2012 M1 Lent Bumps – Day 4

At the previous night’s meal, the crew seemed to have caught the nerves that had been following Steve all week. On arriving early at the boat house, the start of the week seemed a long, long way away. Owing to the lack of Women’s divisions on this final day, there would be no wait at the P&E – our final chat was held in the Coxes’ room at the Boathouse, and there was little left to say. We knew the race plan would be the same, and we knew, again that any extra we effort we possessed was demanded. Our row-up possibly reflected the tension held by the crew, but we were given little time to reflect on this before the start, as there were fewer toilet facilities than on previous days. Wary of fines, we scattered along the riverbank, getting back to the Boat just as the 4-minute cannon went off.
The handshake along the boat was solemn, and as Steve pushed us off we could see how far we’d come down the river – we were almost at the slight bend that leads into the motorway bridge before the start. We got off to a good start, and didn’t really let up the pressure. The difference in roughness of water under the bridge was clearly noticeable with 3 fewer crews having gone through it ahead of us, and we quickly moved up to a length. The second whistle, however, was slower to come, Magdalene pushing off us, but there was no-one in the boat prepared to let them get away. With a packed Bank party, and the promise of M2 and W1 waiting further down the course to support, we knew that we had to give it everything. And we did. Our boatspeed only increased, and when the whistles came we flew at them. The bump came in practically the same place as all the other days, a testament to the improved performance of the crew on a day-by-day basis. As the crab caught by their stroke showered me with water in the bows, there was much to look forward to – a row home with the Binson Flag, Jess dumped unceremoniously and unwillingly into the Cam, and two nights of celebration, first in the Mahal, and then at the Boat Club Dinner. More importantly, however, we can look forward to a hard Easter on the ergs and the looming spectre of Mays.