Here is the long and short of my history with the Bumps: popped gate, broken boat, row of shame, spoons and finishing at the bottom of the bottom division. Not terribly auspicious. But that was last term, and it’s time for a fresh start. Hello, Bumps. I’m Reana. Let’s try to like each other.
Having moved up a crew this term into the first boat (who got blades in the Lent Bumps, no pressure), I’ve been helpfully reminded that there are a few girls in the boat who have never been bumped before (no pressure). I anxiously tuned in to CamFM to see how the second boat, my boat last term, fare in their division. Yes! An impressively quick bump (just over a minute, no pressure), and Darwin II are out of the way.
Thanks to delays, marshalling takes what feels like forever, though thankfully the clouds that kept threatening rain never followed through. It’s incredibly humid. Nerves build. Finally, we’re on our way up to the starting stations, squeezing in a couple of practice rolling starts along the way. In a somewhat poetic twist, we are also chasing a Darwin boat, their W1. We’re not long at the starting
stations when the four minute cannon goes. De-kit and recheck gate. Stomach is quite twisty now. One minute cannon. We push off at twenty seconds, and get into position. Front stops, blades buried, back straight, tension radiating off every one of us.
BOOM. Draaaaaw 1, draw 2, draw 3. Did we just get a whistle? Already? We’ve barely finished our start sequence, and the whistles are going like mad, two then three then continuous. It doesn’t even feel like we’ve settled into a race pace when we’re getting the call to hold it up, and we pull off to the side as quickly as we can. The whole thing is over in less than a minute.
After all the build-up, do I wish it had gone on longer, that I really had a chance to savour it? Uh, no. No, that’s fine. I will not look a quick-bump-gift-horse in the mouth. Besides, if savouring is what we were looking for, there was the entire victory row back to the boathouse, adorned with our foliage, basking in the cheers from the spectators. Not gonna lie – that didn’t suck.
Bumps, this may be the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Bring on Day 2.