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After three years of no bumps in Mays, and 2 and half years since the last time Catz W1 has ever bumped we finally did it. We caught King's. We said we would and we delivered; on plough reach to be exact. It now leaves us as the sandwich boat of division 1. So a fantastic way to end this year of rowing and hopefully the start of some more bumps!
The final day of May Bumps 2016 would prove to be an emotional one for many, but particularly for W2. We were excited and positive after yesterday’s bump. We knew it was going to be the toughest day yet…but we couldn’t have predicted what was going to happen. We were once again chasing Jesus W3, and this time being followed by Selwyn W2, who we caught yesterday.
We thought Selwyn would be bumped quickly and that any pressure from behind would be from Clare Hall W1 (on for blades), attempting an overbump. We had chased Jesus W3 earlier in the week, and several of us had been in the crew that they had bumped on the last day of Lents. Realistically we had nothing to lose and were full of energy from the highs of the week. We set off well, chasing them down quicker than we expected, and by first post corner our cox had called ‘the kill call’, we had “considerable overlap”, and then came the bump…twice. Our bank party saw it and bow pair felt it, but the Jesus cox didn’t concede and they kept going. Confused as to what had happened, and why the umpire hadn’t called it, we rowed on. Exhausted and confused we were eventually bumped on the long reach by Clare Hall.
Pulling over, we were told the distressing news: we’d bumped but it hadn’t been seen by the umpire or conceded by Jesus and therefore didn’t count. After long conversations with the people in charge, showing photographs on a small phone screen we were told “you can’t prove contact from a photograph, and unless the photograph is square on to the boats they won’t accept bow-ball passed the cox”.
Going down three places in the tables after one row over and two bumps is soul destroying, for all involved. I don’t think any of us will forget in a hurry how cruel bumps can be, but it will give us the fight to come back next year. The energy, passion, spirit, and the hard work of W2 is evident from the speed at which we bumped a crew who admittedly were better than us in Lent Term. I could not be prouder to write this race report on behalf of a group of girls I truly admire. FTW!
So Bumps has come to an end again, with a punchy and powerful performance in a fun but ultimately unsuccessful contest against Churchill M1. We pushed hard, but technically were far from our best, and Churchill slowly gained on us all the way. Their first whistles were optimistic, but by first post corner they were beginning to creep up on us, and after an exciting race down Plough Reach the 'bump' (which was actually a blade clash as we took the outside line around Ditton and they kept the racing line, coming up alongside us for a few tense seconds) happened at the beginning of the Long Reach. Still, we stuck it out for a long time and can hold our heads high. This crew will all still be here next year, so plenty of opportunities for revenge then!
On day three of this year's Mays campaign W2 started characteristically lively and positive. Having shaken off the nerves of day one and after a strong row over yesterday we were hungry for a bump - “Selwyn for dinner!” The race plan was much the same as yesterday - we would row no harder than day one, and as smart as day two. Pressure from Pembroke behind was always going to be strong as they were up-2, but we were chasing a down-2 Selwyn, and their colluding made us even more determined - we were hopeful for a quick bump. All our hard work paid off, we pushed hard and bumped about halfway along first post reach - the first Catz bump of Mays 2016!
Tomorrow we are being chased by Selwyn and once again, chasing Jesus.