On friday, the last night of the bumps loomed like the vast wall of black cloud I could see through the glass wall of our atrium. Fortunately the rainstorms were mostly over by 5 and even the Ladies second division got a clear row. Even more forunately the eventual results weren’t too black. This time I even remembered to charge the cox-box so didn’t end up hoarse (I’m sure I remember the good old days when only M1 had a cox-box and even then most of the time it didn’t work).
Last night of the bumps traditionally sees crews, especially from the lower divisions, dolled up in war paint. Ladies 2 certainly did this, selecting bright red lipstick, false eyelashes, rouge, haircurlers and headscarves. For those in the right groups, see here for the proof (or here for me coxing. You’ll note my lean – this isn’t because I’m looking round, its because I’m trying to balance the boat. Pull up strokeside!). I got to cox in bright lipstick (do you know, I’ve never worn lipstick before?). Alas, the end result was not too disimilar – another bump down – but after a stop at the beer tree we were agreed that we were not too dismayed, having got considerably further down the course than any previous attempt.
Which left the serious business of M1, so I wiped off the lipstick and we rowed off in a boat imbued with luck, since M2 had bumped up again (in one of those curious twists of fate they had bumped up on wednesday, then been overbumped down on thursday, and then got to bump the same boat down again on friday). John-the-coach had bought spoons, and painted them up in club colours – it works for Kings, he said: when he did it for them a few years ago they didn’t go down on the fourth day, and though he kept the spoons against further use he never had any cause to need them. And so it proved for us. Cantabs slowly closed, but the race was largely decided on grassy corner when their cox made a regrettable steering decision that left them only just making it around the corner, with the coxes hand in the water to slew them around, not a situation calculated for maximum speed. After that all was well, we held them comfortably, and Cantabs were then spectacularly caught by 99’s halfway down the reach. We didn’t really appreciate it when our cox decided that we were rwoing so well that we might as well continue firm past the top finish all the way to the beer tree.
After that we won the “last crew to leave the beer tree” competition, strapped on the lights since it had become dark, and headed off (shakily, since as is tradiational we all swapped sides and put our cox at stroke) to return our lovely boat to Trinity.
Full results are at www.cra-online.net/bumps/results/2009/. You will find no particular reason to scroll down to the table at the bottom of the page :-( – a fine tribute to my captaincy this year.
More exciting is the City 3 bumpscam, which was thursday, and makes us look better than it felt (other than the being caught up bit, of course).
Meanwhile: I’ll be having a few days off blogging in favour of a visit to the Principality.
[Update: here we are;
Tom "one lung" Watt; Andy Southgate; James Tidy; Ralph Hancock; Yours Truely; Dave Richards; Chris Wood; Ollie Crabb; Andy Hurst. Thanks to the passing photographer.]