Bumps Day Five (Lent’s ’22)

The race reports at the end of the week!

TLDR (results at the end of the week):

W1 were bumped: -3

W2 bumped up! +2

M1 rowed over: -2

M2 were bumped: -6 spoons :'(

M3 were bumped: -4 spoons :'(


W1 – Annabelle Moger-Taylor, 2-seat

After a slightly demoralising early bump yesterday from Trinity Hall, we all arrived at the boathouse in renewed spirits, our intentions summed up most clearly by the pink “DESTROY” on painted on Iris’ forehead. Knowing we had evaded spoons, thanks to our row over on day 1, we were prepared to give it all we had, whether that was rowing over again, being bumped by Clare (though hopefully making it past first post) or even bumping Tit Hall, which, according to Lauren’s ever-present optimism, was still not out of the question.

The disheartened row back from yesterday’s bump had provided us with a new call: “anger on the footplates”, which managed to take 20 seconds of our splits the day before. So, armed with this, as well a couple of lessons from the yesterday’s race, we began the row down. A few rolled sixes of squared blades later, we arrived at the marshalling area, prepared to cheer on M1 as they looked all set to row over again. Pushing off was followed by an apparently decent rolling start (despite them always seeming good compared to my novice days) and a final practice of the “destroy” call. The standing start at Ditton gave me good opportunity to showcase a crab to the onlooking spectators at the Plough, but I like to think it was smoothly recovered and after that, clean chunky rowing was maintained all the way to our marshalling spot.

After pushing off and bow pair doing their best to position us optimally for the curve of the river, we powered through a clean start: 3 build, 5 wind, 5 power and lengthen. Adrenaline and wanting to give our absolute most meant we ended up rating a little higher than usual, however it was well maintained and meant only the occasional singular whistle was blown for Clare (meaning we stayed between 1 and 1.5 lengths away from them). Powerful rowing and a successful “destroy” led us past first post (for the first time since day 1) then inspired by Hei Li’s tightest ever line around Grassy (which sadly half the crew don’t remember), we continued to push going towards our cheering supporters at the Plough. As we approached Ditton, Clare started to move closer but another successful “destroy” allowed us to minimise their gain. Sadly, as we rounded Ditton, Clare made a powerful move quickly enabling them to get within a half-length. The ringing of a bell from the Clare bank party seemed to inspire a final push in them, and ended up signalling the end of W1’s final day, as Clare bumped us 100m past Ditton.

Although we were hoping for an overall result better than -3, it was a very exciting race to end bumps, and I hope I can speak for everyone when I say I was really proud of how we raced. Watch out river Cam, W1 are planning on getting the gains and coming back better than ever for Mays.


W2 – Amy Nichol, 4-seat

On the final day of bumps a hyped Churchill W2 set off down the river, the mud was gone from the may room wall so the vibes were back again and the daily yoga and YMCA got us warmed up and ready to go.

We were calm and relaxed and although Peterhouse gained on us slightly off the start we pushed off of them and bumped Fitz with Newnham bridge still in sight. We finished bumps on a high, ending with a score of +2 and bottle of prosecco.

Thanks to our coaches, Tom and Kathryn, and everyone who bank partied us over the four days.

Bob the boat doesn’t get bumped !


M1 rowed over


M2 – Sean Morrissey-Ralevic

Twas the last day of Lents, and M2 were ready

To give it their all: ‘we ain’t taking this steady!’

We met at the boathouse, 12 on the dot

Was I on time? Ha, of course not.

Spirits were high cuz things couldn’t get much worse

Our rowing careers were already in a hearse

Selwyn offered us a deal to hold off FaT

So they could bump, lets hope we can do that! (we couldn’t)

Big up Erik and Connor for subbing in

Without them we would definitely have been in the bin

Prior to push off I made a big decision

Not to wear my lucky hat, would this help us in our division? (no)

As we rowed down the river, the set was quality

And we entertained an atmosphere of frivolity

Pushing another crew into a houseboat was a highlight

The owner seemed worryingly keen to start a fistfight

We parked and Vincent spread the joy

With a supply of Crunchies, what a lovely boi!

Rowed down to the start, got some good practice

Let’s hope the crowds don’t distract us

The cannons sounded and we were raring to go

But oh no we’d somehow forgotten about Joe!

Our start was a bit dodgy – I missed the first stroke

But we got back in time, and great power did we evoke

FaT started to close but we maintained the gap

For a good few hundred metres – no cap

Selwyn approached but alas they were too late

For to be bumped by FaT ended up as our fate

Regardless we were proud of how we had rowed

Seeds for the future M2 we have sowed

No pain, no gain – that’s what they say

The light will shine on M2 come May(s)

Twas the last day of Lents, and M2 were ready

To learn from our losses and get really massive and have a good time at BCD and yeah big up everyone in M2 and our coaches and subs over this campaign it’s been an interesting one to say the least and we should all be proud of ourselves <3


M3 – Jimmy Chen

After a day of rest, M3 assembled again for our final day of Bumps. After a “calming yoga session” with W2, we warmed up on the ergs as usual and headed downstairs for a crew chat. Our captain Harry explained the strategy for today’s race: In short, to hold off Selwyn M3 until first post corner and then gradually gain on LMBC M4. Harry also stressed the importance of a slower build-up of rate and settling into a good rhythm. Our coach Kieran followed this up with an inspirational speech, so inspiring indeed it sent shivers down our spine ;). In the time before push-off we also discussed some certain strategies to prevent the seemingly unstoppable Selwyn M2 from getting blade, which Churchill M2 successfully executed later on. (Sorry I know this is bad humour but I can’t help it – I’m sure our M2 did their very best.)

With encouraging words from Chris we pushed off, only soon to find that the oar collar on Harry’s blade has come loose. While stern pair had to drop out, Harry had bow six do a drill where we kept the rate constant while first putting power in the front end and then shifting it to the hip swing as a practice of our race start. Thanks to the help of Hei Li and Roly the oar was fixed quickly and we rowed to our starting position, even managing to still do a standing start on the Plough Reach. Then came the four-minute cannon, the one-minute cannon, and…

off we went!

Harry’s crew chat clearly wasn’t in vain – the start was much cleaner and we had a much smoother rate increase. We were able to settle into a better rhythm and with determination we rowed on. One thing sadly didn’t go as we planned – After holding off Selwyn for a short distance they gained on us and the whistles sounded. We were bumped out at First Post Corner (have we been here before?), which marks the end of our week of Lent Bumps, and which also means we will be awarded spoons for our exceptional performance during this week.

Disappointment being inevitable, we were not upset by this apparent defeat. Through each day of bumps we learnt of our strength and weakness, discussed and then proceeded to row better the next day. At the end, we have improved a lot compared to where we started and that is all that matters. We also grew closer as a team, and most importantly, as members of the crew cheerfully remarked, we will get a spoon which reminds us of this week – the afternoons of sweat and devotion – and isn’t it fun and memorable.


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