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The Neptunes

May 2012 Volume 4, Issue 3

Another Lent Term flew past... Wing Ying Chow, Captain of Club 2011 – 2012

...AND ANOTHER EXAM TERM LOOMS. For Cambridge boaties, Lent 2012 was much disrupted by ice. For MECBC, we erged and tubbed through the weeks of ice, won one race, and went up four in Lent Bumps as a Club. Read our race reports for some gutting reports from this term. There was a lot more rowing post-Lent Bumps this year than usual. MECBC held a rowing camp in Cheshire over the Easter holiday (page 4). It was hosted by NHBC alumna Clare Briegal (1981) and the Grange School in Northwich. For some, this is the first time we rowed off-Cam, or sculled in an octuple! MECBC went to the Henley Boat Races again this year to see Izzi Boanas-Evans compete

in the Blue Boat at 6 (see page 5). This was a day with much excitement and fantastic results. Page 6 carries some choice quotations from what must have been the largest election in living memory for MECBC. I felt incredibly proud of everyone who stood. Coupled with the fact that we now have a handover period of one term, our committee meetings are attended by nearly (sometimes over) 20 people. I want to say thanks again to my committee for making this such an awesome year so far. Looking ahead, I know the Club is in safe hands, and will surely go on to great things. Thanks to Holly for helping to put this issue of The Neptunes together, and if you enjoy reading it, do get in touch!


W1 Lent Bumps reports by

Amy Crow Georgie Field Reana Maier Emma Jones

1 OF LENT BUMPS 2012, although Girton had a fast start, our length and power saw us gradually close the gap until grassy where we succeeded in catching them (after bow took a cheeky look). After adorning the boat in greenery we proceeded home triumphant facing the possibility of joining the W1 division on day 2. The next day, we were chasing Peterhouse to claim the top spot of the division. The start was looking strong and we gained some ground. Unfortunately the dirty water and Peterhouse’s strong will got the better of us, beginning our series of row overs. Day 3 was bright and sunny, perfect for bumping shades. We know what we needed to do, but we also know that Peterhouse won’t make it easy. We made a good start—more spirited, more controlled and more committed than yesterday. We slowly gain continuous whistles signalling overlap, but each time we squeezed close, they managed to slip away.We chased them closely right the way to the finish line for another heartbreaking row over. We know Peterhouse had to fight with everything they had to stay those few inches ahead of us. This was a race that will stick in our minds for a long time. As the cannon went for the start of the second division of the final day, we powered into our start, eager to catch Churchill as soon as possible. When three whistles finally became continuous, we pushed into the last few strokes, and we won our second bump of the week.




Having moved up a division, we rowed back to the marshalling point for our next race. We were delighted with our greenery, but thinking ahead to our 'revenge row' against Peterhouse. We were down to a length when Georgie called for us to hold it up. Ahead, Selwyn and Peterhouse seemed to have stopped for no reason, and with no warning, the two crews started racing again. Extremely angry, we channelled our rage into an attempt at a new powerful start, but we had no chance of catching them now. We stopped racing after they bumped Selwyn—feeling cheated at the unfairness of the situation. Mark shared our anger, and after a discussion with the marshals, it was decided that there should be a re-row. We had nothing to lose, and gave the re-row all that we had —but Peterhouse were stronger and fresher, and bumped Selwyn before we could get within one whistle of them. So, Peterhouse got away—but only just. We went out fighting to the bitter end, and at least now we won't be chasing them at the start of next year's Lent Bumps.

Natalie Skorupska


W2 Pembroke Regatta Report by

incoming Lower Boats Captain our cox fell dreadfully ill during the night meaning that another had to be desperately sought at 6am should have indicated that perhaps Pembroke Regatta wasn't going to be W2's day. However, come marshalling time, obscenely early though it was, we had a full crew keen and ready to crush Caius W2. An hour of marshalling later, freezing cold temperatures and tempestuous winds meant that despite seeing a Clare coach fall in the river and the consumption of much haribo (mostly by Watson, exhausted from having to carry the kit bag) our spirits had somewhat died. Eventually, we made it to the start and our two boats lined up sufficiently (despite the best efforts of the wind) and the race began. Unfortunately Caius managed to push off us fairly early. We were able to catch them a little when we tackled the fierce headwind that at times seemed to drive the boat back up the reach, but when the wind died they would once again push off us to maintain their increasing lead. A tough race well fought. PERHAPS THE FACT THAT

Results Lent 2012

Winter Head to Head W1: 1st in Mays second division Pembroke Regatta W1: beat Emmanuel W1 (round 1), knocked out by Selwyn W1 (round 3) W2: knocked out by Cauis W2 Lent Getting on Race W2 got on: starting at 12th in 3rd Div Lent Bumps W1 up 2 W2 up 2 Detailed times and rankings can be found on the website

Easter Term Races


MECBC IS PLANNING ON entering these races for Easter 2012. The most up-to-date events listing and race results can be found on our website. 5 May 2012 - City Head to Head (W1) 13 May 2012 - Champs Head (W1, W2,W3) 20 May 2012 - Nines Regatta (W2) 8 June 2012 - Getting On Race (W3) 13-16 June 2012 - May Bumps (W1, W2, hopefully W3)



there seemed no better way to let off steam than for a MECBC cohort to head up to Cheshire for a week of intense training on the River Weaver. Despite the impending doom of the petrol crisis, we all made the journey safely. Arriving at the boathouse at 9am (admittedly a lie in) it was straight into the VIII and onto the water. Our hosts, the Grange School, took footage enabling Mark to give individual feedback. Time for a quick toast break (a renowned feature of the Grange School boat house), before heading to the Grange School to talk about university life and applications. It was a welcome break before another intense afternoon, bringing our total distance for the day up to an astonishing 30 kilometres. Day two on the water, we were followed by Mark in a scull, and coach Paul Raferty whose famous coaching line, "the only place you pull is in the disco", will never be forgotten. After 2 hours of suspension drills, tapping exercises and slide builds we were rowing with newfound flare. Our pain was rewarded the highlight of rowing the Octuple! The powerhouses at seats five and




Cheshire Training Camp Report by

Mollie Jones

incoming Lower Boats Captain

six had the interesting combination of 5"10 Gina, and 5"1 Georgie. As the big day dawned, we arrived at Norwich to witness the sight of boats of all shapes and sizes preparing for the Head Race. Maintaining our focus through marshalling, we waited for what felt like a hundred boats ahead of us to start. We had a good first run, sitting the boat well and doing Murray Edwards proud. Our second run went even better; we were gaining on the men's boat ahead. Although our times didn't come first, it didn't distract from the real win of the trip; we all improved massively in our technique. Whilst I'll be tormented by cries of "3... 3... Mollie!" for the rest of my rowing career, these were an amazing few days. So, from Ying, Gina, Reana, Sal, Christie, Natalie, Holly and Georgie I'd like to say a big thank you to former NHBC and Blondie rower Clare Briegal and her husband Mark for their incredible hospitality and lasagne. Also many thanks to Paul for his coaching, we hope that this will be the start of an enriching relationship between Murray Edwards College Boat Club and the Grange School.


A Day at the Henley Boat Races by

Emma Jones

incoming Treasurer and Secretary


in bright sunshine, complete with a large picnic (with Reana's baking of course) and blazers (well, for those who owned them) full of anticipation for the day of racing ahead. The college races were first, securing a win for the Caius men, but a defeat for the Emmanuel women. Next came Blondie and the women's lightweights, who unfortunately just lost out to Oxford. The women's blue boat followed. Tensions rose as we hoped for a Cambridge win, not just to rectify the previous two defeats, but because MECBC's own Izzi Boanas-Evans was racing as part of the crew. The boats came into view with a strong lead for Cambridge. We cheered, shouted, and waved our Murray Edwards flag, excited for a likely victory. But just as the Cambridge boat drew level with us, the two seat caught a huge crab. She was down for what seemed like an age before being helped up by bow. During those nail-biting seconds, the Oxford crew gained significantly, but miraculously Cambridge pulled away still in the lead and went on to win the race. As the final race of the day, the men's lightweights, approached, Marina Steketee became increasingly nervous. With a boyfriend in the boat, who she had supported through all his training, she knew just how important a victory was. Her nerves were contagious and we prayed for a Cambridge lead. As they came into view, Cambridge were indeed ahead! We cheered them on, urging them to keep their lead, which happily they did. All in all, a very successful day for Cambridge at the boat races, including the two most important for us at Murray Edwards this year. WE ARRIVED AT HENLEY


special point in the year for Murray Edwards College Boat Club: committee handovers. As one committee steps down, another steps in. As part of the outgoing committee, I want to say on behalf of all of us that it has been an absolute pleasure to serve the Boat Club. The future of the club rests on each year’s committee; to hand down the animated spirit that keeps people turning up on frosty mornings, driving on each stroke, and of course, the strength of will to pick up the beast that is Winston. After a tensely fought election, I would like to introduce your new Murray Edwards College Boat Club Committee. I can already tell that this year’s bunch will continue to be just as enthusiastic, committed and hardworking both on the water and on land. SO IT HAS REACHED A

"Rowing is the highlight of my term. I will lead by example; you will never get less than my best."

Holly Smith

outgoing Fundraising Officer Memorable quotations from hustings*: Sally-Anne Bennet, Captain of Club "I love MECBC and it is wonderful. Blades for all!" Emma Jones, Treasurer & Secretary "I am excited to be involved in the greatness that is MECBC." Natalie Skorupska, Lower Boats Captain "I love coaching... running along in inappropriately coloured trousers screaming from the bank." Mollie Jones, Lower Boat Captain "I'm ridiculously keen." Amy Crow, Social Secretary "I have learnt that we must have a suitable amount of alcohol." Hannah Grealish, Social Secretary "I will make sure that every one is well 'endowed'." Harriet Christie, Fundraising Officer "We don't have enough cake sales at this college!" A full list of our new Committee can be viewed on our website.


Reana Maier Captain of Boats

The Next Chapter in MECBC's story, by

* scribed during the chaos of elections, therefore may not be a complete reflection of the views or opinions held by the Committee...


"I want to make lots of little boaties!"



Georgie Field Lower Boats Captain

"I was happily coerced into becoming a member through copious amounts of tea, rowing is now a part of my life." Christina Larkin Safety Officer

when Harald broke in Lent Bumps 2011. My mind was racing to work out the costs, and I remember wondering how many years it will take before we can scrap together enough for a new VIII. Fast forward to 11 Feburary 2012. We have our current members, our alumnae, our coaches and our supporters at Murray Edwards, dressed in black tie, and Dr Saxton is pouring Champagne on our new VIII, Octopussy. I would never have dreamt it was possible. To retrace our steps to this point in time... back in summer, we were discussing plans to purchase a new boat with College. It was suggested that we should approach the JCR for a loan from their reserves. Our Treasurer Sally-Anne prepared numerous spreadsheets, analysed our cash flow, and was instrumental in putting together a case to the JCR, who were very amenable and agreed to give MECBC a loan at a low interest rate. In Michaelmas the loan contract was signed, the boat was ordered, and fundraising began in earnest. Our dedicated Fundraising Officer Holly faced up to the task of raising 2000 pounds a I REMEMBER THE MUTE SHOCK

year, and her energy and boundless creativity fired us off to a strong start with the 24 hour erg in Michaelmas. She also wrote letters, suited up, went to London, made pitches in impressive offices, and we hope to have good news on the sponsorship front soon. With the progress we have made in fundraising, we decided that the Neptunes Dinner should be a celebration of the MECBC community. It was great to see so many alumnae coming back to catch up with each other and see what the Club is up to. It was also great to have a good contingent of proud parents, some of whom very generously donated gifts for the raffle. Special mentions also go to Gina, who organised the Dinner but was unable to attend, and Holly again, for sourcing raffle gifts from local shops, and creating a slick "look and feel" in event publicity materials. Our next alumnae and supporters dinner will be in 2014—I look forward to returning as an alumnae to this fine tradition (hopefully I would have finished my PhD at that point)! The story of the new VIII, by


Wing Ying Chow outgoing Captain of Club


Ola Janusz, Lower Boats Captain 2011 – 2012


this year was successful as ever. Due to our increased social activity throughout the year we have managed to secure a large pool of fans and admirers who came in hopes of becoming the Oar of Phwoar of the term. Club blazers were aplenty, and moderate buzz was filling the Dome. Having been seated at the Girton table I realised the best care was taken in maximising the use of gossip and banter carefully collected and analysed by Gina and Vanda. Thanks. The spirits were high as Girton top 2 men's boats had earned blades the day before. The Selwyn and Peterhouse tables behind me seemed no less entertained, specially when we got to coaching awards, with too many insider jokes. I had mysteriously been awarded a late one for Michaelmas, along with a speech from the Boat Club chief of eloquence, Natalie, who on this special occasion made sure to make even less of a point then usual. THE LENT BUMPS DINNER




Lent Bumps Dinner Report

To talk of the food would be to ignore the true entertainment of the evening, with a toast to "everyone who loves Reana", forecasting the future support for her Captaincy. The mysteries of the evening included teapots filled with certainly not tea, and a Viking hat. The dress code was completed with W1 bumping shades. Extremely successful term and LBD. We are committed to spreading the MECBC spirit and extend our reach to make the Bumps Breakfast even more legendary. Bumps Breakfast will take place on Sunday the 17th of June, if you are interested in attending, please email the address below by the 9th of June, and pay by the 11th. Email the social secretaries on

The Neptunes May 2012 by Murray Edwards College Boat Club is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. Some rights reserved.

The Neptunes May 2012 Volume 4 Issue 3  

MECBC went to Cheshire, Henley Boat Races, and held elections this term.

The Neptunes May 2012 Volume 4 Issue 3  

MECBC went to Cheshire, Henley Boat Races, and held elections this term.