M2 May Bumps 2016 Race Report

Wednesday

Going into day 1 we knew we were faced with a strong Magdalene crew behind us given their very strong performance in champs head. However as a crew we knew we had made significant improvements since then and were keen to go out hard on Trinity Hall in what was three of the crew’s first May bumps. After a strong start we began gaining on Trinity Hall but not quickly enough. We were bumped by Magdalene around the plough.

Thursday

Going into day 2 we were being chased by Fitzwilliam who had overbumped the day before. Knowing they clearly weren’t a slow crew we knew we were going to fight and that we did. A very strong start and row through the corners kept Fitz on station we weren’t giving them an inch. Just after Ditton Fitz made a move but we countered straight away and the gap remained. It wasn’t until near the end of the reach that Fitz made another move. Unfortunately this time we had nothing left in the tank. They soon started moving up on us and despite giving it everything they caught us 200m from the finish.

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Friday

Stirred on by the knowledge that we were could hold Fitz for almost the entire course we knew that the bump back was more than just possible and we were determined to get it. After a very strong and focused row up and a very promising practise start we were very positive in anticipation of the days racing. We lined up to start and as the cannon went we performed easily our best start of the term and got inside station on Fitz. Throughout the course we gradually ate into Fitz until we had three whistles coming passed the plough. Some brilliant steering by our cox, Peter Mooney, saw us to the bump around Ditton. After my initial confusion as to why I was being told to hold it up mid race I soon realised we had bumped as the crew cheered and we rowed to the bank to collect our greenery.

Saturday

On day 4 we were chasing Churchill who were on for spoons and who were just bumped by Trinity Hall a crew we knew we were quicker then. What we didn’t realise at the time was that they were only bumped due to a rogue crab and were actually a very fast crew. We went out hard but not hard enough and Fitz had an incredible start. They started to gain on us early on and rowed incredibly well and caught us before First Post corner. Unfortunately, the unreliability of budget airlines had caused our 7 to have to miss this day but a big thank you to Edward Lewis for stepping in. Thanks also to our Coach Gareth for all his hard work.

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Back row: Rob Byron, Yuuki Shigemoto, Christoph Klein, Ed Lewis (sub), Jack Kelsall       Front Row: Ted Mackey, George Cole, Peter Mooney (cox), Hector Gardiner

M1 May Bumps 2016: race reports

Wednesday

After gaining three whistles in the final day of Mays last year, but failing to finish the job, Selwyn M1 went out with a vengeance to get that day one bump on Magdalene. Aware of our strong performance in Cambridge racing this term, Magdalene went off quickly and kept us on station through to the Gut. To our dismay they caught Churchill right before Grassy, and we were forced to row past the two crews listening to the loud and emphatic cheers of Magdalene, with the sudden realisation we would not get the day one bump on them we had been hoping for all year.

However, we had settled into a strong race pace and were determined not to go home empty handed. Having started six and a half lengths away from Christ’s, who were three places ahead of us, the gap had already closed to four. We chased them through Grassy, past the Plow and onto the Reach. By this point the gap had narrowed to two lengths and we knew the over-bump was in sight. Our cox called for our race move, allowing us to hit another gear and move into Christs at the fast rate we had all race. One whistle quickly turned to three and before we knew it we had overlap. Perhaps somewhat surprisingly for the crew, our cox slammed on the rudder as he went for bump in the second half the reach, causing us to face the bank. Having been a length away no more than ten seconds ago, confusion quickly turned into cheers as we realised we had just got the first division one over-bump in 13 years. Our focus now turns to the remaining three days of our campaign, and we are eager to bring home for bumps for Selwyn!

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Thursday

We approached today’s racing with the momentum of yesterday’s over-bump, but also the knowledge that we would be chased by a hungry “fly and die” Magdalene crew. Our warm up was strong and effective, having got rid of nerves that seized us yesterday, and the crowds were cheering “GO SELWYN”. We bumped Catz in 400m after opening a wide gap on Magdalene, and watched joyfully as they rowed past with the clear expression of sorrow on their faces that read “what might have been”.
On Friday we will be chasing Kings and a bump will place us at the top of our combined boathouse, a position Selwyn has not held for at least 20 years.

Friday

On Friday we chased Kings, giving us the opportunity to reclaim the top spot of our new combined boathouse. Hot of the back of our success yesterday we were determined to do it again. We got of to a strong start and within thirty seconds had our first whistle. From there on we executed the job swiftly, bumping them before first post corner. Bring on the last day.

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Saturday

We approached Saturday confidently, knowing that Emmanuel, who we were chasing, had not been able to move on Queens in Friday’s racing. To our complete surprise they gained rapidly off the start, and we were forced to use our race move ‘Hawaii’ as we entered the gut, or risk the two crews in front bumping out and leaving us with no one to bump. 800m in Emma had overlap on Queens going round grassy. Meaning after only 2 minutes we were doing our second big race move. The tension and potential disappointment in the boat was massive. Huge thanks go out to Queens were able to hold on and move away from Emma, who’s “fly and die” tactic became apparently clear as we closed a length on them in under 20 strokes. We bumped right before Ditton, achieving our blades and going up six places over the week. Perhaps excusable was the slightly over enthusiastic greenery. Huge thanks to our coaches Rachel Crockford and Henk-Jaap Wagenaar.

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Just how close it was to all being taken away!

New SCBC Committee

Now that Henley is over it is time to announce our new committee. This past year has been a huge success for SCBC. The new boat house was finally completed, M1 got blades and despite boating from a shipping container for the majority of the year we had more keen rowers then ever, including a great group of novices. I want to thank all those who made that possible, especially Teresa and her outgoing committee.

We have a lot to look forward to in the coming year and I’m lucky enough to have an amazing committee to make it all happen with many experienced hands and at least one member from every boat Selwyn put out in Mays this year.

Introducting the SCBC committee no stripes

I’m looking forward to working with this lot and the Henley Fund to make this the best year yet (it will be my 5th). It’s also the first year the overall captain isn’t also the Men’s/Women’s captain so I’ve really got no excuses. Do get in touch if you any questions at all.

Charlie Nye – SCBC President (cjsn3@cam.ac.uk)

New SCBC Committee

Now that Henley is over it is time to announce our new committee. This past year has been a huge success for SCBC. The new boat house was finally completed, M1 got blades and despite boating from a shipping container for the majority of the year we had more keen rowers then ever, including a great group of novices. I want to thank all those who made that possible, especially Teresa and her outgoing committee.

We have a lot to look forward to in the coming year and I’m lucky enough to have an amazing committee to make it all happen with many experienced hands and at least one member from every boat Selwyn put out in Mays this year.

Introducting the SCBC committee no stripes

I’m looking forward to working with this lot and the Henley Fund to make this the best year yet (it will be my 5th). It’s also the first year the overall captain isn’t also the Men’s/Women’s captain so I’ve really got no excuses. Do get in touch if you any questions at all.

Charlie Nye – SCBC President (cjsn3@cam.ac.uk)

Tom Page award winner 2016: Amy Bland

This year’s Tom Page award (for enthusiasm and dedication to the Boat Club) went to one of our first-year students, Theologian Amy Bland. Amy came up as a senior rower, having rowed for the best part of the last decade already, and rowed with Selwyn W1 in Michaelmas before taking over as W2 coach for Lent and Easter. We interviewed Amy about her rowing life…

SE: What made you start rowing?
Amy: I started rowing when I was 9 years old. We were given a booklet at school of sports you could try during the holidays. I wanted to do kayaking, but you had to be 10, so I thought rowing was the next best thing. From then I was hooked and have since rowed in all the different boat classes (except 2+) in a whole variety of races.
SE: What do you like most about rowing?
Amy: I love the feeling of being on the water and making the boat go fast and smooth. Also the team element is really great.

SE: What’s your favourite thing about SCBC?
Amy: I love the mix of people in the boat club and how visible the improvements are. There were some people who rowed in the first boat who only picked up an oar in October.

SE: Is there anything you would change about the boat club?
Amy: More integration between the men and women’s squad. The first time I spoke to most of the men was at training camp very Easter.
 
Thanks Amy, we hope you have a good summer and stay in love with rowing!
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Selwyn M1 Race Report – Thursday Mays 2016

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We approached today’s racing with the momentum of yesterday’s over-bump, but also the knowledge that we would be chased by a hungry “fly and die” Magdalene crew. Our warm up was strong and effective, having got rid of nerves that seized us yesterday, and the crowds were cheering “GO SELWYN”. We bumped Catz in 400m after opening a wide gap on Magdalene, and watched joyfully as they rowed past with the clear expression of sorrow on their faces that read “what might have been”.
On Friday we will be chasing Kings and a bump will place us at the top of our combined boathouse, a position Selwyn has not held for at least 20 years.

Selwyn M1 Race Report – Wednesday Mays 2016

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After gaining three whistles in the final day of Mays last year, but failing to finish the job, Selwyn M1 went out with a vengeance to get that day one bump on Magdalene. Aware of our strong performance in Cambridge racing this term, Magdalene went off quickly and kept us on station through to the Gut. To our dismay they caught Churchill right before Grassy, and we were forced to row past the two crews listening to the loud and emphatic cheers of Magdalene, with the sudden realisation we would not get the day one bump on them we had been hoping for all year.

However, we had settled into a strong race pace and were determined not to go home empty handed. Having started six and a half lengths away from Christ’s, who were three places ahead of us, the gap had already closed to four. We chased them through Grassy, past the Plow and onto the Reach. By this point the gap had narrowed to two lengths and we knew the over-bump was in sight. Our cox called for our race move, allowing us to hit another gear and move into Christs at the fast rate we had all race. One whistle quickly turned to three and before we knew it we had overlap. Perhaps somewhat surprisingly for the crew, our cox slammed on the rudder as he went for bump in the second half the reach, causing us to face the bank. Having been a length away no more than ten seconds ago, confusion quickly turned into cheers as we realised we had just got the first division one over-bump in 13 years. Our focus now turns to the remaining three days of our campaign, and we are eager to bring home for bumps for Selwyn!

Robert Galbenu Men’s Captain 2016

Technical improvements for May Bumps 2016

Of course, the training doesn’t just start now. The athletes of SCBC have been working since Michaelmas with this goal in mind: success in May Bumps. It’s been a long time coming, with many outings and many, many hours on the ergs logged, and now with only a few months remaining we need to pick up the pace.

But it’s not just about fitness, it’s also about finesse, and some of SCBC’s engineering undergrads have put their heads together to make sure Selwyn’s boats are the best on the water before the rowers even get into them. They’ve spent hours making sure our boats are are streamlined as possible, that they ride high enough but not too high in the water, etc. As an experiment, which we will repeat with Selwyn’s other boats if successful, we have coated John Farr with a hydrophobic chemical which repels water, which should shave valuable seconds off the crew’s time by reducing drag between the boat’s surface and the water, the air layer causing slip through a two-phase flow.

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By far the most drastic change, however, has been the decision to remove the cox from our upper boats (something which currently is not a financially viable plan for the whole squad) so as to reduce the weight of the boat. It was, in fact, one of our recent ex-novices who came up with this- at first quite shocking- idea, and they got together with two other engineers and a non-SCBC friend in Computer Science. Together, they have produced an ingenious system whereby the rudder has been connected to a radio-controlled operating frame, using which the cox can steer the boat without even leaving the boathouse. This has actually enabled our coxes to use even greater precision in manoeuvring the boat than before, allowing them to adjust the rudder by fractions of degrees. With one GoPro at the bow and one at the stern, our cox is afforded an excellent view (though with a blind spot behind the boat, to which the only solution so far has been to leave stern pair in charge of spotting possible hazards behind the boat) with the feed from both cameras displayed side by side on their laptop back at the boathouse. Finally, the simplest part of this set-up is a fairly normal radio-link between a headset and the boat’s speaker system, allowing the cox to maintain their important motivational role.

We currently have the two upper boats kitted out in this way, and W1 and M1 will be trialling the system in the first fortnight of term- we have high hopes for success! Of course the significant weight loss from the boat certainly won’t be enough to get us all blades by itself, but together with all our other technical improvements and some intense training and commitment, it might just do the trick…

Happy April Fools

An interview with Charlie Cullen, President Cambridge University Lightweight Boat Club and SCBC

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Our very own Charlie Cullen will be leading the Cambridge Lightweights in this Sundays Henley Boatraces.GO CHARLIE!

See our exclusive interview:

SCBC: How did you get into rowing?
Charlie: I started rowing at school in Norwich, when I was about 15 and just did more and more every year.
SCBC:  Do you have any nicknames?
Monty Wetwipe
SCBC: What has been your best moment at SCBC?
Charlie: May Bumps, of course, has to be the highlight of anyone’s rowing year. Staying away from Robinson in my first year with overlap for about a kilometre was a really strong memory.
SCBC: What was the greatest challenge as lightweight president?
Charlie: I think the hardest part of being President has been trying to set an example when you really want to take your foot off the gas. All in all it’s been incredibly rewarding and I’d do it again in a heartbeat.
SCBC: What’s been your best moment with the Lightweights?
Charlie: Every year just before the race we row our boat from Ely to Cambridge through the locks. It’s quite an exciting trip and a great tradition – it really brings the season to a fitting end.

SCBC: WE WISH YOU ALL THE BEST FOR THE RACE ON SUNDAY. GDBO!

 

Rowing after Selwyn: SCBC at Poplar

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After moving to London former Boat Club Captain Dave Barton is back in the boat and racing with fellow SCBC friends Christ Cottingham and Ben Gliniecki at Poplar. Here is his report:
It might come as a surprise to some but at Selwyn I really enjoyed rowing. It can be quite hard to let go after four bliss(-ter)ful years of ergs and early get ups. But once a boatie…always a boatie they say. Having moved back to London I realised it was probably time to put the spectacles to one side, get off my lazy arse and start rowing again. You know, just to show everyone how really really good I was.
I got in touch with Ben and Chris who had both been rowing for a year at Poplar Blackwell and District Rowing Club. So far my time at the club has been fantastic. There’s a great mix of young and old, and a range of abilities from recent learn-2-row graduates to ex-world champions! We row on the stretch of the Thames from London Dock (just East of Tower Bridge) to the Thames barrier. Its a beautiful stretch to row on and while conditions can often be harsher than what the Cam offers, it’s great to train on and just makes the “millpond” days even better.
We’re currently rowing with the Men’s IM3 Squad with the goal of racing an VIII in HORR. We’ve already picked up a pot (see below) and are aiming for top 200 in March. I think this would be a great achievement given the majority of the boat have only been rowing for just over a year. After that the focus of the squad is going to be sculling in small boats for the summer regattas.
The club’s facilities are great – lots and lots of club singles/doubles (as the majority of people focus on sculling) to use – a fully equipped gym, a rowing tank and a clubhouse bar upstairs (often showing sports matches on the projector).
With lots of regattas coming up soon it would be great to have even more ex-Selwynites down. We row on Saturday and Sunday mornings and weekday training is Tuesday and Thursday (both Men and Women’s squads) evenings.
Do get in touch if you are interested!