Tab round-up of the term's rowing. Reflections and predictions for bumps.
With only fifteen days to Bumps and an intriguing result from Sunday’s Champs Eight Head, The Tab looks back on a term of one-pieces, bad tan lines and races. Let the predictions begin.
The term kicked off with the Head of the Cam race that saw a continuation of strength from Pembroke W1. Having dominated all other Cambridge Colleges at Women’s Head of the River, their W1 topped out with a nice 12-second lead with Downing W1 just behind, a positive start from the Headship crew. The men’s side also saw some fairly predictable results with some of the most successful Lent men’s crews appearing top – Caius, Queens and Peterhouse being the most notable. Are Lents to set the trend for Mays?
Lent Headship crew FaTT W1 were trumped by Newnham W2, admittedly by one second but this still puts Newnham in good stead for nipping into the Mays second division. No doubt Caius W2 are hoping that the double division Newnham will have to row will tire them out. Current second-on-the-river Jesus W1 had a wincing result with Emma W2 now continuing their Jesus-bashing from Lents, but now on the Jesus first boat. Maybe Jesus’ newly painted blades will help them row faster.
Having said that Jesus M1 clearly don’t need to speed up given their performance in the Leicester Regatta. Then again, no other Cambridge college competed so their success is rather incomparable.
City Sprints proved to be the well-expected blade carnage that it always is, but it was Champs Eight Head that has provided the most interesting and exciting results of term, on both the men’s and women’s side. With a standing start like bumps, Champs could give a clue to who is going to bump this term.
Downing M1 look set to go having topped Champs against all five crews in front in them for Mays. Despite a few seconds difference between boats, we could be seeing a continuation of Downing domination from last term, looking like some hard rowing is going to be needed from the men’s side. Newnham W1 proved to be the wild card on Sunday, trumping strong crews such as Pembroke and Downing – no doubt making the Pembroke Women’s Captain look even grumpier than usual.
In the end, the Bumps race is possibly the most unpredictable predictable race ever. But we may have had a small glimpse as to what it could bring for some…