Lent Bumps 2017: Day 5 roundup

Lili Bidwell 4 March 2017

The day dawned sunny and fresh, as every competing crew prepared to race for the final time. The last day of bumps is always an emotional day, especially seeing as for many crews this will be the last race they will ever do together as a team.

The women’s fourth division started off the day, as crowds of spectators gathered to watch, on the reach, at the plough, and on grassy corner. Lady Margaret W3 bumped up to the top of the division, leaving Churchill W2 to receive spoons and a place in a division below where they started. Murray Edwards W3 bumped up one at the expense of Lucy Cav/Hughes Hall W3 who finished in fourth place, despite having started first in the division.

The men’s fourth division followed, with Queens’ M3 being bumped down into the fourth division, whilst Sidney Sussex M2 managed to make a miraculous turn around and bumping St. Catherine’s M3. Having been bumped three races in a row the Sidney Sussex M2 crew were thrilled to get a bump and turn their result around. Caius M4 bumped Jesus M4, whilst Girton M2 bumped St. Edmund’s M2 who sadly got spoons. Anglia Ruskin M4 bumped Corpus Chrisi M2, meaning that they escaped finished bottom of the division.

The women’s third division saw Lucy Cav/Hughes Hall W2 have better luck than their W3 as they bumped Corpus Christi W1, leaving the latter crew with spoons. Queens’ W2 bumped St. Edmund’s W1, leaving another St. Edmund’s crew to get spoons. Jesus W3 managed to bump Murray Edwards W2 meaning that Murray Edwards also received spoons. Downing W2 were the only crew in the division to win blades, impressively bumped Darwin W. King’s W2 bumped Clare Hall W1, and Caius W2 bumped Anglia Ruskin W1, leaving the Anglia Ruskin boat with spoons. Clare W3 hung on well to their spot in the third division.

The men’s third division saw Pembroke M2 bumped back down into first place of the division, back to where they started, and Christ’s M2 moved down a division, finishing in second place in the third division. Robinson M2 won blades by bumping St. Catherine’s M2 on the final day, whilst Magdalene M2 were also successful in bumping Lady Margaret M3, although they still finished in a position lower than where they started. Anglia Ruskin M1 managed to bump Clare Hall M1, leaving the latter crew to win spoons. Jesus M3 had their second bump of the race, catching Peterhouse M2, and Clare M3 bumped for the fourth time, clawing their way up from the fourth division, leaving the unfortunate Fitzwilliam M2 crew with spoons. King’s M2 also managed to gain a place in the third division having begun at the top of the fourth division, after three days as sandwich boat.

The women’s second division saw several bumps today. King’s W1 bumped Peterhouse W1 to claim the top place in the division, as poor Peterhouse ended up with spoons after falling steadily out of the first division into the second. Fiztwilliam W1 bumped Homerton W1 and behind them Jesus W2 bumped Magdalene W1 at grassy corner, nice and early on in the course, meaning that Magdalene get spoons. Sidney Sussex W1 bumped Robinson W1, and behind them Newnham W2 bumped Pembroke W2 to complete their successful campaign for blades. Wolfson W1 also won blades by bumping Lady Margaret W2, an amazing feat seeing as they began in the third division and worked their way up very consistently. Clare W2 had their third bump of the race, this time catching Christ’s W2, and securing their place in the second division.

The men’s second division was next, as the good weather began to fade and the wind picked up on the reach. Tragically Emmanuel M2 were finally caught by Magdalene M2, after three days of rowing over as sandwich boat, their seventh row of the course was cut short by the Magdalene crew. Caius M2 bumped Lady Margaret M2, and Corpus Christi M1 bumped Homerton M1 who then received spoons. Downing M2 bumped Selwyn M1 who also received spoons, and St. Edmund’s M1 bumped Darwin M1 to seal their fate as a spoons boat.  Finally, Hughes Hall M1 bumped up twice after rowing as sandwich boat, to take their place in the second division.

And finally it was time for the first divisions to race, determining the winners of head of the river. The women raced first, and it certainly was a tough race: having rowed over ahead of Downing W1 for three days in a row, Jesus W1 were confident that they could do it again, however Downing W1 did managed to get within half a length of the Jesus crew as they rounded grassy corner. Nevertheless the Jesus girls kept it together, dug deep, and pushed off the chasing crew to distance themselves from Downing as they came on to the reach. As the crews came on to the reach, Clare W1 was able to catch Downing W1, and despite Downing’s resistance to this, and the fact that they certainly put up a good fight, the crews bumped out, leaving Jesus W1 to row on to victory, heads of the river for the second year in a row, and Clare W1 to bask in the glory of winning blades. The rest of the division saw a bump from First and Third W1 on Christ’s W1, Murray Edwards W1 to bump Emmanuel W1 in spite of them putting up a strong fight. Lady Margaret W1 bumped Pembroke W1 who got spoons, St. Catherine’s W1 bumped Caius W1 and Lucy Cav/Hughes Hall W1 sent Queens’ W1 down the table for the fourth time, leaving them with spoons. Trinity Hall W1 defended their place in the first division after starting in the second.

The men’s first division came after the Jesus W1 victory lap which was met with an extortionate amount of applause and cheering from the masses gathered at The Plough and along the reach. Lady Margaret M1 raced the whole course with Downing M1 on their tail but were strong and together enough that they kept their heads and comfortably defended their position as head of the river. Jesus M1 managed to bump Magdalene M1 at grassy corner, leaving them two places up, third in the division. Christ’s M1 bumped First and Third M1, whilst Clare M1 became the third Clare crew to win blades as they bumped Queens’ M1 who received spoons. Girton M1 managed to bump St. Catherine’s M1, as Trinity Hall M1 caught Churchill M1 behind them. Fitzwilliam M1 managed to escape finishing bottom in the division by bumping the King’s M1 crew who, as a consequence, got spoons.

The victory laps of the head ships crews were loved by the crowds, who then dispersed from the river banks, as Lent bumps drew to a close and the crews headed home to prepare to celebrate their achievements tonight.