The Club's Results
May Bumps 2008
The famous Cambridge University May Bumps on the River Cam
Wed 11th - Sat 14th June
In the press
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It's hard to describe the euphoria when you've been training for 263 days for one race and one bump and achieve it so emphatically. We couldn't have been more fired up for this by the time of the start gun, and we set off hard, kept it hard and hit them hard. We expected them to be quick off the start, so were pleased to have taken a quarter of length out of them by the exit of grassy. However, the next thirty strokes really showed the difference between the two crews and we went into Ditton within a canvas of them. Ming postponed the inevitable with a brief encounter with the inside of the corner, but this gave them only a few extra feet and we got them within ten strokes of coming straight.
For the six of us who had been in the boat or coaching it last year, this was the culmination of two years' training and was a satisfying reversal against the same CUBC stern four who had held us off last time round.
Rowed over Head
We had found out on Sunday that Toby would have to leave us to train with his CUBC four, which was racing as the Great Britain second four at the World Cup meeting in Poznan. We decided to keep him for Wednesday and hope that if we could bump Caius with him then we could hold them off without him. Laff agreed to row with us from Thursday onwards, which was selfless of him given how it would have felt if we'd been bumped back. There were worries about how well it would gel with a new rower but he couldn't have fitted in better - we had had subs all term, including Laff, and were used to pulling hard despite any lack of balance or coordination. In Laff, we knew we had someone who would commit fully from first to last stroke in any situation, which was exactly what we needed.
After Wednesday, we were pretty confident but still wary of what Caius could throw at us. We were boosted by the sight of their day-one stroke man on a bike rather than in the boat - apparently he broke a rib in Wednesday's race, so I hope he was ok. We set off as if we were going for another quick bump, left Caius behind easily and were five or six lengths clear when they were bumped by LMBC at the railings. Jesus showed no interest in the overbump and wound it down but, for reasons that I still don't fully understand, we only took it down to a relaxed 5k pace and completed the course in 7:46.
Rowed over Head
We expected LMBC to go off hard, so hit the first two minutes as hard as yesterday, but also expected to have them behind us for the distance, so took the next two minutes in a more sustainable manner. Our suspicions were confirmed as LMBC were still at most two lengths off at Ditton but faded over the second half of the course to finish five lengths off and narrowly avoid being bumped back by Caius. Maintaining a solid 37-38, we raced flat out all the way to the end to make sure that LMBC wouldn't harbour any hopes of bumping us on Saturday, but the stream was stronger than on Thursday and we finished in 7:50.
Rowed over Head
Its not often you get a Mays headship without training for it. I only found out on Monday evening that I would be rowing most of the week with these guys. Having spent the majority of the year out of action I wasnt convinced I was quite ready for 3 row-overs at the top of the division, but sitting in the boat, you could feel the power from the other 7 guys and it was clear if it could be done, they would do it.
They've earned this, everyone who has subbed in over the course of the term knows how hard they trained and my inbox is still full of emails from Flo saying exactly how much he wanted to nail Caius. I dont think I'll ever fully appreciate how tough that week of "super-compensation" must have been, but they definitely came out of it an incredibly strong crew.
Stepping into the boat, the thing that stands out is their motivation - their simmering aggression on the row up to the start, the first 2 minutes when it boils over and they all put everything into every stroke, together, to get away from the crew behind, the fact that possibly the most committed pushes came under the railway bridge, when your entire body is burning and Ming asks you to give it everything for the umpteenth time that day. It was easy to get swept along with the massive desire to win.
Thanks guys for the ride, it was amazing, particularly to Toby, who did the hard work for me! As ever the support on the towpath was immense, especially on Saturday. Having everyone there really does make it all worthwhile. We should also thank the old boys who provided the new equipment this year. The blades definitely make a difference and the Empacher is an absolute pleasure to row, or at least these guys make it feel like that. Also Tom Rose and JPD put in hell of a lot of work to get this crew up to speed, having such talented coaches around was vital to success this term. Finally there's Ming, looking back over his captaincy I think its fair to say the club has completely dominated the river. As he said as we came down the reach, "We're the best, boys" and its pretty much all down to him.
This was the worst row of the week, but no one cared. Adrenaline got the better of us and we maintained an inappropriate minimum rate of 40 until the exit of Ditton. We were slightly surprised by the mild headwind on the Reach, and Fletch generously took us down to 38. Coming into the railway bridge we had four lengths of clear water but we were at best dying and at worst dead. The rate had sagged to 37 and, despite our pushes bringing us back to 38 again, LMBC took a length back by the finish line in an impressive last-ditch push for the headship. There's no doubt that we could have gone significantly quicker with a bit more length, time and technique, but this was all about the result and we still managed 7:56. LMBC and Caius couldn't have been more gracious in defeat; it must be tough to have been in the Caius boat this year or the Lents last year so to congratulate us so genuinely confirms their status as worthy champions over most of the last decade.
Huge thanks to the old boys who gave us the blades and boat: the blades give us an extra pip or two and the Empacher feels like it wants to go much faster than we can manage. Thanks must go to everyone who has been James or Toby this term: James Curran (City), Peter Ford, Dan Holland, Phil Horler, Dan Jane, (Will Laffan,) Colin Leonard (Robs), Nick Morrell (Robs) and particularly to JPD who was Toby for a continuous fortnight. Thanks to James and Toby for fitting in extra sessions around revision, exams and CUBC training. Thanks to Ming, whose results as coach and captain over the last five terms say far more than I can here.
The biggest thanks of all go to coaches Tom Rose and JPD for bringing the dream back to life and turning an incohesive, disillusioned, demoralised crew into a headship crew in five weeks, and for making rowing fun again. This wouldn't even have been close to happening without you.
Not the result we'd worked for, sadly, but we've got some good points to take into tomorrow's race. Our start wasn't the best one we've done but the push after it was good enough to get us our first whistle on Girton coming into Grassy. From there we didn't manage to find the solid rhythm we've had in training, and the pushes didn't come together. We kept the pressure on them the whole way to the finish, but it just wasn't enough.
Bumped by Downing
Our race plan was start, 30 stroke piece then 10 stroke pushes until we die. We knew it was going to be tough, but we went out there and gave it our all. Every stroke I took, I could feel the other seven pushing with me. However much my legs and lungs burned I knew that all eight of you were right there with me, and that made it so much easier. This was the best race we've rowed all term. It was my last bumps race and it's exactly the kind of race I wanted to end on - one where we can say that we found those extra inches when it mattered. No regrets.
Clinical. First Post Corner. Now it gets interesting...
No nerves on the way down, especially after some blistering practice starts. The friendly support from many different colleges was well received - good to see I haven't totally wasted my eight years here!
Felt so, so good pulling up and not having the one minute gun go off: most of the crew have experienced this, and it's a right bugger. Plenty of time to go to the loo, have a chat, go to the loo, wonder if our coach had survived falling off his bike, go to the loo, and go to the loo. Coker started planning Henley as well - good to see his mind was on the job.
First couple of strokes were good and we really took it up to rate. Having listened to Seb's race plan ("let's go really hard. No, REALLY hard") I was happily spanking it along under the motorway bridge - we dealt with the wash well, but the push out of the outflow was immense. By this point we'd left Christs for dead: thought of poor old Karthik toiling away for BCG in some office somewhere.
No time for that though! One whistle came by top station, although we'd definitely worked for it. After that we thrashed it along in a rather unco-ordinated bumps push (surely we can't be bumping before the Plough?) and drifted to completely the wrong side of the river in an effort to avoid bumping Robinson before first post. Alas, they'd given up and it was game over.
Yay! Revenge for 2001 at last!
So 2005 wasn't enough? Now I'm seeking revenge against Clare for disqualifying us at their regatta in 2002.
This was a nice race, we were confident we could catch Robinson, and we went out there and did exactly that. We went off hard and fast and reeled them in. I'm sorry I had to abandon the crew for the rest of the week, there'll always be some doubt about how things might have gone, but there is certainly no shame in going down to Fitz and I dont think having me would have made any difference. From the sound of things the final day's race was the highlight of the week, a truly gutsy row-over by all accounts.
Despite some low points (I think 99s regatta was probably the lowest) I have really enjoyed training with this crew all term, the banter has been superb.
Bit colder outside today, which was always a bad sign.
Fair enough we rowed like muppets, but Clare looked much better than earlier in term. Bloody other colleges learning to row! We were never in distance despite a good start, but the catches went completely after a minute and we spacked along significantly slower than usual.
Was fun watching Binson get hammered by Fitz behind us though! Nice, long race tomorrow - we should be fine over the course.
Clare seem to have done a good job pulling it together since the last time we raced. We were never a threat to them, and with Binson nailed before the motorway bridge, there was nothing for it but to put the quiche on halfway down the Reach.
Looks like being a boring set of Bumps for Clare, sorry guys.
History in the making. Not since 2000 has the club gone a whole day without making a bump, and we sealed the deal by rowing really badly. It was very similar to how we raced in Lents, the difference is that now we have someone chasing us.
Bumped by Fitzwilliam
We knew what we had to do today. We went out there, and in short order found out that there was no way we were going to do it. We had a fast start, a decent bit of fast, sustained rowing, and a quick, painless end at First Post.
Rowing in front of Fitz is a bit like having front row seats at cirque du soleil. "Oooooh. They're really good. Impressive. I wish we could do that..." Game over.
To paraphrase a race report from last term:
We thought it was a race. We didn't know it was a show.
ADDENDUM: We just finished writing the song. It would be a mistake to miss the dinner this year...
Training plan called for technical pairs work.
(cheers leadbetter!) Still cold today, still a bad sign. Nevertheless the practice starts and rate bursts were springy and hungry despite some poor rowing. That said, the poor rowing just fired Seb up even more, which can't be a bad thing. You know; I think he pulled really REALLY hard today...
Our start was probably the best yet, pretty clean in and finishing roughly together. Rate jacked up to a pb, and we didn't bother with the whole settling rubbish, instead using the backs call to being the rate down to something controllable but not close to sustainable.
We went a good length faster than yesterday down first post reach, but alas so did Clare and we were only on station by the time Fitz bumped us... On the plus side we held some very good splits all the way until the last 10 seconds of rowing, but on the downside we were totally, utterly, completely outclassed.
Well rowed Fitz! Good luck with blades tomorrow! PS What did you think our cox was thinking about? Other than small puppies and other girly things?
With a crazily quick Fitz ahead of us we knew that the last race was going to go all the way to the line. The plan: hard off the start, then think about nothing but getting the catches in for the next six minutes or so. Pushes into the corners ("Not you, Hannes") and our big lift on hand for whenever we needed it.
From the first stroke it was clear that Christ's meant business. Our start was strong and clean, rating up to 47 and sitting at a chunky 39 for the first minute and a half. Christ's were on station for most of first post reach but just started to close as we came into the first corner. There was no trace of panic in the crew however, and we held the rate high through the gut, passing a bumped out Emmanuel (with a moment's sympathy for Fitz). A wobbly grassy corner saw Christ's move up on us but our handy Sit Up push saw an amazing lift and they remained at just above a length to Ditton. This was where we knew we would have to make things happen, and we really did. A gutsy push off the corner stalled their advance, we kept our heads, and started to move away again.
Halfway down the reach it was crunch time again: Tom panted "one length" and Phil's calls from the bank were getting more frequent and less optimistic! With forty strokes to the line we took the rate up to row over about 1 1/2 lengths clear, securing the Michell Cup in the process.
This was Tom, Dan, Seb and Albert's last race and i don't think we could have asked for a better one. We held off everything that Christ's could throw at us and put in some of the best individual performances of the term. We proved that we deserve our place in the first division, and that a mish-mash crew of shorties, fatties, oldies and novices can get together to move a boat fast.
I've had a great term with you guys. Thanks to Gonzalo, David, Tom and JPD for coaching ("Nudge and open it out..."), and Phil for his support this week. Thanks to Gregor for stepping into the Hannes-shaped breach when we thought we'd lost him to injury. And thanks to Laff and Hannes for always putting the crew first.
And at least we don't row in a yellow submarine.
And to think I first quit rowing 7 years ago...
At the tender age of 16, I had decided (1) that rowing was no longer fun and (2) never to row seriously again. I feel I've comfortably delivered on the latter. But how could I have been so wrong on the former?
Emma's race report pretty much says it all. I had serious doubts when Christ's held us around the first two corners and came inside distance at the Plough. Surely we're going to blow?!?! I don't remember that much more of the race (tunnel vision, etc). But the enduring memories from my hardest and last bumps race will be:
1. Emma's calls at the Plough, and halfway down the Reach. Absolutely no recollection of what you said, but it was good :-)
2. Coker's 3rd day chat: "The moment you decide you don't want to catch as fast as you possibly can is the moment you've decided you don't want to take the next stroke. That's when you lose the race." Or something along those lines, running through my head.
3. Hannes actually rowing well for the whole race. WTF mate. Nice job.
4. Coker being an absolute animal during the eternity between the Railings and the bend in the Reach.
I leave here having joined the ranks of the veterans of the 2nd May VIII (take a bow Tom Andrews and Seb Pancratz). Over the last four years, I've been grateful to have found a fun way to row again. Cheers.
Bumped Girton II
Messy, but exciting! Girton's cox went very wide on the approach to First Post Corner. Sonya had the common sense to keep her line and took a nice corner, breaking down the 1.5 lengths of open water Girton were maintaining. As soon as the whistle went, the boys snapped into action and made their move very quickly and Mo made solid contact with Girton's canvas before they could bump Selwyn.
Now, boys, would you be so kind as to pull over BEFORE you start the celebratory cheering tomorrow... gave the umpires a bit of a scare.
My first Bumps race as a cox and it was amazing!!!(I rowed my actual first race two hours before this one with certainly less success-see Danny's report)
I am certainly getting the hang of bumping so guys let's keep the good work up and nail Selwyn tomorrow!
Not good enough. At least this year they didn't overbump in front of us.
Long hard row over because we didn't commit to the push in the Gut. This will change tomorrow when we chase Churchill.
Bumped Churchill II
Commited and Fast. Gained after Churchill had a below par start and reeled them in to 3/4 length before the stride. Seemed to spend an age (about 5 strokes) sitting in the chop off their stern canvas before bumping and clearing to watch the carnage.
P.S. Remember to log off the system when leaving the boathouse computer
Good race. They had a comparatively weak start so we had whistles before we'd settled. Another minute of sprinting brought us the bump on first post corner, giving us a nice view of the carnage as the rest of the division piled up on the opposite bank.
I really really wanted to blow the whistle, as I didn't have the opportunity to do so, yesterday. I requested a bump before First Post Corner and M3 delivered. Well done, guys!
Power and heart drove the boat within striking distance of Selwyn, but the endurance just wasn't there. Churchill thought they were going to catch you on the downswing, but you held them off. Fantastic effort all week, but today was stellar. Heads up, be proud of what you've achieved this term, boys!
Since most of us are shamefully unfit, we went for a fast bump. After a strong start and several maximum effort pushes we had overlap on Selwyn II around Ditton. Unfortunately, our fitness then let us down and Selwyn got away, leaving us a painful row-over in front of a closing Churchill II.
Great race though, credit to Selwyn II for not giving up after a couple of whistles like some of the boats in the division.
Overall, a pretty good result considering the amount of training we did. Thanks to Cynthia and Dan for coaching and bankpartying, we would have spooned without you.
I though the row over on the second day was painful. I had no idea what was to happen on the last day. This race was very close and devastating but we at least know we gave it all out there and put everything in the last race. That is something to be proud of as well and we will get our revenge on Selwyn next year.
Thanks guys for making my first Bumps(as a cox) so much fun and thanks to Cynthia and Dan who managed to keep believing in us and coached us!
Yeah so Selwyn proved today they are quite a bit fitter than we are. We had suspected this and went off really hard winding to 44 and settling to 38. We left Churchill II behind off the start. Selwyn II managed to keep it together with us on overlap around Ditton and then pulled away fairly swiftly as we hit rock bottom after an exhausting 1k sprint. Churchill II came within 1/2 a length on the finish line. Cheers for an awesome race guys and kudos to Churchill and Selwyn for making it a very interesting day.
Bumped by Trinity Hall II
Unfortunately this race went terribly wrong.
An excellent start had us flying towards First Post corner only to meet bumped out Clare II and Jesus III sitting across the river. Various hard pulls on the strings along with alternating hand-brake cornering resulted in us holding it up to prevent a strokeside blade impaling the Jesus cox.
We were told to keep going despite this, but we never recovered, rowing in sixes due to a strokeside crab from hitting the Jesus boat. We held off Tit Hall II for a great amount of time considering this.
We contested the result but we were thoroughly disappointed by the final decision.
Bring on tomorrow.
Mark + crew
A very strong start under the bridge, picking up the boat speed very quickly. We closed the gap between us and Tit Hall II, but a slow Jesus III was caught by them just coming out of the Gut. We had to hold it up, paddle around the two crews and pick it up again, rowing onto the finish.
We proved today that we were quicker than Tit Hall with a really good row, but the nature of Bumps means that we were once again denied a deserved bump.
Mark + crew
You girls must be one of the unluckiest crews on the river. Go nail Jesus III tomorrow!
Bumped by Hughes Hall
The Hughes Hall/Lucy Cav composite were steadily gaining on us as we steadily gained on Jesus III. All boats looked like they took First Post well as we powered into the Gut.
We didn't quite have the power to finish off Jesus in the Gut, always staying close behind and that was followed up by a massive push from Hughes, bumping us with only a few feet between us and Jesus on Grassy.
Bumped by Magdalene II
If there is one thing I have learned from Bumps it is that you should never make assumptions - no matter how feasible they sound.
For each race we assumed something likely to happen would happen, and then we planned around it.
For this race it was that St. Eddies would continue their fine bumping work (having bumped, double overbumped, and bumped again earlier in the week) and bump Magdalene early on, giving us the chance to give Tit Hall one last good run for their money up the Reach.
Credit to Magdalene, who we underestimated, as they had overlap on us in the Gut, steering for but missing our stern on several occasions, before emerging as a three boat sandwich at the Plough with Eddies very close behind.
Having said that, I'm sure it was exciting for the crowds seeing that bump happen along with Eddies ploughing into Magdalene's stern.
As side note, it has been a great pleasure coxing W2 again - despite the outcome it really has been great fun and we have rowed very well together over the weeks. Many many thanks to Jenny without whom this would have been possible!
Bumped by Pembroke III
Bloody hell, they were fast! You looked really good on the row up and the row home, so if we row over tomorrow then we'll be chasing New Hall on Thursday which should hopefully be a bump.
Hope you get better soon Kate.
Bumped by Emmanuel III
Much better today. A nice relaxed start got us up to race speed in good time and we held off Emma quite well until the corner. Due to bumped out crews in front I had to take first post corner wide, but I went too wide and allowed Emma to gain ground before they stuck in a really good push for the bump.
Let's have more of the same tomorrow off the start and let's really attack it when we come out of the corners.
Bumped by Jesus IV
Perseverance and determination continued to move the boat. Good effort, today, lads! Tomorrow: fresh new race. I'm feeling a little religious now... let's get Jesus.
Bumped Caius IV
According to Hans we gained 3/4 of a length on the start, after which overlap came pretty quickly. We must have held it there for about 50 strokes before finally pulling the trigger. The resulting crunch has left us with a damaged bow, but since Titan is hardly very aerodynamic anyway I can't see it making a difference!
Great result overall considering that we rowed below our usual standards - let's put it down to nerves and be 100% solid tomorrow.
We gained about 1/4 of a length in the first 20 strokes and were rowing fairly nicely. Then Georg's seat came off. Then Zheng's seat came off. Then Jon's seat came off. Then Georg's seat came off. Then Georg's seat came off again. Then Jon's seat came off. Then Zheng's seat came off. All in all we rowed with 8 rowers for about 40 strokes. At times we rowed with 5.
Luckily the closest boat was Robinson chasing a double overbump. Despite rowing in sixes, we held them miles away with little trouble. As Harry put it, it was the apocalypse but the four horsemen didn't show up.
I didn't think we could row much worse than yesterday but clearly I was wrong! Come on guys, we can do so much better than this. We were faster until the chain of disasters, so let's do ourselves justice with a good bump tomorrow.
Bumped by Christ's IV
In classic bumps style, we put in our best performance today and were bumped easily by the much bigger and stronger Christs IV. I look forward seeing Christs IV bump Christs III and the ensuing massive fine.
Anyway, let's blitz it tomorrow and hope that the gods of bumps throw some improbable luck in our direction.
Bumped by CCAT II
Fought hard but due to an unfortunate performance on the second day and an unforgiving set of crews around, it was not to be an overall rise for M5. However, I feel the crew has made leaps and bounds this term from the crew who could not get onto Lents to a crew who gave a reasonable, if rather unlucky at times account of themselves in May Bumps.
Well done on your first Bumps, (Charles aside, whose experience was invaluable), and I hope you will be returning to bolster our Mich term squad next year.
Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the following information, note that the results are unofficial.
Men's bumps charts
Women's bumps charts
|Overbumped - hit the crew 3 in front
|Bumped the crew in front
|Row over head of division
|Row over - did not bump
|Got Double overbumped
|Got Triple overbumped. D'oh.
Michell Cup points
|1st and 3rd||-10.50|
Ineligible after entering fewer than 3 crews:
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