Oxford City Bumps 2016 – Race Reports

In April this year’s women’s squad took to the Isis for a long day’s hard bumps racing hosted by City of Oxford Rowing Club. Read on to learn how Hertford finished as top college crew of the day and third on the river!

Hertford ‘A’

Saturday 16th April, the first Saturday of the summer training camp, brought with it the City Bumps regatta, four bumps races in one day like a kind of condensed Torpids, all done in fours. Having arrived early for the briefing, we huddled in the less than warm boathouse (not enjoying the April snow making an appearance) mentally preparing ourselves for a long day of racing. Lining up in the rain at the fourth bungline with CORC Juniors behind us and Univ A ahead, we were determined not to let ourselves be caught by the junior crew behind us. With a fast though slightly scrappy start we pushed away from the crew behind us, as usual barely striding, and rowed strong towards the gut. As we came closer to the boathouse, Joe began to call one length, half a length on Univ A, much to our surprise, and this motivated us to really turn the heat up on them. As we flew out of the gut in front of the longbridges boathouse Joe called our 6 sharp catches, 6 strong finishes and 6 on the legs to finish it and indeed we did, with a spectacular and satisfying bump (despite City being a no contact bumps regatta!) on the crew who had beaten us in the Autumn Fours final, half a year ago, proving how far we had come.

So one down and three to go, and after trying to warm up and dry off between races we were back at the start this time on bungline 3, with CORC’s Tier 1 A boat in front of us and the Univ A boat behind us. Again pulling nicely ahead of Univ A we set off up the course. Going through the gut Joe called for a ‘good strong paddle’ and so we knew we were going for the rowover, but each of us decided to make it a good one and as we reached the finish line we knew that was some of our strongest rowing. Halfway through now we were back on bungline 3,this time with a bit of a crew change around, still with CORC’s Tier 1 A boat in front of us but now being chased by their Tier 1 B boat . Although we rowed hard, the CORC boat was gaining on us from before the gut. Catching a crab as we came out of the gut we thought it was all over, but with Joe rallying us we pulled it together as a crew and brought out some of our proudest gutsiest rowing, keeping the CORC boat behind us until the top of Boathouse Island when they managed to catch up and bump us, leaving us to continue at a slower rate to the finish, disappointed but knowing we had put up a good fight.

Lining up for the last one, back to bungline 4 but this time in the sunshine, we were a little surprised to see Wolfson A lining up behind us. However, reminding ourselves of the hard work and training we had put in over the last few months, we were determined to not let them close the gap, going for a good rowover. As we came to the gut, Wolfson were putting the pressure on us, but again against our expectations Joe started calling the distances to CORC T1B boat. Suddenly he started shouting at the CORC cox to concede and so, though a bit confused, we started emptying the tank, Wolfson forgotten now as we gave everything we had to get that revenge bump. And then it happened, Joe called us to wind it down and victory was ours! Not only had we revenge bumped CORC T1B, but we had finished 3rd in the first division, and as the top college crew. The long day was over and we definitely had lots to be proud of.

Crew: Marie, Annie, Sarah, Ros, Em, Joe (C)

-Sarah Edwards

Hertford ‘B’ (aka Hype Mobile)

After getting off to a literally rocky start in our first race, Hertford B gave it their all, making up some of the ground they lost at the beginning, but was unfortunately ultimately bumped. We clearly started as we meant to go on, as despite our best efforts and a much improved start of the second race, the competition continued to get the better of us. Being forced into the bank in the third race, resulted in being bumped more times than anyone can care to mention, making us the sandwich boat. However, there was no fear of us having to race twice, as being bumped yet again, we finished the race 3rd in Division 2. At the end of the day, even though we were bumped numerous times, it was a great experience, especially for the half of the boat who had been in their first four only a few days previously. Many thanks to our coxes, Jon and Lizzy, and the more experienced crew members for keeping us afloat.

Crew: Amy H, Abie, Ella, Amy W, Em, Helen, Jon/Lizzy (C)

-Amy Holguin

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