This year, Town Bumps moved to a 5-day format, wherein each division will have a ‘day off’ throughout the week, with all divisions racing on the Friday. Monday was the day off for the 1st divisions, leaving it to divisions 2-4 to lead the way.
Women’s Division 3 kicked off proceedings for our women’s crews, with Racks Out (W10) having a good race to bump Champs W6. At the head of the division, Progression Women’s Squad (W9) rowed over, and also rowed over as sandwich boat in Division 2, with 2 crews bumping out ahead of them.
Division 2 saw mixed performances, with Hills Road Girls (W8) bumped by X-Press W3, Hills Road Girls/Returners (W7) and Intermediate Women 2 (W6) rowing over, and Intermediate Women 1 (W5) getting a bump on X-Press W2 before finishing their start sequence. Crew member Debbie Morley said:
We were really pleased with our start and were just getting into our rhythm when the call came to hold it up!
Men’s Division 4 didn’t have the best of starts, with Activ8 (M15) and J15/16 Juniors (M12) being bumped by Nines M8 and City M12, respectively, with Motley Crew (M17), InVeterEight (M16) and Hills Road 3 (M13) rowing over.
Hunter Crew (M14), however, continued their bumping streak after last year’s superblades, by bumping X-Press M8.
In Division 3, Past Masters (M10) were bumped by City M10, with the Coaches (M11) bumping X-Press M5 before First Post Corner, meaning that these two crews will start consecutively on Day 2. M11 cox, Evelyn Svingen said:
The crew had a good start, going off hard and getting their first whistles within 20 strokes. As we came out of the A14 bridge, we kept X-Press at half a length, when we went for a ‘Winch it out’ call (a tribute to 7-seat Jon Winch), followed by a ‘cardiac 10’ after which we got the long-awaited bump!
Hills Road 2 (M8) bumped Champs M3. The Poachers (M9) rowed over. Dave Meredith said:
We had such a good start we stopped and did another one! The two crews in front bumped out, cleared slowly and left us with nowhere to go except a dead stop. Still, we managed to hold off the crew chasing us all the way to the line.
Division 2 saw more mixed performances. The Aquaphobes (M7) bumped Champs M2 and in cox Sara Russo’s 50th bumps race, the Senior Men (M5) bumped X-Press M2, whilst the Intermediate Men (M6) were bumped by Chesterton M2. M5’s Peter Ford said:
We were all very worried about whether our ‘fitness’ would last to the Reach, but luckily we got lots of whistles, didn’t really bother settling, and bumped just as we came round First Post Corner. Our lack of training won’t be exposed for at least another day…
Good luck to all crews on Day 2, and thank you to Bill Amos for the photos!