|Crew||Division||Day 1||Day 2||Day 3||Day 4||Aggregate Change|
|M1||Day 1: Row over.
The first day of bumps is always the most critical; it can determine whether you rise to blades on crews that are handed down or get trapped in a downward spiral, viz. you are one of the crews being handed down. We knew our starting position is tough with the two quickest crews of the M2 division – according to competitions held during the term – Trinity Hall M1 in front of us and LMBC M2 not far behind.
Race report: Off the start we were quick, closing on Trinity Hall. The stride call made us settle to a tense 39 strokes per minute, demanding for a second stride. Whilst Trinity Hall took that to their advantage, putting about two lengths between us, St. Edmund’s was caught by LMBC M2 at Grassy corner before Hughes Hall M1, packed with three Blues and three Goldies, could catch them. Remarkably, we did not ease off and held station with Trinity Hall until the finish line.
Prediction: Row over. Trinity Hall M1 are fast, not only at the start but over the whole course. Two lengths is quite some distance to cover but we hope to utilize LMBC M2 to drive us closer into them. A row over starting between these two crews would set us up well for day 3 when Fitzwilliam M1 might be starting ahead of us.
Day 2: Bumped by LMBC M2.
Race report: We knew LMBC M2 will throw everything at us in the first km and planned to get Grassy as fast as we could. By Grassy corner, LMBC M2 closed in on us rapidly, only half a boat length when going into the bend. Thanks to Nicolau’s line, we gained ¼ of a boat length by the end and even narrowed the distance between Trinity Hall M1 and us. A Power 10 off the corner momentarily got us a bit of room to breathe and a second whistle on Trinity Hall. By Ditton Corner, we were quarter of a boat length from LMBC M2 and, as we learnt afterwards, on overlap with Trinity Hall; fueled by feeling their wash coming down, Nicolau had us pushed hard off the corner, drawing away from LMBC M2. We knew Trinity Hall wasn’t far, but LMBC kept attacking ferociously. In the end, Fortuna was on their side, bumping us half was down the reach.
Prediction: … There are six blues chasing us. We are confident though to deliver hell of a race, as we know that LMBC M2 didn’t quite got away from Hughes Hall M1 but at least managed to bump Eddies before they were caught.
Day 3: Bumped by Hughes Hall M1.
Race report: We went off with everything we got to take the race to at least Grassy Corner. By first post corner Hughes Hall M1 were merely ¾ of a boat length away and, therefore, the stride call came very late. For ten or so strokes we settled into what felt a really good rhythm – apparently even closing on LMCB M2 – only to wind it up again as Hughes Hall marched up on us. Just before Grassy, Hughes Hall held it up claiming they have bumped while there was no clearly physical contact. After a moment of confusion we carried on the race, not dropping below rate 35 until the finish. Back at the boat house we learnt that the Umpire awarded a bump, which, quite frankly, would have happened no 5 strokes later anyway.
Prediction: Row over. It must be a row over. Wolfson M1 is on for blades again and stronger than ever; they were the fastest boat at the Sunday of the Peterborough Spring regatta but they have been among the quickest in our division since I started rowing. And, equally since then we haven’t been bumped by them. Row over!
Day 4: Bumped by Wolfson M1.
Race report: The gun went and we sprinted off the start as hard as we could. Still, Wolfson M1 charged at us unstoppably. A mere 100 meters into the race, they got the first whistle on us. Nicolau went into first post corner as tight as he could to restore some distance between us and our chasers. Half way into first post corner, Wolfson was not more than a canvas away; Nicolau gave us the “kill” call to wind it up at ¾ slide which had proved to increase the boat speed respectably in our previous races. Nevertheless, Wolfson came closer and finally bumped us coming just out of first post corner.
|W1||Day 1: Bumped by Darwin W1.
With an exceptionally strong practice start up plough reach, the rest of the afternoon seemed to be shaping up for a great first race! In a hugely disappointing turn of events, within the first few seconds of the start canons firing, the rudder wire and screws came apart, sending this strong crew off the outflow into the opposite bank. Darwin easily rowed past the now stationary boat taking the bump and the crew took a valiant row home once all other boats in the division had rowed past. Bumps is unpredictable and so was this incidence of equipment failure.
The women are ready to put in a big push tomorrow to make up for lost margins and the whole squad has supported each other in true HCBC style.
Day 2: Bumped Darwin W1.
Keen to get back to position in the division, W1 were ready for bumping action today. Starting one position behind, under the motorway bridge and at the cannons, adrenaline was coursing through the crew. A loud and sharp start saw them immediately close in on Darwin. Stroked by Kate Baker (Goldie) they kept the rate high with a good rhythm shift to power when the Cox gave the call to halve the distance. Closing down every stroke they stayed composed. Bumping Darwin just before first post corner, the W1 achieved what they set out to do today and with one Bumps race under their onesies now, their hungry for more!
|M2||Day 1: Bumped by Caius M3.
As a fully novice crew, we were quite unsure what to expect. The logistics of sharing the boat with m3 who raced in the previous division, and had developed technical issues with the 2 seat that needed to be fixed, threw us a bit.
However by the time we got to station all of the nerves went and we were confident.
Race report: A strong start got us moving at a good pace, unfortunately although we did begin to close the gap between us and St Edmunds M2, Caius M3 were very fast to start, and quickly got the overlap. An escaped blade spelled disaster. We conceded by first post.
Prediction: Being bumped on the first day is never good, as it generally means you won't bump on the second. The show from Caius M3 means that we would be very unlikely to bump back, however Caius would easily catch St Ed's M2. Further in the division Catz had not been too impressive. So the plan would be to go for the overbump, on condition of keeping Sidney Sussex M2 at bay.
Day 2: Bumped by Sidney Sussex M2.
Day 3: Row over.
Before the race, some nerves had built up, we were on for spoons. We were very late to marshalling due to swapping blades with m3, however the women's division was delayed and so we got lucky.
We knew we were about as fast as Sidney, due to the previous day's racing, however we were also in front of a strong Magdalen crew.
Race report: The race itself was long, we held station with Magdalen during the race start, and even managed to gain some ground on Sidney, Magdalen made a push to close the gap, getting within one boat's length before falling back and eventually being caught by Anglia Ruskin. Sidney Also bumped, leaving us with a lot of clear water. Undeterred we continued with numerous power 10's, on the off chance that we may catch Wolfson. Although we closed the gap slightly, they were still multiple boat lengths ahead. We therefore rowed over.
Prediction: For day four, we are in a similar situation to the first, chasing a relatively matched boat but being chased by a strong crew. ARU will give us hell, however we caught up St Edmund's when we chased them on day one. Now we have the experience of bumps, we can maybe keep ARU at bay, and make a move on St. Ed's, and perhaps at least bump once this season.
Day 4: Bumped by Anglia Ruskin M1.
Pre-race: Anticipation was high, by this point we knew what we were capable of, the rolling start and stationary start practises were probably some of the best we’ve done this year. As we reached station, we made our last adjustments and had our pre-race briefing. Nerves were high but we were confident, and basically just happy to be there.
Race report: We’ve been told since day one that anything can happen in bumps, and we were not disappointed. The nerves caused us to do a rather over-enthusiastic race start, reaching rate 48, when the plan was rate 40. Although this rate would have been unsustainable in the long run, it did allow us to hold station with the stronger ARUBC crew. However soon after first post, came a call to hold it up, we may have bumped, though that was unlikely due to how early in the race we were, a lot of confusion occurred, however we started again almost immediately, but it was shaky, stroke caught a crab, but recovered. This stumble was enough for ARUBC to pounce on us. They had the speed while we were still accelerating, they therefore made a full contact bump, their bow seat was level with our five, hitting our riggers and shaking us quite a bit, and our 7s blade was caught under their boat, leading to a brutal crab that ejected him from him seat. Although we did concede, it was accompanied by a lot of shouting and whistles and yelling at ARUBC to stop. Jon (7 seat) was fine, thankfully managed to avoid ARU’s boat, blades and ruder.
Conclusion of race and bumps
Obviously this bumps campaign has not given the result we would have liked, however the important bit is the enjoyment we all felt and the progress we made as a crew. Also at least we didn’t get spoons.