W3 awoke on Saturday in a positive frame of mind and for once, it wasn’t just the thought of brunch that enticed us out of our beds. The day marked the culmination of our Bumps campaign, which, despite lacking the outright success of our club’s more senior crews had definitely shown a gradual improvement. Thus, we felt that the elusive bump we had chased all week could surely be within our grasp; a hope that was supported by our incredibly complex but (not entirely) reliable statistical analysis of the results so far – the simple fact that having been bumped, technically bumped and rowed-over the only feasible outcome would be to continue the upward trajectory and bump today.
It was with this in mind that we came to front stops and sprang into a strong start; leaving Darwin to trail behind us as we were greeted by the encouraging sound of whistles. However, no matter how hard we seemed to push, the Catz boat remained an inch ahead; taunting us in the same way its feline namesake taunts its prey. Perhaps we had been over-zealous in our consumption of bananas and had finally succumbed to potassium poisoning, or maybe the fact that a wing (or, more specifically, foot plate) had detached itself from our galactic craft was partly to blame, but either way we found ourselves unable to convert our overlap into a bump. Then, amongst the chaos of the chase we felt a shadow fall across us as we realised that Darwin had exploited our weakness and pulled back from three lengths to nudge alongside; bumping us before we could push ourselves around Ditton and to safety.
Although we never quite managed to win ourselves some greenery, W3 gained a lot from what was, for all but our cox Christina, our first ever Bumps – including countless awful photos, an unnatural sense of excitement at the sound of canons booming and the knowledge that our performance in Mays will only be better.
Felicia Lane, 6, W3