+ / – / . / . / .

It is the first night of the bumps (and see? I haven’t bored you with the boaties for ages).

DSC_5037-cantabs-m1-crop

This isn’t us – this is Cantabs II in M1 just about to catch what must be 99’s III, I’d guess. Congratulations to all of them and in particular Petr Arnold at bow. He certainly looked very happy afterwards. Slightly bad news for our M1 who are now ahead of them tomorrow.

To explain my cryptic notation in the title: W2 went up; M3 went down; we (M2) rowed over; W1 and M1 rowed over.

Our race was quite interesting. St Ives (rather an unknown quantity behind us) gained a little on the start but fell away after about 500 m or the first corner. Well before then the crew we were chasing, Cantabs 7, (who we, the glorious M2 of two years ago, caught after a hard row on the third night) had bumped Nines 5; we’d pretty well settled down to a row-over, as as far as we could tell everything ahead of us had bumped out. Then, excitingly, some Cantabs boat (#21, 11 places ahead of us) suddenly appeared, rowing. So we chased them down the Reach and caught them between the White house and the Railway bridge. But, it wasn’t fair, as they’d had some bizarre marshalling instructions and we only caught them because of some humungous crabs they got. For extra comedy points we weren’t sure where our finish was, or whether we’d really bumps Cantabs. But as it turned out our finish *was* the White house, not the railway bridge, so all was well.

As for the row: pretty nervous I thought, but then the first night often is. Badly down to bowside (the true enemy wasn’t Cantabs but those b*st*rds on strokeside! Does anyone else remember Spike Milligans war memoirs? The bit where someone – perhaps Patton – is talking to the politicians back home: “The Germans? Sure, I’ll put them on the list, but first we have to whump the Limeys”). We kept going, and didn’t tire: that was the main thing. Kate claimed 39 off the start and 35 for the first 500 m; if so that explains the huge amount of water we shipped :-). By contrast, I remember watching First+Third as they cruised past the Plough in complete control: “34” whispered the cox as they powered by, totally dry and totally together.

Particular thanks for Emma for great coxing, and Jon, Chris and Emma B for bank partying.

Current charts are at http://cra-online.net/bumps/index.asp but will be different by the time you read this.

Hello to Atrichoke on first post corner. Hope you enjoyed the race.