May Bumps 2015 – Thursday

M3 – Bumped by Pembroke III
Preparation for day two was not going well: we’d lost a member of the crew to injury and had had to find a last-minute sub. Nonetheless, we had nine people by the time we pushed off, so it could’ve been worse. Worse didn’t take too long. We made it to our station with a good practice start, where we were given some bad news: Tit Hall hadn’t turned up, so the boat in front of us (Jesus M4, who we were confident we could catch) got a free bump. This left us in a difficult position: we had no chance of bumping and were being chased by the formidable Pembroke M3. A wonky start got us going at a decent pace: Pembroke were soon gaining, though, and we just had to last as long as possible. Whistles were blaring by Grassy Corner, where they caught us on the apex. A difficult piece of parking awaited – we managed to not hit Queens’, though – but we pulled in and relaxed. An unfortunate stroke of luck had gotten us bumped but two more days were left and we still had a small chance.

W1 – Bumped Trinity Hall
It was a confident King’s W1 that rowed up to marshal, if not the same crew as the day before. While our trusted stroke Liz was back, a knee injury confined her to six as Fanny continued to bring her Blues skills to stroke seat. The ever-suffering Nicoletta found herself rowing yet again, while bow seat had a new occupant. As a rag tag crew we set out determined to bump Tit Hall. They had been caught early by Jesus W2 on the first day, making us reasonably confident that we could make short work of them, and our row over ahead of Darwin W1 the day before suggested we could hold them off. After a slightly rocky start, leading to incapacitated thumbs, we quickly gained on Tit Hall, getting whistles as we rounded First Post corner. Coming through the gut we continued to gain rapidly on the crew in front, with Tit Hall conceding just as we rounded the inside of Grassy Corner. As we tried to clear the river, we found ourselves being chased rapidly by Darwin and Magdalene W1s, which were approaching a bump, preventing us from clearing to the opposite side, and leading to a rather unfortunate position directly on the inside of Grassy Corner. Once the final crews in the division had passed, we crossed the river to bedeck ourselves in greenery. Tomorrow we face Murray Edwards W1 and a chance at the coveted position of first division sandwich boat.

W2 – Bumped Queens’ III
W2 set out eager to improve on Wednesday’s row over, and bump on Queens’ III who obstructed us the previous day on our chase for an over bump. A couple of clean and controlled practice starts on the row up left us feeling optimistic for the race. After a much more controlled start than the first day we took the rate up to 30 and settled into our rhythm. Just before the motorway bridge we got our first whistles on Queens’. Within a minute we closed the gap down and gained overlap, and despite their reluctance to concede, bumped them shortly afterwards, with bow’s blade close to hitting the cox. A great row, and the first bump for many of the crew.

M1 – Rowed over tenth in Division 1
M1 knew we had to row better than yesterday; first to ensure Christ’s didn’t get anywhere near (“shut the door on them boys”), and secondly to give us the best chance of catching Clare (on the seventh consecutive attempt in three years). A much stronger start, and a flying, light and loose rhythm through the motorway bridge and up First Post reach saw us close to within 3/4 of a length of Clare, and leaving Christ’s three or more lengths behind. Unfortunately, we didn’t quite hold this rhythm into and around First Post corner, so we lost a lot of speed and the boat became pretty heavy. Clare started to move away, and up onto St Catharine’s, whom they bumped on the Long reach, leaving us to row over well in front of Christ’s. A better row than Wednesday, but still a reasonable way off our best, which we fully intend to bring tomorrow.

M2 – Bumped by Fitzwilliam II