senior men's race report
C: Chris Jackson
S: Arjun Patel
3: Joss Digweed
2: Bartlomiej Rosinski
B: Amit Bhudia
The Men’s four rocked up at the boat house for an early start for our first ever paddle as a crew. We made leaps and bounds trying out our sprint start and building up to race pace which gave our crew added confidence for our first sprints race ever!
As we were cheering on the novice women, Amit and myself were unexpectedly called to sub into a Novice Men’s VIII due to a timing clash. We took this opportunity to get used to the race we would face that afternoon and came so close to victory in the face of mechanical issues for our bow and stroke seat.
After the tides turned, we strapped ourselves into our shiny new Hudson and made our way down to the start point, practising one last sprint start along the way. We lined up and were faced with an unexpectedly long call for attention which threw us off. We heard the marshal call go and ended up losing to the more experienced George’s boat who from peripheral vision were faster than expected but all was not lost! Each rower dug deep, listening attentively to Beans’ motivating calls as we put our all into a power 10. Alas, we crossed the finish line uncertain of the distance between ourselves and the George’s crew but remained hopeful for our three-way race for third.
With no time to waste we turned around and made our way back to the start line for our last row of the day. Once again, we lined up, feeling exhausted, waiting for the start call.
This time our start was much better, we were holding a tight lead against ICSM for the first half of the race. Not one rower on either crew was giving in, but our bodies were aching as we sorrowfully saw the ICSM crew take our lead and inch away from us. We crossed the finish line to the sound of our teammates chanting, MIDDLE MIDDLE MIDDLE! Everyone who stuck around until the end of the day to watch us race made the pain and suffering all worth it. Although we hadn’t won, we left with our heads held high and excited for races to come.
With some more practice we’re all looking forward to an even better performance at Quintin Head next weekend and particularly UH Head
senior women's race report
C Melissa Nelson
S Zakira Klico
7 Sophie Covington
6 Rose Maloney
5 Grace Yang
4 Lauren Pereira-Greene
3 Sophie Ollerenshaw
2 Annabel Butler
B Alix McNeil
On the morning of Winter Sprints, we ate many a crepe
We gobbled them up without a regret
All the Nutella that made us feel sick
Was the fuel needed for us to row extremely quick
Saturday 22nd saw the first race of the year
We arrived at the boathouse full of cheer
With hair in meticulous battle braids
We got warmed up and put out the blades
The women’s eight’s first race was the semi-final
For Bart’s and RVC were COVIDly viral
We rowed up alongside GKT
Came to front stops and sat squared and ready
GKT’s start was rather strong
Perhaps since their warmup was rather long
Within 10 strokes they’d taken a length
But this didn’t buffer our mighty strength
We held onto them throughout the race
Our technique was good and we were moving at pace
It was captain Melissa’s coxing debut
Her excellent calls helped us push through
But due to GKT’s impressive start sequence speed
They finished the race with just over one boat length’s lead
This left us in third place overall
A position we felt was good, but improvable
We put our boat back onto the rack
And had our informative post-race chat
And to celebrate our short but exciting row
We took a wholesome crew photo
And with thanks to the incredibly slow boat bay kettle
A haphazard hot chocolate we drank and then did we settle
Over at the pub for a pint or five
Legs tired due to our massive leg drive
Winter Sprints was a great start to 2022
But now we were all rather pooped
So off we all went, homebound
In need of a well-deserved lie down
Novice men's report
S Pawel Ogrodnik
7 Aryan Arora
6 Etienne Royer Gray
5 Josh Lau
4 Justus Schotanus
3 Sam Rolfe
2 Dan Diaz Blanco
B Dara Razanghi
Overall, a really good day with a lot of promising progress to build on. Despite the loss, the novice men fought back to lose by only half a boat length despite being at times 2 rowers down. Unfortunately, a loose gate and floor plate gave way - perhaps a useful lesson about tightening bolts?
The boat felt really balanced throughout thanks to the efforts of all the novice men, with marked improvements in power, timing and positioning.
This race has given us lots of encouragement to continue and sets a solid benchmark for the rest of the year!
Novice women's report
It was a cold and wet morning in January and like every day at the boathouse, everything was running smoothly, punctually and without any sort of breakdown.
With our lovely Vaish at our helm, we went out for a classic RUMSBC pre-race paddle, only stopping once (1 time) to prevent an almost-tragic fin-related casualty. The atmosphere was buzzing; first race day for a few of us and first sprints for all. Between a cheeky shoe issue (through no fault of the boatswain & assistant, obviously) and me and Cecilia attempting to dry off after an only slightly spicy landing, the chatter and excitement was palpable.
In traditional fashion, staying cool, calm and collected was an unobtainable goal. However, we were on time! (Go RUMS!) With the marshals guiding us towards the start line and St. George’s revving their engines beside us, we were tense, we were exhilarated, we were speed! Given that we’d not rowed as a complete crew before, and the fact that a few of our dashing rowers were extremely new to the fun, funky and fresh vibes of the Thames, morale may have been high, but expectations sure weren’t.
Nevertheless, we brought our big boy legs to the table and when the marshal called “attention…”, we were born ready. Soaring off, neck and neck with the girls from George’s, we were looking good and feeling better. But, no! Tragedy struck in an early crab and we watched, doe-eyed and slightly panting, as victory slipped through our blistered little fingers. Winning may not always be RUMSBC’s style, but giving up definitely isn’t. With a quick reset and some encouraging shouts from Vaish, we were off again, determined to finish and already mentally preparing for the second race of the day.
Race number 2 was against sworn rivals, ICSM, and with the whole of boat club behind us, chanting dutifully as we spun round into the Middlesex bank, we had a point to prove. The starting call didn’t faze us this time (we were already pros) and so we rushed out of the gates, immediately taking a strong and rather sexy lead on Imperial.
It seems that fate, however, was not on our side. At RUMSBC, we pride ourselves on our consistency and as another crab held us up, nearly taking out Sofia along with our chances to win, we took a moment to remember the rush of the lead and enjoy our brief respite before Sergeant General Vaish had us back on the grind and pumping out our best rowing to get the race done and dusted.
Whilst we didn’t win, and were barely able to keep the boat above our heads at any given time, we did learn the value of teamwork, perseverance and importantly, that it never stops being funny when someone falls in the river.
Hopefully, the promising leads we snatched keep our Nov women hungry and in the upcoming races (looking at you, UH Head), we’ll be able to clinch a few medals with some super zesty rowing.