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Bumps Diary 2018

01 Mar 2018

Update

Wednesday’s results

M2 – Bumped: -1 point

W1 – Rowover: 0

M1 – Restday

Racing cancelled after Div W3 due to the adverse conditions

***All scheduled racing today has been cancelled***

A bitterly cold Wednesday afternoon on the river. The weather forecast was as grim as predicted with snow lining the banks of the Cam and the snowflakes stinging our faces on the long row up for M2. With 10 mins to go, Race Control announced that BPs were to be reduced from 4 to 2 accompanying cyclists due to safety concerns on the towpath. M2 had a good row, but lost out on the legs approaching Ditton Corner and were caught by Wolfson II.

W1 were due in the next division and there was no improvement in the conditions. The odd glimpses of the sun provided little respite and certainly no warmth to the afternoon. W1 had another strong row but could not catch Corpus I who bumped HH1 to take head of the division. This was little pressure at stern as Catz II had already secured the overbump on Queens’ II starting behind us. A long rowover home for W1, but at least they managed to keep moving.

By now the snow on the towpath had been firmly impacted by all the cycle traffic and it was effectively an ice rink. To cycle at all, at any speed, would pose a serious risk of accident and I saw several accidents as cyclists skidded off as brakes were rendered useless. CUCBC took the decision to cancel racing for the rest of the afternoon. This is most unusual, with the last curtailment occurring in 2001 as a result of the outbreak of foot and mouth disease. The Lent Bumps were last affected by ice in 1963, when the event was cancelled completely.

Mark Jacobs, CUCBC Safety Advisor and Deputy Chief Umpire, explained that “conditions on the towpath are unlikely to improve between now and scheduled racing tomorrow (Thursday), and there is also a reasonable chance of ice forming on the river itself. None of CUCBC, the Cam Conservators or the County Council are able to grit the towpath and further snow would leave gritting at this stage unlikely to make a difference anyway.”

My enormous thanks to yesterday’s co-BPs: Reuben, Bree and Glen (without socks!) for supplying the flasks of steaming tea, hot water bottles and invaluable race support. And not forgetting our coaches, Robin and Charlotte, for keeping the crews safe, focused and on task. This was BC commitment above and beyond!

Lily Bacon DL FRSA

Fellow Commoner & Boat Club Senior Captain