A bumps race is a multi-day race beginning with crews lined up along the river at set intervals. They start simultaneously and all pursue the boat ahead while avoiding being bumped by a boat from behind. If a crew overtakes or makes physical contact with the crew ahead, a bump is awarded. As a result, damage to boats and equipment is common during bumps racing. To avoid damage the cox of the crew being bumped may concede the bump before contact is actually made. The next day, the bumping crew will start ahead of any crews that have been bumped. The positions at the end of the last race are used to set the positions on the first day of the races the next year. Oxford and Cambridge Universities hold bumps races for their respective colleges twice a year, and there are also Town Bumps races in both cities, open to non-university crews. Oxford's races are organised by City of Oxford Rowing Club and Cambridge's are organised by the Cambridgeshire Rowing Association.
From a fitness perspective, the WaterRower Club works 84 percent of your muscle mass, helping tone and strengthen your muscles while burning far more calories than most other aerobic machines. The exercise is also low impact, as it removes all the body weight from the ankles, knees, and hips, but still moves the limbs and joints through a full range of motion--from completely extended to completely contracted.
For those who are overweight or have existing joint problems, high-impact workouts may carry more risks than benefits. A rowing machine is a great alternative for those who are unable to perform weight-bearing exercises, such as running, hiking, walking, and yoga. The motion of rowing is natural and low impact, putting minimal stress on the joints. Like stationary bikes, rowers are great for injury prevention and are also an excellent way to strengthen and condition the knees after surgery. While back strain is a concern, you can minimize your risk by using correct rowing form. Good rowing posture lets your legs do the work, taking the pressure off your back. Check out #9 for more details on proper rowing technique.