On a beautifully sunny Bumps-esque Sunday, RUMSBC prepared to show the rest of UH what we're made of, in the biggest race of the year. And that we did, bringing home 3 shiny medals thanks to M4, W1 and W2.
Massive congrats to all our crews who raced for giving it their all. We're immensely proud of all the hard work and training we've done over the year and we'll be back and ready to do it all again very, very soon.
Have a scroll down to relive the day's excitement with these enthralling race reports...
Women's Senior 8
Row row row your boat
Aggressively down the thames
We went out to win some medals
and make some happy mems
Row row row your boat
As fast as we can go
Can we see the kings boat?
No they’re really slow
Row row row your boat
Down the course we sped
After 20 massive strokes
We won UH Head
Row row row your boat
We’re so glad we won
Lots of love to Jenny Budden
Our work here now is done
.- Claire Shadwell
Women's Intermediate 8
This was it. The biggest race of the year. UH head.
After months of training and physical preparation (carb loading was an integral part of our regime), we were ready to show the rest of UH what a real “pace boat” looked like. We took suns out guns out to a whole new level on Sunday, not letting the power (or even the rate) drop once for the gruelling 16 minutes in the blistering British sunshine. Not only did we look slick af, but we also left our competitors in our wake, finishing 40s faster than them and overtaking two MS4s to really rub in our victory.
It was a well-deserved win.
And we celebrated with lots of gin x
- Charlotte Withers
Men's Senior 4
“Down boys” Will calls as we cross the finish line. No time to recover before we have to row on through Chiswick bridge.
We paddle, blades on the water, as thats all we can muster. Every body movement feels like you’re pushing through treacle. What a prospect, to row the same race in a smaller boat that feels heavier every stroke for 2 minutes longer than you’ve just done. The order was Sam Gunning, myself, Callum Field, Luke Martin, coxed by, until recently a UH virgin, William Shorrocks, weighing in at 68kg - only 4kg lighter than Luke.
If you think thats a heavy lump in an 8, as our Australian bow man would say ”that’s one big boofa in a four”.
Squeezing out the lactate with each stroke as we approached the start was just what we needed to prep for the race. As we turned we wished Barts good luck.
“Rate 24… good… building to 34 in 3… 2… 1… Go…” Good start. As planned. “Hips in 3… in 2… in 1…”. Settled to rate 31. Chasing Barts down every stroke.500m into the race, “GOOD BOYS you’re catching Barts already… you’ll overtake them at this rate”. Even by a coxes standard putting a good spin on a race situation, we thought this was total bullshit. We nevertheless pressed on hoping to close the gap.
Approaching the yellow buoy and we hear the distinctive voice of another boat ahead of us. We dare not look around, we know that we’re chasing down the Barts top 4. Surely that can’t be them 1200m into the race. As we approach and pull side by side with the 4 there is nothing Will can say to stop everyone of us giving the biggest most ridiculously unsustainable push our legs can muster. Sure enough it was Barts next to us. It quickly became Barts behind us. With more than half race to go we went for glory pushing off the Kings top 4 that were chasing us to start with, we watched them fall into the distance. Suddenly, as we approach Kew road pulling our cleanest 10 strokes for no other reason than the pure vanity of knowing that the RUMSBC drone was recording every second, a mystery crew overtakes Barts and Kings in front of us then appears to reduce the gap on us. ICSM Top 4. Not from this year, but from the Henley UH boat 2 years ago. This was now our challenge having seen off Barts and Kings, we now had to push of this crew of ICSM boys who formed half the old Henley UH boat in 2017. As we come down the final straight for the second time we execute our tiers once again. “Tier 1 … PRESS SEND”. “TIER 2… LEGS”. “TIER 3… STICK THE KNIFE IN”. We cross the line. One glance up catches the ICSM boat approaching us from the distance. Some time later they wind down… but how much later? Had we done enough?
A few hours later, Jerry Mitchell kindly informed us that we had. - Jamie Glenister
Men's Senior 8
coming soon, watch this space.
Men's Intermediate 8
M2 this year has been something of an enigma, barely scraping together an eight for each outing throughout the year there were many times we queried it's viability and questioned whether there was much to race for. Outings this year have been eerily good, few negative comments to make really went against the grain of our crew consistency. A core of six rowers throughout the year proved steadfast and this would make all the difference come UH Head.
With 2 UCL subs and one outing with them, Jaeho and Franz (former Women's Senior Captain, Joy Schmidt's brother - crazy, I know?!) the race didn't look particularly promising. Especially given that the speakers on our boat conveniently decided to stop working the Wednesday before, causing us to resort to The Free Doctors - luckily also a Hudson eight.
I know I couldn't have asked any more from the crew on Sunday. Steph, coming in to cox us only from Training Tour 3 weeks ago proved a revelation and gave us that fighting chance we didn't think we would have against George's firsts (in an intermediate category??). I don't think we could have timed our race better, redlining the whole way and overtaking 3 senior women's crews on the way was an added bonus. Losing by 5 seconds to George's wasn't a loss, it was the best race I've ever had for RUMS. Some may say it's down to the Bumps-esque weather but I genuinely think it is from training all year and racing so well with such a great bunch of lads. - Matt Kinsella
This weekend was eventful for the boys to say the least. Having had a wonderful outing on Saturday where we finally figured out how to row, a truly unfortunate accident left us about half of a rower short.
With the squad already having been decimated by illness and injury, our beloved leader Jack Merritt suggested we use dark and ancient magics to summon the unspeakable eldritch might of ANSCHÜL to our aid; we recalled the idea almost immediately, concluding that to release such an uncontrollable force upon the Thames might cause irreversible ecological damage. With no one to replace our fallen brother it seemed Ryan’s Raiders (formerly Melissa’s Marauders) were in a real pickle, but come the morning of UH it was revealed that there had been nothing to fear! Miraculously our own 5’2 Ryan Lin had metamorphosed overnight into a 6’4 man called Jason. Everything was going our way.
As we rounded the corner through the start of the race, another fantastic stroke of luck! The George’s boat we were chasing crabbed almost immediately and we overtook them with a wildly cruel Nelson-from-the-Simpsons-esque laugh from our own Will Owens. We continued to paddle hard under the excellent command of Kelly “Capable” Wyatt, whose power-tens and words of encouragement pushed us right till the end; there was a slight hiccup when an unknown member of the crew caught a crab, but this matter was resolved quickly and cleanly and shall never be spoken of again. In the end we did not win the gold we had hoped for, but we certainly did do ourselves proud, leaving nothing in our collective tanks at the finish line. A very satisfying race that bodes well for the future!
After weeks of long ergs, large meals and a training tour in Maidstone, we were feeling all too ready for UH head (even though we were banned from erging the day before). The weather was lovely and we were excited at the thought of all the training finally paying off and the fact that we were getting all dressed up for UH dinner afterwards.
After a morning of cheering on some of the mens crews and taking some enviable squad photos at the boathouse, we rolled up to Pink Lodge. It was suns out guns on the row up and there were many RUMS teams near us starting before us. After cheering on the senior men and women and seeing their chunky rowing, we were pumped and ready to start our own race. We crossed the start line and put down all the power we could as we rowed the stretch to Brentford Loche, the part of the race we struggle with most in outings. The adrenaline made this easier than normal and we got a second rush of energy as we heard "middle middle middle" from the spectators at Kew Bridge. We were motivated all the way through by Beans, our cox, and our favourite call "Do it for Rosa!" Overall the race felt strong, and it was our best piece to date. We suffered a crab or two but they were small and easily recovered. By the end, we all felt on the edge of death which is how you know you've rowed your hardest. Nevertheless we were happy at our performance but sad that it was over. Unfortunately we didn't win, which was a shame but we gave it our all and the Bladies have never been stronger! -Vaish Sabari