This year's course was approximately 1.1 km long, around half that of the usual May Bumps course (approx. 2.2 km)Giorgio Divitini

Following the cancellation of May Bumps at the start of Easter Term, the Cambridge University Combined Boat Clubs (CUCBC) announced that an Eights Regatta would take its place. The competition took place over five days, starting with the Getting On Race (GoR) to seed the crews and determine divisions on Sunday (20/06), with races finishing yesterday (24/06).

The event was held on a section of the course where the May Bumps would have been. Whereas Bumps usually cover roughly 2.2km from Baits Bite Lock (on the northern side of the A14), this year’s races covered just 1.1km, along Long Reach, which runs roughly between The Plough at Fen Ditton and Peter’s Posts at Chesterton. Equally, where multiple boats would race simultaneously during Bumps, Regatta rules required 1-vs-1, side-by-side racing.

154 crews entered the Regatta, however a significant number of them were forced to scratch following the recent proliferation of Covid-19 cases within the University. Where usually, these crews would be split into novice and senior categories, into men’s, women’s and mixed divisions, this year mixed crews raced in the men’s second divisions, due to their small number. Therefore, there were eight divisions (Novice W1, W2, M1, M2/Mixed and Senior W1, W2, M1, M2/Mixed) seeded through the Getting On Races.

As a result of the large number of boats entered into the Regatta, the CUCBC opted for a Swiss-Style Tournament, whereby no teams were eliminated, continuing to race over the course of all four days (21/06 - 24/06). Instead, boats were paired after the results of each day’s racing based on their cumulative form. This made it possible to determine divisional winners from the large number of competitors over the course of a few short days.

As a result, going into the final day of racing yesterday (24/06), each division was finely poised. Among the senior women, the first division was led by Caius and Downing and the second division was led by Caius, Queen’s and Wolfson, all of whom had won all their races over the preceding three days. First to be decided was the second division, with Caius beating Queen’s and Wolfson (W1) beating Homerton (W1). Since both Caius and Wolfson had successfully won all four of their races, a final tiebreaker was required, from which Caius emerged victorious by a length. The W1 boat then doubled Caius’ trophy haul by beating Downing by a length to win the first division. The only senior female crews not to win a race were Fitzwilliam W2, Trinity Hall W2 and Murray Edwards W1.


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Similarly, the men’s senior second division also required a tiebreaker to separate Lady Margaret, who beat Magdalene for their fourth win, and Pembroke, while the first division was decided by the race between Caius and Downing, who had both won races on all of Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Pembroke triumphed by two and a half lengths. While Caius’ women had been victorious on the final day, the men could not match them, losing out on the first division top spot to Magdalene M1. The only senior male crews not to win a race were Addenbrooke’s SX, Selwyn M1 and Trinity Hall M1.

Caius also dominated the novice races, winning the men’s and women’s first divisions. Meanwhile the NW2 division was taken by Fitzwilliam NW1and the NM2 division by Downing NM1, with Caius NM2 in close second in the men’s.

While the Regatta is a replacement for the May Bumps, it was neither influenced by previous Bumps results (the last being Lent 2020) nor contributes to future Bumps standings, a spokesperson for the CUCBC confirmed with Varsity. This is the first time the Cam has hosted an intercollegiate Regatta of this kind.

All of the results from the Eights Regatta can be viewed here.