May Bumps round-up: Day one

Image credit: Tom George

An eventful opening day to Easter Bumps 2017 saw plenty of action all across the divisions as over 150 crews battled it out on a congested River Cam. First contested in the 1820s, the bumps format lends itself particularly well to the narrow nature of the River Cam as it flows through Cambridge, passing the Plough on its way to the start line at the First Post Reach.

Enraptured spectators and fine weather contributed to a party atmosphere on the banks of the river, but on the water it was a far more serious business, with training having competed with exams for the attention of the rowers in the build-up for what promises to be an eminently exciting spectacle.

They say that in order to be first, you have to train like you are second, and indeed this seemed to be the case considering the results from the opening day. In the womens' races, Caius W1 immediately usurped Downing, who had started the day in pole position, having enjoyed two stellar years in a competition in which the finishing order of the crews for one set of races constitutes the starting order for the next. In the mens' races, Clare M1 managed to bump their Pembroke counterparts, thus moving from fourth to third in the overall classification, whilst Lady Margaret M1 and Caius M1 both rowed over into tomorrow's races.

Indeed, it was a busy day on the water as five crews in the premier womens' division and four in the mens' successfully ended the day a position higher than when they started. As well as Clare M1, Downing, Emmanuel and Robinson managed to secure the coveted bump — at the expense of Trinity, Selwyn and St. Catherine's — whilst Emmanuel W1 got their own back in the womens' races, bumping Girton to move into fifth position with Lady Margaret, Peterhouse and Fitzwilliam also making contact with the following boat.

Whilst picnics abounded on the riverbanks, the culinary metaphor also extended onto the races itself, with Christ's M1 taking on the role of sandwich boat by bumping their Girtonian counterparts in their second race of the day. Likewise, Trinity M4 bumped their way into the third division whilst Downing W2 went one step further, displacing Caius W2 into the second tier. 

Events took a turn for the dramatic in the third division, whereby in addition to six crews bumping, a strong start from Hughes Hall provided the first overbump of the day, Pembroke W3 on the receiving end in this case. As if this were not enough, St. Catherine's W3 repeated the same feat in the fourth division, leaving Emmanuel W4 with the proverbial egg on their face. To cap it off, Hughes Hall W3 then went one step further, moving up four places at the expense of Sidney Sussex W2 with Homerton W2 awarded a technical row-over.



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