Bumps Day Three (Lents ’22)

Here are the race reports for the third day of bumps!


W1 were bumped: -1

W2 rowed over: +1

M1 were bumped: -2

M2 rest: -4

M3 were bumped: -3

W1 – Iris Powell, 5 seat

Pushing off directly in front of a very strong Caius crew, W1 knew prior to the race that the outcome would ultimately be ‘bump or be bumped’; there would be no 10th consecutive row over for our cox Hei Li. Nevertheless, we were keen to give our all on the start and it was quickly decided that we shall indeed fly (and die) in order to try and get an early bump on the Maggie crew ahead of us.

Fuelled by hopes of avenging the men’s struggles this week against LMBC (and of course by lots of jelly babies), we had a confident row down and an excellent practice start which kept us in good spirits whilst we were waiting to push off. Sure enough, we were soon lined up and ready to race; with a few taps from bow seat, the cannon sounded and we immediately focused all our power into our footplates. Off the start, we managed to wind in Maggie ahead of us to what was apparently around a boat length, but what CamFM reliably described as “awfully close” (and I’m happy to stick to their side of the story). Unfortunately, however, it became clear that Caius’ whistles were slowly starting to drown out our own, and our final ‘destroy’ call coming out of first post corner wasn’t quite enough to fend off the inevitable contact.

Although we got bumped today, W1 are by no means disheartened – Caius were a strong crew, and having had a shorter (and a lot drier) race than yesterday, we are feeling strong and looking forward to fending off Trinity Hall tomorrow.


W2 – Alyssa (bow seat)

After a bit of a nervous, sloppy row yesterday, we arrived at the boathouse with two goals: 1) to stay relaxed and 2) to hold off Peterhouse, who have been very strong and were looking to get blades. We had a solid row up, leaving us feeling relaxed at the start. After our usual arm warm-ups, led by George, we were pushed out and quickly got to front stops, prepared to do a good, clean start. The cannon went, and that’s exactly what we did, reaching a composed rate 38. However, Peterhouse had a better start, and quickly crept up on us. We didn’t let that phase us, and George called a stride as we settled into a sustainable rate. We rowed strong and steady up to grassy, despite a cacophony of whistles as Peterhouse gained even more. However, they couldn’t have anticipated George’s perfect lines, which whipped us around the corners and allowed us to move away from them. After a well-executed kill call, we pulled further away, and kept that distance until we crossed the finish line, exhausted and proud. We finished off the race by singing happy birthday to Shany, then heading back to the boathouse for some well-deserved knock-off ‘Colin the caterpillar’ cake (sorry M&S). Thanks to Kathryn, Tom, Hei Li and Amy’s dad for being excellent cheerleaders and keeping us motivated through a tough race. Also a HUGE shoutout to George, what would we do without you?!? All in all, it was a great effort; I’m so proud of us, girls! Looking forward to keeping up the good work on Saturday.


M1 – Thomas Connor (6 seat)

Rowing is a difficult sport and bumps a difficult race. Hours spent preparing and training for a race that can last only a couple of minutes. The nature of bumps being particularly unrelenting; any lapse in power, a couple of shaky strokes in a row and you have the bow of a chasing boat to answer too.

We started our second day of racing in our usual fashion well; simultaneously maintaining a good distance from the chasing bow ball of Selwyn M1 90ft downstream and gaining half-a-length on LMBC M2 as we cleared first post corner

As we pushed into the gut and approached Grassy, the race shifted from a pursuit of LMBC M2 to an escape from the Selwyn M1. We had gone from hunters to hunted. A couple of poor strokes and a wide line round grassy saw Selwyn, who took an sharp inside line, fast approach and ultimately bump us before the plough.

While again disappointed in the result of the race, I am far from disappointed in the effort we put in as a crew today and look forward to racing between Girton M1 and Selwyn M1 tomorrow (as well as the possible sighting of my favourite Youtuber William Connolley).


M3 – Simon Zientek, 2-seat 

The weather was a stark contrast to the previous days racing with glorious sunshine and a feel of spring in the air. Harry and Simon got to the boat house early to swap some shoes in the canon (petition to start a GoFundMe page to purchase smaller shoes for the club). As the rest of the crew descended on the boat house, there was an air of optimism in the wind. After our usual warm up on the ergs, the canon was checked and placed on the river. After a few motivational words from Harry, M3 pushed-off from the bank ready for their row down the river.

The row down wasn’t our finest but allowed us to brush the cobwebs off before arriving at our position in the start order, with 15 minutes to spare. After a further motivation talk from Kieran and Harry, the 4-minute cannon sounded. We de-kitted and focused on the race ahead. Soon arrived the minute cannon and we were set nice and early (learning from our past experience). The cannon blasted and we made a steady start, the best to date, however, LMBC M4 were gaining. After a strong power 10, we kept them at bay and focused on gaining on Girton M2. After an early whistle from LMBC M4’s bank party, it was clear that they had move to a higher gear and were closing the gap. After a short but gutsy defence, LMBC M4 finally got their bump, leaving us 3 down for the week. With a day of rest ahead, the M3 sprit will not be broken, and we will come back stronger than ever for our final chance to get that elusive bump.

Posted in News.