Lent Bumps Latest: Queens’ M1 Continue Surge

The Tab brings you all the latest action from Lent Bumps 2010.

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Day 4:

A bit predictable, do we think? As Friday’s racing drew to a close, the Bumps charts once again took on their usual appearance.

At the top it’s all straight lines. As per usual, FaT are slightly quicker than whoever is on second station and they, in turn, are a bit quicker than the crew in third. Aside from some ‘Spoon-barges’ plummeting downwards (Clare M1 and maybe Fitz M1 and Queens’ W1 too), the top divisions show a few hard-fought bumps and a decent number of row-overs.

Lower down, it’s a criss-cross. Plenty on for blades, including The Tab’s tips Catz and Sidney M1, with many more looking down the barrel of some serious spoonage. Right down in the doldrums it’s a mess, as no-one seems to have a clue what’s going on. The W3 division did, however, produce only one bump between the bottom 10 crews today. Search me.

In the Men’s Division, it was business as usual for FaT M1, who have looked effortless each day. Downing just can’t get anywhere near them.

Behind, Pembroke made ground on LMBC and finished around a length adrift. Jesus, after pushing Pembroke hard off the start and all along the reach, faded after the Railway Bridge to finish some two lengths down.

Emma took longer than expected to fall to King’s, while Fitz have to keep ahead of Churchill tomorrow to avoid the embarrassment of going down six.

That’s the situation that faces Clare also. Let’s face it, they’ve not had a good week. They look horribly out of place in the top end of the M1 division, and were bumped by Caius before First Post corner today.

The only question now is how long it will take Queens’ to get them tomorrow. I’ll give them 5 strokes. Maximum. I keep trying to be ‘realistic’ about Queens’, and then they go and pull something even better out of the bag, so I’m not doing it any more.

Bit of a role-reversal over on the Women’s side though. Clare look like they’re going to finish up 3, while Queens’ have to hold off Catz to avoid spoons. Up top, Christ’s look set for blades if they can take out Emma, after bumping Jesus today. In a completely unnecessary aside, the girl at bow is fit. I would.

Lower down, the battle of the twins – one strokes Jesus W2 and the other strokes Emma W2 – ended abruptly after one of the Jesus blades came free of the gate on the second stroke. They tried to do it in sixes. Needless to say, they didn’t get very far.

As for the top 3, no change, although Downing W1 gave FaT a bit of a scare today. I reckon they can do it tomorrow…possibly. Someone has to knock FaT off their perch eventually, don’t they?

Men’s Division 1

Bumps Chart: First and Third Boat Club

Women’s Division 1

Bumps Chart: First and Third Boat Club

Day 3:

First and Third are so, so good. Unbelievably good, you might say, if that title wasn’t already reserved for Queens’ M1.

Confirming their supremacy over the Lents, FaT M1 and W1 both rowed over comfortably to stay Head of the River, as Day 3 saw the real challengers for blades – and spoons – stand up and be counted.

Queens’ M1, after an extraordinary overbump yesterday and speedily dispatching Emma today, now look unstoppable. Only Tit Hall, who were bumped today by Caius, and the hapless Clare (presuming Caius get them too – they really are terrible) stand between them and an astonishing move 6 places up the top division.

Further down, poor old Fitz had a shocker. No more than half a length separated them and Magdalene ahead up the Gut, yet slowly but surely they were reeled in by the rapid Peterhouse, who by now must be considered the surprise crew of the term. Lack of mental toughness…no fitness…I don’t know, but it needs to be sorted out. Urgently.

As Division 2 recommenced, The Tab’s tips for blades, Catz and Sidney M1, both bumped up again. So did both of their M2s, setting up a potentially incredible week for both clubs.

The lottery of the lower divisions continued, as LMBC M4 gained vengeance on Downing M3, who had bumped them yesterday. One observer was unsurprised, noting that both crews had been “spannering around all week”. Emma M3 bumped again, leaving them with a net record of up 5.

No change up at the top of the M1 Division, however, as the top three all rowed over again.

Over on the Women’s side, Emma, somewhat predictably, got bumped again, leaving Downing to have a crack at FaT tomorrow.

LMBC continued their downward spiral to move as low as 11th, while Jesus, despite having seven novices in the boat, defied predictions of spoons, as Caius, even with the blonde message-board favourite in the 5-seat, got taken out early by super-quick Christ’s.

Highlight of the day, however, was undoubtedly CUR1350’s coverage of the W2 division. Despite claims of advanced technology, it seems that they just ring up the reporters and get them to shout down the phone. Perfectly fine when said reporter has his phone on and the geeks on the soundboard know what they’re doing. Not so great when coverage runs something like:

“And I think there’s been a bump at….TO RE-RECORD YOUR MESSAGE, PRESS 1…only quarter of a length between…TO DELETE YOUR MESSAGE, PRESS 2….”


As for tomorrow, the joys of the W3 division return.

One spectator, himself an accomplished lightweight rower and experiencing the W3 division for the first time, remarked,

“How can boats go that slow? You could walk backwards and still be faster. It’s painful to watch.”

Men’s Division 1:

Bumps Chart: First and Third Boat Club

Women’s Division 1

Bumps Chart: First and Third Boat Club

Day 2:

All eyes were on the W1 division today as First and Third made their move on Emma to take Headship position.

Those spectators intrepid enough to brave the afternoon’s mixed weather conditions were not disappointed.

By Grassy Corner, FaT were mouth-wateringly close to Emma with only about a quarter of a length separating the crews. A determined but struggling Emma held them off with inches to spare down Plough Reach but eventually met their match just outside the Plough, handing the Headship to its new owners.

Elsewhere in the division, Downing W1 easily bumped Jesus just by Grassy Corner, proving that they will most likely be the only ones to challenge FaT’s monopoly of the Headships this Lents.

In the M1 division Downing failed to produce any real competition for the Headship, trailing FaT M1 by at least two lengths round Dittion. Whether this was some sort of tactical ploy remains to be seen but Downing will certainly have to pull up their socks if they harbour any hopes of taking home some CUCBC medals on Saturday afternoon.

The real story of the division was the brutal Queens’ overbump on Fitz M1. With King’s defying expectations to catch Magdalene before Queens’ could get them, the only choice for the hungry Queens’ crew was an overbump on Fitz. This duly came about half way down the Reach. In a rare turn-up for the books (it’s not every day of Bumps that you see two overbumps…), Peterhouse M1 also scored an overbump, reining in Christ’s after Girton had caught Churchill.

Elsewhere in the division, Clare M1 were rapidly bumped at First Post by a resurgent Pembroke, while Jesus M1 were pushed hard by a surprisingly strong Tit Hall outfit.

Special credit must go to Girton M2 and Queens’ M3 who spiced up the Men’s lower divisions by providing the only ejector crabs of the day, and to the Christ’s M4 cox, who made the truly inspirational call ‘come on guys, you can do better than this’ as his crew rowed back after failing to hold off an invevitable bump from Eddie’s II.

Men’s Division 1

Bumps Chart: First and Third Boat Club

Women’s Division 1

Bumps Chart: First and Third Boat Club

Day 1:

Downing M2 and W2 both recorded remarkable overbumps on Day 1 to stamp their authority on the Lents.

With the top divisions not racing until tomorrow, all eyes were on the lower boats as rowers of varying abilities descended on the Cam, some for their first bumps races, others, such as one Robinson M2 rower, for their 18th.

The expected marshalling chaos sure enough ensued, a special mention going to Caius M3 for finally managing to park after five agonising minutes drifting about in the middle of the river.

Admittedly, a distinct lack of CUCBC officials ensured that none of the waiting crews had the faintest clue what was going on, especially after a mammoth pile up (surprise, surprise) in the W3 division had forced several boats to re-row.

The races were already running late after allegations of theft of a pole in one of the earlier divisions: apparently it’s impossible to push-off using bank-parties and oars alone these days.

The real highlight was Downing M2’s overbump on Corpus’ 1st VIII, no doubt a source of further embarrassment to a college not renowned for its prowess on the Cam.

Downing’s W2 had set the tone for a day of success with an overbump on a less-than-polished Emma W3, but only after their M3 was involved in an overbump with Emma M3, their distinctive magenta blades on the wrong side of this one.

Furthermore latest reports are that the Fitz W1 cox forgot their life-jacket and so they weren’t allowed to row. LMBC W2 simply had to row past the station to get the bump.

Catz M1 and Sidney M1 both bumped today, confirming that they are strong contenders for blades.

The Tab’s Crews to Watch:

Catz M1

Sidney MI

Downing M2

Downing W2

LMBC W2 (stroke is seriously fit)

Peterhouse W2 (for a laugh)

Men’s Division 2

Bumps chart: First and Third Boat Club

Women’s Division 2
Bumps Chart: First and Third Boat Club

For The Tab’s pre-Bumps predictions click here