Lent Bumps 2016 – Reports
|M1||Wednesday. Bumped Queen’s M1! M1 set out for a powerful start, knowing some very competent crews lay behind them. It was a plan well executed with an aggressive first 15 strokes yielding our first whistle on Queens in front. Maintaining this pace with some clean rowing down into first post corner, we flustered our opposition, with the 2nd and 3rd whistles coming in quick succession. Coming into the gut, Kev’s dinner bell came out and despite some scrappiness as the water kicked up off their puddles, we eventually got the bump just short of Grassy. A very pleasing first day – onwards and upwards!
Thursday. Bumped Jesus M1! For M1, the plan was the same as on day 1 – start powerfully and try to rattle Jesus, whom we knew would provide stern resistance. Once again, all went to plan, settling down onto 40 off the start and getting the first whistle 10 strokes before first post corner. We maintained the punchy rhythm round the bend and were rewarded with our second and third whistles. Once into the gut, the crew did well to remain composed into the final strokes, with the bump coming just before grassy. Tough challenges lie ahead but a fantastic day on the river.
Friday. Row Over. M1 had a big challenge on their hands today, chasing Downing, who had been the crew to beat for most of the term. However, we planned to take just the same tactics to them as we had to Jesus and Queens on days 1 and 2. We attacked hard off the start and took this powerful rhythm into first post corner. Some good steering from Dom meant that we got a whistle just as we came into the gut. Spurred on by this, we pushed on, but so did Downing. This battle would continue all the way to the end of the course, holding them at 1 length until the pink house, finishing 2 lengths behind. We gave a strong showing today to row over in style. Tomorrow we have one last crack at Downing and that 2nd spot – here we go.
Saturday. Row Over. The final day and one last roll of the dice against Downing and a 2nd place on the river. We set off with venom, taking a small early lead, and pursued them harder and faster than we had on Friday. A whistle came at Grassy and we kicked on, pushing them to 3/4 of a length outside the plough, with LMBC well back. At Ditton, we went for one big push to reel Downing in. Unfortunately, our punch failed to land. Down the reach, they started to slip away and Maggie slowly started creeping back into view. As we tired from our early efforts, Maggie got to a length at the railway bridge and half a length at the P&E. However, firm in the knowledge we would be denying them their blades, we found the strength to hold them off to the line. M1 finished up 2 to 3rd on the river – a fantastic performance from an often unfancied crew.
|W1||Wednesday. Bumped Caius W1! After a hard-core pep talk by Mays veteran Charlie Chorley, W1 had a confident, assured row up to the start. With St Catz behind and Caius in front, we were looking for a strong start and to see where the race went after that. A strong start is exactly what we got, and we flew up on Caius immediately (who had not been so fortunate with their start, and had set off at 45 degrees to the bank). The first whistle came halfway down First Post reach, and the crew responded with a calculated fury, keeping a technical stroke and big power through the legs. Two whistles came on the approach to the corner, with three arriving in what seemed like only a couple of strokes. The moment was there, and we seized it. Halfway round First Post corner, we took the rate up two and charged. Caius were dead in the water. After the Caius cox took a blade to the back from Fran at 2, Caius made the concession just coming into the gut. A textbook start to the Lents, with a lot of excitement still to come!
Thursday. Bumped Murray Edward W1! Today was the grudge match. Last year W1 spent two days right on the tail of Murray Edwards, only to let them slip away. Not this year. Another strong start led to the first whistle on First Post Reach, with the second coming into the corner. We got a little overexcited and lost the shape at the finish, but a solid push coming out of Grassy took it up to three whistles. Our time had come. A perfectly executed bumping twenty saw Medwards off right outside the Plough. Justice is done.
Friday. Bumped Queens’ W1! W1 got off to a slightly more tense start than usual, but soon got into their stride and the whistles started to come in once more. By the time we hit First Post Corner we had drawn the third whistle, and from there a now well-practised bumping twenty saw Queens’ topple through the gut. We particularly enjoyed having PCBC President Sir Richard Dearlove on the bank in support! Saturday will most likely be the toughest day of the campaign, but with the momentum we’ve built up over the last few days, we’ll be going in calm, confident, and committed.
Video from Queens’
Saturday. Bumped First and Third W1! W1 came out today ready to row their own race. We set out with the powerful start we’d come to expect, and when the first whistle came halfway down First Post Reach we knew we had it in us. When the three whistles came into the gut we had a nervy start to our bumping twenty, but we came together for a clinical finish to an absolutely amazing row! BLADES FOR W1!!! Now off for the final outing of the week; a lot of champagne, and a magnificent BCD to come!
|M2||Tuesday. Row Over. Good result for a the second men, five of whom powered through their first row over for their bumps debuts. A good first corner from Gina kept us on station with Sidney M1. Pushing off Christ’s M2 until they were bumped in the Gut, but Sidney started to creep away as they chased the boat in front. Striding down on the reach to a sustainable race to begin recovery for Thursday, M2 have banished the first day nerves and plan to come back even stronger on Thursday.
Thursday. Bumped by Clare M2. With another change to M2’s lineup, Sidney Sussex still ahead, and Clare II chasing hard, Day 2 was set to be tough from the outset. M2 rowed a powerful start and showed real grit in pushing off Clare as they got one, two, three whistles on the Pembroke boys. In the end, Clare got the bump on First Post Corner.
Not to be phased, M2 are staying tall, ready to give Clare a good fight on the penultimate day tomorrow.
Friday. Bumped by St. Edmund’s M1. Starting the day in an impossible position between a rising M1 boat and the Clare boat that bumped them yesterday, M2 were unperturbed. A strong start and some chunky rowing saw them fighting off St Edmunds M1 and pushing Clare to within half a length before eventually being bumped on First Post Reach.
Saturday. Bumped by Christ’s M2. Rowing in a scratch crew yet again, M2 nevertheless rowed valiantly on Saturday. With a strong start, M2 gained on St Ed’s after they caught a crab. Unfortunately, Emma caught up with them at First Post and they were bumped. M2 have moved down three places this week, and have lost their place in Division 2. This demonstrates that despite hard work, commitment, and a level of keenness outshining even M1, injury and sickness can leave a crew devastated.
|W2||Tuesday. Bumped LMBC W2! W2 are off to a flying start this bumps, having caught Maggie W2 outside the plough today. A strong start set them off well, and they had 1 whistle by 1st post corner. Despite newnham gaining from behind, W2 pushed back and a fabulous line from Tom round grassy saw them move up to three whistles, and then the bell on plough reach. Maggie were stubborn but Pembroke did not give up – resulting in the Maggie stroke crabbing and thus the bump. Congratulations all round, especially given that we had 6 first timers in the boat, including Tom. Very proud coaching team!
Thursday. Bumped Christ’s W2! An incredible effort from the girls today saw them bumping well before first post corner. Expecting a big push from Maggie W2 behind, the girls gunned it out of the starting blocks and were very quickly onto a whistle. From there, it was a simple case of reeling them in, well done and well deserved! Tomorrow will be a tougher challenge but much faith!
Friday. Row over. A strong start from W2 today saw them up to 1 whistle on Darwin w1 by the end of newnham reach. Unfortunately Darwin were chasing a much slower Sidney crew, and bumped them out just before Grassy, with W2 about a 1/4 of a length behind at this point. A strong rowover, but much determination to bump Sidney tomorrow – we will also be watching our backs for Robinson W1 behind!
Saturday. Bumped Sidney Sussex W1! W2 set off on saturday knowing they had a very fast robinson crew behind. However, their strongest start yet saw them gain 1 whistle on Sidney W1 about 30m after the motorway bridge, and they did not hang around in finishing off the job, bumping about 100m after the motorway bridge, Up 3 in total, an ecstatic happy team!
|M3||Tuesday. Row Over. Despite a draw resulting in a first day racing between two M2 boats, M3 rowed up to the start unperturbed. An aggressive start and a poor line from a chasing crew kept M3 in station with the crew in front and comfortably leading the chasing crew. However, with two early bumps in quick succession either side, M3 were soon left with an empty river and an easy row over.
Wednesday. Bumped Queens’ M4! M3 began the day with one mantra – bump, or be bumped by the turbo charged Jesus crew behind them. Sure enough, whistles were soon blaring from either side and it was just a question of which boat could finish it first. With overlap on both sides coming into First Post corner, a stunning display of composure sealed the bump for M3 along with a much stronger position for the races to come.
Thursday. Bumped Caius M3! A new day and practically a new boat, as M3 pulled out all the stops for some of the best pieces of rowing they have ever done. A clean start saw M3 quickly pull away from Queens’ and rapidly gain whistles on Caius, with more soon following for a decisive bump before First Post corner.
Saturday. Bumped Trinity Hall M3! M3 were in no mood to mess around today. After a strong row down, we had closed Tit Hall M3 to 3/4 of a length before our boatman could catch up on his bike. From there it was not even clear which whistles were which as we closed down rapidly, bumping out less than 10 strokes after the motorway bridge. In the end, M3 are up 3 – congratulations on a fantastic Lents campaign!