The M3 division was stopped in heavy rain after bumped boats in front blocked the river.Alexander Massie

Lent Bumps kicked off on Tuesday, as did the yearly drama which did not fail to entertain spectators and rowers alike. As well as battling each other for supremacy on the River Cam, rowers were also faced with tumultuous weather.

The first bumps of the year were in the W4 division, containing only 6 boats, who were followed 5 minutes later by the M4 division with 12 boats. The start saw Trinity Hall W3 catch Corpus Christi W2, who themselves were nearly caught by a speedy Fitzwilliam W2. Sidney Sussex W2 caught Magdalene W2 and moved to top position in the division. Both Downing W3 and Fitzwilliam W2 rowed over.

M4 saw some early bumps with both Girton M2 bumping Homerton M2 before the A14 bridge and Churchill M3 bumping Magdalene M3 underneath the bridge. Elsewhere, Hughes Hall M2 bumped Wolfson M2 while Pembroke M3 bumped Darwin M2.

“The most chaotic race of the day was the M3 division, which descended into disorder with both hail and rain disrupting the course of the race.”

The W3 division saw a plethora of bumps with seven boats bumping in total. Many boats bumped before First Post corner and only Lady Margaret (St John’s) W2, Darwin W2, Clare Hall W1 and Queens’ W3 rowed over.

A noteworthy mention is Sidney Sussex W2, having bumped Magdalene W2 to become the sandwich boat, succeeded in bumping again in the higher division.

For the more novice followers of rowing, the 'sandwich boat' helps to maintain a sense of continuity between the divisions. This is a term used to describe a boat that either rows over or bumps into the top position of a division, who then competes in last position one division up. Crews are therefore given the chance to ‘bump up’ a division.

Yesterday, Sidney Sussex W2 succeeded in bumping into the sandwich boat in division 4. Therefore, they competed in division 3 where they were able to bump Anglia Ruskin, thereby achieving two bumps in one day. This is significant achievement for Sidney Sussex given the physical toll of racing twice in one day - first being chased and then chasing.


Mountain View

Bumps: A Crash Course

The most chaotic race of the day was the M3 division, which descended into disorder with both hail and rain disrupting the course of the race. Further, the division was brought to an abrupt halt after boats who had bumped at the top of the division failed to clear the river in time, meaning that competing boats could not safely continue past to finish the race.

Queens’ M2, Robinson M2, Churchill M2 and Jesus M3 were all awarded bumps, but the rest of the boats who hadn’t bumped were awarded a ‘technical row-over’, meaning that they will start in the same position on Day 2.

The W2 division saw 5 bumps, with Darwin W1 bumping King’s W1 to become the highest place boat for the day’s racing. The M2 division saw a total of 5 bumps as well, with Churchill rowing over and thus holding on to its position at the top of division 2. There was no racing in the top divisions yesterday, but expect drama on Day 2 as the top crews battle it out for the all-important headship.