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M1 Lent Bumps Race Report

Lent Bumps was a very successful week for M1. We went up 3 places to 8th on the River which is the highest position we have been in Lent Bumps for over 25 years.

Day one saw us chasing FaT (Trinity) while we were being chased by Queens’. We knew it was going to be a tough chase, but we thought we could get them over the course. Unfortunately, Clare didn’t get the memo and FaT caught them after 500m meaning our only hope was the over bump on Peterhouse. We managed to slowly close on them in the strong headwind as we pulled away from Queens’ behind. Sadly, we didn’t quite manage to make up the 6 and a half lengths needed for the over bump despite a very strong row and coming within 1 length by the end of the course. Despite our hopes of blades being lost on day 1, we were confident we could have a successful week after a strong row over.

On day 2 we were chasing Clare and being chased by Trinity Hall.  After a slow start we gave away about half a length to the crews either side of us but as we hit our rhythm our superior boat speed showed, and we began to close. Having seen them get caught very quickly on Day 1, we were hoping for a quick bump and by First Post corner we were half a length off. Ahead of us though, FaT bumped Peterhouse who had crabbed and were unable to clear in time, meaning our race had to be stopped. After some confusion it was decided that were going back to the start for a re-row.  Despite being wet and bit cold we got ourselves into a similar position 2nd time round. Clare made us work for it but we ground them down and got the bump on Ditton corner with Trinity Hall nowhere near us.

On Day 3 we got our 2nd chance to get Peterhouse, this time only needing to catch 1 and a half lengths for the bump. Given our performance on days 1 and 2 we were fairly confident of catching Peterhouse without much bother from Clare behind with the wind at the lowest level of the week. Despite Clare closing a little on the start we rowed well and this time got the bump in good time at 1st post corner despite a late concession from the Peterhouse cox.

The wind returned on day 4 and we needed to catch Christ’s to go up 3. After our best start of the week we consistently walked into them. They really put up a fight on the plough reach, taking the rate up in a last-ditch attempt to get away from us but we stayed on our strong rhythm in the headwind and managed to keep closing despite rowing directly into their wash. We finally got the dump around Ditton corner to round off a successful week.


Lent Bumps 2019 - W1 Day 1

It all started with a life jacket...

We couldn’t have known on the row down to our starting post that the forgetfulness of an LMBC cox would cause us so much drama! In position at station 14, the canon blasts and Catz W1 were off with a very strong start sequence.

Not long after, the density of shouts and whistles up-ahead signalled that chaos was coming yet Catz were undeterred, we were ready to storm straight through it. We were gaining on Tit Hall when disaster ensued. Churchill drifted across the river in the wind after being bumped out and, with another boat already parked at the bank on the other side, there was no way for us to get through.

The next thing we know, Sid had to call for us to “Hold it up!”. The race was over. Or was it...?! The pile-up of boats under the motorway bridge was all caused by Maggie forgetting their lifejacket. Because Maggie weren’t allowed to race, all Pembroke had to do to secure a technical bump was to row past Maggie’s starting station. However, this wasn’t communicated to Girton who saw Pembroke pull in and thought that they had crashed. Thinking they had bumped Pembroke, Girton stopped rowing meaning that then Churchill had to stop so as not to plow into Girton. This then meant that Tit Hall bumped Churchill, who didn’t get out of the middle of the river in time, thus causing Catz, Queens’ and Caius to have to hold it up.

After 10 very tense minutes of waiting for the umpires to deliberate the chaos that had just occurred, they finally made a decision - Catz, Queen’s and Caius were going to re-row. We made it down to our new starting station and prepared for part 2.

This time we were racing at the head of a 3 boat sandwich and the only way to come out victorious was to row over. The second race began and all 3 crews surged down the Cam. After a minute or so the distance between the boats had shortened. From the bows it looked as though Queen’s were closing in on us. It was time for some drastic action. “POWER 4!!” Catz summoned all their might to push away but with Caius hot on Queens’ tail they were not letting us get away that easily.

Catz W1 were definitely not ready to be bumped on the first day of racing and as Sid heroically called for 2 more power 4s, Catz soared ahead down the river, pulling away from Queens’. Coming round Ditton corner, Caius bumped Queens’ and the race was finished. But the drama didn’t end there... On the row home we unexpectedly received the call, “Build it up to race pace...Ready...Go!”. Downing M1 were charging down the river in the next division and we had only just gone past the P&E. A short burst to the Green Dragon to get off the race course and then the last of the day’s drama was over.

A chaotic first day for Catz W1 but nevertheless a great row and we are excited to see what the rest of the week brings!




M3 Lents Day 1-3

After the canons began the first day of Lent bumps, the first for all in the Catz M3 boat, we powered through the length of the course. Despite comfortably holding off Wolfson M2, Queens M3 eluded us, alas.

Knowing that Wolfson would be going for the kill, day two saw the introduction of a new call, for emergency use only. With “power 10” lacking the urgency for escaping a bump, “ATOMIC 10” saw us break away from Wolfson’s half-length whistles, and they shrunk away along the reach. Once again, we rowed over.

Day three brought us low; Queens successfully bumped Kings M2 down into our division, and we hoped to have them in check. Wolfson truly emptied the tank however, and even our atomic call was no deterrent, we were bumped. Friday will be a day of rest, and on Saturday, the final day, we will tame the Wolf(son).

- Nathaniel Tye


Lent Bumps 2019 - W2 Day 1&2

Catz W2 were the first boat to nab a bump for the boat club this Lent Bumps- and a short but sweet one it was too! Their bump featured a brilliant start sequence and a successful rythm change before they overtook Christ with impressive speed. Celebrations followed with the obligatory foliage in hair and photos to prove it happened.

The second day of bumps for our girls saw a row over chasing Corpus W1. This day too also saw a brillant race start and our girls kept Corpus in their sights for the whole race. W2 battled mother nature down the reach not bowing down to the gusts she blew.

With a bump and a succesful grassy under their belt, our W2 are a boat to watch for the final days of bumps. We promise they will be a formidable force.

Yeah Catz!


-Charlie Lamb


W1 May Term 2018

The 2017/18 academic year has been historic for the Women’s side of St Catharine’s College Boat Club, with unprecedented success and a record 4 women’s boats entered into May Bumps. Having lost their position in the W1 division to a strong Homerton crew in 2017, W1 embarked upon the 2018 Mays Campaign with conviction, and their sights set on regaining their place amongst the top 17 boats on the Cam. The crew put in work on and off the water, with 7 sessions per week involving a tough erg regime and focussed outings on the river.

W1 placed first in the W2 division of Spring Head to Head, early on in Easter term. This win spurred the crew on in their training, and having overcome illness and injury the crew felt excited to line up along the Cam on the first day of May Bumps. Day 1 saw a quick and clinical bump on Magdalene W1, placing the crew in sandwich boat position. After a row over behind a strong Homerton crew, W1 prepared to row twice again on the Thursday. Starting at the top of the W2 division, a strong row over ensured a chance to catch Jesus W2 at the bottom of the W1 division. W1 caught JCBC quickly and secured their place in the 1st division. With a quick Trinity Hall crew bumping to the top of the second division, the pressure was on as W1 set out in a quick sandwich chasing Queens’ W1. With an excellent row St Catharine’s held off Trinity Hall and all three crews rowed over. Although pleased to have not been caught, W1 entered the final day of Bumps with confidence that they could hold off Trinity Hall and a new-found focus and excitement at the thought of catching Queens' W1. A quick start and a steady grind saw W1 slowly gain on the QCBC boat, and with grit and determination, W1 secured the bump on the reach. Up three, and securely in the first division, Catz W1 showed that a crew can be greater than the sum of its parts; a credit to the hard work and commitment of all 8 rowers, cox and coach!

W4 May Bumps 2018

W4 have had a hugely successful and enjoyable Easter term. As a crew, we were made up of rowers with a range of experience - including a number of us who only started rowing in Michaelmas and one complete novice. With every outing, however, each individual’s technique and timing came on leaps and bounds and within no time we started to really gel as a crew.

Initially, our crew aim was to give the Getting on Race our best shot and hope to get a decent time. We were therefore absolutely over the moon when our time was fast enough to get on to Bumps – becoming the first W4 (we think) in Catz' history to row in May Bumps. We didn’t stop there either. Four exciting and intense days of Bumps later and we came home with Blades after bumping Homerton, Queens, Wolfson and Emmanuel.

Most importantly, we had a fantastic time training and rowing together in the (mostly) sunny weather. We are all so thankful to the various people who have helped coach/cox/bank party/support us over the term. Of course, this wouldn’t have been possible without our wonderful coach and cox, Alice Handy and Fiona Conlon, who taught and encouraged us so much but made sure we all had fun while doing it.


St Catharine's W4, May Bumps 2018 ~ Blades

W3 May Bumps 2018 Day 4

It's the final day of bumps. The banks are brimming with supporters. Catz W3 are back to take on Queens'. There's a 10 minute delay before the canon goes off and all this time the tension of crews along the river is rising.

At last the start canon blasts and the chase is on! Catz hold their opposition well off the start and for a few minutes there is an equal distance between Catz and Queens' as there is between Queens' and Lucy Cav, the boat in front of them. This could be anyone's game. As they come into Grassy, Lucy Cav take it wide allowing Queens' to close some distance. Suddenly, they're within half a length of a bump. This is not good news. Since they are top of the division, a bump between Queens' and Lucy Cav at this point would mean game over for Catz, eliminating the possibility of a bump and forcing them to row over for a second time . Only later that afternoon did coach Sarah admit that she was tempted to temporarily abandon bank partying Catz to go and cheer for Lucy Cav to try and help them pull away from Queens'! But thankfully these efforts turned out to be unnecessary. Queens' went wide round Ditton allowing Catz to gain on them. Then a combination of sheer power and determination of the cox and crew and the call to UNLEASH THE GOATS!! closed the remaining gap between Catz and Queens', gaining them a bump at the top of the Reach! Result

W3 May Bumps 2018 Day 3

Today's race was truly a goats galore. Catz W3 took on Fitz, the college home to the mascot of the goat. Coincidence....or not? Little did they know that the very goats on their blades meant to intimidate the opposition were actually spurring us on! If this wasn't motivation enough for the crew, we also had Caius on our tails. Just like the scales on their siren leggings, we knew they were going to be slippery. Their displays of pre-race complacency such as "they're an easy bump, we'll catch them in 30...no wait, 20 strokes!" (overheard by Bow whilst marshalling) and their incongruous yoga ritual resulted in it hardly being a surprise when they attempted to cut us off on First Post corner. Clearly their heads weren't fully in the game, as was evidenced by the fact that they crashed into the bank. Caius could only watch in sorrow as Catz W3 sped down the river. With the threat of perusers temporarily halted, it was time to give Fitz "a taste of their own medicine". Without even the need for the kill call, the goats of Catz W3 went charging towards Fitz, bumping them on Grassy.

After Catz held it up, Caius having recovered from their embarrassing accident, were forced to row over in defeat. As James summarised nicely, "They got their bump... but it was with First Post Corner."

Once again Catz W3 held strong in the face of the adversary, albeit both a scaly and a 4-legged one.

W3 May Bumps 2018 Day 2

It's another solid start from Catz W3. We get our first whistle on Lucy Cav coming into First Post corner. But then the unthinkable happens. There's a bump ahead of us, Lucy Cav have caught Fitz on The Gut. W3 keep going full steam ahead, not faltering for even a second. We're going for an overbump on Queens'. They take it wide round Ditton corner and James skilfully cuts down some distance with his neat coxing. Catz soar down The Reach gaining boat lengths on Queens'. There's an eruption of cheers from supporters on the banks, everyone is rooting for Catz. As we come out from under the railway bridge there is just 1.5 boat lengths left to close. It's time for James to give the kill call. UNLEASH THE GOATS!!! Never before in the history of rowing has the evocation of goats fuelled a crew to the finish line like Catz W3 who stampede the last 100m, finishing within a length of the overbump. Queens' are so afraid, they keep running away even after the race has finished. It's a solid row over for W3, but watch out Queens', the goats will be back.

- Izzy Backhouse (W3 Co-captain 2018)


W2 May Bumps 2018 Days 1 and 2

Bumps has so far lived up to its reputation and it’s been an eventful first two days for W2 this Mays. With two girls also rowing/coxing in W4, we’ve had to recruit a few subs to get us to the P+E where we can swap around crews – big shout-out to Michael, Matt and Georgie for helping us get there! 

 

The start of Day 1 did not exactly go to plan. After washing our boat down the night before, we had (stupidly) not put our seats back on the slides. A frantic scramble for seats then ensued and we quickly discovered that, in fact, not all of the seats are the same in our boat. Suffice to say it took a good while to fix the problem but we thankfully made it to marshalling on time, albeit slightly more stressed than anticipated. We made the crew change and it was heads in the boat, attempting to forget the woes of our seat drama. We were chasing Christ’s W2 with Emma W3 behind us. After seeing some of Christ’s practice starts, we were feeling quietly confident about our chances. The race went smoothly and we managed to get a bump on Christ’s before First Post Corner. The fun had just started at this point however as we somehow found ourselves witness to some classic bumps carnage with about 5 boats piling up in the middle of the river, all thanks to some slow clearing from Christ’s…

 

Going into Day 2 we were much calmer at push off, with the seat worries of the day before behind us. We managed a swift changeover again and everything seemed to be running smoothly. Today, we were chasing Medwards W2. We got to our station and although it was slightly breezy, we managed a good start and it seemed as though everything was going swimmingly as we quickly gained on Medwards W2 ahead of us. Our race was unfortunately cut short by an umpire accidentally sounding their emergency alarm, meaning that all the crews immediately had to stop racing. Any boat after station 8 in our division therefore had to re-row the race. We spun back and prepared ourselves, feeling assured by the gains we had made at the start of the first race. The race began, and about 30 strokes later ended in us bumping Medwards W2, yet to even reach our rhythm call. 

 

Two days, two bumps for Catz W2!

 


Day 1 - Catz W2 bump Christ's W2 and carnage ensues


Day 2 - Catz W2 celebrate a bump on Medwards W2