M1 – Bumped Robinson I for Blades
The final day of Lents had arrived. The day of reckoning. No one dare mention the possibility of the B word. St Catharine’s had continued their progress up the Bumps chart to put Robinson I in front of us, with a chance to get our own back for last year. Catz had even decided to raise the stakes by promising us all a pint if we could take down Robinson before First Post Corner. Anyone would think them worried about getting bumped back! With everything to play for, this was probably the most nerve-racking day by far! Our row down was great, the practice starts were fast, everything was in place as we got pushed out, now with an almost straight line to the motorway bridge following our previous bumps. We started well and pushed Magdalene away almost immediately. One whistle! Already? Surely we weren’t gaining that fast? Will quickly assured us that we were! Two whistles as we came under the motorway bridge! The water was choppy, so we must be close. I could vaguely hear Roger shout something about two feet. Then overlap, and suddenly HOLD IT UP! We had done it, with by far our fastest bump of the week, catching Robinson half way down First Post Reach. After clearing to let the side to let Caius II past and congratulating Selwyn for bumping Magdalene behind us, we moved over to the towpath side to the cheering of our fellow Kingsfolk, who graciously supplied us with bubbly, greenery and the King’s flag, which Will enthusiastically waved as we paddled back past the Plough. Blades were ours at last.
M2 – Bumped by Caius III
The crew went into the last day of Lents breaking even with our starting position. After damaging our boat in the tangle with Jesus III the previous day, we had to switch for our final day of Bumps. The new boat was easier to balance and we hoped this would give us the boost needed to take revenge on Jesus and remain level. With three days of Bumps behind us, our start was composed and smooth as the final cannon of our week sounded. We went off strong, and kept our rhythm passing under the motorway bridge, chasing down the crew who gave us so much trouble on Friday. Unfortunately, Caius III were characteristically on form and were closing the gap. Although the crew were pushing hard to get away, Caius proved too fast and gained their bump. Despite being disappointed by our failure to gain during the week, the crew had rowed well, and put in a much more solid performance than the day before. Given that 6 of our 9 had never competed in Bumps before, the week was an excellent experience for the crew, in which we got bumped, got a bump, and rowed over. With Lents over, the crew is keen to improve for Mays and next year’s Lents, where hopefully we can take back the place we lost and continue the club’s superb return to form.