Success at Lent Bumps 2019 for Trinity Hall Boat Club

W1 Lent Bumps 2019

This has been my first Bumps campaign since arriving at Trinity Hall, and what a week it was. Full of highs and lows, stresses and strains and ultimately great fun and a stellar set of results.

Tuesday 5 March

Day one saw our second boats take to the river with M2 securing a very solid row-over while W2 managed an overbump on King’s which as it happens set the tone for their week as well as giving THBC an extremely strong start to our 2019 Lents.

‘Up’ three after one day.

Wednesday 6 March

On Wednesday, all four of our boats took to the water. Unfortunately, W2 were on the wrong end of an extremely harsh umpiring decision which granted Caius W2 a ‘technical bump’ against the THBC crew when the division was stopped following a multi-boat incident further up river. Despite an appeal the decision was upheld much to our frustration.

M2 made good after not their cleanest start to bump First & Third along the Plough Reach giving them confidence for the remainder of the week.

W1 started the week by continuing the strong form they had shown all year by bumping Churchill after just 35 strokes at the Road Bridge to move up to 12th place in the start order for the following day.

M1 had a great start to their campaign eventually bumping Queens’ along Plough Reach following a restart.

‘Up’ five after day two.

Thursday 7 March

Day three saw just the First Boats racing.

W1 carried on where they left off the previous day by powerfully bumping Girton again around the Road Bridge after their best start of the week.

M1 rowed over strongly after crews in front bumped out while comfortably holding off a strong Magdalene boat who were attempting an overbump against THBC. M1 stood firm and paddled the final 800m to the finish to remain in 12th position.

‘Up’ six after the third day.

Friday 8 March

The penultimate day again saw all four THBC boats racing.

W2 used all of the frustrations from Thursday’s umpiring decision from Wednesday to great effect and secured a lung-busting second overbump of the week this time on First & Third W2 catching their rivals on the Long Reach meaning that they would yet again start in front of the Caius W2 crew on the final day.

M2 had an extremely solid row-over without having to work too hard meaning they could save their energies for Saturday.

We were enormously happy to welcome The Master to see the First Boats race on Friday and right on cue our W1 yet again had a fantastic start. Once they hit their stride Murray Edwards were firmly in their sights with the bump being completed halfway along First Post reach. Only 75 strokes taken this time and a mere 150 strokes needed over the first three days. Hopes turned to the possibility of ‘Blades’ on the final day.

M1 arrived rejuvenated and desperate for more bumps and this paid dividends with our men making short work of Clare M1 bumping less than 10 strokes past Grassy Corner. M1 moved up to 11th starting position with the goal being another bump on the final day and in doing so secure a place in the top 10 for the 2020 Lents.

‘Up’ 11 after the fourth day.

Saturday 9 March

M1, W2, M2 Lent Bumps 2019 composite image
M1, W2, M2 Lent Bumps 2019

The final day arrived with all THBC crews keen to finish off what had already been an excellent week in the best way possible.

Hopes were high after W2 made their fastest start of the week pulling away from Caius W2 and being just five feet short of an overlap on Pembroke W2 before disaster struck when a rarely-seen Cambridge crab was caught leading the THBC boat to come to a halt meaning Caius coasted past for a ‘bump’ in unlucky (for us and lucky for them!) circumstances for the second time in four days. Once our boat got over their disappointment they, and we as a club, took enormous pride in them going up four places over the four days which is hugely encouraging for the Mays and beyond.

M2 had a point to prove after two row-overs in the preceding days and they did just that catching and bumping Robinson around Grassy corner to end the week an enormously positive up two for their efforts.

Things were about to get even better.

Could W1 secure their blades? Of course they could! This crew that has been a solid squad all year lived up to their billing, kept their heads and even managed to time their final bump of the week on Christ’s to take place right in front of the massed THBC fan-base at The Plough (well that’s their story anyway!). What a week. Blades won. Up four and in 2020 the THBC W1 will start from 9th position in the First Division. An incredible result from a great group.

Not to be outdone, the finale came from M1 who had obviously read the same script as W1 and decided to leave their third bump of the week, this time on Peterhouse M1, for the crowds along the Plough Reach. Up three in four days ended a hugely positive week for the M1 squad. In 2020 M1 will start in 10th position in the First Division of the Lents.


W1 – up 4 and won blades (the only blades to be won by any college in the First Division)

M1 – up 3

W2 – up 4 including 2 overbumps

M2 – up 2

I was enormously proud of every one of our students over the five days. Our boats raced hard but fairly, showed great maturity and team spirit while showing the very best sportsmanship at all times. I could not have hoped for any more from my first Bumps experience (THBC up 13 for the week) and I would like to thank all those students, College staff and alumni that have welcomed me and helped me so generously since I arrived in Cambridge last September.

This is a very special Boat Club from a great College with so many great people who want to see us do well. The support we receive is greatly appreciated and we are thankful that so many people share our passion for rowing and our love for THBC and Trinity Hall.

I think I have definitely caught the bug – I can’t wait for the next installment and I look forward to helping THBC move up the Bumps charts over the coming years!

Row Hall!

By Paul Townshend, Rowing Coach & Boathouse Manager