The Club's Results

May Bumps 2009

The famous Cambridge University May Bumps on the River Cam
Wed 10th - Sat 13th June

In the press

Cambridge News articles can be found here.


The official results published by the organisers, CUCBC, can be found here. At the bottom of this page there is a link to Cambridge weather. Club members, please go here to add (or correct) results, crews or race reports.


Results Overview

Click a symbol or crew name to be taken to the relevant part of the page.

1st men's VIIIRowed over HeadRowed over HeadRowed over HeadRowed over Head
1st women's VIIIBumped by Christ'sRowed overBumped ClareBumped Newnham
2nd men's VIIIRowed overBumped by MagdaleneRowed overRowed over
3rd men's VIIIRowed overBumped Pembroke IIBumped St. Catharine's IIRowed over
2nd women's VIIIRowed overBumped Jesus IIIBumped Trinity Hall IIBumped Queens' II
3rd women's VIIIBumped Murray Edwards IIRowed overBumped by Newnham IIIBumped by Clare Hall
4th men's VIIIRowed overOverbumped Corpus IIBumped by Clare HallRowed over
5th men's VIIIOverbumped Churchill IIIBumped by Anglia Ruskin IIRowed overRowed over
6th men's VIIIBumped by Christ's VBumped by Sidney Sussex IVBumped by Anglia Ruskin IIIRowed over

Guide to the table

Double Overbumped
Overbumped - hit the crew 3 in front
Bumped the crew in front
Row over head of division
Row over - did not bump
Got Bumped
Got Overbumped
Got Double overbumped
Got Triple overbumped. D'oh.


1st men's VIII

Wednesday
Rowed over Head
First day nerves out the way now... (Thomas)
A good row to get under our belts. The finish margin was 28 seconds which I believe is our biggest yet, but LMBC may have front-loaded or eased off in the later stages with no pressure from behind. (Tom C)
Thursday
Rowed over Head
Didn't do a great job in the first two minutes, if anything we were slower to the Plough than yesterday. It looked like LMBC were trying to outsprint Caius, and were on station with us at the exit of Grassy. From there the margin increased exponentially, and Caius, without the flair to overtake, followed them to the meadow. In case anyone at home is feeling worried, I'll record that Downing were closer on the first day of Lents.

The second half of the course was uneventful. Jesus were well out of contention for the overbump, so we wound down to a comfortable 32 at the railings and finished 35-40 seconds clear. (Tom C)
Friday
Rowed over Head
That was a really harrowing race to watch from the bank. You guys are amazing and you know you're the best. You can hold off Caius, and I know you'll do it again. You're all gods to the rest of us and I have complete faith in you. Go disappoint Caius again!! (Julia A.)
A good race, finished a length and a bit clear. (Tom C)
Saturday
Rowed over Head
First post...YEAH FIRST AND THIRD! (Mark)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ZaOFeW5jF0 (Emma)
The row didn't feel as pretty as Friday's, but it certainly had the guts. A little rough around the edges, everyone could feel the exhaustion from the previous three days.

We won the headship on Friday, we won it by breaking Caius at the Railway Bridge. Today we knew we could do it, but we also knew it'd be hard, and it was a question of going out there, having the guts to execute our plan and prove ourselves worthy of the first Mays headship retention since 1967, 42 years ago. Job done!

Everyone in this crew owes great thanks to everyone who contributed to making this boat go fast, in particular coaches. Tom Rose and Jon Davies have devoted endless hours on their bikes coaching and we are tremendously priviledged to have these guys. We also owe great thanks to Iain who contributed a lot of advice, some coaching and was a very calming influence on the towpath during bumps week - when he pushes you off you know you have one less thing to worry about!

I am excited for next Mays - Ra Ra First and Third! (Flo)
Many, many CONGRATULATIONS for finally claiming our record after 42 years and coming top of the comparison chart.

Four days of thrilling racing. WELL DONE!

I hope you heard the support from the May 1967 crew. Olly Olly First and Third!!! (Fitz67)
I think this set of bumps warrants my second ever race report! The first couple of days were fairly straightforward, although tension began to rise as we saw an unexpectedly fast Caius crew bumping up behind us. We knew that the third day would be tough, and that the result would probably determine the final result too. It turned out to be one of the hardest races I've ever done, with Caius sitting 1/4 - 1/3 of a length off our stern until the railway bridge, at which point we gradually began to move away. Lessons we took from this were that our start was pretty terrible and lost us about 1/2 length, and that we needed to go much harder down Plough Reach which was where Caius seemed to really go for the bump. On a positive note, at no point did anyone panic and we produced our best row as a crew, finishing in 7:38. The fourth day was much less eventful. Caius never seemed to come inside a length (from my view anyway, could be wrong) partly as a result of a much better start from us. We pushed hard down Plough Reach and the rest, as they say, is history.
Many thanks to all the people who came to cheer for us, especially the fleet of bikes on the meadow side! Also many thanks to Caius for such a fantastic couple of races and for being such good sports about the result. To be continued next year! (R.J. Fletcher)
Almost two months later, and Ive finally got round to writing a race report. I still dont know what to think of this, and its probably fair to say we came very close to becoming a cautionary tale. The saturday before bumps, we were bumped in under 500m by Downing in sparring, and only a few days before that Pembroke had done the same (with the help of Kieran West). Knowing that neither crew was realistically in range was small consolation, as we suspected that Jesus, at least, were of similar speed to them. Quite how this could happen, after the successes of the previous term, was uncertain, and Sasha and myself probably both wondered what we could be doing wrong. Our problems were due in part to an inability to transfer a fast head course speed in to the faster speeds required on shorter courses, but more importantly an awful lot of complacency. After that saturday, our aim changed from rowing over uncontested to rowing over at all, and believing that in two outings we couldnt make any further improvement.

Fortunately for us, this turned out to be wrong. After sunday off, we rowed off on monday, and suddenly the boat felt different. We finally managed to rate above 40 properly, and although we knew that we were never going to be as quick off the start as the tidier crews starting behind us, we did have this email from Flo to inspire us:

HERE WE GO NOW BOYS, PLOUGH REACH BURN, IN TWO, IN ONE, PLOUGH REACH BURN N O W, MASSIVE!!!
So looking forward to coming out of Grassy and just motoring it down Plough Reach, fucking off into the distance.

For Plough Reach Burn the water is going to be on fire...

I've never been as keen for a race as this. May bumps here we go!

Thought that deserved to have a permanent record made of it... We were perhaps fortunate on the first day to have LMBC behind us, as we didnt regard them as the major threat to the headship. This proved to be accurate, their higher rate no match for superior power as we cruised over 28s ahead of them. More worryingly however, Jesus were rapidly bumped by Caius at Grassy, and looked to me to be well inside station on us at that point. So the next day didnt hold much worry for us in terms of being bumped, but would show us how good Caius actually were, and whether the much-lauded Jesus crew had just been surprised off the start or possibly if they were just as bad as they had looked in training. All three crews moved quickly off Jesus from the start, Caius closing on LMBC as we began to pull away ourselves. We expected Caius to fade away at this point, having been promised that they were merely fast starters. Instead they continued to close, and out of Ditton LMBC went wide in a dubious effort at avoiding the bump. Caius however followed them across and struck rapidly, with us around half a length outside station at this point. We rowed over sedately, though still appearing to gain ground from Jesus.

The theory for the third day was that once we got on to the reach, there wouldnt be a crew with the fitness to stay with us. A poor start, and it looked like we mightnt get past grassy, with Caius inside a length out of first post and continuing to close down the gut. Out of grassy with around half a length the plough reach burn was unleashed, and probably gained a seat, though to the spectators and myself it looked like a temporary reprieve. A good ditton maintained the distance, but they closed slightly as we hurtled down the reach, and by now I was not the only one wondering when their promised epic blow-up would be. Tom Rose had promised to give the order from the bank to begin the reach burn, but with the noise of the supporters on the bank we heard none of this, and just kept going as hard as possible to try to hold out for as long as possible. At the railings it looked to me that they had overlap, and they appeared to begin steering for the bump, although Im told at this point they were still a quarter of a length off us. This probably cost them speed, though they were still fast enough to stay at this distance until the P&E, where we pushed a bit of water out to make ourselves more comfortable as we rowed over, with the crews behind our pair long distant.

The final day held less fear for us. Having already shown them that we could beat them, we knew that every stroke the race took the more they would question their ability to catch us. We also knew that our start could go much better if we didnt spend it looking out of the boat to see whether theyd gained on us yet. But after three row-overs tiredness was beginning to take its toll, and the possibility of making the small slip that would cost us the headship often crossed my mind. But we were wished luck by most of the other crews, and even the Cauis women looked a bit interested in us. The start was clean, but still couldnt hold them fully. As the video below shows, they probably got to about three quarters of a length off us at grassy, but then we threw everything at them in an elongated plough reach burn, and moved almost back to station. Down the reach the two crews held their ground far ahead of the other colleges, before the final onslaught that must leave ones dreams shattered for another year. Our fantastic support raced down the meadowside and towpath and roared us on as push countered push past the railway bridge, and we moved slightly away. Past morleys holt, and the weeks exertions finally hit home as the wheels began to fall off our boat. Tom O went interesting shades of orange and purple, and the limited technique wed displayed up to that point began to leave us, but by now they didnt have enough time left to catch us, and we limped over the line under a length ahead of them. Though we both knew that they were the faster crew, they came along afterwards to shake our hands, as gracious losers. Next year Im sure theyll be back for more, and with a very strong-looking Pembroke in the mix the 2010 mays crew will need all the resolve and (occasional) skill that we displayed this year. This was my last bumps race for trinity, and first headship, so hopefully anyone who reads this far will forgive the length of the report, but I thought that with the Caius propaganda issued by the Cambridge Standard a full record of what happened would be nice.

Video from Grassy- http://tinyurl.com/mxpexm (I don't think anyone has put this up yet, the crazy shouting person is my mum, while my brother looks a bit disinterested. For some reason the site won't take the full address, or apostrophes?)

P.S. Silas Stafford is my bitch (John)

1. Fantastic sight of M...
2. Rest of the division...
3. Nervously watching t...
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1st women's VIII

Wednesday
Bumped by Christ's
A disappointing result to be bumped less than 200m off the finish, however, a damn good race. Given results earlier this term, it was expected by most to see Christs bumping us by Grassy. We proved them wrong. We had a great start, went straight into our push for 10 and strode off surprising Christs as they didn't hear their expected whistle. We got into a great rhythm, and kept it together, rowing long and hard as we had been recently. Every stroke in the water was committed, even as they were closing in on us, we kept it together. The final continuous whistle kept on going for so long, that I thought my head is going to explode. Unfortunately they were faster than us over the long distance. Despite the result, pretty pleased with the row. Some good racing to follow... (Julijana)
Thursday
Rowed over
Really good row. Queens were never a threat even though we had to take quite an adventurous line around first post thanks to some cunning marshall sending Christ's right across the river in front of us. Awesome push down the reach when we realised that the double overbump was within the realms of possibility. Tomorrow's definitely gonna be fun!! (Ulrike)
A good row indeed. We expected Christs to get Clare but thought we'd give it some anyway.

I thank the crew for the instant change in pressure as Christs decided to clear to the left instead of the right at First Post, and the combination of a quick change and a hand in the water meant we got through the Gut unscathed. I would also like to add that, despite the closeness of 6's and stroke's blade to the cox, I did expect us to just miss her as the bows swung to the right. If there was any chance of hitting her I would have held it up.

We settled into a relaxed rhythm once Christs had bumped Clare, Queens' never being a threat. Onto the Reach I saw Girton almost across the river and some white water, assuming they had bumped someone in front. It turned out that they had in fact caught a massive crab and we closed to less than 3 lengths - a bump on them being a double overbump. They got it together and we both rowed over comfortably.

Overall a decent row that sets us up well for the rest of the week. Let's finish the Bumps with a positive score! (Mark)
Very solid row over today. We managed to get it back very quickly after the carnage with Christ's in first post corner, and just kept putting more distance between our boat and Queens'. We also made a huge push on the reach when we were told that Girton had a major crab and we were within three lengths of a double overbump. Let's get pumped for tomorrow! (Laura)
Friday
Bumped Clare
Not our best row of the week, but strong and committed nonetheless. First whistle came at about the Ditch, but it took a while for the second whistle to come, probably because Clare put in a do-or-die push which slowed our advance.

I had a slightly tighter line on First Post and entering the Gut the third whistle and bump came quickly and cleanly. (Mark)
Saturday
Bumped Newnham
A good row to finish off the Mays. We knew Newnham would take the fight further than Clare so we switched from the sprint tactic to the tactic of rowing over pace, hopefully meeting Newnham along the way, probably at the beginning of the Reach.

The first whistle came in the Gut and my tighter line round Grassy brought us the second and third whistles going in the Plough. I steered right after the continuous whistle which sent the bows over their stern, just missing them, but a few strokes later we hit them firmly to the enjoyment of the crowd around the Plough. (Mark)

1. Mays Dinner
2. Bump
3. Newnham at breaking ...
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2nd men's VIII

Wednesday
Rowed over
After an outing last week where we did a slow piece, then did it again and rowed better, we'd been talking about there being no second chance in bumps. A combination of Downing, Catz and Christs meant we did today.

Impressively good discipline from everyone who wasn't me meant only stern pair realised that Christ's had stopped because their 2 man had caught a spectacular ejector crab. Magdalene probably couldn't have done much about not hitting him, as they were only about a length behind at the time, but the fact Robinson rowed round them and still hit him seems pretty clueless. Anyway, we soon discovered that carnage in the gut had stopped the whole division, spun delicately with some assistance from Robinson(? or someone else? What where they doing there?) and rowed back for a second attempt.
We demonstrated again that we're not very distracted by the crew behind us; the first 300m, this time with 6.5 lengths back to Robinson, were a carbon copy of the previous attempt. After that, we battered our way down the course, apparently never making much impression on Fitz. After they bumped, we took it down to a meandering sort of 30, and made our way down the Reach.
Tomorrow is going to be fun! (Peter)
Did rowing in the Great Eight make you any faster? (BJ)
Friday
Rowed over
I'm so proud of you for rowing over!! You're incredibly high up and you're holding your own. Do it again Saturday! I'll lose my voice screaming on the bank, and if you need a few more inches of space I'm ready and waiting to scream "Avoid the ducklings!!!" at the following crew. (Julia A.)

1. The final crew of th...
2. Battle royal down th...
3. Christs in hot pursuit
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3rd men's VIII

Wednesday
Rowed over
Very nervous splashy start + quick settle at rate 32 = 2.5k rowover. Simple really... We did manage good lifts out of every corner and there was some fairly clean rowing on Plough reach.

On the upside we were pretty much on station with Selwyn II when they had overlap on Grassy. We were still on station at Morleys Holt when they finally hit Pembroke II !?! I suggest we unpack some Seb style controlled aggression for 2 minutes tomorrow and wipe out Pembroke by Grassy. Christs behind us overbumped Churchill and I reckon they had closed a little on us so tomorrow really is going to be a bump or get bumped day. See you all at BA Dinner..

NB. Just realised its been a pretty crap day for Churchill men; two of their boats got overbumped... (S.C. Mertes)
As ever, it's generous of Christian to give the opposition a sneak preview of tomorrow's tactics and a taster of our mindset. (It's reassuring to note that it's exactly the same information as he put in an email to the crew.) Some would label this a tactically poor decision, but what do they know?

However, if you're a member of Pembroke II or Christ's II, you're probably thinking: 'That's all well and good as far as it goes, but I'm left wanting more. I know they're going to be sprinting, but where are their pushes going to come? What are their specific technical foci (Latin plurals are 'in' at Pembroke and Christ's) and, when it comes down to it, where exactly are they going to blow up?' Fear not, and read on.

Our start is pretty standard: three draw, five wind and ten lengthen, although we haven't yet come to a unanimous agreement on precisely what 'draw', 'wind' and 'lengthen' mean. For now, the consensus seems to be that if we rush up and down enough, and splash up enough water, then no one will notice. By then, we'll be into what we optimistically call our 'rhythm', and bowside will stop bothering with their finishes, so look out for some comical lurches from side to side! In contrast to today's row, tomorrow will see us rating as high as possible - expect to see numbers in the high 40s or low 50s. Don't expect to see it translate into boat speed, we're just trying to scare you!

Fingers crossed, we'll make it to first post corner without being bumped, and Sarah will call for Martin and Charles to get their 'catches in' and the 'work on early'. Christian and I will obligingly ease off until Sarah tells us that we're straight, at which point Martin and Charles will ease off in equal measure.

In the gut, WE SHALL TAKE OUR FIRST PUSH. Call us unconventional, but we like pushing out of corners. Bow four will return to normal pressure, while Chris and James will take it up to half pressure. Get ready for a serious increase in boat speed! But again, don't be concerned, they can't do it on their own, and they'll have to give up when they realise no one else is going with them.

Grassy should be one for the spectators. Rowing connoisseurs will recognise a classic example of 'skying at the catch', as Christian and I attempt to go for length we haven't had for years. If we've made up any distance on you at all before now, this would be a good time to get some back.

On the Plough Reach, WE SHALL TAKE OUR SECOND PUSH. After the failure of the previous push, we'll all really go for this one, and this will probably be the closest that all eight of us get to trying our hardest, on average. Pembroke II, this is where you really prove yourselves as a crew - if you survive here, you've earned your rowover. We'll certainly have enough left in the tank for at least another push or two, but they'll be a little despairing and we won't go for them with quite the same gusto. REMEMBER, if we haven't got you by Ditton, you're safe.

Christ's II, this is the point at which you can bump us, if you haven't done so already. My advice to you would be to hold back a little - there's not much you can do about whether or not we bump Pembroke II, and you'll want to be in the best possible condition to capitalise on our lack of fitness.

I'm sorry if I've gone into too much detail, but it could be useful for you to know it all. If there's anything you need clarifying, or if you're just curious about erg times, get in touch - we'd be delighted to help you out. (BJ)
lol :) (Thomas)
Thursday
Bumped Pembroke II
They must've thought you were bluffing. Blazed. (Tom C)
With utter disregard for Bryn's explicit and well publicised race plan for today we bumped Pembroke on First post corner.

There are a number of things I wish to point out.

1. We are doing what all Gent's VIIIs do: row over with mediocre committment on day 1 thinking "must hold back a little" and "better not die by Grassy" and then go up 4 by sandwiching.

2. If anyone from Pembroke read Bryn's report it did it's trick. They thought we were going to push OUT of the corner whereas the plan (agreed at last minute, well 2 minutes before the gun anyway and only really between Charles and me) ended up being pushing INTO the corner.

3. We have now thoroughly established and proven beyond doubt that we go faster rowing VERY badly at rate 38 than rowing badly at rate 32. The clinching piece of evidence was Sarah's "whoopydoo" while bouncing out of the coxes seat at the boathouse like a haribo on crack.

In conclusion we should have done this yesterday but hey at least we're learning... (S.C. Mertes)
"Haribo on crack" - that marketing drive never really caught on... (Mark)
Friday
Bumped St. Catharine's II
Awful, messy, unsettled and not all that fast start. 1 whistle coming into the gut, 2 at the Plough, 3 coming out of Ditton, shortly followed by continuous whistling at the bottom of the reach and a bump thanks to prudent concession by the Cats cox one stroke before our bowball would have hit the side of the boat right next to her. It was incidentally also one stroke before I would have let go with my outside hand on the rockover and tapped their stern which was about one foot to my right.

Mediocre splashy pushes came when we heard the whistles, the bits in between were just very bad. Once in a while an encouraging "you're still moving on them" came from Bullock on the bank but a little more information regarding the distance would have been appreciated. I don't think I was the only one who thought we were loosing them in the gaps between the whistles.

All in all probably the gutsiest row we have had but also by far the most ineffective in terms of putting our infinite power into finite strokes in the water.

Plan for tomorrow is Wednesday's technique + Thursday's motivation + today's infinite power. Hope I am not giving away too much. (Well I definitely am not as this is a retrospective race report written on Sunday morning). (S.C. Mertes)
Saturday
Rowed over
Rematch for the first day. Same result, not much more needs to be said really. I'll do it anyway.

We were just inside station off the start and crossed the finish line at just over 1 length apart. We wanted to go off with controlled aggression to actually move some boat rather than air and water (or any combination of the two). This worked fairly well and we went off hard at the start. No whistles by Ditton meant we let it slide to rate 32. We still had a push out of the railway bridge and a wind to the finish but this term's focus on sprint training to the exclusion of all aerobic exercise started to show. Cats remained outside station until just before they got bumped under the railway bridge. Congratulations to Selwyn II who have made it into the 2nd division. Also I apologise for my previous race report stating our intention to go up 4 and get into division 2. In a very gentlemanly way we have left that one for next years M3 to sort out.

I think this was the best row we have had all week. I thoroughly enjoyed being in this crew even if I only made the boat because I organised it. I hope no-one is too emotionally scarred from putting up with me. And so my rowing career finally comes to a close. I have many happy memories of spending way too much time at the boathouse and I think I may just miss it.....

.....in 20 or 30 years time.....

.....maybe. (S.C. Mertes)
Despite the relentless bullying that we've given him over the last term, and the last week in particular, I'm confident I speak on behalf of the whole crew in thanking Christian for getting us together. It's been a fun week - just a shame we couldn't get him the up five he was so keen for! I think up two was at least one more than we deserved...

(Thanks to Emma as well - you're not forgotten, but I think we were less cruel to you.) (BJ)

1. Surrounded by specta...
2. Blades going in
3. A bit more splashing
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2nd women's VIII

Wednesday
Rowed over
Loaaaaaaaads of lengths.


Mwahhaha (Emma)
And to think you believed it was inevitable that St. Eds would get you earlier on...

I thought Eddies had been bumped as you passed me at the Railway bridge until I saw them row pass some moments and many lengths later.

Go get Jesus tomorrow! (Mark)
A really good row! What a brilliant performance! (Olivia)
A few of us were expecting this to go less than great, so rowing over by quite a distabnce felt pretty good. It was definitely one of the better rows we've had, with a comfortable start and some nice lifts out of the corners, although we can still look for a bit more round the finish. All in all a good confidence boosting row that should set us up nicely for the rest of the week. (DM)
Thursday
Bumped Jesus III
Yeah! Just saw the smiley pop up. Good luck for tomorrow! (Mark)
Another nice start saw us hit our stride and then a call along the lines of 'that's our rate let's hold it there' produced some wonderfully spacky and splashy rowing. Still, we got them at first post. Job done. (DM)
Friday
Bumped Trinity Hall II
Yes! I remember feeling quite robbed the day we went down to Tit Hall last year.

Well done girls and Danny! You've managed to do what I failed to do last time, good luck for the final push tomorrow! (Mark)
A better row than yesterday, we managed to settle and find a rhythm quicker even if it was a pip or so too high. Despite taking the most horrendous line around first post corner we got two whistles and then almost straight away hit the boat in front pretty hard. Job done again, we'll be coming at queens all guns blazing. (DM)
Yes you did! I think I speak for other ex-W2 rowers (Jo, Alex, Kim etc) when I say how happy I am that you bumped back Tit Hall today. I've still not forgiven them for what happened last year - revenge is so sweet! (S.L. Stoneman)
Saturday
Bumped Queens' II
Fantastic result girls and Danny - restoring the drop we had last Mays. You thoroughly deserve to enjoy this! (Mark)
We really pulled this one out of the bag - queens were definitely not going to be as easy to bump as Jesus and Tit Hall. The start was a bit rushed with a very high rate, but after Danny called to bring down the rate (several times!), we started to settle into rhythm.
The corner round grassy was as tight as possible without my blade hitting the bank, which allowed us to gain steadily on them. We started to get whistles coming down plough reach but swung out slightly wide on ditton, allowing them to get away again. A massive push down the reach finally brought the bump we so wanted! This bump was particularly sweet because it felt like we actually had to earn it, unlike with Jesus and Tit Hall, who we caught so early on.
A great row, and a great bumps crew to be a part of! (Alex)
That's the one we were looking for all week; controlled and confident with effective work going down. We finally managed to hit a comfortable ryhthm off the start, and even though tit hall put in a sprint from behind the girls didn't panic and we steadily moved away from them.

A tight line round grassy and a nice lift out of the corner saw us move nicely on queens, then some moron decided to go wide round ditton. This could have ruined the whole thing, but the girls responded great to some calls down the reach and we bumped them by the houses. Definitely the kind of race I wanted to end my bumps career on.

This would be a good time to thank thoses who have made this possible; our coaches Iain, Pete Summers and Jenny who also took time out to bank party us every day. Also big thanks go to Liz for all her coaching and support, and thanks to anyone else who came to cheer us on during bumps. (DM)

1. View up Plough Reach...
2. Closing in...
3. Queens beginning to ...
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3rd women's VIII

Wednesday
Bumped Murray Edwards II
The only thing that sucks about this result was that I wasn't there to see it :(

But otherwise, you absolute legends. Love you. (Jij)
Way to go, ladies! :) (Laura)
Thursday
Rowed over
We knew we were up for a harder race than yesterday but we all really wanted another bump. Not only because bumping New Hall II felt so good but also because we really thought we couldn't row over as we had never even attempted it. Endurance is not our strength, some said. But we proved them (and by them I mean ourselves) wrong! We did it girls and boys, we did it for the first time and we didn't die.

Wait and see Churchill: we are gathering our strength, taking power naps, eating loads of pasta, rowing in our sleep, and coming to get you! (Barbara)
Awesome, girls! Very proud of you!!
Go out tomorrow and get Churchill - I know you can do it! (Ulrike)
Friday
Bumped by Newnham III
A really nice start (although we were pointing slightly towards the bank) and a strong stride followed by about twenty strokes of good long rowing at 35. Then they hit us. I'm not sure there was much else we could have done against this crew. Tomorrow we'll need to combine the best bits of all our rows so far - i have a feeling its going to get epic! (Emma)
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4th men's VIII

Wednesday
Rowed over
All the talk before the race was about overbumping a truly awful Jesus IV crew 3 stations up on us. However, we were foiled by the extent of their awfulness, they got bumped somewhere on First Post reach, near the Motorway bridge if I remember correctly. This left us chasing Clare Hall M1.

Anyway, to start from the beginning, our start was okay, not as good as we can do, however we were still up to one whistle after about 20 or so strokes. At this point TJ's seat blew up at seven, so he spent about 5 strokes fixing that, then rejoined us. This unfortunately killed any momentum we had out of the start, and pretty soon they were back out to station.

We continued on, pretty much just sitting on station on them, however were rowing really pretty badly by our standards, until we had completed the corners. When we arrived at the reach Tom called a push, and as a boat we seemed to find some form, and actually start rowing properly, and pulled them back to around 3/4 of a length at one point, however it was all too late and we crossed the line about a length behind them.

All in all a pretty disappointing row, however there was one massive bonus. We had the amusing sight of watching Maggie 4 coming round grassy when we were somewhere near the Plough. By the end we had about 6-7 lengths on them... (Swords)
Unfortunately perhaps the two fastest boats in the bottom of div 4 are right next to each other. Hard row over, we started to row properly after Ditton and took off 3/4 of a length. But it was not to be; it was a little too late and we didn't make the bump. Once again Clare Hall proved to be a formidable opposition, and it's always a pleasure racing against these gentlemen.

We're bringing the fight to day 2 lads. (Jij)
So much committment from such an excellent crew. I really enjoyed bankpartying you today. A decent start had you one length in and you held them on station throughout, except on the Reach where massive pushes brought you closer, 3/4 length near the bridge.

A disappointing result, but there's a very good chance of doing very well tomorrow. I'm really looking forward to your race then. (Mark)
A fairly reasonable row on the first day considering the potential nerves and all the various things that could have gone wrong. All in all, the row was fairly solid and the commitment and effort was certainly there. Although the result was disappointing, we do have a reasonable platform to build on tomorrow when we start afresh.

Having said that, much of the technical side of things could have been better. A great deal of momentum was lost around the corners and much of the rowing was scrappy particularly around the back end. It is a pity that much of our focus on posture, hand heights and loose catches that we'd worked on at low rates were not carried through at race pace. Perhaps a little too much adrenaline had made things all a bit too frantic for comfort. A little more focus on moving together and pulling together with the rest of the crew rather than rowing our balls off individually may have paid more dividends.

Having said that, we do indeed have a strong platform to build on, there's bags of potential in the crew. If we can keep our heads and not get overwhelmed by the situation, there's much to be gained in the next couple of days. (Tsunami)
For our first bumps race in the still fairly unfamiliar shell I thought the rowing was brilliant. There are definitely things we can work on, most notably the bladework into and out of corners and keeping together and relaxed during the recovery (especially coming into the catch), but I do think we should be really quite satisfied with how today's rowing went. The whole crew response to the 'up 2' coming up the reach was magnificent, as we seemed to find half a length in amazingly little time. Let's build on it tomorrow. (Tom L)
Thursday
Overbumped Corpus II
It was incredible bankpartying this race. Clare Hall dispatched Jesus IV around the motorway bridge as expected and the overbump was definitely on as Corpus failed to make ground on Pembroke ahead.

Through the Gut Corpus were going round Grassy and coming up to the Plough 4 lengths was called which shortly went down to 3 lengths and then 2 coming round Ditton.

The whistles soon followed and FaT IV reclaimed the IVth headship in style by overbumping in the straight leading up to the Railway Bridge. An incredible row! (Mark)
Well, this was fun. On the way to marshalling I spotted a friend of mine in the Corpus II stroke seat, so I told him we were going to overbump him. I imagine he thought I was joking...

Anyway, the race progressed as planned, with Clare Hall hitting Jesus very early. After some minor issues with clearing easily navigated by Tom we settled into the task of catching Corpus II. The rowing was pretty good at the start, however drinking too much water before the race started to tell it's toll on me, as I was retching pretty hard. Jij also took an interesting take on cornering by airstroking merrily round First Post. However down Plough reach our rowing, although not pretty, was just more powerful than Corpus, and 4 lengths became 3, then a slightly wide line from Corpus added to an up 2 call from Tom took that to 2 lengths. At this point they fell apart completely, and when we got a whistle it was a done deal.

The next few whistles came mercifully quickly, and we hit them somewhere before the railway bridge.

All in all, not our usual exhibition pretty rowing, however it seemed to work. Tomorrow we'll have to row well to stay away from Clare Hall until we either row over or hit something ahead of us. All that remains to be said, is yeah buddy :) (Swords)
Incredibly well done guys!!! You were bloody arrogant (Richard) but obviously it was justified. I'm so happy for you, and I love seeing a boat full of leaves row by so keep it up! :) (Julia A.)
I missed three catches today.

1. First Post Corner: oddly the one I was really meant to take well. Emma screamed for me to catch quicker and I airstroked hard, but luckily with Shot-sauce for backup and me recovering to a motion that bore more resemblance to rowing (in that there was a catch and a finish and some movement in between) we cornered First Post just fine.

2. The Reach: I really wanted to put my blade in the water but a curious plastic thing got in my way. I hit the water again halfway through the drive.

3. The Reach, one stroke later: I hit the weird plastic thing again and I realised that it was the stern of Corpus II. By this time people were calling to hold it up. Hopefully the last two missed catches won't be held against me.

Bring on tomorrow. But more importantly bring on sleep zzzzzzzzz. (Jij)
So, today in the M4 boat wasn't drastically dissimilar from yesterday. Just more stuff to hit. The corners were improved quite a lot, and we managed to start rather better (taking it to a rate which seemed a little low, and a quick coxbox check revealed was actually 42 - 4 higher than usual), but more importantly we really rowed our own race again with the same level of committment, and unlike day 1 there were more realistic rewards in sight, though they were tough to take, but we really took them. May the stuff to hit keep coming :).

Many thanks to Mark and Kiely for bankpartying us, especially for the really motivational distance calls from Mark (who understands that a gap of 3 lengths and a gap of 5 lengths don't look that dissimilar from the cox's seat). (Tom L)
Having seen Jesus IV get taken out fairly rapidly by Corpus II the previous day, we'd expected that Clare Hall would make mincemeat of them. Indeed, around about the railway bridge that was exactly what had happened.

We'd got off to a fairly solid start, seems the first day nerves had faded and we'd manage to keep our heads and what felt like a fairly relaxed 38 turned out to be around rate 42-44 at the peak of the wind strokes. We settled about fifteen strokes in to a rate of 38 before lengthening it out to something more sustainable. Calls from the bank had told us we had moved on Clare Hall so we were confident that we had a fairly solid foundation for the rest of the race.

After the crews ahead inevitably bumped out, it was down to us to close down the remaining four or so lengths we'd had between Corpus and ourselves at the gut. Rounding grassy corner, we knew it was do or die. The lungs were really starting to burn by now but we soldiered on, chipping away the distance along Plough Reach.

Coming round Ditton and onto the long reach, Tom called a massive 20 on the legs and we really went for it, closing the gap further. By now, the posture and technique was starting to go and an up two call really brought the crew back together bring us to a length and giving us our first whistle. By now, we were dying by we knew the other crew was going to be hurting a lot more. Whistles came in quick succession and their game was over pretty fast. An absolutely massive result for us. It's times like these that make all the training worthwhile.

Nonetheless, it's no reason to get complacent about the coming days. Pembroke were allegedly pretty close to overbumping Clare III today so tomorrow is not going be easy, particularly with Clare Hall on our tails. As ever, there remain many technical points to sort out and plenty of focus is still needed on moving more as a crew and keeping our heads in the midst of chaos rather than getting too frantic. Having said that, I reiterate that there's bags of potential in this crew. If we keep our heads and keep doing what we do, things should go well in the next couple of days.

Many thanks again to Mark, John, Emma and the rest of our wonderful bank party for giving us the calls that kept us going today. We wouldn't have managed this without you. (Tsunami)
Y'all sure have the longest race reports of all of the crews... Congrats on the overbump today, guys! (Laura)
Friday
Bumped by Clare Hall
Well, this was hardly ideal. 2 pretty average practice starts, and a complete absence of the usual M4 pretty paddling didn't exactly bode well for today's race, and it seemed that most people's heads were in the Clare Hall boat rather than our own.

We were pretty slow off the start, and Clare Hall rapidly gained the first whistle on us. We failed to make any serious impression on the Pembroke III crew ahead of us, and they bumped Trinity Hall III at some point near first post if I remember correctly. We continued on with us periodically pulling away from Clare Hall when we decided to row, and them gaining on us when we spacked about. At some points they got to about half a length off, but we held them off reasonably until the reach. Here we actually rowed alright-ish, however unfortunately, so did they, and push and counter push lead to them being a canvas off. We then held them there for pretty much the entirety of the reach before a massive push on their part led to us going down just before the railway bridge.

When we finished it transpired that we were two lengths off a double overbump, so it is ultimately frustrating that on the one day when we had a real chance to do some serious damage we elected to produce some of our most awful rowing. A failure to concentrate on our rowing really cost us today, hopefully it won't happen to anybody in this crew again. (Swords)
An evidently disappointing result for many crew members. It's hard to pinpoint precisely what went wrong. Perhaps much of it was psychological. The generally feeling was that Clare Hall had brought their A game and we had failed to respond, our game was up.

Our start had felt reasonable, but our general rowing had an air of complacency and perhaps a lack of concentration. The technical faults that we had shown on the previous days were all too obvious by reach. The gap was closed down steadily down the course before they put us out of our misery just before the railway bridge. Perhaps the physical strain of the last couple of days had really started to take its toll on us. After all, it's never easy to row balls to the wall three days running for 2.5K.

Excuses aside, we broke. Be that either physically or mentally, we didn't do what we needed to do when it mattered and Clare Hall were the better crew on the day. Our tendency to get flustered when a crew closes in on us was all too reminiscent of the situation with Queens last term. It seems we still haven't learned and perhaps ought to grow a pair. Hardening the fuck up and not rowing like dickheads when a crew closes probably helps with being successful in bumps racing.

Jokes aside, a focus on keeping our head in our own boat throughout the race is perhaps something to bear in mind for the final today tomorrow. The crew certainly has potential, a bit more focus and concentration could go a long way to realising it. (Tsunami)
Richard's bankside text update: "4th men bumped whilst only 2 lengths off the double overbump". 'Nuff said. There are two exceptionally fast crews in the bottom of the fourth division. We are one of them. Unfortunately, Clare Hall are the other, and today they rowed better than us. Simple. (Tom L)
Saturday
Rowed over
A row over, and an end to an iconic bumps. We retook the M4 headship and found great and worthy sparring partners with Clare Hall M1, who throughout the term have been our main rivals, main motivation and also a great bunch of blokes to be on the river with. Today's row went well. Our start was the most sat of any day - the boat dipped slightly to bowside on the 3rd wind stroke but did not do so again until the outflow. The rowing was gutsy, Tom was inspiring, and it was clear that each crew member was willing to destroy themselves for each other.

We emptied the tanks but unfortunately only managed to gain about 10 or 11 lengths on the triple overbump crew by the end of the course. We just weren't fast enough, probably because we didn't train enough during the term. It's kinda unfortunate because that would have been the equivalent of a kilo of icing on a not very substantial bumps cake. And everyone loves icing.

Before the May Ball we will be going for a technical paddle to get back into rowing but then the pussyfooting around will stop. We're going to hit the weights room massively, keeping up with the lightweights training regime. We will impose a minimum weight per rower of 65kg, because it was a bit ridiculous being under this the whole term. This crew will lose some members, but will gain others from the other teams at FaT, and will become something more massive than before. What is more massive than the M4 Massive Headship Challenge Crew? Mate, I'll be damned if I know. (Jij)
This row was symptomatic of our crew, and the bumps we have had. We set of at a relatively calm 42 odd, settled to a chunky 38, and then everybody else in front of us bumped out. We were left chasing a triple overbump, and despite the fact that we had planned to chase it, a triple overbump was possibly a touch optimistic. We still took about 10-11 lengths off it, which over 2.5K is reasonably massive.

It is a great pity that we didn't produce today's row yesterday and escape from Clare Hall, and probably double overbumpe St Catz III, but these things happen. In all, our bumps was pretty quick, however a combination of unfortunate starting position, and never finishing a race before the kink in the reach led to what many will agree was a disappointing final result. This years plan is therefore to get massive, and then come back and destroy everybody. Yeah Buddy (Swords)

1. Overbumping
2. Moving up First Post...
3. Bows riding high
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5th men's VIII

Wednesday
Overbumped Churchill III
It really doesn't get much better than this boys... (Jij)
Congratulations folks, enjoy the moment. (Tsunami)
Brilliant! From what I hear some incredibly skilful steering through carnage combined with a crew that was prepared to row as hard as possible whatever the circumstances, bump ahead or no bump ahead, added up to one incredible race. Well done guys. After the disappointments of the opening days of M4 in Lents, you really deserve this. (Tom L)
And I bet you thought clawing back that win in the nines regatta was as good as it got. Congrats, really well done. (DM)
Amazing row! Coming into first post corner Anglia Ruskin II had just bumped Christ IV, but for some reason the crews had been unable to clear the river. Ie. complete chaos in the corner! In an epic coxing manoeuvre Emma S. managed to get us around the carnage, while most crews behind us did not manage to get around the mess on the river.

Hence we were without a boat chasing us coming into Grassy, and we slowly realised we had to go for the overbump! Coming into the reach Churchill was up by 4-5 lengths, and during the Reach we took out a couple of lengths on them. Under the railway bridge we initiated our push ( that saved us in the Nines regatta), and at the same time Churchill caught a crab.

Just before Peter's post the whistle sounded and within 10-20 strokes, and a massive last push, the overbump was a reality!

Thanks for amazing cox work and bank partying! (Niels)
Thursday
Bumped by Anglia Ruskin II
We knew today would be a short race. Either we would bump Sidney II or Anglia Ruskin II would move in on us. As expected Ruskin gained length on us in the beginning of the race, but around first post corner we got a whistle on Sidney. At the same point we called a stride, but the rate did not come down much and we still rated in high thirties. After Grassy we managed to get overlap with Sidney, but unfortunately Ruskin bumped us before we could finish the bump on Sidney. Very disappointing result. (Niels)
Friday
Rowed over
Apparently you weren't intimidated by the opposition's t-shirts! (Charles)
As expected Anglia Ruskin II quickly bumped Sidney II, and left us with clear water all the way to the finish.

Today we actually strided and brought the rate down to where we could row efficiently. This also helped us getting a better line around Grassy than yesterday.

We held Christ IV on station until the beginning of the Reach where I reckon we started to pull away from them. A nice tight line around the railway bridge also helped us push them away.

All in all a good and efficient row over. Keen for tomorrow where we get another chance of bumping Sidney II! (Niels)
Our rowover was good fun.
Christ's IV were chasing us rather unsuccessfully and we weren't in excessive pain, and seeing as we had no boats in front of us we saw no reason to change this state of affairs.
I had time to smile at spectators and chuckle.
There was no way we were going to go down to people with such slogans as 'gunshow' and 'enormous' written on their backs.
Though to be fair they were pretty massive.
Oh, and we rowed nicely. We'll destroy sidney m2 tomorrow if we row like that again, unless alex wood is battered again. (Alex)

1. Past the bumped boat
2. Catches
3. Going for the overbump
[more...]

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6th men's VIII

Wednesday
Bumped by Christ's V
A good, clean, fast start quickly deteriorated as the velcro footstrap at two gave way. Harry was lucky to stay in the boat at all given the circumstances: but rowing in sixes was never part of the race plan and Christs absolutely nailed us before first post...

On a positive note, the best bits of the row down were good and the start itself was impressive. Tomorrow we're looking for the bump back! (Emma)
Thursday
Bumped by Sidney Sussex IV
Technical pairs work?

Nerves got the better of us today. Christ's ahead were fast and deserved their excellent bump. A bit of a frantic start and before we ever really got it together the six man was off his seat and it was game over. So tomorrow, we row like we row in the warm-up, do a practise start like the one we practised, and make our training count. (Emma)
Friday
Bumped by Anglia Ruskin III
This was a lot more like it! Less nervy on the start and we found a good cruising speed and rate. Unfortunately ARU III were out for blood after their unfortunate double overbumping the day before, and they went off like a rocket. Still the crew gave them a good fight, and only conceded just before grassy corner. Let's be even sharper tomorrow and we'll see what we can do. (Emma)
Saturday
Rowed over
There are a select few members of First and Third who have been Foot of the River, myself and our esteemed secretary being two of them. Welcome to the club, M6!

This term has seen some fantastic results for the crew, including brilliant performances at Nines Regatta and in the Getting on Race. In bumps we never really settled down and produced the results we knew we could. Nevertheless, Saturday's row was by far the best of the week. A smooth start with less nerves meant that we were on station as the crews ahead bumped out, and the rowover was committed and fast with some great lines and strong pushes especially along the reach.

M6 are an extremely hard working crew (how many college M6s train three or four sessions a week with erg tests..) and valuable members of the lower boats squad. I'm looking forward to seeing what we can achieve in Michaelmas. (Emma)
I managed to catch the second half of this race, and it looked like some immensely gutsy rowing given there unfortunately wasn't much up ahead to bump. There was an immense push under the railway bridge which seemed quite impressive from the bank. Just unlucky there wasn't much to hit. (Tom L)
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Weather

Unfortunately, due to maintenance the Cambridge weather station was unavailable during this Bumps week and the links below will not produce any data.

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Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the following information, note that the results are unofficial.

Men's bumps charts

Men's bumps chart, May Bumps 2009

Women's bumps charts

Women's bumps chart, May Bumps 2009

Michell Cup points

Hughes Hall72.00
Sidney Sussex34.29
Magdalene34.00
St. Edmund's28.00
Christ's22.29
Homerton18.00
Peterhouse16.00
1st and 3rd15.33
Pembroke13.50
King's12.00
Clare6.86
LMBC2.67
Selwyn2.40
Caius-2.00
Anglia Ruskin-4.80
Downing-5.14
Emmanuel-6.00
Wolfson-8.00
Newnham-9.00
Jesus-13.33
Darwin-15.00
Fitzwilliam-16.80
St. Catharine's-16.80
Trinity Hall-18.00
Queens'-18.86
Robinson-19.20
Churchill-24.00
Girton-27.43
Corpus-36.00

Ineligible after entering fewer than 3 crews:

Clare Hall42.00
Lucy Cavendish36.00
Murray Edwards-30.00
Addenbrookes-48.00

Cambridge weather:Wednesdaytext or graph
Thursdaytext or graph
Fridaytext or graph
Saturdaytext or graph

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