The Lent Bumps happen in Lent term every year. There are 4 Mens divisions and 3 Womens divisions.
Unlike the other races listed here, the aim for the bumps is not to simply get a faster time than other crews over a given distance. Instead, the start is staggered and your aim is simply catch the boat in front of you. The place in which you and the other crews start is determined by the position in which the corresponding crew finished in last year’s bumps. There are 6 men’s divisions and 4 women’s at Mays, and 4 men’s and 3 women’s at Lents. To bump the crew in front of you, you must strike a part of their boat with a part of your boat, at which point the cox in the bumped boat sticks up their arm. Nowadays for safety coxes concede when there is overlap, but not until they have to! Once you are involved in a bump, your race is over, and you pull into the side to let other crews pass. The next day, the two crews involved swap positions in the starting order. If you are neither bumped nor bump, you row to the end of the bumps course – a ‘row over’. One other position of note is the Sandwich Boat – the boat at the top of division may choose to row as the final boat in the division above. If they bump, they go up a division, and the bumped crew go down one.