May Bumps 2014 – Friday

M3 – Rowed Over
Riding off the high of yesterday, M3 went into today fired up and rearing to go. Queen’s had tumbled down our division over the last few days and we wanted to capitalise on that, especially with the return of our captain-to-be and since a few members saw this as revenge for last year’s May Bumps. Rowing up for marshalling wasn’t as smooth as we’d hoped and we only got the balance we were used to half way up the Reach, but our practice starts were strong. As the cannons blasted, our winds and lengthens were good but, rather ironically, the timing slipped during the rhythms and we couldn’t make the headway towards Queens’ that we wanted, nor did we push away from Jesus in the way we should have after yesterday. The three of our boats stayed two lengths apart for most of Grassy and Plough Reach but it seemed the Reach was going to be the determining factor and it was soon obvious, with the rapid pull away of Queens’, that this was going to be a clean row-over for us provided there were no disastrous crabs for Jesus to exploit. There were some sticky blades, a tiny spack here and there, but it was generally a solid row to the end. We’re coming back with little more bite tomorrow but we’ve learnt our lessons for today: 1). Never underestimate our opponents, even if they had been bumped early the last few days and 2). The Cox usually calls everything with catches and finishes to keep people in time – turns out M3 didn’t know that…

W1 – Rowed Over
With an extremely large, strong and most importantly fast Murray Edwards crew in front of us and a Magdalene crew on the search for vengeance behind, it was never going to be an easy day for w1. After a flying practice rolling start which appeared to appease even Roger, we felt confident. However we also knew how important it was to not underestimate magdalene. We knew our brief – tire out Murray Edwards as long as possible and potentially (with a little luck) bump back. We went off with a slightly rocky start. However even so our confidence was boosted somewhat by the presence of whistles on Murray Edwards by first post corner. We held them at a length lthrough the gut, our confidence soared as we noticed that Magdalene had fallen away to the distance. As we came through grassy we were shocked to see Magdalene W1 succumbing to Jesus W2. This spurred us on and we continued to gain slowly upon Murray Edwards. However as we rounded the final corner onto the reach we were tired and it began to show in our rowing. The boat began to crash down onto stroke side then bow side. Murray Edwards began to pull away from us. We eventually wound it down half way down the reach. Whilst we had not quite managed to match Murray Edwards this day, we rowed home buoyed up with the thought that they would be rowing again and thus entering the final day greatly fatigued.

M1 – Rowed Over
M1’s epic struggle with Clare continued today as we looked to improve on yesterday’s result of closing to around 6 feet. We knew that once again we would have to go out of the blocks like a rocket to give us the best chance of bumping. The row down felt as good as we have been moving all term, really cranking up the rate on the practice start outside the plough and moving well together. Before we knew it, we were being pushed out at the start with a simple race plan in mind – go out hard to bump by the plough. As per the plan, we went out hard, winding up to 52, really sending the finishes through cleanly. We picked up our first whistles shortly after the outflow, much like yesterday, and quickly moved to 2 whistles before closing to a canvas coming into the gut, and then gaining a few inches of overlap in the gut. This was it, time to push on to make the bump, but despite a strong lift, Clare managed to hold us off, meaning we’d have to try to hit them around grassy or on plough reach. In front, Clare had closed to a canvas on Queens’ ahead of them so were being spurred on to a bump of their own. Despite giving it absolutely everything, we couldn’t close the canvas gap they held over us and eventually we all rowed over many lengths clear of Christ’s behind to continue the form for the week. After an almost perfect race, it was gutting not to catch Clare, but we’ll be back tomorrow in an effort to end the week on a high.

M2 – Rowed over at top of Div. 4, Bumped Clare in Div. 3.
Day 3 would be make or break for M2 if we wanted to move up to Division 3.
A comfortable row down was technically good, as was the practice start we were finally allowed, due to the absence of re-rows or equine disasters. We made our way to the front of division and the first cannon soon sounded. With the third blast, we were off with one of the best starts we’ve yet managed. Good lines took us round to the Plough, by which point Jesus had bumped Fitz, leaving only Caius (from three stations back) many lengths behind. We kept a good pace until the first stretch of the reach was done, at which point we started to relax as it had become clear Caius weren’t going to achieve an over-bump. We soon crossed the line with Caius still a decent distance behind. The first race was done, but that was the easy one.
A rest at the railway bridge gave us time to recuperate and take on water, before another row down to the start – except this time right down to the lock. An uncertain practice start was soon followed by a short stretch of high-quality high-rate work leading to the motorway bridge. We span and got ready to pursue Clare, who had been bumped down by Clare Hall quite quickly the day before. After pushing off, we managed to get right to the end of the chain in time for the start, at which point we managed to pull it out of the bag and give our best start of bumps. The first whistle came surprisingly quickly, just after the corner, which spurred the crew on. Further whistles soon followed, but a minor crab caused us to lose some distance. Thankfully, we recovered and caught back up, with our ears soon graced by the sound of continuous whistling. Another crab caused minor difficulties but by this point the bow-ball had passed the cox, who slowly conceded. We had managed our second bump, and much sooner than any of us had expected. Finally, M2 were rowing once again in the third division, with only tomorrow’s single race to secure that position for next year.