M1 rowed over comfortably in front of a strong Magdalene crew. At head of the second division we had no one to bump and so we entered the race expecting to row the full course. We had a good start and immediately extended the lead on Magdalene behind to 2 lengths. The gap was closed back down to 1 ½ lengths through first post corner but Trinity Hall settled into a strong rhythm and began to pull distance again. ‘You have six lengths on the crew behind’ Martin exclaimed as we nipped down the reach at a relaxed 36 in the evening sunshine. Over the finishing line we didn’t stop but continued paddling all the way back to the boat house. A good job well done.
M1 bumps up into the top division! Today was a whole new ball game compared to yesterday. We paddled confidently down to Baitsbite lock and pulled in behind Emmanuel M1. Our start was strong, but we ran into difficulty in the wash through the motorway bridge and lost ground on Emma. However we refocused, settled in and started to push for the bump. Coming through grassy corner we began to see the debris from other crews bumping out before us and this spurred us on to row even harder. Difficulty on the bank meant we had only intermittent whistles, but soon enough we heard one, two then three whistles around Ditton corner. After a final push from Emma we accelerated and closed down to gain overlap. They swung wide across the reach in a last attempt to avoid death-by-filipi but we continued to mow them down, taking seats until our bow ball was in line with their 4 seat. Finally, about one third of the way down the reach, they conceded the bump. Row Hall!
Thursday's performance was somewhat lacklustre. The Emmanuel crew we had bumped on Wednesday retained their position as sandwich boat, so we knew there was little threat from behind. Nevertheless we started well, closing a little with Clare ahead of us, though not quite enough to get a whistle. By this point however Clare had also made distance on the boat ahead. They switched up a gear and we did not match it. Though Emma wound it down shortly after Grassy as we were obviously uncatchable, and both Clare and M1 rowed over, we were well outside distance crossing the bottom finish.
With Thursday's lesson learnt, we knew what to expect from a row on Friday. Emmanuel were behind us yet again, but we were simply focused on the boat in front. A less explosive start but a much better rhythm settle saw a more competitive race, but we were still just outside distance by the time Clare bumped Fitzwilliam in the Gut. We maintained speed and had a much more composed row-over, with a view towards catching Clare's victims on the last day.
The final day of bumps saw M1 itching to bump Fitzwilliam M1. They started well, with Emmanuel once more struggling to keep up beyond the start. Emmanuel fell back through first post corner, and Trinity Hall were within a length of Fitzwilliam down the gut. The distance was half a length on the run to The Plough. Spurred on by continuous “Row Hall”s and cheers, Trinity Hall surged on to shrink it to a canvas distance as they reached Ditton corner. Despite a good evasive line from the Fitzwilliam cox, there was nothing Fitzwilliam could do about the acceleration of Trinity Hall down the Reach (which has almost become a feature of their bumps races). The bump was made, with a good solid thump and safe conduct from both crews and coxes. After pulling in for greenery and celebration with supporters, M1 rowed home (in an unconventional configuration) and were greeted at the boathouse with further celebrations. The atmosphere was tribute to a good bumps campaign and a club currently with a great ethos.
W1 rowed over in front of a strong King's crew. They moved up off the start and we held them at about three quarters of a length around the corners. We pushed out of ditton and moved away, until we were 2.5 lengths away. Kings did close the gap slightly on the second half of the reach. Nevertheless, by the P&E they were visibly weakened and we finished strong at a comfortable distance. We were very pleased with our performance today despite missing our 6 (and captain). Magdalene should be very worried now that we are back in our A lineup.
On the second day of bumps, W1 were ready to fight back against Magdalene, who had bumped them last year. It was a nervous row down, as we were worried that they would be at an advantage, having not rowed the day before. The canon fired, we began our start and…bumped! 15 strokes into the race and we hit Magdalene! Perhaps one of the quickest bumps this year, it was a hugely enjoyable race and a spectacular way to move back up into the W1 division.
Day 1 of bumps saw a lot of nerves in W2, especially after losing our wonderful stroke Cat to meningitis. But the wonderful Lucy Mackie stepped in and with all the adrenaline we shot off with the highest rate we’ve ever done, catching Caius W2 before First Post Corner.
Day 2 we were chasing Magdalene W2, and by managing to keep our adrenaline slightly more contained we managed to catch them even earlier than the day before!
Sadly day 3 brought a standard Bumps nightmare. From a strong start we gained quickly on Churchill W2 and had overlap by First Post Corner. Unfortunately the bump wasn’t conceded and we stopped to recover from a crab. Despite all this, we still managed a row over in style!
The last day saw our strongest row yet, catching Churchill early and maintaining a firm, steady rhythm during a long overlap before landing a nice solid bump. A great week for W2!