The Club's Results

Lent Bumps 2022

1st men's VIII

Coxed by: Daniel Leong

Wednesday
Rowed over

No-one expected us to do even remotely well today. Looking at BumpIT, most people believed that we wouldn get bumped. Our previous captain Savannah thought we'd be getting spoons. Nonetheless, we went to the start optimistic and excited, for many of us to our first time racing in bumps. For Csongi, his first time racing in M1 at all.

 

On the third cannon we gave two big squeezes and a quick build to get us to out rate. We kept within distance to Caius for the first minute before letting them off the hook. As we got to grassy, Downing began to creep up on us. We were "quite hotly pursued by Downing" as Will Connolley put it. As nerves began to build in the boat, Daniel took a great line around the corner to try and throw them off. The pressure was on; they were three quarters of a length away and we still had just under 2k to go.

 

Together, we all felt the anxiety of Downing’s proximity which only grew as we heard the continuous whistling from their coach and could start to see their bow rocking back and forth as they tried to get the bump on the reach. This didn’t deter us though. Quite the opposite, we dug in and held them off by about half a foot for a further 1km to just past railway bridge. We knew where we were and so did they. The exhaustion and frustration of not catching us had gotten to them and it appeared that they had almost given up. In the final stretch to top finish we kept pushing hard and even managed to gain a bit of distance ending the race with between half and a full length between us.

 

The next day will prove a challenge as we expect them to push harder now they’ve had a taste for the whistle. Unfortunately for Downing, we will also be pushing hard to chase Pembroke and keep them away.

(Xander Povey)
Thursday
Rowed over

Race two of Bumps: the beginning of the end… for Downing. After a brutal and traumatic Wednesday of near misses and watching Downing slide around the river like a sine wave, we walked to boathouse ready to row better than ever before. After a few quick 20 minute pep talks from Bomber, we decided we weren’t going to let Downing get anywhere near as close as yesterday. After a decent start and a not so decent grassy, it looked like we were ready to accomplish our goal. However as we were paddling down the reach with Xander keeping it technical, Tit Hall gave Downing a very inconvenient burst of motivation which threw a slight spanner in the works. What we hoped would be a comfortable row over was starting to feel like déjà vu. With Downing’s bow now looking forward for the first time this bumps campaign, they were quickly gaining as we passed under the railway bridge. With three short bursts of a whistle in quick succession, Thomas kindly decided he would not catch any more crabs for the rest of the race. We did hold them off in the end, but not before giving the crowd another excellent spectacle.

Same time tomorrow, Downing?

(Xander Povey)
Saturday
Bumped by Jesus
Going into Day 4, it would be wrong to say that we were particularly optimistic. We had been talking about whether Bomber would have re-geared our blades in an attempt to bump back Downing immediately, and even before Bumps started we thought that Jesus would bump us on Day 4 (or earlier, if we collapsed). Tit Hall bumping Robinson before Jesus could bump them made this line of events untrue, but ‘dread it, run from it, Jesus starting behind FaT still arrives’.

The row down beforehand was pleasant, with a dedicated member of M4 taking pictures from the bank along the Reach.

Aside from just how loud the cannon was, I don’t remember much of the race, at least early on. Presumably, we rowed at least to Plough Reach with little issue, as it is only there that I realise just how much whistling is occurring. We have a whistle on Downing (not that any of us realised this at the time, only that there was a cacophony). Jesus have intermittent single whistles on us, and Tit Hall built up to two whistles on them. Magdalene M1 have a whistle or two on Tit Hall. 
Magdalene, whom my mouthy M2 counterpart described (many, many, many times) as “the fastest M1 on the Cam.”. 

I realise as we’re heading past the Plough what this could mean. Never mind our previous heroics in holding off Downing (if anyone wants to challenge what “heroics” means in this context, I’ve seen their 2 seats 2K, and I know all of ours), if Tit Hall bump back Jesus, Magdalene could go for the overbump, attain the blades that were so cruelly denied them by Robinson’s descent, and send us down 4, destroying our hopes. 

It’s as we turn past Ditton, though, that Magdalene seem effortlessly to close the gap, bumping Tit Hall, leaving Jesus, FaT, and Downing in close convoy, saving us from the overbump, but denying us relief from Jesus. Just like yesterday, the boat behind us seems to step it up a notch on the Reach, and we barely make it past the spinning zone before being bumped by a Jesus who went for significant overlap before the bump, assaulting our morale as well as our stern.

As a crew, we were quite happy with this bumps campaign, as we didn’t go in expecting much (BumpIt provides evidence to support this view, with far too many predictions of spoons for my liking), and holding off Downing for two days brought our crew pastas much joy. Of course, the lack of an easy path to headship next year is disappointing, but life would be boring if it were straightforward, and we have at least one rower in M2 doing as many UT2s as he can, ready to support another attempt.

Thanks boys, it was a pleasure to row with you, and I’ll look forward to racing in Mays.
(Thomas Frith)

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