Lent Bumps 2017 – Thursday

W1 – Bumped Magdalene W1, now 3rd in Div 2

Written by: Ellen Berry

This day was a year and a half in the making. Most of our crew had rowed W1 for over a year; and most of our crew had never bumped before. Last year saw W1 only row over or go down; but today that was going to change. We were hungry to bump; and we knew Magdalene were within our reach. After being so close to bumping them last year, we were determined not to let them out of our sight this time. After a somewhat overzealous parking at marshalling, we warmed up down to the Reach and had a fast standing start (albeit ‘not very clean’) outside the Plough. Soon the time was upon us and we were being pushed out by Roger. Our start was clean and fast (reaching rate 40); and we hit First Post corner with a high speed. Fitz gave a good effort chasing us from behind but we were already closing in on Magdalene. After a lift out of First Post, we were only half a length behind Magdalene we quickly decreased until their cox conceded just before Grassy Corner. W1 had bumped! After much celebration and perhaps excessive greenery, we rowed home a slightly too high rating to be steady state thanks to our Stroke’s post-race high. Tomorrow we hope to have a chance at catching Homerton who are behind Tit Hall again, after failing to catch them yesterday.


M1 – Bumped by Girton M1, now 15th in Div 1

Written by: Neil Paul

Today would be our first Bumps race with the full Lent term M1. Kozzy, the big man at six, was back in the boat!

After discovering half the ergs were being used by the Leys, King’s M1 decided to warm up by doing some weight training. After searching around for something suitable to lift, M1 finally found a piece of equipment they were comfortable with – the Adrian Cadbury. And so our first rep began “Racks out. Heads. Racks in. Walk it out. Split to shoulders.” We then walked out to the hard, saw it was occupied with Leys boats, Selwyn boats, all kinds of boats. So began our second rep “Walk it in. Heads. Racks out. Lower it down. Racks in.” After a couple of reps, we decided we were sufficiently warmed up, so went upstairs to chat about the upcoming race. But where to chat? The Mays room – nope, W1 were there … The kitchen – nope the Leys were there … The toilet – nope, let’s not go there. Finally, King’s M1 found a quiet space to talk over the race plan. Clare were likely to bugger off ahead, and we knew it would be a hard row against a chunky Girton crew behind us. Key message of the day: stay relaxed.

Our row down to the start was tight, tentative and twitchy – you could feel the nerves in the boat. Unintelligible groans could be heard coming from stroke after a particularly violent lurch left a good portion of his thumb on the sax board …

The crew was given a big boost by our bank party when we reached Station 14 – many thanks to Roger, Simon and Selena for coming down to push us off, carry kit and cheer us on. A few moments later and Smith was also there – a 2.5 hour train journey for potentially 2.5 minutes of racing, that’s commitment.

The race itself was a blur – up at 48 off the start, and barely settling below 40 all the way along First Post Reach. The wash coming under the Motorway Bridge was particularly bad today, and threw us off our rhythm – Girton closed-in by half a length. Through the outflow, the rhythm became whirry and Girton continued to make inroads. Contact was made just before First Post Corner, and the Bump conceded. Girton continued to make inroads … Only when Hrutvik was near impaled on their bow ball did they decide to wind it down.

On the row home, and back at the boat house, you could sense that our heads were down. An uplifting speech from Smith brought us back to our senses.

The Adrian Cadbury has taken a battering, we are bloodied, but we are not defeated.


M2 – Rowed over Head of Div 4

Written by: Conor Bacon

The Heavies had one task today: row over ahead of the Sidney crew we had confidently bumped the day before (even with the minor crabs and general spannering). A simple task, which we knew was well within our capability. Starting head of the river (the divisions were actually reversed this year – Div 4 is the true pinnacle of Cambridge rowing), we had the advantage of clean water and a wall of noise from our hundreds of fans to spur us on to glory. When the full crew finally arrived at the boathouse, we pushed off as the last crew heading down to marshalling. Swiftly catching up with the straggling crews, our row down finally represented something of the confidence we had exuded all term. Sidney didn’t have eyes for us, instead turning their attention to the crew chasing them. Focused in, we awaited the cannon. Our start was fiery, and for once didn’t involve any major air strokes. In seconds (probably a bit longer) we had taken First Post Corner, and were cruising comfortably up the Gut at speeds never before seen on the Cam, sending Sidney down with every stroke. We took a tight line round Grassy and pushed on towards the Plough. With Sidney being bumped as they came around behind us, we knew all we had to do was stay together and strong to the finish. Div 3 and Queens’ III would be waiting for us the next day. The strong headwind on the Reach made a feeble attempt to grind us down, but our huge momentum (mass x velocity) meant it stood little chance. We took it through the line with clinical precision, as if the race had meant nothing to us, and powered on home at steady state without a need to rest. Two more days, two more crews? Watch this space.


M3 – Bumped Jesus M4, now 6th in Div 4

Written by: Shaun Matos

There was a certain confidence in the air as M3 rowed down to the motorway bridge. After having officially bumped for the first time yesterday there was a strong sense that we could achieve the same result. The bone-shaking experience of being next to the cannon certainly made marshalling under the motorway bridge more challenging, but we were soon off without any major incident. Thanks to Abi’s skilful coxing we had no issues winding it up through the outflow and were soon well on our way to catching Jesus M4. The reassuring sound of whistles could be heard from the bank, and all seemed well in the world. We then came to Grassy. It was difficult for us to fully appreciate the state of the river ahead of us, but, as it was the first time any of us had rowed in bumps, it was probably the closest thing to true chaos anyone in the boat had witnessed. Bumped out pairs were parked awkwardly on opposite banks, the cries of angry marshals filled the air and a mystery klaxon had started blaring. Jesus naturally decided that the best way to deal with the situation was to crash into the bank themselves, and then suddenly push back straight out into our path. The consequence of this manoeuvre was unsurprisingly a second, rather more stressful, bump for M3. Perhaps more importantly, we soon found out that our last day of bumps would see us chasing boathouse rivals Churchill M3 for the second time. Let’s hope that no one gifts them a bump again…