Why I love the Bumps


Those who know me know I have spent the last 3 years in Cambridge UK. Cambridge and Oxford are the only places I know of that have Bumps racing . I think it is fantastic!. The river Cam where the Bumps are held in Cambridge is tiny, the rowing stretch is 5km long, windy and between 1 and 2 lanes wide. The Bumps are a form of racing that allows up to 2,000, yes 2,000, people to race in the course of an afternoon. All shapes, sizes and abilities can get out there and have a go.

Over the last 3 years I have mostly been busy with various high-performance projects but this year I helped a student crew for the College Bumps. Robinson College’s 1st women weren’t a top of the division star boat but I had great fun. The women competed brilliantly, right to the best of their ability, and bumped up 3 nights and rowed over the other. The bumps format allowed them to have 4 closely fought races with their peers in 4 days, produced exciting racing for them and the spectators, and generally encapsulated much of what I think sport should be. I had great fun!

The fun I had with the Robinson crew made my decision easy; The crew I raced for myself in the Town Bumps 2 years ago was starting to firm up the personnel for this year’s races and wanted to know If I was keen? The answer is a definite yes. Foolish I know. Fifty somethings with dodgy backs and sundry other body parts shouldn’t be pretending to be 20 again. Anyway I’m keen and Champion of the Thames (a Cambridge club named for a pub) has an enthusiastic recruit. I’ll keep you posted about our progress.

[note from Editor, the London University colleges also have bumps racing although on the tidal Thames it's slightly different with people standing waist deep holding onto the chains at low tide to enable a 'fair' start!]


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