On Shrove Tuesday almost one hundred college crews set out to defend their place in the bumps table. The day started with the fourth division boats, beginning at 2pm. The weather already taking a turn for the worse meant that conditions were not as pleasant as the bright sunny morning might have suggested, and the wind was certainly felt during the row up on the reach.
Nevertheless the crews battled it out: the women’s fourth division was small, with just six boats taking part, again the only fourth boat to qualify was a Jesus boat. Sadly Jesus W4 were bumped by Queens’ W3, despite putting up a good fight. Lucy Cav/Hughes Hall W3 were able to retain their position at the top of the division, similar to Murray Edwards W3 who also rowed over, staying in fourth place. Clare W3 did bump Lady Margaret W3 though, so the division did see a fair amount of action.
In the men’s fourth division, at the top, Clare M3 did well to bump King’s M2, placing them at the top of the division and therefore becoming sandwich boat in between the third and fourth division. After having bumped Kings’ M2, another row would be required that day from Clare M3. After Caius M3 bumping Jesus M4, the only fourth boat in the competition, Churchill M3 were able to win an impressive overbump on St. Edmund’s M2. The remaining boats in the division rowed over, completing the entirety of the gruelling course ahead of tomorrow’s race.
The women’s third division saw many crews row over, but Lucy Cav/Hughes Hall W2 bumped Murray Edwards W2, whilst St. Catherine’s W2 bumped Anglia Ruskin W1. Furthermore, First and Third W2, starting in seventh place, were able to bump Darwin W2, and towards the bottom of the division, Kings’ W2 bumped Churchill W2. Leaving Downing W2 the opportunity to overbump on Trinity Hall W2, which they amazingly managed to do.
In the third men’s division, Clare M3’s success story continued as they were able to bump Sidney Sussex M2, leaving them as sandwich boat for tomorrow. There was controversy at the bottom of the table over what happened between Jesus M3 and Queens’ M3, eventually resolving in a row over for both crews. Moving up the division, Trinity Hall M2 bumped Anglia Ruskin M1, First and Third M3 bumped Clare Hall M1, and there were two bumps at the top of the division. Hughes Hall M1 bumped St. Catherine’s M2, and Emmanuel M2 bumped Pembroke M2, placing Emmanuel M2 at the top of the division and consequently sandwich boat for the next race.
The women’s second division included five bumps, whilst Trinity Hall W1 were saved from Magdalene W1 by a bump from Homerton W1; Selwyn W1 were not as lucky as Jesus W2 bumped them down to seventh place. Robinson W1 bumped Emmanuel W2 and Sidney Sussex W1 bumped Pembroke W2. Several row overs followed until the sixteenth boat in the division, Newnham W2, was able to bump Corpus Christi W1.
And finally, the last division of the day, and by no means the most uneventful: the Men’s second division saw all three top boats, Emmanuel M1, Magdalene M1 and Lady Margaret M2 row over. Wolfson M2 bumped Homerton M1 to take fourth place. Jesus M2 bumped Selwyn M1, First and Third M2 bumped Darwin M1, Downing M2 bumped Queens’ M2, St. Edmund’s M1 bumped Sidney Sussex M1, and finally, Emmanuel M2 managed to bump Pembroke M2 to bring themselves into the second division and leave Pembroke as sandwich boat. Overall a very dramatic division, with most of the boats bumping.
Overall the day was eventful, and many bumps occurred. This can only pave the way for an increasingly dramatic week ahead as we find out which boats will be on track for blades spoons. The first divisions will be racing tomorrow, with Jesus W1 and Caius M1 fighting to keep their headship.