The week of Lent Bumps is upon us. With 120 crews from every college in the University set to compete over five days, Bumps is sure to deliver plenty of drama and questionable rowing. An exciting spanner has already been thrown in the works, with the Arctic conditions making many crews reluctant to leave the warmth of their boathouses. Chat on the tow path has suggested that wind chill may reach minus fourteen degrees – a sure fire way to ensure that every crew rows fast to ensure that they can get inside as quickly as possible, if nothing else.
On the women’s side, it is Jesus’ headship to defend. Their major threat from behind appears to come from a speedy Newnham crew, who, after besting everyone at Pembroke Regatta and Winter Head to Head, are set to light the top half of the division on fire, and must have their eyes on top spot. Murray Edwards must be looking anxiously behind them at the Emma crew who came second only to Newnham at Pembroke Regatta, and took home pots at Newnham Short Course.
Lower down the division, several crews have been conspicuous only in their absence from racing this term, with Girton, Lady Margaret and Churchill abstaining from any pre-Bumps action on the Cam, and offering relative unknowns. Fitzwilliam will be looking to cement a place in the top division, and, with the apparent return of an ex-CUW president to their ranks, look equipped to pose a serious threat.
On the men’s side, LMBC are looking to retain the headship they acquired last year. However, Downing, memories of last year’s equipment failures fresh in their mind, do not look set to let Maggie walk away from them. With both crews winning Cam races this term, it looks set to be a thrilling battle at the top of the division.
Caius will be looking to regain some of the standing they lost last year. With Pembroke, Christ’s, Robinson and Clare finishing within seconds of each other at Newnham Short Course, the middle of the division also looks set to be tight, and will hopefully offer some thrilling racing. As sandwich boat, Magdalene will be looking to cement their place in the first division, and after making it to the final of Pembroke Regatta, will be posing a serious threat to the lower half of the division.