HUGH CARSON reports from Champs Head – the best early indicator of the progression in Bumps.
In the face of a raging headwind, Champs head went ahead yesterday with Caius winning M1, and Downing winning W1.
The weather finally sorted itself out and remembered that it’s Easter term and the crews were treated to a day of racing in the sun. As most of the Blues have returned, the race is seen as a good indicator of who might have what it takes to bump in May.
At the top of the men’s side, Head of the River Caius stated their intentions, clocking in at 4:35.6 and earning the prize for best men’s start of the day. Second place Downing, racing two divisions later, came in with a time of 4:51.6 in the face of a strong headwind.
In the Mays second division, Girton continued their utter dominance of the field, posting in with the third fastest overall time of the day, a result which means they will definitely be aiming for Blades. Among the actual second boats, LMBC posted a respectable time of 5:05, making them almost as fast as the Jesus boat that their M1 will be chasing, which bodes well for their squad depth.
On the women’s side, Downing put paid to any whispers of complacency at the top by winning their division with a time of 5:52.6. Queens, who raced in the morning, came in second with a time of 5:54.3. However, without LMBC W1 (who are going off ahead of them in Mays) having entered, it’s difficult to tell whether this will translate in five weeks time. With Christ’s and Emma both posting times within 2 seconds of each other, there’ll be all eyes on what could be a very exciting race.
In the second division Kings posted a strong time, beating Pembroke W1’s time of 6:09, which should ensure that they feel little threat from Pembroke W2 who will be starting behind them. Sidney Sussex, who start behind Pembroke W2, also came in at 6:06.9 meaning they could be looking for an early bump.
Caius Captain Gordon Beck showing how much it means
This year Champs have introduced two cups for the first time to commemorate two recently deceased members. On top of their selection of novelty prizes, the fastest men’s and women’s boats will now be the proud keepers of two sizeable cups for the next year.
There will be more college racing next weekend with Cambridge Ninety Nines regatta.