May Bumps 2013 – Wednesday

M1 – Bumped Emma M1
After a solid row down, and buoyed with confidence by some great sessions in the preceding week, M1 pushed out into a strong gusting headwind on the first day of bumps with optimistic excitement. After an hesitant first few strokes, we hit a strong rhythm and quickly moved up on the Emmanuel crew. one minute in we were just 6 foot away, but Emma gave it their all and it took another minute to get the bump, finally hitting them at the exit of first post corner. We took plenty of encouragement from a very satisfying row, but also look to improve on certain aspects as the week continues.

M2 – Bumped by Churchill M2

M3 – Bumped by Queens’ IV
Greeted by grey skies and brisk winds, the first day of May Bumps was not too welcoming for an M3 that had previously rowed together not once, not twice, but a whooping zero times. The crew was not downcast however: most of them had been in the same boat not more than two and a half weeks (and many exams) ago, and felt confident that they could probably row as well now as then.

After a series of practice starts both on erg and water that had gone surprisingly well for the amount of training, the crew arrived at position number five, two positions upriver of the motorway bridge – thus already two positions higher than they were originally, due to two boats dropping out. The scene was thus set for a blazing start of the week, with Sidney Sussex II ahead, and Queens’ IV behind.

Following a four-minute gun loud enough to make those fresh to Bumps jump, the crew made themselves ready: de-kitting, last drinks, adrenaline levels rising. Another blast from the one-minute gun, another fourty seconds, and the boats were pushed out in the river, late to avoid too much of the headwind before the start.

BANG! and the start was on: the crew took three solid draw strokes, and five quick winds. During the three lengthens, however, it was already apparent that the quite heavily built Queens’ IV crew had done the same, and they had thus closed in by half a boatlength: a whistleblow was heard. Tremendous effort from the King’s men could unfortunately not hold them for very long: the one whistleblow was soon two, and three, as the Queens’ boat surged forward. Before twenty strokes were taken, the bump was a fact, and the boats steered to the bank.

W1 – Rowed over at head of Div 2 – Rowed over as Sandwich Boat

W2 – Rowed over (narrowly missing the overbump)
Although we knew that on paper we were a lot better than Jesus W3, we also knew that in Bumps anything can happen – so we went out just prepared to do our own race, and hopefully they would come to us. This paid off when Jesus bumped a weak Peterhouse W2 as they took a poor line around Grassy, just before we could catch them, and we decided we were going for the overbump on St. Edmunds W1! Jesus spectacularly failed to clear and sat in the middle of the river, causing us to have to restart. Despite all the confusion and a slightly messy start we settled into a good rhythm by the Plough. On the Reach we hoovered them up to within a length by the railings but they managed to hold us off, the time wasted thanks to Jesus allowing them to narrowly escape us. Despite being denied a bump we felt pleased with the quality of our rowing, although extremely tired after having rowed the whole course at high rate!

W3 – Bumped Clare IV
The first day of bumps was a successful one for W3, proving that we did deserve our spot in the division with a very quick and decisive bump. Despite a rocky start, W3 quickly closed in on Clare IV, bumping them before the motorway bridge. Such a quick bump took us by surprise, leading to a scramble in an attempt to clear the river. Unfortunately, in the ensuing aftermath a rather dramatic collision occurred with Selwyn III, which was already half on the bank. All worked out for the best, with a very happy W3 heading back to the boathouse.