Lent Bumps 2015 – Saturday

W1 – Rowed Over
Excited for the final day of Bumps, and determined not to get the spoons that were looming on the horizon, W1 had a good row down. It was pretty windy, which meant that there was some trepidation about the corners – tight or wide? Our cox dealt with the corners deftly, but Homerton were not so lucky. They were bumped out by our boat-house-buddies Selwyn around the corners, giving us a little breathing space. Our hopes of bumping Trinity Hall still seemed plausible, we had everything to row for. But at the Reach, Trinity Hall came into their own, and pulled away from us. It was a gutsy row for us down the Reach, with some fear of Lucy Cavendish, who seemed to be gaining on us. At the Railway Bridge we gave it all we had, with 3 very nearly giving too much. We were very happy to row over, knowing that we had really pushed our hardest, and that we had escaped the dreaded spoons!

M2 – Bumped Robinson III, rowed over as Division 3/4 Sandwich Boat
The stage was set for Day 4 of Lent Bumps. The clouds sat ominously low in the sky. The spirits of the mighty King’s M2 were high. After 6 starts already, the crew had become experienced campaigners on the Cam and refused to fatigue. M2 would start the day placed second behind Robinson in Division 4 and sought to reclaim their position at the divisional head of the river after the shock discovery that Robinson was in fact both a Cambridge college and capable of bumping boats the day before.

Supplemented by the brave Henry Morgan and Tom Waszkowycz due to the unfortunate departure of Adam Townson, Charlie Burton and Daniel Lücke, the boys sought a lightening start. A lightening start is exactly what they got. M2 surged down the river and immediately began putting pressure on Robinson. Robinson would not give up and the Kingsmen dug deep. With every stroke they knew that they would grind the Robinson crew down. Robinson were clearly in their sights. The whistles began to blow and they became more and more persistent. As M2 passed the spectators at The Plough they were within striking distance. After some skilful coxing which saw the crew take a brilliant line around the final corner and the injection of more raw power, the boys got exactly what they had been waiting for all week: the elusive bump. Robinson were shattered. The Kingsmen were elated.

M2 finished the day rowing in Division 3 chasing the powerful Trinity Hall M2. It would be the 8th start of the regatta for the Kingsmen. The final race saw another strong start and proved to be an incredibly tough row against strong winds. Trinity Hall M2 bumped Magdalene M3 early on and the river began to clear out. This did not affect the resolve of the Kingsmen. As yet another sign of their endurance, the boys rowed on and kept race pace for the entire length of the course. It hurt. It burned. But it perfectly encapsulated what M2 had proven to be all about: endurance and finesse. The mighty M2 would finish Lent Bumps at the top of Division 4. It had been an incredible regatta. The crew thank their coach, Chris Braithwaite, and Will Miller for his support on each day of Lent Bumps.

M1 – Rowed Over
Saturday. The final day. Starting from ninth. Ninth! None of the crew had ever started from ninth in the first division before. Indeed, we’d dusted down the history books and discovered that apart from a brief stint at ninth in 2008, King’s hadn’t been inside the top ten in Lents for over 100 years. Today marked our chance to make history; if we could pull out all the stops and catch Peterhouse, we’d be the highest King’s had been since 1901. Our start was strong, perhaps not quite as fast as the previous two days, but easily enough to ensure Christ’s didn’t get close. We settled into a fast but stable rhythm coming down First Post reach, and lifted into First Post corner. However, we figured pretty quickly that we were in for a tough row when the first whistle didn’t come; evidently Peterhouse were made of sterner stuff than our previous conquests. Nevertheless, a tight Grassy from Will and determined lifts down Plough reach kept us just about on station with Peterhouse. Sadly it became clear as we rounded Ditton that the strong headwind was slightly getting the better of us, and Peterhouse were able to capitalise and pull away. Determined to chase them to the very last stroke, we refused to give in all the way to Top Finish, but ultimately had to settle for up three. That said, I’d be a fool to complain about going up three in the middle of the first division, and the crew were all hugely chuffed with what we’d achieved. We’ll have to wait until next year to equal an over-a-century-old high…