Robinson Head

ROWING: JON FUHRMANN watches an all too rare foray onto the frozen Cam and forecasts some Bumps favourites.

Catz Rowing christ's rowing lent bumps LMBC Newnham rowing robinson head Robinson rowing Rowing

A brief thawing in conditions allowed the Robinson Head to take place on Friday.

It is the first college action the Cam has seen all term after the Newnham Short Course had to be called off with the river completely frozen.

The only indication in form has been the windswept City Head-to-Head three weeks ago, where Caius re-asserted their dominance ahead of top pursuers Downing, Queens’ and LMBC. It has meant there is a limited form guide going into Lent Bumps.

Fortunately, then, Robinson managed to run their event, albeit with considerable delays and on a significantly shortened course due to half the Bumps course still being frozen over.

The aforementioned four fastest men’s crews, who make up the top five of the Lents charts along with First & Third Trinity, were all absent from the competition. Robinson took advantage of this fact and raced to victory in a time of 4:05. Catz, who raced time-only, posted the second-fastest time, followed by First & Third and Pembroke.

Robinson and Catz raced in a later and slightly less windy division than the other first boats, meaning that absolute margins are unlikely to be meaningful.

However, the bottom end of the first division looks likely to be hotly contested, with Robinson right at the bottom of the division and Catz, Selwyn and Caius II – 2nd, 3rd and 4th in the 2nd division respectively – looking to make their way up the Bumps charts. Churchill, at the head of the division, are something of an unknown quantity, but the recent capsize of their four does not smack of great things to come from the boys in neon pink.

Nearer the top of the first division, Pembroke are not looking fast given their position at sixth. Fortunately for them, Tit Hall behind them put in an even weaker performance at the City Head-to-Head, finishing over a minute behind other first boats in the same division.

They, in turn, are chased by Jesus, another dark horse with no recorded results this term. If their Fairbairns results are anything to go by, however, they should not have too much trouble catching Tit Hall.

The women’s event at Robinson Head was won convincingly by Christ’s, who managed to beat a hapless Darwin M1 and may be looking to return to their 2009 days of glory.

Runners-up FaT were 8 seconds behind, a considerable margin on the shortened course of about 1500m. They were closely followed by Newnham, Catz and Pembroke, whose second place in Bumps may be threatened if Emma at third turn out to be quick.

With the rowing community hoping for warmer temperatures and a rowable river, thoughts turn to Pembroke Regatta next weekend. This side-by-side event may well turn out to be the only source of useful information on which to base predictions for Lents, with most of this term’s racing (and training) hampered by ice.

Forecast temperatures of well above 0°C for most of next week leave some room for optimism.