Following cancellation due to Covid last year, the 2022 competition will run for another three days and conclude on Saturday (05/03)Katie E. Kasperson

After a two-year hiatus, Lent Bumps is finally back on the River Cam, once again producing the all-time highs and lows that makes college rowing the bitter-sweet beast it has always been. With two days of bumping already scratched off, Varsity recaps on the winners and losers, as well as everything in between.

Day One

The women’s second division (W2) was full of surprises. Sidney Sussex, thought to be a particularly strong crew this year, failed to bump, with Homerton catching a very splashy Girton before they had the chance to catch Homerton themselves.

Almost immediately after, at the top of Plough Reach, Selwyn were caught by Peterhouse, despite having been within half a length of King’s for most of the first half of the race. Lower down the division, Robinson caught Jesus II early on. In ‘the gut’, Magdalene bumped Corpus, in what must be a major disappointment for the crew after achieving blades in 2020 and, even more excitingly, Lady Margaret II - the sandwich boat from the W3 division - succeeded in bumping Queens II.

In the M3 division, there was less contention at the top, with Clare II, Magdalene II, and Downing II all rowing over. Just below, a very speedy bump by St Catharine’s II on Robinson II followed by a failure to clear - and subsequent ‘carnage’, as Cam FM reported - meant that a re-row was required. The highlight of this division was the overbump achieved by Fitzwilliam II, who ultimately bumped Churchill II, a crew who had otherwise shown themselves to be strong heading into the event.

The action didn’t stop in the final division of the day, M2, which saw six bumps in total. Bumped by Lady Margaret II, Churchill in their luminous pink leggings slid down from the top of the table, despite rowing over uncaught by the same crew last year. Further down the division, Caius II overtook Hughes Hall, a real shame considering how close Hughes had been to their own bump earlier in the race, at one point getting within half a length of Corpus, and especially bearing in mind that Hughes moved up six places in 2020, an enormous achievement.

Despite donning a lively shade of pink, St Catharine’s II lacked pace in the W3 division on Day One, as they dropped two positionsKatie E. Kasperson

Wolfson were bumped by Darwin, Emmanuel II by Queens II, and St Edmund’s by Homerton, perhaps to be expected after St Edmunds’ spoon-worthy performance at the last Lent Bumps. Girton put in a great effort, looking for a long while as if they would row over, but were eventually bumped by Selwyn, dropping down to fourth. Corpus and Sidney retained their positions.

Day Two

After topping the W2 division on Day One, Homerton found themselves at the very rear of W1 with St. Catharine’s in front of them, who gave chase to Darwin. The three teams rowed down from the P&E to the loch to position themselves. All boats were in place by 3:45pm and started racing at exactly 4pm.

The competition was tough from the beginning, as the boats rowed on and the gap between Homerton and Catz was greatly reduced along the first bend. Catz, however, held their place and didn’t give up, also trying to close up on Darwin, who bumped Murray Edwards in quick fashion.

Across the second bend, Homerton tried to catch up with Catz again, but came up just short. The boats had to reduce their speed to avoid collision, as they struggled to get past the teams that had fallen out of the race after an earlier bump. Once they did, however, the crews picked up their rates again and the race intensified.

Homerton tried hard to bump Catz, but they were again unsuccessful. The two boats raced all the way to the finish line without having bumped the team in front of them.


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Further up the river, Lady Margaret’s fell to a strong Pembroke crew, while third-placed Newnham bumped Jesus.

Gonville & Caius enjoyed a successful day on the water overall, with their M1, M3, W1, and W2 boats all bumping, and W3 and W4 rowing over. After bumping Pembroke in the M1 division, Caius will hunt down Lady Margaret’s later today.

As always, Ditton corner saw a lot of action throughout the afternoon. Notably, Clare bumped Catz as they rounded it in the M1 division, and Selwyn III reclaimed their spot in M4 after bumping the King’s boat that had nicked their position the day before.

Turning attention to Day Three, the M3 and W3 divisions will enjoy a well-deserved break, while the rest of the crews will be fiercely battling it out for supremacy on the Cam.