Lent Bumps: Report from the Head Rowing Coach

Friday 11 March 2022


The following report was kindly written by Carmen Failla, the College's Head Rowing Coach & Boathouse Manager:

St Catharine's College Boat Club (SCCBC) had a very good Lent Bumps campaign. A brief glance at the results might give the impression that it was unsuccessful, but I want to vouch for the spirit, level of experience and fight each crew showed every day, which was phenomenal. 

M3 stormed the getting-on race to revive the Catz M3 heritage and slipped into Division 4 in position 5. This boat consisted of all novices from Michaelmas term (minus some subs) and what a performance they put in rowing over 3 out of the 4 days! The attitude of all the rowers and both coxes was fantastic. I am especially grateful for their 'pity laughs' at my jokes each day… I think a tradition we should keep for the mighty Catz M3! A fun and feisty boat to coach and watch race.

Onto W2... This crew had a bit of a ropey start with a re-row on Day 1, allowing Christ's to bump. A small error on the second day caused Emmanuel to also bump. Fortunately, things turned around on Day 3 with a brilliant row over, which continued onto the final day. The entire crew were in great spirits the whole week (after experiencing the wind and chill of Pembroke regatta a short time ago, the drizzly rain likely felt like nothing) so I am proud and grateful to each rower for putting up a great fight each day.

M2 was also made up of many young rowers, only one of whom had any experience of bumps competitions. They were quite possibly the loudest boat on the river but also one of the most supportive. They fought gallantly to get the first Catz bump this year and did not give in without a fight any day after. Day 3 saw this crew strategically zig-zagging their way down the reach to avoid an inevitable bump  it was the most impressive piece of bumps coxing that I have ever seen! I hope the energy of this crew remains and they go from strength to strength.

M1 put in a phenomenal effort throughout this term and during bumps. Like all other Catz crews, this was a young crew with little bumps experience but they were focused each day and not phased by any opponent. They had respect for each crew they were up against and put in a storming effort to achieve a bump on Day 2. Unfortunately, Clare’s M1 was able to match our speed and fantastic back-and-forth bumps enabled Clare to nab the 11 spot. Even though the result was down 1, the men rowed extremely well and learnt a lot, so should be proud of their efforts!

I want to round off with W1 as they had an amazing bumps campaign going up 3, getting themselves deeper into Division 1! They rowed each day so well and narrowly missed out on blades due to Darwin catching Murray Edwards before having a chance to bump. This crew showed grit and commitment after a challenging term of not many outings together. Their confidence was justified with the result they achieved. From the minute they arrive at the boathouse to the minute they leave, this crew show such a strong spirit and pride in being strong, fast women. What a result and huge congratulations to them!

Roll on May Bumps...