Save Lent Bumps
Won’t somebody please think of the boaties?
The “Save Lent Bumps” Campaign has gained steam in recent weeks as it tries to increase the number of boats allowed into Lent Bumps this year.
Last year the Cambridge University Boat Cub decided to decrease the number of boats allowed in Lent Bumps. This decision was met with little disagreement as the reason behind it was clear: there was maintenance being done on the river. This year the maintenance projects have finished so the reason for the decrease in size is no longer accepted.
This has led to the start of a Campaign that now has over 1,500 likes on Facebook. The Save Lent Bumps Campaign claims the changes will exclude almost 170 people from rowing in Lent Bumps this year, which will be a real blow for College rowing.
A large number of people take up rowing when they come to Cambridge, with some of these students going on to row at much higher levels, with one recent GB squad rower starting out in an M2 boat after taking up rowing in Cambridge.
The CUBC’s decision will lead to less newcomers taking up the sport, as they are now less likely to be able to compete in one of the two major College rowing events of the year.
This will cause a drop in the standard of rowing across the university as most College first team boats have at least one rower that started learning to row in Cambridge.
One Pembroke student feels the changes will “hit people from State Schools the hardest as they do not offer rowing as often as Private Schools, so students from these schools have to take it up when they get to Cambridge.”
The reason for CUBC’s decision is that an increase in the number of crews will be a safety risk as the lower boats are less skilled so are more prone to crashes when they get out of control.
This argument is not accepted by College Captains with one saying the rowers who are being punished “Aren’t dangerous”. They feel the people being punished are those who have other time commitments and newcomers, this is not right as College Rowing is supposed to be open to all members of College and cutting Lent Bumps clearly closes it to some of them.
CUBC have recently argued they have been forced to cut the number of divisions due to time pressures that have been passed to them by the Senior Tutor Committee, so they cannot fit any more division into the schedule.
This reason however is not why many boat club captains think the cuts are being made, with another College Captain saying the cuts are being made because “CUCBC are trying to make their lives easier and save some money.”
While many of us might be quite happy to have less boaties around to constantly talk about life on the river, rowing is an intrinsic part of life at Cambridge. The cuts made to Lent bumps are deep and they will cause a decrease in the participation of rowing at Cambridge for years to come. The Save Lent Bumps Campaign hopes to stop the changes before it’s too late.