May Bumps – Friday

W1 – Rowed over 3rd in Div 2

Written by: Rebekka Thur

On Friday we went into the race determined not to make it easy for Tit Hall chasing us. After having been bumped by Homerton the day before, we knew we were in for a row over, with Tit Hall behind us who had gained some ground on us on the first day. The W1 Bumps campaign had already been going better than we could have hoped for after a several-week lapse in our normal training schedule leading up to Bumps, and having a Blue subbing in on Friday, we were definitely ready to go all out on this race. As usual, Roger had us do a rolling start just after the Railway Bridge and a standing start on the plough. The row up to the start felt strong, but I still don’t think we were quite expecting the race to be as good as it turned out to be. The actual start this time was timed nicely (unlike the day before, where the cannon caught us a little by surprise) and we took off fast and sharp. We had barely started rowing when by First Post Corner we passed Homerton and Catz, who had bumped out ahead of us. With any chance of bumping no longer possible, we kept up the same pace and were determined to hold Tit Hall off as long as possible. They had been gaining on us somewhat through the corners, but as we came onto Plough reach and around Ditton, it dawned on us that the row-over was actually possible. On the long Reach, we kept a safe distance between us and them, and although we could not afford to ease off, the distance between the boats remained consistent and the rowing felt incredibly strong – Roger afterwards told us that this was the best rowing we’d done in a long time, and it certainly felt  that way even during this second half of the race. As we came out under the Railway Bridge, the Tit Hall bank party started giving single whistles, although the distance between us had not shrunk in the slightest – indeed all these whistles achieved, was to tell us how secure our row-over was. It was only when we were coming up to the P&E and on the last 400 metres or so did Tit Hall go for a final push and started catching up to within station, but we knew we were close enough to the finish line to be safe. When the red post finally went past, we all collapsed and it took us a moment to recover, before we rowed home very leisurely. The entire boat was utterly ecstatic about this incredible row-over, as was Roger, when we got back to the Boathouse. This was without the doubt the best of our Bumps races that week.

 

M1 – Bumped by Robinson M1, now 14th in Div 1

Written by: Josh Guha

Having valiantly fought for two row overs in the blistering Cambridge summer heat, King’s M1 knew Day 3 would be the turning point of their May Bumps campaign. Until this point, the Cam FM scoreboard illustrated sublime symmetry with the King’s horizontal as it’s line of reflection. Selwyn M1 had bumped down twice and started ahead of King’s, whereas Robinson M1 bumped up and was behind. Only in a few rare moments in Bumps history does a crew face the possibility of an attainable bump ahead and a real threat behind. It was hunt or be hunted as the starting cannon fired. King’s put the pedal to the floor and rocketed towards Selwyn, coming to within a boat’s length by first post corner. However corners, the Kingsmen’s dire weakness, slowed the boat. Selwyn paced ahead as they smelt a whiff of freedom from the King’s hunting machine. As the boats turned the final corner to power over the Reach, Robinson had caught up. The three boats hurtled down the straight in close combat – to the roar and cheer of the spectating crowd. King’s, desperate to escape the aggressor and claim its first victory, had played a front-ended game and had begun to lose steam. With less than half a length between the three boats, King’s eventually fell prey to Robinson in the middle of the Reach, much to Selwyn’s relief as they calmly rowed over. King’s had lost, but the crew was not dispirited: a single bump offered an improvement over the dismal ‘spoons’ performance of the previous year and Day 4 provided an opportunity to deny the advancing Christ’s M1 its ‘blades’.

 

W2 – Rowed over Head of Div 4

 

M2 – Rowed over 4th in Div 4

Written by: Lewis Couch

The third day began with slightly less shine to it than the previous two, The Heavies had yet to bump and the sun had gone in. Despite this our hopes were still high, Hughes M2 were chasing, a crew we had already beaten, and Girton M2 were ahead in a repeat of day one. Some last minute coaching tips from three were in order to reverse the previous result – ‘’if we all throw our (enormous) weight backwards the boat will go faster’’, which the crew duly adopted on the row down, giving a far more convincing warm up that was both more stable and quicker than the other days had been. Racing began with a strong sprint to first post corner, Hughes were rapidly munched by Caius M3 meaning we had no threat from behind so our efforts were now fully devoted to hunting down Girton. Some ground was made up by the time we rounded Ditton corner, the crew inching to just outside a length, desperately close to the first whistle. Unfortunately Girton managed to hold the Heavies along the rest of the course, matching us push for push down the Reach, resulting in yet another row over, albeit in more solid fashion. Ah well, as the saying goes: lucky crews get blades, good crews go up three, and heavy crews row over.