LENT BUMPS: Crashes, crabs and concussion - Day Three had it all. JONATHAN FUHRMANN reports.
Carnage was the buzz word as Lent Bumps reached the end of its third day. Thursday’s racing started off with rerows in both the men’s and women’s bottom divisions, introducing severe delays which the organisers managed to reduce to just about 10 minutes by the end of the day.
In M4, Christ’s III caught Pembroke III and ended up blocking the whole river, causing the division to be klaxoned and everyone else to re-row. In the new race,Queens’ III bumped Fitz II at Grassy and parked on the inside of the corner, out of sight of oncoming crews. This forced Sidney II to take the corner very wide and they parked on its outside as there was not enough room with all the crews already parked there. This granted Downing III a bump which they performed by fully overtaking.
The sun beating down on a river filled with carnage
This left Grassy corner even more crowded with stationary crews, and oncoming Queens’ IV ploughed into the Fitz crew at race pace. The Fitz cox was only rescued from injury by being pulled out of the boat by their switched-on bank party. Maggie III then proceeded to also race into this carnage at full speed, snapping several oars in the process; one rower caught a blade in the face and required treatment for concussion bySt John’s ambulance.
The women’s bottom division saw Clare II catch Darwin, and yet again the division had to be stopped as the two boats had caused an obstruction on the river. In the re-row, Catz II lined themselves up for blades tomorrow while a hapless Clare Hall crew, decimated by three second boats so far, remain on for spoons.
In the M2 division, Corpus were caught by Anglia Ruskin and are now right at the bottom of the division; they will have to hold off Darwin tomorrow to avoid relegation. Both Christ’s top men’s crews are on for blades, while Selwyn are making their way towards the first division and will need to catch a slow Fitz tomorrow to make it to the sandwich boat position.
King’s, Emma and Tit Hall were both bumped a second time in the M1 division today, with some fairly early bumps happening in the gut and on first post corner; Girton caught Magdalene a little before that. The top seven crews in the division rowed over, although Queens’ closed considerably on FaT and challenged consistently before fading over the last quarter of the course.
The women’s side has seen an unusual amount of bumping-and-re-bumping this year, with Churchill catching a much-faster King’s on Day 1 before being caught and now dropping into the second division after being caught by Peterhouse. This left Murray Edwards and Girton to row over behind them again as the third bump in a row between Maggie II and Emma II happened behind them.
Tit Hall got caught by Newnham and will have to work hard to avoid spoons tomorrow when lining up ahead of Catz, with Clare yet again proving too speedy for Caius and sending Queens’ further down the tables. In what may well be the surprise of the day, Jesus bumped Christ’s and have put themselves into contention for fourth place tomorrow as Pembroke were caught by FaT. Once again, Downing rowed over comfortably at Head, although Emma may have been closer to them at the finish than Pembroke had been on Day 1. Interestingly, not a single crew in the women’s top division is on for blades tomorrow (apart, of course, from the headship).
You can read how the action unfolded live here. The Tab’s live updates continue tomorrow at 12.30 for Day Four of Lent Bumps.