Saturday 5am: alarms went off and the day started for all RUMSBC rowers. This wasn't just a normal Saturday rowing on the Tideway, this was the first race of the year. The first chance to scout out the competition and to show them all what RUMSBC are made of at Cambridge Winter Head. With a long bus journey to get a little extra sleep we arrived at Cambridge ready to take on the bends of the Cam and all the other crews.
The Women's 1sts were first to set off in Division 2 along with the Men's Novices. The Men's 1sts were also meant to be in this category however with a trip to A&E due to a dislocated shoulder and a boat trailered far from the river, they missed their slot and so had to fit into Division 4 instead.
Having had a great outing on the Wednesday before Cambridge, W1 knew what they needed to do, it was just a matter of going out there and showing how well they can row and the speed that they can achieve. However, nerves were definitely still present when we pushed off from the bank and it was Alex's reassuring coxing voice that calmed the pre-race jitters on the way up to the start. With a strong start we took off and quickly settled into a strong rhythm and rate which we were able to maintain for the entire race. We took the corners well and with Alex's experienced coxing we had a relaxed and yet strong row through the bends and straight. Going past the spectators there was a call for 'Middle four lift!" and you could feel the surge of power as we took the boat past the cheering crowd, under the bridge and to the finish.
Finishing with a time of 10:19 and beating all other UH crews, we are looking forward to show what we're made of at the sprint races.
This is only the beginning for W1.
'This was our first proper race for RUMSBC, and the team finished in 11th place in our category, with a time of 11 minutes 11 seconds. Hopefully we can take all these number ones a sign of good things to happen in the future. The actual race turned out to be probably the best outing we’ve had - not a single crab in sight – and our eyes were mostly in the boat (*cough Jack Merritt cough*). With a little more power put in, we should be aiming for glory in the future… '
Ollie Pfeiffer - Novice Stroke
'Having a much more relaxed start to the day than the mens firsts, the men's seconds used this to their advantage. Boating in division 3 they settled into a strong rhythm early. Building towards the finish as they passed the crowds they finished with a time of 9:31. Posting the quickest UH Men's seconds time of the day. Does this solid start to the year mean they plan to retake the UH head crown which was torn from them last year? Only time will tell.'
Alex Cowan - Men's Senior Captain
'Everyone was nervous before the start - first race of the year! However it felt very strong and together from the beginning. We were so glad to have Alex back coxing us, the whole crew responded well to her calls and we could feel the boat lift! We had a real energy boost when we heard the RUMS cheering, managed to keep eyes in the boat, then the last 500m were tough but we finished and were all so pleased with how it had gone :)'
Livi Drewett - W2
Men's 1sts (+super sub)
'As dawn broke the men's firsts were greeted with the news that half of their beloved boat would not be arriving at Stourbridge common. So in true RUMSBC style a bodged plan was put in place which resulted in 3 man's shoulder dislocating and being late to boat from Emmanuel boat house. Following a hasty re-working of the racing schedule a sub from the seconds was secured and they eventually boated in division 4.
The first half of the race unfolded and the dreaded grassy corner was made by coxswain Kit Hunter for the first time in living memory. Only for the boat to come to a grinding halt minutes later in a pile up involving Bart's and the crew in front. Finishing in a time of 9:26, questions must be asked as to how much time was lost, but a promising start to the year.'
Alex Cowan - Men's Senior Captain
Due to the rearranging of their division, the men had to quickly jump out of the VIII and get into their IV to make it in time to the start. What followed was a strong race from the IV considering that they had just raced the course. They had the experience of Abs as a Cam rower for a cox and a cheering crowd to push them on past the bridge and to the finish. The race went well with the four coming 3rd in their category and hopefully things will only improve for this crew as the year progresses.
The women's novices were the last race of the day and so had the whole force of RUMSBC out cheering for them. Captain Libi Hawkes was thrilled at how the crew looked ("generally looked awesome") and the best moment of the race was when they overtook another crew in front of the crowd of supporters. With only three crabs in the whole race and a strong rhythm throughout, the women's novices beat all other UH crews and so are looking forward to this weekend at Novice Sprints for another taste of victory.
The Final Results
Men’s 1sts came 9th in their category with a time of 9:26
Women’s 1sts came 5th in their category with a time of 10:19
Men’s 2nds came 11th in their category with a time of 9:31
Women’s 2nds came 9th in their category with a time of 11:14
Men’s 4+ came 3rd in their category with a time of 10:30
Women’s Novices came 4th in their category with a time of 12:35
Men’s Novices came 11th in their category with a time of 11:11
For full results see below:
Must go to Mr Sam Gunning for testing the facilities of Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge. It is comforting to know that their oramorph and entonox are up to scratch. Thanks also goes to Rory Shadwell for subbing in to the first VIII and rowing back to back races.
And a special thank you to all who came down to watch and support. RUMSBC definitely had the best supporters at Cambridge.
Middle Middle Middle!!!!
Looking to this weekend and Novice Sprints, the crews are:
Stroke - Jack Maddicks
7 - Matt Kinsella
6 - Rob Wescott
5 - Connor Price
4 - Callum Field
3 - Jamie Glenister
2 - Martin Furlepa
Bow - Jack Merritt
Stroke - Elizabeth Sinclair
7 - Jenny Budden
6 - Sophia Lalani
5 - Beth Jones
4 - Tahlia Spink
3 - Grace Navin
2 - Olivia Williams
Bow - Claire Shadwell
Anyone who is free please come down and support your club!! You never know, you may even see an ejector crab!