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.
There are half a dozen 'could haves' and 'would haves' I could mention, but ultimately none of them make any difference. Because Bumps is Bumps there can be crews all round that you are competitive against, and you can never get a chance to match up against any of them. It took Magdalene about twice as long as Selwyn, but the bump was inevitable; at least thanks to intelligent coxing on both sides there was no damage done and we were able to clear in time for the crews behind to race through unobstructed. On Saturday Magdalene will undoubtedly take out King's quickly and leave us nothing to chase, but we expect a good race with Churchill and are looking forward to the challenge.
Today we started at the top of division 2, with Selwyn W1 chasing us. Inside knowledge told us they were going to go out hard, and they did. As per usual they had a whistle on us from the get-go. However as Jonny always says “even three whistles is not a bump”. Whistling was coming from their coach left, right and centre and before we knew it was unclear who was where. But we kept our heads in the boat and after a restart along plough reach, that was the final push we needed. They began to crumble. Even with a cheeky crab from number 5 we were gone and within moments of the final push they were bumped out by Fitz at the top of the reach. With the two crews behind Fitz also bumping out, it allowed Catz W1 to cruise as the top crew of their division, even if it was only div 2!
The row over in division 1 as the sandwich boat was an expected result. With Magdelene W1 bumping Kings W1 in virtually the same place as us the day before and absolute carnage up ahead, this left us with only Girton W1, 10 places above, to try to bump. It wasn’t looking like an over-over-over-bump today!
So the chase for the bump against Kings continues ...