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Clare Hall Boat Club puts on a stellar performance for Lent Bumps 2024

8 March 2024 College life

Last week from 27th Feb to 2nd March, Clare Hall Boat Club raced in the annual Lent Bumps, a Cambridge tradition that started in the 1820s. Our W1 and M1 trained hard over the past few months, and put on a record-breaking performance for Clare Hall. Special mention goes to our W2, the first Clare Hall second women’s boat in recent club history, who were unable to compete due to the cancellation of their Getting-on-Race.

Each day was eventful and filled with excitement, with W1 ultimately bumping every day to finish +4, and M1 showcasing their strong endurance to finish -2. Even more, our women’s team made history by earning blades for the first time in Lent Bumps! This was particularly exciting as our women’s team was able to race for the first time with their brand new blades, purchased with funds raised from their recent Ergathon.

Going into Lent Bumps this year, we had no idea what to expect. We knew that we would be more competitive based on our win at Newnham Head, but getting blades in Lents after the reordering of the division would be a very difficult task.

The first day we had a swift bump against St Catherine’s W2 within the first 500 meters. The second day was one of the hardest races going up against St Edumund’s W1, who was able to train all term. This was a hard fought race, but we bumped them at Grassy corner. On day three we faced Emmanuel W3 and bumped within the first 1000m. The last day was the most nerve wracking as we went up against Clare W2, who we share a boathouse with. They put up a great race going off quick at the start, but we caught up to them and got the bump just past grassy corner to secure our blades.

It’s safe to say our new blades and cox box purchased with the generous donations made during our Ergathon made an enormous difference to our performance. We are hugely grateful for to all of our supporters, and we are glad we could make Clare Hall proud by bringing home its first set of women’s Lent Blades.

Kyra Ungerleider, CHBC Women’s Captain 2023/24

M1 started their Lent bumps campaign showcasing their endurance by rowing over. On day two a big mess early in the division led to a re-row; there was even more chaos on round 2 leading to being granted a technical row-over. Unfortunately, on day three we fell victim to the widely feared Lucy Cavendish M1, and had to concede CHBC‘s first bump of this year. Once again the misfortune for our men continued, and on the final day we were bumped by Selwyn M2 in a quick race. You know why though? Selwyn M2 were on for blades and, after having seen the joy on our W1’s faces post-blades, our men are such gentlemen that they really did not want to be the ones to take that celebration away from our Grange Road friends. Building up some good karma and experience this week, come May Bumps it’ll be our M1 that is the bumping and blading crew instead!

Clare Hall Boat Club has come an awful long way in the past 12 months with the launch of the Alumni Boat Club, alongside blading men and women, showing that we can compete on a competitive level with other Cambridge colleges. Going forward, we want to prove that we can bring the same sense of achievement and pride to Clare Hall off the Cam.

Oscar O’Hara, CHBC President 2023/24

We wish the boat club a huge congratulations, and are looking forward to following their progress in May Bumps and beyond!