Town Bumps 2018 Day 1

Women’s Divisions

At the top of Women’s Division 1, Cantabs W1 enjoyed a textbook row-over, pulling away from City W1 to finish several lengths clear and crossing the line at R25 to save their legs for Power8 Sprints on Sunday.

The rest of the first half of Women’s Division 1 was pretty quiet, with W2 and W3 rowing over, too. It wasn’t particularly interesting for spectators, as you can see here.


In the second half of the division, the J16 girls (W4) had a great race, and bumped Nines W2, and will start 13th on Wednesday.

In Women’s Division 2, the Intermediate Women’s Squad had a good evening, with W5 bumping City W7, with W6 (J18 girls) unfortunately being bumped by St Neots W2.

W5 about to bump City W7

There was more action in Division 3, where the Hills Returners/Intermediate Women composite (W7) had a good race rowing over head of that division and then bumping up into Division 2 as sandwich boat. This is the first time a Cantabs W7 has made it into Division 2! Cox Ben Whitelaw said:

Day one of the bumps started with our crew as the sandwich boat for Divisions 2 and 3. We went out hoping for a strong row over and achieved this with plenty of lengths to spare. This gave us confidence going into Division 2, but we had a lot to prove being the first Cantabs W7 crew to row in said division. We set off at a high rate of 42 courtesy of Jenny Wren Bartley and Deirdre Buckley, the intermediates in the stern pair. After a few strokes I noticed the crew we were chasing had gone off at a 30 degree angle to the bank, at which point I admittingly got rather excited and called for a big push to go for the bump. After another 30 strokes of intense paddling the City W8 crew conceded and we all celebrated what was a lot of the crew’s first ever bump!

W7 wearing willow after having bumped City W8 to get into Division 2

Elsewhere in Division 3, W8 (Hills Road) bumped Champs W6 and will start 2nd on Wednesday. W9 rowed over. W10 and W11 suffered some bumps by X-Press W3 and Nines W7, respectively.

Men’s Divisions

It was a similar story at the top of Men’s Division 1, with Cantabs M1 rowing over comfortably as Head of the River. M3 had a good race and bumped Chesterton M1 to start 11th on Wednesday. Meanwhile, M2 had a rather exciting row-over as cox Ben Whitelaw explains:

Coming into Town Bumps we knew we were a strong crew with the capability of moving up. The competition was tough with City M2 behind us and X-Press M1 in front. We set off the start gaining on the M1 crew very slowly. I wasn’t sure whether we would catch them but suddenly they stopped for a split second for some reason. This was our chance – I called for a push for ten to wear them away and we closed the gap. Everything was going smoothly until Grassy corner, where I was preparing to take a tight line to cut off some distance. The intensity of preparing for the corner caused me to tug on both wires controlling the rudder and snap them! Disaster had struck but I knew I could still make the corner if I picked up the two ends and built tension to continue steering. Once I regained control it was a little late to take a good line around the corner but bow side were putting in an outstanding effort to push us around. I slammed on the rudder to the left and we began turning but it wasn’t enough; we were going to crash! I knew that we risked being bumped if we crashed so I shoved my left arm into the water to turn the boat further and we narrowly avoided the bank. This saved us the potential of being bumped but unfortunately meant we lost at least half a length on the X-Press M1 crew. They evaded us for the remaining 2k despite the lads’ effort and we finished with a row over.

M5 row over

In Division 2, the Intermediate Men (M5) rowed over, missing out on the opportunity for an overbump. The crew said:

Yesterday both crews bumped out ahead and just stopped stationary in the middle of the river, essentially manspreading the rest of us! We lost 30 seconds stationary but still held off City behind us. We’re looking forward to seeing if we can get a bump tonight.

Hills M1 (M6) bumped City M7, and the Aquaphobes (M7) rowed over. The Aquaphobes said:

It was one of our best starts and very committed row, but not so efficient in the middle of the race when the balance was a bit off and we shortened up. We did some really good pushes down Plough Reach and into Long Reach. We were gaining on the crew in front and only a couple of metres away at the end of the course.


Division 3 was more exciting, with the J16 boys (M9) bumping Champs M4 within about 15 strokes, Poachers (M10) bumping City M11 and Past Masters (M11) getting an overbump. Ben Peterson said:

We had a good start and then pushed hard and, with some confusion as to who we were actually chasing, as we went past Nines M7 and Chesterton M3 we eventually managed to chase down Champs M6 just into the Long Reach!

Past Masters on their way to an overbump

In Division 4, there were row overs for Activ8 (M12), InveterEight (M14) and After Motley (M16) who missed out on a bump after crews which had bumped out ahead didn’t clear the racing line.

Poachers about to bump City M11

Hunter Crew (M13) enjoyed a bump on X-Press M7 and will start behind Activ8 on Wednesday, but the J15 boys (M15) suffered a bump by X-Press M8.

You can read a race report by Cambridge News for all clubs here, and you can listen to commentary of the action on CamFM from Divisions 1 and 2 here with W2 division from 12:15, M2 division from 57:55, W1 division from 1:36:00, and M1 division from 2:13:40.

Good luck to all crews for Day 2, and thank you to Bill Amos for the photos!


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