Downing performing a ‘victory lap’ after bumping Jesus by Grassy Corner.Alexander Massie

Day 5, like every day of Lent Bumps 2020, was made unique and all the more difficult by weather. 45 mph wind speeds became a formidable challenge for all eight divisions racing. It was all to fight for today, as crews battled it out to secure blades – or dodge infamous spoons – in front of the crowds lining the banks.

There were no blades in the M4 division, as Girton M2 and Churchill M3 both rowed over on the final day, ending their streak of bumps throughout their respective campaigns. Queens’ M4 also rowed over, securing their ‘footship’. Hughes Hall M2 bumped Addenbrooke’s to climb up into the M3 division, whilst Darwin M2 rowed over, saving themselves from spoons.  There was a similar mixed picture in the W4 division – Downing W3 shook up the order, bumping Anglia Ruskin W1. Fitzwilliam W2, Trinity Hall W3 and Corpus Christi W2 all rowed over, leaving the latter at ‘footship’.

Hughes Hall M1 secured their ‘superblades’... rising six positions over the four days of racing.

In a dramatic twist, Emmanuel W3 secured the first overbump of the afternoon against Jesus W3. Blades were also confirmed for Sidney Sussex W2 as they soared up five places in four days, courtesy of sandwich boat bumps on Day 1. In the men’s third division, Churchill M2 struggled against the wind, just missing out on blades as they rowed over. Peterhouse M2 were certainly consistent as they rowed over for the fourth and final time, and Addenbrooke’s slipped back down to the bottom of the division. There was also a first spoons of the day for Downing M2 as they were bumped by Magdalene M2, losing their place in the second division.

There were more spoons in the women’s second division for Clare W2, but Lucy Cavendish W1 stayed strong in their rowover to avoid the same fate. Corpus Christi W1 and Downing W2 secured well-deserved blades whilst Homerton and St Catherine’s W1 struggled for the division’s pole position. After a vicious battle down the Reach, St Catherine’s emerged victorious by bumping Homerton to become the sandwich boat.

In M2, Wolfson M1, St Edmunds M1 and Jesus M2 all slipped down, whilst the top of the division remained unusually stable as Churchill, Lady Margaret II, Girton and Selwyn all rowed over once again. The excitement filtered down the division as Hughes Hall M1 secured their ‘superblades’ and the status of being the highest climber in this year’s Lent Bumps, rising six positions over the four days of racing.


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The sun was shining for the last two divisions – tense spectators watched on as the top crews battled it out for headship. In the W1 division, success and disappointment were seen in equal measure –  there were spoons for Girton and First and Third, and blades for Caius and Churchill. Newnham bumped Emmanuel, reversing yesterday’s bump and placing overall third. Downing, who started out fourth on the river, were victorious as they bumped Jesus to take headship at Grassy Corner, allowing them to proudly trail their flag all the way to their boathouse.

Finally, in the last division, Churchill M1 endured their eighth row of the week as the sandwich boat. Further up the division, Kings and Trinity Hall both narrowly missed out on blades, and Christ’s secured spoons. Pembroke rose to second place, bumping Caius – but it was Lady Margaret who secured headship as their first boat blitzed their way through the course for a fourth time.

Congratulations to all the crews for another fantastic term of rowing. A full breakdown of the results can be found at cucbc.org, where a handy diagram shows who bumped who on each day.

If Lent Bumps has whetted your appetite for more rowing events, look no further than the hotly anticipated Cambridge-Oxford Boat Race on the Thames Tideway, London on Sunday 29th March.

For those wanting to see more of bumps, the Cambridge May Bumps will be running from the 10thto 13thJune, in what promises to be yet another exciting event in the rowing calendar.

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