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.

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

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)


W3 May Bumps 2018 Day 1

Canon blasts. The race is off. W3 have a strong start, holding down the gap between them and the opposition. It's not long before we start gaining. Some tactful whistle blowing from Sarah L causes LMBC to crumble before us and just before reaching grassy, Catz W3 have got their first bump of the week in the bag.

- Izzy Backhouse (W3 co-captain 2018)


Grit squad 2018

On Wednesday, there was widespread disappointment as freezing temperatures meant that conditions on the towpath had become unsafe, so racing was cancelled halfway through the afternoon, leaving W1 and M1 without their first day of racing and M2 without their second.

Boaties Cambridge-wide waited in suspense for news of the next day's racing.

It was not good. The Beast from the East continued to show its claws as the significantly negative temperatures meant that the compacted ice on the towpath was there to stay. Thursday cancelled. W1, M1 and M3 down another day.

But, on Thursday afternoon, a glimmer of hope. CUCBC announced that they had successfully gained permission from the council for an independent gritting operation to be conducted along the towpath. Boaties mobilised. Bumps had not been cancelled for weather since the great winter of 1963, and we were not about to let the great winter of 2018 produce the same fate. Online groups were set up, emails sent out, tools obtained and a hardy (some might say gritty) team of volunteers descended on the P&E on Thursday evening. The assault began as several hundred boaties from across the college boat clubs joined forces to clear the path by any means necessary. Good progress was made, as a couple of hours' work resulted in a clear path from P&E to the plough. Round 1: 1-0 to the boaties.

Round 2 was similarly successful, with the remainder of the course cleared on Friday morning and the towpath declared safe to use. Alas, the Beast from the East was not done yet and unleashed its secret weapon (its panic kill call if you will). Extremely windy conditions around lunchtime on Friday meant that the first two divisions to race were cancelled, so M2 and W2 lost out on the day's racing. W1 and M1 ploughed on through the storm to finally complete their first day.

The Beast has continued to bite and further snowfall on Friday evening means that the gritters will once again be mobilised over the next 24h to save our beloved bumps. Catz is making a substantial contribution to the collective effort, and there is optimism that tomorrow's predicted tropical temperatures (where did the minus sign go?) and windspeed will mean that these efforts allow every boat a successful final day of racing on Saturday.

Lent Bumps 2018 will no doubt go down in history, thanks to the heroic endeavours of those who would not let a bit of weather stand between them and their sport.

FTW


Pictured: Catz 1st women's curling team

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