be gathered now, as in our second race, pitted against George’s Medics, began with a beautiful air stroke from 8; disorientating the timing of the boat. Nevertheless, we once again settled into a strong, steady rhythm and, in the face of another loss, Beans and the boys did a brilliant job at keeping calm and riding the race through to the end.
However, not is all doom and gloom for the Nov Men; for these two races has taught us two things: for one, we need Bergy back at stroke! And secondly, most importantly, our crew has demonstrated the ability to push, maintain, and settle on an impressive rate. With a month to train and to refine technique, the outcome to UH head looks very promising indeed. Let’s give the other teams a run for their money, shall we? - Will Owen