For M2, the second pasta faff ended up being a highly educational affair with members of the crew being tested on crew orders and blade colours from the official programme. Particular amusement was taken from the name of Caius 3’s stroke, Michel Westmuckett-Martin, and the prize for successfully guessing all of the college blades went to our very own LBC P. Lacey.
“Clare Hall will bump Caius and we’ll sail through and get the overbump on Maggie” at least that was the plan as we set off from the boathouse. The sky was blue, the sun was out, and it was a perfect day to go bumping. Being super keen and early, we ended up enjoying a rather relaxed marshalling experience and were happily enjoying a nice lie down in the boat when our bank party decided a recital of the old classic Inches was required. Maybe that’s what was missing from yesterday?
After another calm row towards our starting station (which excitingly for stroke was a lot closer to the Queens 3 boat [and cox] today) we passed the handshake down the boat and pushed off into the river. 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5 – GUN. We were off. A better start than Tuesday and the boat was flying.
We kept our length and immediately gained a whistle on Clare Hall. Maybe we didn’t need to overbump? As we went through the motorway bridge we maintained our shape in the rough water and pushed away the Queens sandwich boat (much to Conor’s disappointment). However, as before, this coincided with a Clare Hall power surge and the whistles dried up. To make matters worse, we came upon the bumped out boats of Maggie and Caius. The overbump was off.
But then came a twist worthy of any great novel, the whistles suddenly reemerged. First one, then very quickly one became two and two turned to three. For the first time there was a realization that we could bump them and the boat lifted ecstatically up out of the water. Before we knew it, the marshal’s were signalling for us to pull in, but where were our noisy neighbours? Seemingly very jealous of Queens’ excursion up the bank on day 1, it appeared the Clare Hall cox had decided she wanted a go at parking mid-race too and there they lay, truly beached in the reeds – the bump was ours!
The jubilation could be felt throughout the crew – a first bump for everyone. For Pete and Conor in particular, this was their first bump in 10 attempts. And so kitted up with some local shrubbery we rowed back home with our spirits lifted and belief returned. What’s more, we’d bumped Clare Hall straight back, and we had a relatively weak Maggie 3 crew in front of us for day 3. All in all, at the end of the day we came to the conclusion that, in the modified words of the late Bill Shankly:
There’s only two good crews on Herschel Road, Robinson M1 and Robinson M2