The Club's Results

May Bumps archive

4th men's VIII

This page runs chronologically from bottom to top. To follow it in order jump to May Term 1963.

  1. May Term 2018, Grad Boat: 17th in division 4
    Down 3 - Bumped by Homerton II, Churchill III and Homerton II
  2. May Term 2017, 3rd men's VIII (Racing as M4): 14th in division 4
    Up 4 - Bumped Downing III, Queens' IV, Magdalene III and Homerton II
  3. May Term 2016: Head of division 5
    Down 1 - Bumped Selwyn III, bumped by Pembroke III and Downing III
  4. May Term 2015: 17th in division 4
    Up 3 - Bumped Trinity Hall III, Queens' IV and Christ's III
  5. May Term 2014: 2nd in division 5
    Down 3 - Bumped Trinity Hall III, bumped by Sidney Sussex II and Jesus IV
  6. May Term 2013: 16th in division 4
    Down 4 - Bumped by Corpus II, Homerton II, St. Edmund's II and Hughes Hall II
  7. May Term 2012: 14th in division 4
    Stayed level - Bumped St. Edmund's II, bumped by Christ's III
  8. May Term 2011: 14th in division 4
    Down 4 - Bumped by St. Catharine's III, Clare III, Trinity Hall III and St. Edmund's II
  9. May Term 2010: 10th in division 4
    Up 3 - Bumped Trinity Hall III, Clare III and St. Catharine's III
  10. May Term 2009: 13th in division 4
    Up 2 - Bumped Corpus II, bumped by Clare Hall
  11. May Term 2008, Grad VIII: 15th in division 4
    Down 4 - Bumped by King's II, Pembroke III, Jesus IV and Clare Hall
  12. May Term 2007: 11th in division 4
    Stayed level - Bumped LMBC IV, bumped by Wolfson II
  13. May Term 2006: 11th in division 4
    Up 4 - Bumped King's II and Sidney Sussex II, bumped by Selwyn III and Corpus II
  14. May Term 2005, Arrows VIII: 15th in division 4
    Down 2 - Bumped by Selwyn III and King's II
  15. May Term 2004: 13th in division 4
    Down 4 - Bumped by Queens' III, Churchill III, Caius III and Pembroke III
  16. May Term 2003: 9th in division 4
    Down 5 - Bumped by Trinity Hall III, Darwin II and Christ's III
  17. May Term 2002: 4th in division 4
    Down 4 - Bumped by Magdalene II, Clare III, Emmanuel III and St. Catharine's III
  18. May Term 2001: 17th in division 3
    Up 3 - Bumped LMBC IV, Corpus II and Magdalene II
  19. May Term 2000: 3rd in division 4
    Stayed level - Bumped Clare III, bumped by Pembroke III, Homerton and Homerton
  20. May Term 1999: 3rd in division 4
    Up 6 - Bumped Jesus IV, Churchill III, Queens' III and Pembroke III
  21. May Term 1998: 10th in division 4
    Down 1 - Bumped by King's II
  22. May Term 1997: 10th in division 4
    Up 6 - Bumped Clare IV, St. Catharine's III, King's II and Sidney Sussex III
  23. May Term 1996: th in division
    Up 3 - Bumped Catz III, Selwyn III and Jesus V
  24. May Term 1992: 4th in division 5
    Up 4 - Bumped Emmanuel IV, Fitzwilliam III, Pembroke IV and LMBC VII
  25. May Term 1991: th in division
    Down 3 - Bumped by CCAT, Robinson II and Emmanuel IV
  26. May Term 1990: 9th in division 5
    Down 3 - Bumped by Corpus Christi III, Churchill IV and St. Catharine's III
  27. May Term 1986: 16th in division 4
    Down 3 - Bumped by King's II, Magdalene III and King's II
  28. May Term 1985: 13th in division 4
    Down 3 - Bumped by LMBC V, LMBC VI and Fitzwilliam III
  29. May Term 1984: 10th in division 4
    Stayed level - Bumped King's II, bumped by Pembroke III
  30. May Term 1983: 9th in division 4
    Stayed level - Bumped Pembroke III, Fitzwilliam III and St. Catharine's III, bumped by Christ's III
  31. May Term 1982: 9th in division 4
    Up 3 - Bumped LMBC V, Sidney Sussex III and Fitzwilliam III
  32. May Term 1981: 10th in division 4
    Down 3 - Bumped by Emmanuel III, Fitzwilliam III and LMBC V
  33. May Term 1980: 7th in division 4
    Down 4 - Bumped by Churchill III, Sidney Sussex III, Darwin and Caius III
  34. May Term 1979: 3rd in division 4
    Down 2 - Bumped by Queens' III and Jesus IV
  35. May Term 1978: Head of division 4
    Down 2 - Bumped by King's II and Downing III
  36. May Term 1977: 15th in division 3
    Down 2 - Bumped by Peterhouse II and St. Catharine's III
  37. May Term 1976: 11th in division 3
    Stayed level - Bumped Jesus IV, bumped by LMBC IV
  38. May Term 1975: 11th in division 3
    Down 2 - Bumped by Clare III and Jesus IV
  39. May Term 1974: 9th in division 3
    Up 4 - Bumped Downing III and Clare III
  40. May Term 1973: 15th in division 3
    Down 3 - Bumped by Sidney Sussex II, Jesus III and Jesus IV
  41. May Term 1972: 12th in division 3
    Down 3 - Bumped by Downing III, Trinity Hall III and Clare III
  42. May Term 1971: 9th in division 3
    Up 2 - Bumped Downing III and Jesus III
  43. May Term 1970: 11th in division 3
    Down 1 - Bumped by Downing III
  44. May Term 1969: 10th in division 3
    Up 2 - Bumped LMBC IV and Peterhouse II
  45. May Term 1968: 12th in division 3
    Up 3 - Bumped Jesus IV
  46. May Term 1967: 15th in division 3
    Up 5 - Bumped Selwyn III, Sidney Sussex II, LMBC V, Pembroke III and Christ's III
  47. May Term 1966: 4th in division 4
    Down 1 - Bumped Clare III, bumped by Sidney Sussex II and Clare III
  48. May Term 1965: 3rd in division 4
    Up 2 - Bumped King's II and Sidney Sussex II
  49. May Term 1964: 5th in division 4
    Up 4 - Bumped Queens' III, Jesus V, Clare III and Pembroke III
  50. May Term 1963: 9th in division 4
    Down 4 - Bumped by Clare III, Churchill II, Jesus V and Queens' III

May Term 2018, Grad Boat

Wednesday
Technical row over
Our sophisticated Mays training plan did not leave room for practicing starts; our first start as a crew (plus two subs) was on the row down. Our second was at the cannon. It was abysmal. BUT no threat from the rear. Eddie's were fairly rapid ahead of us, we will conquer the crew they sent down tomorrow hopefully...
Not a man jack of us is currently sober though. We're too old for alcohol bans.
(Alex)
I didn't break my oar today, and we didn't bump... Might try something different tomorrow. (Jacob)
I was somewhat confused when Dear started to explain how to do a racing start just before the practise start, I later discovered they'd never done one and the practise was predictably terrible.

A discussion of start sequences ensued before the four minute gun though unsurprisingly led to little improvement in the actual start, a saying involving polishing turds springs to mind. Despite their start being distinctly mediocre at best the guys settled onto a nice rhythm and matched the crews around them for speed having lost about a third of a length through the first few strokes.

Homerton behind appeared to not have been told that there's an aspect of technique to rowing and spannered along with great enthusiasm and power about a length back. Out of first post it became apparent that someone had done something silly on grassy and the division became one of many to be klaxon-ed. Given the distances a technical row over was awarded.
(MC Row(e))
Thursday
Bumped by Homerton II
A less abysmal start today, but the crew lost interest at about a minute in, especially in keeping in time, and Homerton rapidly ate us up. Bow pair tried to overbump Eddies on the way home, but alas Arthur's stamina wasn't up to the task...
...tomorrow we put Kendall at stroke.
(Alex)
Somehow the start sequence improved considerably overnight and having done a vaguely respectable practise the guys hit the race a lot quicker than yesterday.

As we all know, boat speed is a function of power and efficiency and Homerton behind had given up any pretence of aiming for the latter. They did, however, have plenty of power and while ergs don't float there's no reason why you can't drag them along the bottom of the river. Around first post corner Homerton's superior power began to show and they began to move. The grads couldn't quite respond and were caught a bit out of Grassy with some good steering from Sayana saving them for a while.

How about an erg or two?
(MC Row(e))
Friday
Bumped by Churchill III
Scratched due to lack of crew availability. Downside to having a company CEO and other assorted huge deals in the boat.
On the plus side we're well-rested and raring to go tomorrow. It's entirely unclear whether we'll be fast, but it will certainly be entertaining. 
I'm wonder how Homerton feels about chasing us a second time...
(Alex)
A scratch resulted in Churchill having to row past an empty station, no small task for some crews but they managed it.

Amusingly Trinity Hall proceeded to overbump Homerton resulting in the Grads being chased by them again tomorrow.
(MC Row(e))
Saturday
Bumped by Homerton II
Hahah well that was an interesting race. Determined not to be out-muscled by anyone despite our lack of togetherness, we hit it biiiig off the start, settling to maybe r36 and maxing out on the power. With alternating legs pushes and lats pushes, we moved substantially on the crew ahead, coming within a length, and with Homerton vanishing down an extra length. Then disaster struck, and our sub caught a boat-stopping crab after the motorway bridge, no doubt due to lack of familiarity with rowing in a turbocharged washing machine. 

We stayed stationary until Homerton were less than a length off us, then we yelled a lot and did an enormous second start, and comfortably escaped them (lol), widening the gap to over a length. Alas although our strength did not die, our composure gradually got even worse, and the gap narrowed again. They got us when Arthur failed to single handedly row us round another corner (I forget which).

We consoled our sub with the fact that the race was more amusing this way. Shout out to Hannes for still being drunk from a wedding in Germany the night before, and having got only one hour's sleep (in the plane on the way back).

Back at the boathouse we pushed almost the whole of Homerton's crew into the Cam, as a minor act of vengeance for them bumping twice.
(Alex)
^ top

May Term 2017, 3rd men's VIII (Racing as M4)

^ May Term 2018, Grad Boat | ^ top

May Term 2016

^ May Term 2017, 3rd men's VIII (Racing as M4) | ^ top

May Term 2015

Wednesday
Bumped Trinity Hall III
A good day for the Graduate VIII.
Given that 6 of our guys have never rowed bumps before, and that our cox is heavier than the 2 guys in the boat who have rowed bumps before, and that 2 of us have never rowed before this term, and that we drink beer after every outing, and that the boat in front of us did not crash and caught no crabs, I'm rather stoked that we bumped in 38 seconds.
The question is whether we can carry on cruising given that we are going out every night this week, and that our 3 man is currently completely battered and fell backwards out of a window earlier. Let's hope the answer is yes.

Our bow camera caught some sterling footage. Enjoy:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uu40IpSefOE
(Alex)
The first problem with bumping before First Post corner when starting from station 3 is that you don't get the practice the bumpy water in the gut and plough reach, or the corners. The second, more important problem, is that Iain struggles to get up to your bows by the time you need that first whistle.  The third is that the closing time from a canvas to overlap is less than the time interval required to blow 3 whistles.

Update: Trinity Hall III seem to have scratched due to severe embarrassment.
(mt)
Thursday
Bumped Queens' IV
Woooo we gained the M4 headship!!!

This bump took a little longer - maybe a minute and a half - and annoyingly we accidentally set the GoPro on burst mode so we don't have a video.

We pulled up beside some spectators from Murray Edwards BC (or New Hall if you're as old as me and Murray Edwards still sounds wrong), and asked them for a swap. They said yes, but only if we get blades. Challenge accepted...
(Alex)
Coming around First Post Corner I was concerned that we had blown having rowed a significantly longer piece than yesterday. Then we RAMMED them. (mt)
Thursday
Rowed over as sandwich boat
Having beaten Selwyn M2 by 20" at Champs Head, we were ready for the double over bump on Selwyn M3. Unfortunately, we had underestimated just how slow Selwyn M3 were and they were bumped by the previously over bumped Sindey Sussex M2 (technically disallowed). We were left chasing the over bump on Magdalene M3 - the one crew we were particularly concerned about being able to bump. We closed the 6.5 lengths to 2 lengths however, but then ran out of river. Definitely rammable with a little more tactics, if required on Saturday. (mt)
Friday
Rowed over Head
Moved away, kept moving away. (mt)
Friday
Bumped Christ's III as sandwich boat
A bit of a stress to get straight from crossing Top Finish back to the Lock and pulled in, even with our CUCBC approved queue skip. Unfortunately this led to what can only be described as a disaster of a race, mostly gaining on and hitting Christ's M3 because they blew up somewhere near first post corner. It didn't help that the call for Ramming Speed bumps push caused us to slow down, only prolonging the horror. Never again. (mt)
Saturday
Rowed over
Challenged with a repeat of day 2.2 we had reviewed our previous attempt at over bumping Magdalene M3 and agreed that over a longer course we could have made it, so all we had to do was go a bit harder. So that's what we did! We managed to take an extra length and a half or so out of Magdalene before Ditton compared to our previous attempt, and it looked like it was on. Unfortunately, we then lost a lot of speed around the corner and as we came out it seemed that we had lost almost all of the extra ground we had made up. The fact is that experience does play a part in bumps, and with such an inexperienced crew, with so few outings behind them, something was bound to go. We slowly edged back into them up The Reach, and moved up a lot in our final sprint, but crossed the line just inside station.

Any other crew boys...any other crew.
(mt)
^ May Term 2016 | ^ top

May Term 2014

Wednesday
Rowed over
The start seemed to take them by surprise so was a bit scrappy but despite this they quickly began moving away from Jesus IV and gained a bit on Hughes. Unfortunately Hughes had gained rapidly on Tit Hall and caught them within 3 or 4 stations before forgetting to clear. Tom (correctly) elected to stop before any collisions ensued. Jesus and Magdalene also decided to stop resulting in a re-row of the bottom 3 boats. Unfortunately this left M4 with nothing to chase and after they'd rapidly pulled out to around 3 lengths on Jesus, Jesus were caught by Magdalene leaving M4 as the only racing boat in the division. Instead of winding down and paddling home Tom decided that some practise was in order so completed the course at race rate. From todays performance I'm confident that M4 are faster than most of the boats around them so it's upwards from Tomorrow! Well rowed guys!

(p.s. James Dixon: If the name tag on this race report shows up as Ronnie Coleman, you're in trouble...)

Edit: It would appear I am no longer Ronnie. Good.
(MC Row(e))
Thursday
Bumped Trinity Hall III
A really close one... After a frantic start, we gained to about half a length off Tit Hall M3, while at the same time Magdalene M3 also chased us down to half a length. While a stride was called, the amount of whistles, shouting, and turbulence in the water meant that we kept the rate very high and hectically tried to close down on Tit Hall through the wake.   Approaching the motorway bridge, both boats closed down to canvas, and then overlap. At some point during the sandwich, Barney screamed to hold it up, and after pulling in, told us we had bumped (mounted) on Tit Hall, barely missing Magdalene.   I now have a floppy branch in my room. Awesome.
(Tom)
After nearly being run down by what initially appeared to be a large Flump while cycling round Chesterton (later revealed to be a hideously painted car), I arrived at marshalling to find the division had been delayed by an errant horse. Luckily M4 proved able to improve my mood and, after a respectable start, rapidly began to close on Tit Hall. A few frantic strokes later M4 got the bump just after the motorway bridge with Magdalene just coming into overlap from behind. A great row guys, let's continue upwards tomorrow! (MC Row(e))
Friday
Overbumped by Sidney Sussex II
****.
(Tom)
Today was both Flump-free and horse-free. Unfortunately it was also bump free. Despite some good rowing and impressive cornering from Tom, Christs were able to hold M4 off and push away. Coming onto the reach it became apparent that Sidney were gaining and despite some evasive steering, were able to bump just before the railway bridge. (MC Row(e))
Saturday
Bumped by Jesus IV
A decent start off first post corner, but rapid gains meant a bump by Jesus was inevitable shortly after grassy. Even so, the crew gave it their all, well done guys, you deserved to have done much better.
(Tom)
I woke up (later than planned) to find an email informing me that a pyromaniac had reduced the toilets at baits bite to a heap of molten plastic and advising 'suitable preparations' be made. While wondering if they where suggesting investing in 6 crews worth of nappys I looked outside and found that it was rather overcast. This was especially disappointing as a term out in the sun wearing sunglasses had resulted in some strange tanlines that made me look like a reverse panda and any chance of correcting this issue appeared to have vanished.

Hungry for bamboo I set off towards marshaling and soon received a phonecall from Barney requesting I return to the boathouse to retreive a new cox box. Luckily I'd been lugging one around for the whole week as a spare so continued my journey, happy in the knowledge that my ridiculous over-preparation had finally come in useful (I've yet to find a use for 100m of gaffer tape, 20m of rope, 3 pairs of sunglasses, 4 spanners, 15 cable ties, a first aid kit, a sewing kit, an emergency blanket and 10m of velcro though).

When I finally arrived I found that the division was running late, possibly nappy changing was delaying the lower divisions as the horse appeared to has sated it's desire for adventure and remained at home. Eventually we set off and as we arrived at head station the 4 minute gun went leaving us no time to inspect the molten heap of plastic. 5 minutes later, (yes 5), the start gun fired and M4 began their last race of the year.

Unfortunately it would appear that Jesus have learnt how to row since day 1 and they began to close the gap coming into First Post Corner and managed the bump coming onto Plough Reach. Of course this could be a cunning ploy on the behalf of M4 to obtain as many different results as possible having already bumped, rowed over and been over-bumped. If not, at least being bumped prevented the guys having to row the course again, (as sandwich boat), and saved me from having to cycle it 4 times in one day, thanks guys.

Overall I'm extremely proud of the crew and their rowing this week, indeed this year. While Down 3 is not the result we'd hoped for and certainly not the deserved result for the amount of commitment shown thoughout the term, Bumps is, as a nice old guy from jesus told me on day 1, a good reminder that life isn't necessarily fair. Next time guys, Next time.
(MC Row(e))
^ May Term 2015 | ^ top

May Term 2013

^ May Term 2014 | ^ top

May Term 2012

Wednesday
Bumped St. Edmund's II
I think our start was all right today, though not as good as it has been in the past. (The lack of practice starts might not have helped.)

In the first few strokes, we were treated to the sight of Jesus IV behind us travelling across the river and soon reaching the bank, having perhaps not got their starting angle quite right.

Then St. Edmund's II in front of us caught a couple of severe crabs, and we bumped them at about the 10th stroke of the race.

So, a good result for us, but bad luck for St. Edmund's II. We need to keep focused and be prepared for harder races for the rest of the week: we still don't actually have much idea what St. Edmund's II (who will be chasing us tomorrow and hoping for revenge) are like when not catching crabs: apparently we were gaining on them before this happened, but there was not really enough time to get a good idea. (Chris E.)
With our brilliantly set boat pause paddling behind Jesus IV on the row down we knew there wasn't going to be much pressure from behind. This turned out to be guaranteed when Jesus apparently went careering off into the bank 5 strokes in - causing our stroke man to laugh. The race itself was not much longer going something along the lines of:

Draw - 1; Draw - 2; Draw - 3 (3/4 length down);
Wind - 1; Wind - 2; Wind - 3; Wind - they've got a cra-; Wind - 5 (1/4 length down);
Length - there; Length - there; L - HOLD IT UP (cox is hit by bow's blade)

Given the number of blunders on St Edmunds part our race was exceptionally short, though their multiple crabs are probably indicative of the carnage that will be occuring in our wash tomorrow. Solid 'row' boys, let's go out tomorrow and do the same. (A. Manion)
Oh my, we were so happy. St Edmund's II were an enigma; we had no idea how they would perform. We assumed it was basically their M1 from Lents', which spooned in embarrassing style, being bumped by such giants of rowing as Darwin I, given their ludicrous number of returning blues, and we may have been right. Our worry was that they would bump out with Tit Hall III too early for us to bump them, and then St Cats III would prove too speedy for us to close with. We fretted an planned and decided that day one was categorically the most difficult and important day.
We started, our seven and stroke men in gales of laughter at the antics of Jesus IV behind us, and we got half way through our lengthen strokes before the cause of Iain's shouting became apparent.
A glance to my left shows their stern rapidly falling behind me; I lift my blade barely in time to avoid the stern of their boat as the rest of the our crew tries to hold it up urgently, but to no avail; my spoon thumps their cox in the back, and my blade handle punches me in the stomach (leaving a bruise which made tapping down painful for the next couple of days, if you're feeling sympathetic), ripping my feet out of the footplates and me off my seat, and I very nearly go for yet another swim in the Cam. Apparently they caught two crabs and an overhead crab off the start. If only things had continued in that vein. (John)
Thursday
Rowed over
Our start was reasonable, especially considering that we were using Titan, a heavier boat which we were not used to, instead of Richard Church.

We did gain quite well on Trinity Hall III, apparently getting to within about 3/4 length of them, but then St. Catharine's III in front of them caught some crabs and so got bumped promptly despite having rowed over yesterday. Then we were closing on Selwyn III and seemingly fast enough to get the overbump before the finish line, but they also bumped up before we could catch them.

Two more pairs of boats also bumped out, so the only thing we could possibly chase was a quadruple overbump on Clare Hall. This was judged not feasible (or perhaps they had actually reached the finish line by this point) and the boats behind us had also bumped out so we were instructed to wind it down near the Plough.

On the Reach, Jason at 6 kept expressing concern that Homerton II would get a double overbump on us, but in fact there remained plenty of distance between us as well as the scope for us to have wound it back up if necessary. Having said that, we did not seem to keep this part of the race as tidy and efficient as we might have.

This result denies us blades, but there was not really anything we could have done about it - in Bumps we will always be subject to the whims of the crews around us. We need to keep the focus tomorrow: maybe we will catch St. Catharine's III or maybe they will bump back on Trinity Hall III and we will be chasing the overbump on Jesus III (who are down 2 so far). Also, we might have some real pressure from behind this time from Christ's III (who are up 2 so far), so we need to keep our cool and be prepared to keep pushing on even if we are having to row over. (Chris E.)
We get to the boathouse and are pleasantly informed that M6 have written off the bow of our boat. This provides the much need confidence boost. We row down in Peter Brandt, then swap with a pleasant M5 crew who have just bumped to row in Titan, a boat in which my feet kept coming out of the footplates. Thanks M5. Fantastic way to begin the day.
We start, the boat two ahead of us, St Cats, who we would like to heavily scold for being too damn awful, catches three or so crabs off the start and so Tit Hall catches them instantly. We get depressed as we row past but feel the overbump is on the cards. Nobody chases us as the fearsome Christ's III catches the meek St Edmund's almost as quickly as we did.
Unfortunately, the overbump wasn't on the cards, because although we were gaining on Selwyn III, it wasn't enough to catch them before they bumped out Jesus III at Ditton. Then there really was nothing to chase, and we paddled down the reach, watching a desperate Homerton boat overrate us by ten in a desperate attempt to catch up and so avoid the sandwich position the following day. (John)
Friday
Bumped by Christ's III
Not long after the start, we started getting whistles on St. Catharine's III, continued closing on them, and then a Bumps push was called. Unfortunately, they had also been gaining on Trinity Hall III (who I hear might in fact have caught a crab at around this time...) and managed to get their bump just before we would have got ours.

Alex did a very good job of steering us around them, but the Bumps push had taken a lot out of us and it soon became apparent that Christ's III were noticeably gaining on us and we did not seem able to respond.

We went quite wide around Grassy Corner and they got overlap, but they steered for the bump and so came through outside us, allowing us to pull away coming out of the corner. This, however, did not last for long: they moved up again and caught us outside the Plough.

So, a very disappointing result, and again one that was influenced by the goings on in front of us. It is a shame that we did not find the energy to keep off Christ's III, whom we managed to beat in Nines Regatta, as we had apparently got most of the way to overbumping Jesus III, but I think we can be pleased with our performance especially considering how much we had put into the earlier Bumps push.

Tomorrow is a new race, so we need to go into it aiming to do as well as possible and not let ourselves be put off by today (or by protesters). (Chris E.)
Back in a taped up and much maligned Richard Church, we're still happier in her than Titan, even if the amount of water it feels the bows let on is considerable. Much joking about me sinking. We're told the bow will fall off if we hit anything.
We start, we push, we bumps push, we get overlap with St Cats' III whose cox then concedes, all before first post. This all sounds just fine, thank you very much. Unfortunately, a second before the Cats' boat concedes, the Tit Hall III stroke man apparently fell off his seat, allowing the Tit Hall cox to concede a half second before the Cats' one. We easy and almost hold it up because we think we've bumped, and Christ's power it round the corner. Then the next instruction is a command to go back to full pressure at race pace, as Alex weaves in and around the melee ahead of us, unavoidably losing us yet more distance and speed over our pursuers. We get back in to rhythm, conveniently exhausted after our fantastically effective bumps push, and spend a very long time desperately trying to push Christ's away. I must apologise for our grassy line, although luckily they steered for the bump. We were caught a length or two off the overbump, as we reached the plough. Gutted. (John)
Saturday
Rowed over
Off the start we moved up a bit on Christ's III, but as expected they got their bump on Trinity Hall III. We chased the overbump on St. Catharine's III, and had apparently closed the gap to 3 lengths a bit before Grassy. Unfortunately, we were then klaxoned due to a blockage up ahead, and with the umpires in no mood to hold rerows with the event already running very late, technical row-overs were awarded.

So a disappointing result from the Bumps campaign considering the standard of the crew, but this was mostly because of the antics of St. Catharine's III and Trinity Hall III ahead of us. Yesterday was the only race that we could have done anything about ourselves, and that may have required planning not to chase the bump but just to go at a steady pace and hope for an eventual overbump - which is considered a dangerous strategy. (Chris E.)
Ah, protestors! You did manage to screw over somebody's day after all. After watching them approch, we hung out gazing at Ian Bone and his elderly anarchists wave banners at our boathouse. This was quite amusing, although we couldn't hear a word they were saying over the ghastly wind, which would prove a dominant feature of the day's rowing. The wildlife protestors in their ultra environmentally friendly outboard-motor driven boat held up the races by over an hour, achieving basically nothing other than general annoyance and much generation of counter arguments to their activities. Like I've never killed a swan. Or a duckling. Georgia would kill me if I tried...

So as predicted, the boats ahead of us, after spannering around for the last few days bump out again, pretty much immediately. We're used to this by now, and had planned for the overbump or the double overbump from the beginning. We knew we could do it; all that remained was a little bit more pushing. Ah, were that were so. Over half way to the overbump on Cats', just round first post corner we're told to easy then hold it up as we approach their stern. Then we hear the klaxon and we're told that King's celebrated A Bump (we're also told this is very exciting for King's) by not clearing and parking across the breadth of the river. They were at the head of the division, and as a result, unless you'd bumped before first post (as Christ's did, earning their blades, to much bitterness from us given we beat them outright at Nine's), racing was over and everyone was awarded technical row overs. There was no time to rerow the division, no way to make an exception for people just about to overbump because they were already running an hour behind. So we were livid.
We entertained ourselves pettily by rowing slightly scrappily but pretty efficiently in the truly dreadful headwind on the reach, and catching up to Cats', easying perfectly sat and drifting past their stern to bump them gently, before letting them get a bit more distance and beginning to row again, every time a little nudge; this is us bumping you, this is us bumping you. Goddammit. (John)

1. M4 strike a pose
2. M4 crew photo

^ May Term 2013 | ^ top

May Term 2011

Wednesday
Bumped by St. Catharine's III
After we were prevented by exam timings from having any outings for the past week-and-a-half, today was always going to be interesting.

The start felt a bit panicked, and the stride seemed weak and indistinct. A fair amount of rush remained throughout and balance was not really there. Catz 3 kept moving up on us, and bumped before First Post Corner.

This is a disappointing result, but it is important to remember that we have a lot of potential for improvement. The very first outing after so much time off is unlikely to be ideal, and for most of the term we have been rowing much more cleanly with better rhythm and balance, so we should be able to get back into it if we approach things more calmly.

We need to approach tomorrow with a positive mindset to be ready to take advantage of any Lolcatz incident that may happen ahead, and also for the possibility of chasing Selwyn 3 for an overbump in the case of a bump ahead of us. (Chris E.)
Thursday
Bumped by Clare III
We have improved a lot since yesterday, but still have some changes to make.

The start felt much better. The stride was still a bit indistinct, but we managed to find a fairly solid rhythm, and initially held Clare 3 at a roughly constant distance.

Unfortunately, when Clare began to get a bit closer, it seems that we responded predominantly by rowing shorter, leading to a loss of boat speed and thus a bump before long.

Despite the result, we need to realise that we are improving rapidly. Tomorrow we just need to keep our improvements from today and focus on retaining our composure, avoiding rush on the slide and getting out to full length every stroke, even when under pressure, as this is the only effective way to keep the boat moving. (Chris E.)
Friday
Bumped by Trinity Hall III
Again an improvement, although the result did not show it.

As we were pushing off, there was a slight problem with the cox box leading to a high-pitched electronic sound. This was fixed before the starting gun, though it might have left some of us feeling a bit startled.

Nevertheless, the start seemed reasonable, and it felt like we were getting more length right until the end. This was unfortunately not long after the motorway bridge.

We still have improvements to make: we were not always quite in time, balance was variable, and the stride could have been stronger. Let us keep up the improvement and finish off with a last day of Bumps that we can be really proud of. (Chris E.)
Saturday
Bumped by St. Edmund's II
Once again a massive improvement.

We went off powerfully from the start, moving up on Trinity Hall 3 and holding station with St. Edmund's 2.

The stride felt stronger than on previous days and we kept going hard, apparently closing to between 1/2 to 3/4 lengths off Trinity Hall 3. This represents a huge improvement considering that yesterday they gained on us and bumped.

Unfortunately, not far after the motorway bridge, I (at 7) scraped my blade against the bank. This took some boat speed off in itself and also disrupted the rhythm, which took a couple of strokes to fully recover, leading to a further loss of speed. By this point we were also beginning to tire after the previous push, and thus seemed unable to accelerate the boat back up to speed. The bump from St. Edmunds 2 came before First Post Corner.

Overall, a disappointing set of Bumps results, which I think above all shows the importance of keeping the training up. If we had rowed on the first day like we did today, Catz would probably not have got the bump. More outings, especially just before Bumps, would have helped us to do this. More ergs throughout the term would probably also have helped to improve power and fitness.

I urge everyone not to be disheartened by these results, and to keep training over summer, looking to get into M2 or better next term. (Chris E.)
^ May Term 2012 | ^ top

May Term 2010

Wednesday
Rowed over
As per usual, bumps brings mishaps aplenty before the racing even begins. M5 rowed past us at the King's boathouse cheering, at which point we reminded them (in not a particularly kind way I admit...) that they were supposed to leave their boat at the P&E for us to take. Honestly... :P Then by the lock, a Clare rower managed to find a way to break his blade - rather unsuprisingly they then got bumped.

Ah yes, the race. We set off well; a nice solid and quick start before settling on rate 34 with a fairly decent ratio. Anglia Ruskin II were crabbing somewhere in the distance, so we knew this was going to be between us and Tit Hall III. Despite a solid race with us rowing "at least twice as well as them" - Miles Galloway - We couldn't seem to get under half a length of them. Oh and there was our rather spectacular line around grassy which saw bow side blades eviscerating a king's crew, but we can ignore that (yes its my fault for not getting catches in...).

Lets get them tomorrow guys. YEAH BUDDY! (A. Barrell)
Rowing over is tough for a cox, but 50 times worse for a rower I've learnt.

We had a good start, it was chunky and sharp, and as we approached the Ditch we got one whistle, two as we approached First Post corner. Behind us, ARU II were crabbing several times, once during their wind, but didn't seem to make up any ground lost when they got it back together again.

Unfortunately we just didn't quite have the coordination to execute a finish manoeuvre on Tit Hall III and along the entire course we moved towards and away from them between one length and half a length. We had a really good push on the Reach but it was too late by that stage. I congratulate Tit Hall on being committed as we closed and having the nerve to keep going despite us closing at several points in the race.

Tomorrow we will be sharper and more fluid than today - it was a good row today but there is more. We'll be taking the fight right back to them again. (Mark)
With a strong push off an emphatic start, I think the general attitude in the boat was one of complacency - I know I certainly expected a bump before too long. Tit Hall III showed an impressive amount of dedication, though, and proved us wrong, drawing out a painful row over, with our bow fluctuating between one to half a length off their stern.

The quality of the rowing felt solid and committed - especially once we realised the bump wouldn't be as fast as anticipated and, if nothing else, today can be viewed as testament to the vast improvements we have made as a team over the course of the term.

With ARU II a safe distance behind us for the entire race, tomorrow we can truly focus on one thing and one thing only: finishing what we didn't quite manage today. (Alec)
Possibly our best piece of rowing to date, however we really lacked aggression, both in rate and pressure. Tomorrow, we need to find that extra gear to pull out the killer move and really finish them off.

And a final note on the 'incident' on grassy. Apologies to the king's crew we crashed into, but Richard Church is pretty famous for not turning left, it really is a tricky boat to steer. Our tendency to lose control and catches at the front end doesn't hep either. Lots to improve on tomorrow, and hopefully we will, because Morley's Holt is a long assed way... (Swords)
Thursday
Bumped Trinity Hall III
Finished off what we failed to do yesterday. There were a few things which were really useful about this race though. Firstly, we had ARU close very quickly on us, so much so that I thought that we were in serious problems. However a massively commited if a bit spacky bumps push gave us another 10 odd strokes, which gave them enough time to blow up. Secondly, although we didn't have a functioning cox box (massive credit to Rachel for managing to cox that race without one), I'm pretty sure that the rate was a bit higher than yesterday, and although we spacked more, it was definitely faster.

A good race, and particularly gratifying as a large percentage of this crew spooned in Lents, so this was thier first bump. Congratulations to them :) (Swords)
Now that's more like it. This result is a day late, but still most welcome.

We set out with the mind that we would attack the course harder and bump Tit Hall III before the Reach. We expected few problems from ARU II behind us; instead the only issue we thought we'd have was with Clare III ahead of Tit Hall who were potentially catchable for them.

Out start felt good, solid, committed and sharp. Thanks to Iain and Rachel's initial line we powered up towards the motorway bridge. Luckily, one of the few things I heard from Rachel (due to a faulty coxbox) was the stride, which we settled into really well. We approached the motorway bridge and encountered our first problem: ARU II had closed and was closing rapidly. At one point I was worried we were going to be bumped as they closed to within one length whilst we still hadn't got a whistle. The crew did impeccably though; we gritted out teeth and pushed hard at the same rate and held them with about 1/3 of a length between us just as we closed on Tit Hall to one length. That one whistle kept us going and at that point I had the confidence in the crew to hang on in there.

As the second whistle came, ARU II started to die, their burst had failed to finish us and they dropped away in the Ditch. We then got three whistles and Rachel called for the Bumps push - the second and only other call I heard in that race - which was also relayed via the bankparty. We took the rate up, squeezed extremely hard and rapidly closed on Tit Hall to bump them as we entered the Gut.

An excellent row in my opinion, and well done to both Tit Hall for closing to about 2/3 length off Clare III in front of them, and of course to ARU II for their do-or-painful-row-over push in the first section of the race which was a surprise.

And here's a video of it! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yu8z5eHBMI0 (Mark)
What a row. Following yesterday's painful row over for the boats either side of us, it seemed we all set off today with exactly the same tactic: do or die.

Today we traded some of the technicality we had yesterday for pure power and it paid off. ARU II, who had been harmless yesterday, suddenly posed a massive threat today, pushing hard for us off the start. I'm glad to say we kept our heads and kept the pressure on and let them burn out.

Tit Hall III ahead of us had similarly run out of steam and a second bumps push saw us bumping them before too long.

Special thanks to Rachel, who coped marvellously without a cox box and hopefully hasn't shouted her voice hoarse for another bump tomorrow. (Alec)
POWER! Awesome row guys, ARU II gave us a bit of a fright, but we didn't panic and put in a great bumps push to secure victory. More of the same tomorrow please! (Alex)
Friday
Bumped Clare III
A good day of racing. Not much to be said here except that we weren't sure what Catz III were like so we had to go off hard and hit Clare III as fast as possible.

The start was a little bit wobbly, I just managed to put my blade back in in time after a tap as the gun went off, but we soon got into a really good rhythm and powered through the motorway bridge. We got our first whistle approaching the Ditch, and as soon as we got our 2nd whistle we rapidly closed down on Clare to bump them before First Post. Hopefully more of the same tomorrow!

Video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EgVTiVEVVoo (Mark)
This is how bumps races ought to go. The race was over before we even started our bumps push.

Bring on bump number 3 tomorrow! (Alec)
Another good effort guys, once we closed to within a length we put some work down and finished em off well. The actual bumps push was maybe a bit wobbly, but we had built up enough speed that it didn't really matter too much.

Hopefully tomorrow we can build on our start, with some legs and power calls during the wind and once again get a quick bump. According to Sam Jackson "Catz are a bunch of pussies". What a witty guy... (Alex)
A great row. I was ready for a fight but we didn't even get that far. As soon as we started pushing, I think we gained both a speed and a psychological advantage - Clare collapsed and the bump came very quickly.

Let's go for another up one tomorrow to finish off bumps nicely! (G.S.D. Gordon)
Same as day 2, but maybe with slightly better execution. Bumps push was pretty special, but it was at least powerful, in M4 terms. We'll have to set off hard to hit Catz III on the last day though (Swords)
Saturday
Bumped St. Catharine's III
A touch disappointing really. We had been droppped a bit, but then seemed to gain around first post. We were perhaps on one whistle entering Grassy when a crew badly cleared on the inside forced us and Catz wide. Catz then stacked the corner, and we rowed into them. A pity we weren't able to make the bump in the traditional way, as I believe we would have, but hey. Also a pity we didn't go up on day 1, as looking at the charts that may have allowed us a shot at blades, but then that's bumps, these things happen. (Swords)
A bump is a bump is a bump. Although it was quite an anti-climatic bump.

St. Catz had blasted off the start to open up the gap between the motorway bridge and the Ditch. We had to dig deep since we were concerned Downing III ahead of them could be quite slow.

However, Downing held them off and as we approached First Post we started to claw back ground on Catz; we were inside station entering the Gut and closing to nearly 1 length as Catz started the corner.

Because a boat was on the inside of Grassy both the Catz cox and Rachel had to take a wide line, the Catz boat not making it and parking on the bank. Massive calls for bowside pressure and strokeside lightening up saw us bring it round and we would've made the corner had Catz not been unfortunate enough to be stuck there in front of us.

A disappointing bump; we would've liked to have bumped properly and I suspect the battle would have gone to the Reach which would've been exciting if not exhausting.

Nevertheless, up 3 was the 2nd best result of Fat this term; I have been very pleased with M4 and throughly enjoyed the time together. Thanks to all members and coaches for making it such a fun and successful crew. Good luck to next year's M4!

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1JhpA858M0 (Mark)

1. Passing First Post
2. Approaching First Po...
3. FaT M4 chasing Catz
[more...]

^ May Term 2011 | ^ top

May Term 2009

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
[more...]

^ May Term 2010 | ^ top

May Term 2008, Grad VIII

Friday
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. (Cynthia)

1. Racing round First P...
2. Struggling to clear ...
3. Clare Hall win their...
[more...]

^ May Term 2009 | ^ top

May Term 2007

Wednesday
Rowed over
Good first day from the grad boys. Set off hard and established a solid rythym. Got inside station on Corpus II but sadly LMBC IV fell apart and then took it wide round grassy before falling to Corpus just after the corner.

The boys and Sarah were keen to have a crack at the overbump but prevented by carnage.

Pembroke III were never a threat and fell back to about 8 lengths behind before conceding the overbump to Wolfson II. (C.S.Dunleavy)
Thursday
Bumped LMBC IV
Congratulations on regaining the 4th VIII headship. (Matt)
Moved up pretty swiftly on LMBC IV, but were also under pressure from Wolfson II who had overbumped yesterday. Held it together and thankfully bumped LMBC IV entering the Gut. Caused a lot of carnage though! (Martin P)
Friday
Rowed over
Complete and utter bollocks. Our best piece yet spoiled by amateur carnage. If Corpus escape us all week on technicalities, it will be criminal. (Nick)
Saturday
Bumped by Wolfson II
Preemptively disqualified by a Nazi field marshall ... technical bump awarded to a boat full of fat men who couldn't avoid hitting our stationary boat on the bank ... and those hacks in front get a technical row over for crashing.

What can you even begin to say?

Only in this best of all possible worlds could a trash boat like Corpus M2 get away with what they got away with this week. Personally, I'm doing a PhD just to come back and sort them out next year. I honestly think we rowed well enough to get blades had it not been for so much dreadful luck. All in all, not bad for a bunch of out-of-shape drunks. (Nick)

1. No life jacket means...
2. Wolfson II make a B-...
3. Spot the lifejacket ...
[more...]

^ May Term 2008, Grad VIII | ^ top

May Term 2006

Wednesday
Bumped King's II
Kings faltered as they saw the bright golden glow of the gradVIII storming towards them. We bumped by the motorway bridge, I think we just about fitted in the stride. Tomorrow things seem to have been messed up by this double overbump! I guess it's up to us to get revenge on Corpus for the Vth's.

And why did Jesus have ETANIMOD written on their backs? (Neil)
Neil means the "motorway bridge". (Smiley Mark)
ETANIMOD is an anagram of NEMATOID, which means 'parasitic worm-like'. Hope this helps. (Neil T)
Good luck boys! Hit 'em with blinding brilliance :) (Tudor)
Thursday
Double overbumped Sidney Sussex II
WOW! (jo)
Absolutely amazing row. From the 6 seat I couldn't tell how far we were off Sidney, and initially thought we were simply being encouraged. Rounding Ditton into the reach we were more than 8 lengths distant, but closing with each stroke.

As the calls got more emphatic and louder ("No, REALLY, you're going to get them!!!"), and random people on the bank starting joining in, I started to believe we might actually do it.

According to the bank party, Sidney's bow had already crossed the finish line when we smacked into them, cutting it a little fine with barely a stroke left in the race. (Tom)
Have it!! (Smiley Mark)
Just wrote a huge report then lost it, oh well, here I go again.

Great result! Worse start than yesterday and Corpus bumped out very quickly, they were soon followed by Selwyn, meaning we were chasing at least a double overbump, but we kept plugging away. Grassy didn't go to well, and I had to draw my blade in to avoid the bank but we had a good drive down plough reach and a good Ditton which meant we were at least within sight of them.

When you're told that you're gaining you wonder if that still means the other crew is just a speck. We had a massive lift in the reach and when we heard a four length call we knew it was a possibility. This was accompanied by someone jumping around maniacally on the bank, a sure sign it was on.

Amelia was telling us that she had faith in us, and after we got a 2 length call before the bridge I had faith too. After passing the railway bridge there was a half lenth call and some improvised signals on a bike bell. When you're that far away and running out of river you just have to go for it don't you? We wound it up on the slide spacktastically but obviously better than Sidney managed. Overlap... Amelia steered for the bump... and Mark got them with his blade just before the line... ecstacy!

That make up for missing out in similar circumstance 3 years ago!

We had to pull in at the P&E to change boats, so it made sense to get a libation to celebrate, thanks Erica! Also big thanks to our bank party, Julia, Mike, Christoph and anyone else who joined in.

We know we can improve some things for tomorrow, but a good row up today set us up well. Hopefully we can get a crack at Maggie IV and the IVth VIII headship before the week is out.

Cashback! (Neil)
I definitely had the best seat for this one - amazing stuff!

The paddle up was really good today, nice and focussed with a pretty good, if a little overenthusiastic, practice start at the Plough. We knew Corpus were likely to go hard off the start so the plan was to try and catch anything that was still rowing ahead of us...

At the start, we weren't ideally positioned with the bungline going taut and the bows swinging around slightly. The first stroke wasn't great and it took a little while to properly get going.

Corpus bumped out early as expected, and fortunately we had enough time to get around them on the outside (not sure Pete Convey would have been best pleased if we'd tried to wangle a technical double-overbump...). Around first post I checked and saw that King's behind us definitely wouldn't be a threat, and so we gritted our teeth and settled in for a long hard slog. Passing yet more bumped out crews down the gut I thought there might not be anything left to chase, but as we came around/into Grassy (oops, the less said about it, the better!) I saw the speck of a crew ahead just going around Ditton. That's a whole lotta lengths but there's always a chance, so we stepped it up a gear and went into our grind push down Plough Reach, bringing the boat speed up nicely.

A tight line around Ditton (thanks Pete and Charles) and a great lift out of the corner saw a further increase in boat speed and at this point I began to wonder whether we might actually be able to get them. They were maybe 8 lengths off at the bottom of the reach, meaning we'd closed 3.5 so far, not bad considering our trip into the bank.

We had a series of power calls and lifts which saw us simply reel them in, we were gaining visibly on every stroke, such that by the time we were half way down the reach we'd closed to around four lengths and I finally could see who we were chasing (Sidney 2). By now we were really motoring and I told the guys the bump was on if they kept their heads and kept at it. The increase in power and sheer determination was superb, we went up another gear and soon closed to about 2 lengths. As the railway bride cast its shadow ahead I knew we had less than three minutes to finish them, but also knew for definite that we could actually get them. We pushed hard off the bridge to within station and kept inching further towards them. By now the golden grads had given it absolutely everything and more, but under the lycra they found just a little extra and the whistles came in quick succession. I saw Mark's blade tantalisingly close to their stern as Morley's Holt, apparently at warp-speed, loomed ever nearer. Finally we made physical contact and held it up, with less than five strokes of the course left. What an amazing feeling, I still can't really believe it happened! Cue wild celebrations in the boat, and some very gentlemanly applause from Sidney (thanks guys!); the only sensible thing to do seemed to be to pull in and grab a quick pint at the P&E before swapping boats with M3 and paddling home in sixes.

WOW!

************************
Also I forgot to say particular congratulations to Andy Wong on his 50th bumps race today - a double-overbump seems a very fitting way to bring up his half-century! (Amelia)
Friday
Bumped by Selwyn III
Gutted.

Good start, not our best stride, but it wasn't too long before we had the first whistle on queens. Got to First post corner and Selwyn still seemed on station. They gained a bit on the corner and our usual big lift in the gut failed to materialise. By this time we'd forgotten about Queens and never heard a second whistle but apparently we got within half a length.

They had much better line round grassy and a HUGE push which we weren't able to co-ordinate one to counter.

Very disappointing as we could definitely got queens before they got Maggie, especially if we weren't worrying about Selwyn. Better corners, communication and more co-ordinated pushes and we'd have been fine, and we know we're capable of all these. I'm sure we're all having our post-mortems, but I'm keen to get out there and demonstrate that we should be the head IVth VIII and that we didn't bump up out of our depth. Would be good to have the whole course to have a go back at Selwyn, but I'm sure they'll have their eyes on a quick bump on Maggie. (Neil)
Saturday
Bumped by Corpus II
A much better race today than yesterday. However, Corpus II (already up 8 and rowing for their blades) were simply faster, and caught us on Grassy. Ahead, Selwyn III (also rowing for their blades) had pulled away off the start and eventually bumped LMBC IV (don't know where though).

Thanks to Thursday's stunning rowing, we're still up 4! (Tom)
Oh well. If we'd been offered up 4 on Wednesday we'd have grabbed it, but that doesn't stop the result seeming somehow disappointing. The key day was yesterday where a not too a bit more and we could have got queens before Selwyn got us leaving us an easy bump today. Instead we were between two fast blading crews. Practise of pushing away from/in to crews would be good for next years crew.

Today we got hit in the gut, so we didn't get the chance to blame Richard Church and Grassy. We still didn't make it round grassy on the row back though!

Good coxing from mark on the way home, but it's never a good idea to let a cox row, it messed up our style completely.

Should day that we're obviously camera shy and coun't perform in front of the french doculmentary crew that have been on our tail the last two days! (Neil)

1. Poor injured Fergus
2. Last ditch effort
3. Under some pressure
[more...]

^ May Term 2007 | ^ top

May Term 2005, Arrows VIII

Wednesday
Rowed over
A very eventful first half, and overall a very gutsy row-over.

Day 1 saw the Arrows sitting at position 13, chasing Pembroke III and ahead of Kings II. After an excellent practice start for the spectators in the Plough Reach, the real start was perhaps not up to snuff -- from the bank, it looked very rushed and with poor timing. After 20 strokes or so, Kings (prematurely) had their first hooter, and Pembroke II were only just outside station.

The guys took awhile to sort out their timing issues, and by the time the three crews had rowed under the motorway bridge, Kings were legitimately inside 1 length. Things got a bit worse down First Post Reach, with Pembroke rapidly closing on a three-boat pile-up near the entrance to the Gut. Apparently Queens III had bumped Christs III with Caius III rapidly closing. Neither Caius nor Pembroke could do anything more than hold it up and pull into the bank (looking at the charts, it appears both must have been given technical rowovers, but not sure on that).

By the time Fat IV reached the end of First Post Reach, the carnage had cleared a bit, enabling Tamir to artfully dodge traffic and head into the Gut. Kings had closed to within 5 feet or so, but inexplicably held it up behind us despite plenty of clear water. We initially thought they'd been bumped, and the crew seemed to flag a bit around Grassy in response to the pressure from behind disappearing. A crab from 4 halfway down Plough Reach didn't help either, but with help from 3 the crew rapidly sorted themselves out and fell into a decent rhythm.

Things became more complicated when Kings made a surprise reappearance, coming around Grassy about 5 lengths off and clearly trying to row us down. I called for a couple of pushes from the bank to ensure we held them there, one around Ditton and another halfway down the Long Reach. The crew responded admirably, digging deep to find their best rowing of the afternoon. After one last push into the Railway Bridge, it was clear that Kings had given up. The guys rowed past Bottom Finish with at least 100 meters of clear water.

Now looking at the charts, it appears that Kings were indeed bumped by Selwyn III, which makes their attempt to row us down seem pretty bizarre in retrospect. I'm eager to hear an explanation as to what exactly happened both in front of and behind us. (James)
Everything was going so well until, on the start line, 'We lost that loving feeling....' (Dan Newton)
I spoke to a member of the Kings crew, and he said that a member of their bank party told them to hold it up as he thought they wouldn't be able to get through the carnage ahead. I can't really comment on what was going on ahead of us, but since we made it through no problems at all I'm guessing they could have. And the umpires clearly thought the same, hence the technical bump.

All in all, the first half of the race felt pretty poor from within the boat. After a stunning practise start it was a shame that the real one was so panicked, but I suppose that's what you expect when the majority of the crew have never done bumps before. When we relaxed and took the rating right down it felt quite good and the boat speed picked up, and the pushes in the reach were excellent given our level of exhaustion by that stage (and all the more amazing considering some members of the boat were all for pulling in for a pint at the Plough if we were still racing by then). Tomorrow should be a very exciting day. (Phil)
Neither the marshal nor the Jesus women appreciated our rendition of You've Lost That Loving Feeling. Lessons to be learnt for tomorrow... (BJ)
Thursday
Bumped by Selwyn III
Today's Highlights
Not rowing very far
The inevitability that tomorrow will be a better day...
The lack of equipment damage
Watching the Homerton women stretching when we got back to the boathouse

Today's Low Point
We only took about 10 strokes before we hit the bank... (BJ)
We had dedicated this race to Andy Fordham. In hindsight this was probably a bad idea. (Phil)
Friday
Bumped by King's II
Gutted. We got over the nerves of the first two days (for many of the crew bumps was their first race of any kind) and rowed beautifully, sustainably, at the same speed and about 6 pips below all the boats around, proving that we are better than the boats near us.

Everyone was on station though the over-rating crews around us were beginning to flag whereas our relaxed and powerful rowing could have continued forever. It was at this point, just as Kings began to drop, the carnage happened.

With everyone pretty much on station we all assumed a technical row-over or at worst a re-row there and then. Instead we were all told to return with M1 for a re-row. WTF?!?!?!

Assuming that all the crews were all free for that time or could find legal subs I cannot understand how making everyone return to boathouses and then row all the way down again later on was the most effective or time-saving choice. It makes no sense.

On returning to the boathouse we discovered that four of our number had commitments they could not cancel and there was no way to find subs.

The feeling of being cheated by a poor re-row decision is tempered by the satifaction of having rowed our best piece so far and knowing that tomorrow we are capable of going out and bumping anything they put in front of us. (Dan Newton)
The women rowing down to the start of W3 were treated to two hearty renditions of You've Lost That Loving Feeling but we saved our best effort for Homerton 1st Ladies (our "Charlies" - watch the film...) as we sent them off from the balcony. They even gave us a round of applause.

The following conversation may or may not have occurred between the Arrows and the Homerton Ladies following the song:

Homers: Do you often use this approach?
Arrows: No, actually we've only done this twice.
Homers: Oh? How'd you do?
Arrows: Crashed and burned on the first one. It wasn't pretty.
Homers: The second?
Arrows: We don't know, we'll tell you tomorrow. But it's lookin' good so far.

So maybe tomorrow we'll ask them to formal. Anyway, we also got bumped in something called a rerow (this is apparently something a bit like a pre-bumps coxing talk - 1/3 of crews don't make it and the remaining 2/3 send entirely different crews as their representatives) but who cares. CUCBC suck. (BJ)
I want to be an arrow. The King's boys are pussies and wouldn't let us sub.. :( (Lilie)
Saturday
Rowed over
The third 'technical' result of the week! Half a length off Kings at Grassy where the river was obstructed. Though Kings got round, we were awarded a technical row over. (Martin)
So we didn't quite get Kings back for yesterday's fiasco, but never mind, that's bumps. Our steady state paddling race plan has definitely proved to be a success in comparison with our manic one (and those of the boats around us for that matter) and it's a shame we've never managed to bump. If only we'd rowed properly on the first two days...

In other news, Homerton women agreed to a formal, so the song worked. To the fathers of Rachel and Jenny: thank you for appreciating our website and sorry for ogling your daughters. (BJ)

1. First Post
2. Arrows VIII
3. Awaiting the rerow d...
[more...]

^ May Term 2006 | ^ top

May Term 2004

Wednesday
Bumped by Queens' III
All over rather quickly, really. We were only just getting going when we were bumped. Hopefully can do better tomorrow. (Jordan)
Thursday
Bumped by Churchill III
Not much to say... Once more, we were not rowing in time, most of us squaring late, and we never managed to put down any substantial power.
It was slighty better than yesterday though; but we still got bumped very quickly (just after the first bridge).
At this time, Queens III (the boat ahead of us) was already quite far and there were other crews pushing hard behind Churchill III.
We really need to make more efforts to sit the boat and to row in time. (Y. Cormier)
Friday
Bumped by Caius III
Those in the bows got their first taste of a collision today. Unfortunately it was with the bank. A combination of factors left our bows facing in at the gun, and we were soon fending off; although we got moving again, it left an easy target for Caius III. Maybe we'll get past the motorway bridge tomorrow?! (Jordan)
Saturday
Bumped by Pembroke III
As the saying goes, "be careful what you wish for...". There was a certain sense of inevitability today, and although this was probably our best row of all four days, it was still nowhere near enough. We did get past the motorway bridge, though!

My only justifiable regret is that nobody else seems interested in a spoon-making session... (Jordan)

1. concentrating before...
2. rowing home
3. rowing home, spoons ...
[more...]

^ May Term 2005, Arrows VIII | ^ top

May Term 2003

Wednesday
Bumped by Trinity Hall III
Well we bumped something... unfortunately it was grassy corner, and not Catz III who were roughly 1/2 length in front of us at the time. With us parked on the bank Trinity Hall III easily caught up (had been roughly holding station before) though failed to notice our acknowledgement leading to a bent rudder for us, and a snapped blade for them! (Sam)
Thursday
Bumped by Darwin II
Well, at least this time we made it past Grassy! Thanks to some rather inspired crew shuffling, which involved swapping Dan from stroke to bow, we even managed to take quite a tight line around the beast that had robbed us of the bump the day before. We also managed to acquire a shell that steers, since the fellows had an unfortunate entanglement with the bank earlier in our favourite bathtub, Peter Brandt. Sadly, in spite of our good line, and the rather weaving approach taken by the Darwin cox, we were rudely bumped outside the Plough. D'oh. Oh well, at least we didn't have to row too far... (Chris)
Friday
Overbumped by Christ's III
Being chased by the scum, i had a vague idea that we might have to work quite hard to hold them off, as they had quite clearly broken the spirit of the bumps by maintaining the same crew order from day to day, and training together. Surely there should be some rule against this?! No matter, the gun went and on stroke 3 they plowed into the bank rudderless, to be bumped by Corpus. At this point, our overly enthused stroke, Mr. Colvin, shouted at the top of his voice, and with very few soothing undertones "relax". And relax we did, apart from the frantic two-man pushes coming from bow pair, we were settling into a nice rhythm. Some way back, out nemesis was stirring - Christs closed up on all the straights, and lost ground on all the corners, but as soon as we got onto the reach, they made us pay dearly for our complacency. Closing the last length of distance for the overbump in what seemed like the blink of an eye, we once again found ourselves in the bank having been bumped. D'oh. Two-thirds of the way up the Reach. Double D'oh. I did, however discover that a 200-stroke push is definitely the way to find your max. heart rate... (Chris)
Saturday
Rowed over
Today, we had the dubious honour of being able to chase the Maggie scum without first having been bumped by them. Hmmm. Undoubtedly our best start of the week saw us close up on Maggie, and pull away from Queen's, but sadly the two crews ahead bumped out, leaving us to row the course being chased. With a different crew again, and me back in my favoured home, the bow seat, we seemed to find something we'd been lacking all week, and had what can only be described as a powerful and stylish row-over. I don't know whether it was deliberate, but Hugh also kept taking the rate down once we were on the Reach - i like to think he might have been mocking the poor guys behind! No matter, we plummetted down the tables, but at least we had a laugh doing it... (Chris)

1. After the bump
2. Off the start
3. Rowing up to the start
[more...]

^ May Term 2004 | ^ top

May Term 2002

Wednesday
Bumped by Magdalene II
A scrappy start, with no discernable stride. I was later told that we'd closed to within a length of the weak Peterhouse II, but Magdalene II were simply a better, stronger boat. Try as we might, we couldn't pull away from them, and they eventually came about half way along side and our blades clashed. Tomorrow we'll be the sandwich boat in M4. (Champ)
Thursday
Bumped by Clare III
First came a catalogue of errors: I had to arrive later after DUing, and scrapping one of my scheduled slots, after we ended up in a lower division than we'd started; we had to wait for the Golden Boat to return with BP4, and when they did it turned out they'd snapped a rigger; we had to take the unfamiliar BP5, with its several knackered seats and wrong footplate positions; and of course, we had no cox box, so late as we were, we had to stop and have the Club's single working box passed across from the returning women's 3rd crew.

Eventually we ended up at the start, ready for a gruelling row over, followed by another one 90 minutes later. This prospect couldn't have helped morale. Nevertheless, we started well and rowed considerably better than yesterday. Clare edged towards us. We pushed into Grassy and managed to pull away slightly, but their excellent coxing and superior power returned them to our side, where we clashed.

In conclusion, we've utterly wasted the effort and achievement of last year's men's 4th VIII, and decisively returned to the division they started in. This has been mainly due to the misfortunate of being followed both days by disproportionately stronger crews, although I'm sure Mark and Andrew especially, as veterans of last year's 4th, will be feeling very disappointed. (Champ)
Friday
Bumped by Emmanuel III
Unfortunately we've found ourselves on that downward slope where every day we're being chased by one of the strong crews that've moved up the previous day. We keep being told that technically, we're miles ahead of any of the rugby boats that keep appearing behind us, and that though they'll start fast and spack as hard as possible, we'll eventually glide away from them with style and poise. In reality, they just start too fast, spack too hard, and manage to keep it up for just too long. As such, we haven't yet made Ditton Corner. (Champ)
Saturday
Bumped by St. Catharine's III
Unfortunatley this race seemed to follow our familiar pattern. We do an ok start, then slowly they close us down, until we were bumped after first post corner. Cue some amusing parking by Catz, us, Emma and Peterhouse who had bumped out in front. Blades for Catz, spoons for us. Oh well, glad we could help. (blades and spoons in a year)
To put it simply, we were shocking. That doesn't just go for today, it goes for all four days. We really did earn our spoons.

There can be no excuses. It wasn't a case of being stuck in the middle of a bunch of huge crews. Clare III were big, and Magdalene II just looked awesome, but Emma III were tiny. Really, they all looked the same size as me (and if you don't know what that means, about 9 stones). Unfortunately they were together as a crew, and probably technically better than us.

That sums up our biggest failure. No time on the water led to a total lack of togetherness. We did our best start by far in the practice, but when it came to the race start we lost it. I'd put it down to a lack of trust in each other under race situations. If you think it'll be rushed, if you think it'll fall over at the finish, it will.

Hopefully next years 4th VIII can reverse the trend that we started. (K. Noble-Nesbitt)
I think this was a harsh assessment. You don't need massive amounts of training to do well in the lower divisions. Sheer strength beat us. (Champ)
Over the last 7 years the 4th VIII have risen some 24 places in the May Bumps to become the highest 4th VIII on the river. A series of excellent crews over the last 3 or 4 years have continued to go up despite the increasingly good competition from surrounding crews.

This year, starting in the 3rd division, even maintaining position overall would have been a great achievement for a good crew (whether huge or technically excellent) - and being bumped is certainly no disgrace whatsoever. The 3rd division certainly doesn't count as 'lower divisions' - going up requires hard work and some good fortune too. However, Clare, Magdalene, Catz, Emmanuel - these are boat clubs that have enjoyed success this term, and finding ourselves on the downward ladder to these 2nd and 3rd VIIIs (all of which won blades), this was certainly bad luck and a tough position to be in.

Had this crew been rowing 10 years ago, when 1st & 3rd IV was starting several places behind even LMBC VI, things would certainly have been different. Hopefully, after having completed four days racing as the highest 4th VIII, the crew have had at least some positive things to away from the experience even if it wasn't the results they were wanting. (Martin)

1. First post reach
2. Posing on the bank
3. Passing the plough
[more...]

^ May Term 2003 | ^ top

May Term 2001

Wednesday
Rowed over
The prestigious and enigmatic 1st and 3rd IV (featuring the bow-four all-stars) were today chasing Homerton I, who were in turn chasing LMBC IV. Chasing us were Pembroke III. There was a slightly uneasy atmosphere in the boat-house before the race, as we were warming up along side the Homerton guys, most of whom were considerably bigger than us. However, our knowledge they were basically a boat made up of clumsy PE teachers was reassuring.
A nice brisk row down to the start left us with only two minutes after we had spun before the gun went, but this was probably a good thing. Our start was very controlled considering it was the first day of the Mays, and we made some ground on the Homerton boat. However, our hopes of achieving a giant-killing over bump (and thereby in some sense gaining revenge on the PE teachers for all those laps of the playing field we were made to do at school) were ruined by the arch-enemy, Maggie 4. Yes folks, they were shit. They had all the grace and finesse of Bernard Manning and were equally inept at rowing. They were bumped just before Grassy, but luckily we had anticipated the occurance of just such an eventuality, and our practice row-overs ensured that we had the confidence to do what was now required. By the time Homerton bumped, we had moved considerably clear of Pembroke 3, and with the two boats ahead of us gone, it only remained for us to row over, which we did comfortably, with a ~15 length lead of Pembroke at the Railway Bridge. In order to save energy for the big effort on Thursday, we took the rate down, and floated gracefully and casually past all the admiring women's crews on the bank. At least I think they were admiring us... perhaps it was us that were admiring them. Anyway, Henry's call of "Looking good for the ladies" was greeted with mixed reaction from the bank.
Having demoralised Pembroke 3 by such a commanding victory - we were still increasing our lead even after we took the rate down - we should have no problems from them tomorrow, and will be able to concentrate on pasting the Maggie 4th boat. The only thing that could prevent us doing so is if Homerton send down someone feeble from M3, and LMBC hit them before we can bump. Should that happen, a repeat of today's race will follow. (I hate Chris Tarrant)
Friday
Bumped LMBC IV
A stirring crew pasta yesterday evening should have us all set for a good row and easy bump today. No such luck. From before we were on the water, when it was realised that our blades were gone and we'd have to switch coxbox, the day's rowing was an unsatisfactory experience. Sitting the boat turned out to be too big a challenge for us, and general frustration turned into bitchy complaints and retorts. At least the weather was nice.
These problems plagued us throughout our practice start and race. We bumped, of course, but we did it badly.
Our main objective for the day having been achieved, our motivation appeared to flag, causing the paddling home to be even worse than what we'd seen so far. Tomorrow we do not have such an easy match, and will be required to do better if we wish to move up head of the 4th division (and beyond...). Fortunately, the raceplan plays to our strength, and I believe that if we pull ourselves together we should be able to do it, and row a race to be proud of. (G. Harboe)
It is said that the sign of a good sports team is when it can win without playing well. 1st and 3rd IV certainly did that today, recapturing the coveted 4th boat Headship by bumping LMBC IV at Grassy, despite having a scrappy row down and a shocker of a practice start, as well as rushing and overrating during the race itself. They are capable of much, much better, and will need to produce it tomorrow to topple Corpus II at the head of M4. (Neil)
A rather harsh assessment. (2FaT)
Friday
Bumped Corpus II
We had some complications before marshalling, but the rowing itself seemed to be much more together than yesterday. Rowing down to the start we had a couple of fairly solid practice start and full pressures, and I think we all had a good feeling for the race.
Then a minor disaster struck. Four's (Neil's) shoe came off his footplate. If we couldn't fix this, we'd have to scratch! I for one felt quite sick at the thought. Fortunately, Iain managed to patch it up with some duct tape. We were, if possible, even more psyched than before.
Plenty of time to loosen up on the bank. Relaxed and focused in the boat. A good start: not perhaps the quickest we've done (and we heard later that Corpus moved away from us), but technical and sensible. The surge didn't really happen, but our cox Henry called another one straight after, and we settled into a good, sustainable rythm that would wear down the crew ahead slowly but surely.
An amazing first corner (as we were informed later) took off half a length of distance, and as we really got into the beat of it we just gained continuously on them. The hooters were late in coming, but we were encouraged by the bank party who told us to just keep going, just keep doing what we were doing. Two hooters in Ditton or so, three and four soon thereafter. At that time, Corpus folded and we had our bump! An amazing rush.
Now head of our division, we'd have to row again as sandwich boat in the third. I think we spent the break in between sensibly, and morale was good on the row down. We knew that the crews ahead were likely to bump out early (since Sidney had already bumped Magdalene on the first day, before being overbumped down by Homerton continuing their migration up the divisions), and we'd have to go for the overbump on Jesus III. It was going to be hard, but we hoped possible. (G. Harboe)
Friday
Rowed over as sandwich boat
This race wasn't so technical, but we were putting more grunt force into it. Probably because we were less confident than in our last race. Not bad overall, though, and satisfyingly exhausting: I doubt we could have done much better than we did. In the end it wasn't enough, however. We gained continuously on Jesus, but when we reached the railway bridge without the bank party going totally insane (as they're wont to do when a bump seems likely) we knew we weren't going to catch them. Jesus increased their lead slightly from there, but in the end we had still halved the seven boat lengths that separated us from the start.
There went our blades. It seemed appropriate that the rain started pouring down as we prepared to row home. It was in a subdued mood that contrasted strongly with the excitement after our first race that we brought the boat back to and into the boathouse.
Had we got them, we would have been starting behind our gents' 3rd VIII tomorrow, making for an interesting race as we would try to secure our blades and they avoid their spoons. Now, we will have to row over as head of the division in front of Corpus, which should be more challenging than on our first day, but hopefully not as painful as today's row-over. Then we should be able to bring Magdalene II down to the fourth division and make sure the 4th boat next year will start in the third.
All in all, this day really showed what the bumps are all about, with sunshine, rain, wind and thunderstorms making the weather as diverse as our luck. Although a slightly disappointing result, it's an experience I wouldn't be without. (G. Harboe)
Saturday
Rowed over
Twas brillig and... etc.
Well, we knew we were in for a long hard row-over ahead of Corpus II, but the we were likely to cope better with the rain. In fact, I'd say that row-over was the best race I've rowed in (at least it felt that way). They gained about half a length early on, but we held them off, and as soon as we got into the reach we knew we had broken them. As we strode away, the Corpus coach could clearly be heard telling them "new race" as they were trying to avoid blade-hunters Clare. We won comfortably in the end, and Clare didn't get that close to Corpus, so the top three were unchanged.
Unchanged, that is, unless we could bump Magdalene II. Having been the boat semi-responsible for making us miss blades (although arguably it was Homerton for being too good) we knew we could get them, and they couldn't catch anybody ahead, so we had the whole course to do it. (I hate Chris Tarrant)
Saturday
Bumped Magdalene II as sandwich boat
Henry's cox box ran out on the row down, but through helpful bank partying, and consolidating calls of "controlled..." in the boat, we were able to coordinate bow four with stern four anyway, and we ground Magdalene down with a big effort. Magdalene probably earned their spoons overall, but they gave a decent fight today. (I hate Chris Tarrant)

1. A bit splashy, but m...
2. Stroke 5 ... Full Sq...
3. Chasing Magdalene fo...
[more...]

^ May Term 2002 | ^ top

May Term 2000

Wednesday
Bumped by Pembroke III
A very scratchy (only a few outings in the 4) crew of gents and grads got hit in the corners by Pembroke, who were a lot faster than we had assumed. (Simon)
Thursday
Bumped by Homerton
Over very quickly. Homerton, who would easily be competitive about two divisions above us, spacked on the start for a few strokes, then got into gear and bumped us going into 1st Post. (Simon)
Friday
Overbumped Clare III
Phew!
We knew we had no chance of getting Homerton back, and expected them to gobble up Pembroke - which they did. Except our plan to go all out for the overbump was failing as we hadn't really made much impact on Clare. Although they then did us the favour of mucking up Grassy (and I think damaging their boat), suddenly putting us back in the game and giving us a target to aim for. We got them coming out of Ditton - and just in time, as a fast Emma boat had just appeared behind us, looking for the overbump.
So suddenly up one for the week - but with Homerton behind us again. Hmmm - wonder what will happen there... (Simon)
Saturday
Bumped by Homerton
The result was inevitable, unless Homerton could manage to wrap their boat around the bank on the way to the start, or (more likely) their boat fell apart. It did neither. They got us in about the same time as on Thursday, just going into the gut. We shared their champagne, and a good time was had by all.
And we made their blades look very silly... (Simon)

1. Gents and Grads befo...
2. 1st post reach
3. 1st post reach - racing
[more...]

^ May Term 2001 | ^ top

May Term 1999

Wednesday
Overbumped Jesus IV
Wow what an exciting afternoon on the river.

We didn't have the best of starts but soon started to eat into Pembroke 3, unfortunately pembroke 3 were eating into Kings 2 at a slightly faster rate. By 1st post corner we all had overlap on each other but the King's cox acknowledged before any contact was made. We came to a virtual standstill as we attempted to plough through the carnage ahead and got it back together to go for an overbump as we went into plough reach. Our hearts sank as we rowed past yet more carnage of the next boats up and were left trying to catch St. Edmunds at the head of division. We took quite a lot out of them but unfortunately it wasn't enough and we finished about 10 lengths behind them after a really solid "row over".

Now just stop and think for a moment, we started in position 9. Therefore there should have been an even number of crews ahead of us as we went to the finish. However there was just the one - St. Eds! We hadn't noticed (cos we were concentrating on our wonderful rowing) that we had passed a crashed Jesus 4 that was in the bank next to the boats that had bumped out ahead of it. Hence to our utmost delight we had an achieved an overbump without even knowing it. Why our bank party didn't notice and made us row the whole course (instead of to the plough) I don't know - we will deal with them later. For now though we set our sights on the falling Churchill 3 - easy pickings for day 2.

Best spot for viewing us do more damage tomorrow - I predict the top of 1st post reach. (Hogley)
Thursday
Bumped Churchill III
As predicted we bumped Churchill 3 at first post corner, the gun is very loud when you are next to it. We were much more settled and together than yesterday. Tomorrow even we can't muck up a row past an empty station. Queens 3 forgot to turn up again. (Hogley)
Friday
Bumped Queens' III
Most of the action for us today was before we got to the start. We had been expecting that Queen's 3 wouldn't turn up today - they hadn't yesterday (Lucky Clare). But as we went to boat we saw them coming down the river. Then we started to get a bit flustered - the boat was full of big blokes, 2 or 3 of them wearing university kit. By we got to marshall we had begun to question if they were a legal crew or not, but we were reassured that they had no university colours to put in the boat. They were having to wear that kit because the rowers had no queens kit to wear - bless. As they followed us down to the start it became obvious that it wasn't going to be an issue that they had turned up today as they struggled to get more than 5 or 6 blades in the water at any one time.

We successfully channelled all our emotions into getting the boat to move and were unphased by having a crew to chase, we wound to a really solid 40 and did our most controlled stride yet down to 37, hooters came quickly and it was all over bar the greenery collecting by 1st post corner.

Tomorrow we get to chase Pembroke 3 (again) we had got overlap on them on the 1st day when they bumped the falling Kings 3 on the way into the gut, and now thanks to some overbumping and double overbumping we get to chase them again. Today they were hit by the inform Clare 3. We hope to finish them off by the plough at the latest tomorrow - come and watch - we want to be parading a flag down the reach! (Hogley)
Saturday
Bumped Pembroke III
Well as I predicted we caught the Pembroke 3 crew in the plough reach, eating away at them from the gun with no major stresses. Behind us the Queen's crew had not managed to turn up again so there was no one to chase us. So we ended our terms rowing drinking Champagne on the bank opposite the Plough, up six celebrating our blades.and watching the rest of the division row past.

We had had overlap on Pembroke on the first day if you recall, so we knew that the bump would not be a problem if we rowed well. But thoughts of blades were running through the minds of some of the crew (poor things chose not to row in the Lents Gents VIII) and the row was not the best of the week. Our "not best" rowing though was the best in the division with only a couple of other crews matching us for speed or technique despite the less than large stature of 7 of the crew (General concensus had it that 5 was a bit too heavy - my view is that the rest all need to eat more pies).

The crew would like to extend our gratitude to our coaches (especially those of CUWBC) and the lower boats captains for their hard work and support this term. The unnecessary rowover on the first day has still to be atoned for - I'm sure that if our bank party manages to provide us with suitable refreshment all could be forgotten. I now just need to find the money to pay for the second blade of the year. (Hogley)

1. Sophie
2. At First Post Corner
3. From the motorway br...
[more...]

^ May Term 2000 | ^ top

May Term 1998

^ May Term 1999 | ^ top

May Term 1997

Wednesday
Bumped Clare IV
Clare were simply dreadful. They had barely spun by the 1 minute gun and their bank party had to throw the bung out to the crew. They started not pointing straight and had to call a corner to avoid the bank. However, we hit them before they could even do this. The race had lasted maybe 15 strokes and we had not even reached New corner. The speed differential on impact forced them into the bank and we were right behind them. Downing IV (behind us) were unable to avoid the carnage and ploughed into us prompting a rare outburst of obscenities from Emma. The crew in front of Clare were also dreadful and, bizarrely, [and against all standard procedure] Downing were awarded a technical overbump. (Ingram)
I may be misremembering this after all the intervening years, but was it not the case that Downing were awarded the technical overbump because the crew two in front of us either weren't there or weren't spun by the one minute gun? Unless I am wrong (which happens frequently), Clare only had to pass the station in front to get their bump, but we managed to get them before they did so; this was partly due to our superior speed, but mainly due to their inept start. I can't think of any other valid reason to award a technical overbump to Downing. Anyway, it certainly was over very quickly, and 15 strokes may even be an overestimate. (Mike)
Thursday
Overbumped St. Catharine's III
We made a solid start and moved up on Downing IV. When we were at about half a length they bumped leaving us to chase for the overbump. We moved up rapidly on Catz III gaining a huge amount with a vastly superior cornering performance round First Post and Grassy. We got the Hooters down Plough Reach and hit them by Ditton putting us back ahead of Downing. (Ingram)
Friday
Bumped King's II
We were substantially better than Kings II and closed from the start of the race until the end which occurred on First Post Reach. (Ingram)
Saturday
Bumped Sidney Sussex III
We were sufficiently confident that 3 of the crew (Ingram, Blaukopf, Spencer) actually raced wearing a T-shirt proclaiming our blades and listing Disney as the final crew!

Possibly as a result of the pressure this arrogance had put upon us, we were very nervous (especially me!) and made a slightly below par start. However, we found our rhythm fairly soon and closed to hit them on First Post corner. This was probably our hardest race, although like all the non-overbumps did not even involve a single corner!!! (Ingram)
^ May Term 1998 | ^ top

May Term 1996

Saturday
Rowed over
Most of the crew went to Downing event and were in various states of hungover / coming down-ness. Despite one nameless crew member offering to distribute a line of speed to any crew member who wanted it (seriously!) we rowed badly and failed to close the deal from half a length. Emma, the cox, was really angry with those guys. (Ingers)
^ May Term 1997 | ^ top

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