It was all quiet again at the top of Women’s Division 1, as Cantabs W1 rowed over comfortably as Head of the River, with W2 and W3 making it 3 row overs in a row for the top 3 Cantabs women’s crews.
W4 (J16s) continued their fantastic bumping streak, catching Robs W2. They are now the only Cantabs women’s crew on for blades, and will be chasing down Robs W1 tonight.
In Division 2, W5 (Intermediate Women) rowed over, and will be hoping to catch Champs W3 tonight. W6 (J18s) and W7 (Hills Returners/Intermediates) had an exciting row over. Cox Ben Whitelaw said:
We were feeling rather confident for day 3, but we knew that the competition was getting tougher by the day. It was our job to catch the 99s W4 crew and we set off with a good start and I could tell we were drawing them in. We managed to get a whistle just before First Post Corner and the 99s crew were taking a wide line, so I was sure we would get them if I took a tighter corner. Unfortunately, there were some bumped crews sitting to the right and I was forced to take a wider line. This allowed them to pull away a bit but then coming around Grassy Corner I called for bowside to give a massive push to close the gap on them again. Jasmin Stein responded with high pressure and managed to bring us back to one whistle. On Plough Reach the stress was hitting everyone and we knew we had to close the gap even more. Susan Rutter let out a massive roar! Again, I thought we could reel them in even more around Ditton Corner, so I called for pressure on strokeside at which point Alina Gatley went for it and pointed the bows around the bend onto 99s stern. From here we were slowly pushing onto them and nearly caught them when they crossed the line to safety. We finished with a very respectable row over and a valiant effort from the whole crew.
W8 (Hills) bumped Champs W5 to make it the first time a Cantabs W8 has been in Division 2.
In Division 3, W9 (F&J) rowed over, and W11 (Hills Learn to Row) got a cheeky bump on W10 (Racks Out), who will be hoping to avoid spoons tonight.
It was another row over for M1 at the Head of the River, with M2 (Hills Returners) getting their first bump of the week by bumping Robs M2. Cox Ben Whitelaw said:
Having narrowly evaded being bumped the day before there was a lot of tension within the crew. We weren’t sure whether everything would go as perfectly as it did the day before and were anticipating a gruelling row that may or may not lead to being bumped by 99s M2. There was, however, a glimmer of hope: Rob Roy’s M2 had been bumped every day so far and looked like they were ready to be bumped again, so we had the opportunity to bump before 99s came near us. We started with a nice quick few strokes, trying to push off 99s. I could immediately see that we were closing the gap on Rob Roy and we weren’t having any immediate trouble from 99s. We approached First Post Corner and they had taken a mediocre line, so I took the opportunity to go tight and cut down the distance. After the corner I called for a “bumps ten” to finish them off and we got them in the gut. We pulled in after being victorious and cheered on Cantabs M3 as they chased 99s M2 – and eventually caught them!
M3 (Senior Men) are on for blades after bumping Nines M2. M4 (Senior Men) rowed over.
In Division 2, M5 (Intermediate Men) and M7 (Aquaphobes) rowed over, and M6 (Hills M1) bumped St Neots M2.
There was a bit more action in Division 3, as M8 (Hills M2) were unfortunately overbumped by Nines M5, M9 (J16s) bumped City M10, M10 (Poachers) rowed over behind them, and M11 (Past Masters) bumped City M11 just going into First Post. M11 are on for blades tonight if they can bump Champs M4, who are on for spoons.
In Division 4, M12 (Activ8) rowed over, M13 (Hunter Crew) bumped X-Press M6, and are on for blades if they can bump Nines M7. If they can do that they will also race as sandwich boat for Division 3.
M14 (InveterEight) were bumped by X-Press M8, M15 (J15s) rowed over, and Motley Crew (M16) got their 2nd bump of the week by bumping the Cambridge Vets going into First Post. Friday will see the youngest crew in the event (Cantabs M15 – J15s) chasing the oldest crew in the event (Cambridge Veterans).
Thank you to Guy Beauchamp for the photos of Thursday’s racing and celebrations.