Diary of the bumped

10 March 2011

Day One

Harald, our beloved boat and great source of giggly innuendo is an old hand at this; we’re ready at front stops and poised for carnage. Five seconds and a louder-than-expected bang later, we’re off and widening the gap. Everything is going fantastically until disaster strikes as five’s gate springs open. All is lost, though our pursuer takes their time bumping our stricken boat. Now awkwardly parked on the bank, our coach runs over and attempts to lift us off, only for our poor boat’s bow to come away in her hand. Some emergency gaffa tape later, Harald, broken and mutilated, is rowed home by a stoical stern four. RIP boat.

Day Two

With a written off boat and three subs, morale is low. Turning around yesterday’s disaster seems impossible. The replacement, a rotund novice boat – aptly named Winston – hardly inspires the crew with confidence. We are told that once he gets going, Winston is a tank ready to leave a trail of carnage and destruction in his wake. Granted, Winston was a ‘tank’ but for all the wrong reasons – by the time we ‘get him going’, a jubilant Girton are already decorating themselves with a fine array of greenery.

Day Three

We are almost bottom of the river. After a severe grilling from the coach and W1, the fighting spirit that got us through the getting-on race seems to be returning. It‘s all going well: we’re a whistle ahead and our pursuers seem miles away. And then, continuing the pattern of the week, disaster strikes. Struck out of nowhere by a determined-not-to-be-at-the-bottom Fitz, our dreams of not taking their place are over.

Day Four

I don’t think I’ve ever been this close to the weir before. Bottom of the river doesn’t seem too bad though, with nobody to panic you into completely messing up. Can we enact revenge on Fitz? Err, no – Fitz bump Lucy Cavendish, and in a strangely familiar twist of fate, Winston’s oil tanker turning-circle puts us back on the bank. A set of spoons await. Did we gain anything this week apart from some additions to the cutlery drawer? Well, as cheesy as it sounds, I’m very proud of my crew. And W1 got blades which made the Bumps Dinner slightly less solemn. After all, at least there is an impressive and fitting tribute to the deceased Harald now circulating on Facebook.

Eleanor Dickinson – Murray Edwards W2

TCS Library Photo –Jimmy Appleton