The famous Cambridge University Bumps on the River Cam
Thu 28th February - Mon 4th March
Tuesday's Racing Cancelled
For the first time in recent history the bumps was disrupted by weather conditions. Strong and gusty winds caused all racing to be cancelled on Tuesday - affecting the first day's races for all the lower divisions in the 5 day format.
As Jon said, they were moving on Emma nicely - and gaining more quickly than their pursuers, until around Ditton where they were perhaps 1/3 of a length of Emmanuel. Really great to see!
Emmanuel held it well in the wind in the reach, though, and Caius turned the screw; the bump was perhaps two thirds of the way along the reach. (Martin)
The form guide was telling us that Caius would be faster than Emma. So it turned out, and we found ourselves in the middle of the sandwich - Caius moving up on us as we closed on Emma. Caius put in some strong pushes, and a momentary upset of balance on the reach cost us the final three feet. It was a good race, and sets up an interesting contest for the remainder of the week. (Jon)
(I've been asked to submit a report: looking forward to ripping my rigger off tomorrow). The plan was to row over, but it was acknowledged that the distance you could trust Maggie was less than a two year old could throw them. The start was apparently good (I have to admit I'm not judging the technical prowess of my crew during a start) and we held distance. Whilst the row wasn't bad, there wasn't any feeling of tearing off of riggers.
Maggie's race plan seemed to consist of up 2's until they bumped or blew up, unfortunately the first happened, so credit to them - would like to race them over a course, and they are still not turning up to the stomp.
As Will says, Maggie's rather lacklustre performance yesterday belied an expected turn of speed when given something to chase. It was a shame that we were unable to hold on in front of them, the row felt a little too sustainable and has given us something to think about for tomorrow. (Jon)
We had aimed to hit the scum by Ditton. A fast start was complimented by a powerful stride down to 38, which was quite controlled. We pushed hard through the Gut and up Plough Reach, which saw us close to within a length of Maggie and 3 lengths clear of Christ's. Our fast start began to take it's toll as we came out of Ditton, and we lost ground to Maggie, as they bumped Emma somewhere around the railings. We lowered the rate slightly and pushed on hard, with a solid, chunky row, although we were pretty tired as our 4 minute race had turned into an 8 minute one. Christ's gained back on us, but we pushed hard for the finish with what looked to me like a little over 1/2 length clear water.
An awesome row, let's see what tomorrow brings. (JPD)
Nice one 1st & 3rd. Felt a lot better than yesterday, and was a long enough race to feel some of that aerobic fitness coming into play. Maggie hit Emma as expected - could be all change in the top four tomorrow... (Jon)
I was on the bank for this. Basic plan was the same as previous day, except I was told the 4 minute race plan had become a 3 minute one. Wasn't quite that short, but they had the gap down to 1/2 a length at Grassy, made a good crowd-pleasing push past the Plough, to a canvas at Ditton; Emma tried to escape by steering to the far side down the reach but First and Third's superior speed made the bump inevitable. Christ's (and their extremely over-optimistic bank party) were left for dead; when we hit Emmanuel, Christ's were over 2.5 lengths behind. (Dubya)
Finally, a bump, and Christs (along with their rather-too-optimistic boatman) nowhere to be seen. Having rehearsed the race on the previous day, we pretty much did what we set out to do. Putting Emma under pressure early, we closed well through to Ditton. From there it was simply push upon push until we had them, and none too soon as I was getting quite out of breath by the time they finally conceded. A pleasing end to the week, and a good starting point for whoever carries the torch into next year. Row Hard!! (Jon)
First women set out yet again between Churchill and Girton. After a good start, we were closing slowly but steadily on Churchill until, when we were approx half to quarter of a length away, Clare failed to clear,having bumped New Hall. Churchill were forced to steer wide and, in the wind, hit the opposite bank. Following close behind there was nowhere for us to go but straight into them, Girton then piling in on top of that. Technical rowovers all round. Grrrrr. (Catherine)
After three years and two technical row overs chasing Churchill we finally bumped them in 23 strokes and before the motorway bridge. A fantastic row that saw us reaching the potential that we tried to get yesterday but didn't quite achieve. My first bump, what more can I say.... (Sally)
At last the ladies' luck changes...! They got going well, whereas the Churchill girls lost it utterly. What a relief, at last. (Martin)
Well, officially it was Saturday and it was the second rerow of the day....
Row #1: we were going for the bump on Newhall but Queens' and Christs got in the way so there was a rerow from Clare down.
Rerow #1: in theory we had nothing to lose as Newhall was infront, Pembroke was in front of them and then Clare was at the start of the rerow. Churchill had been nowhere to be seen on Friday so we were hoping for at least a bump. Unfortunately Newhall messed up pulling into the bank having bumped Pembroke and allowed Clare an easy row over. Another rerow was called for...
Rerow #2: Us in front followed by Churchill then Catz and Girton at the rear. Girton and Churchill were out for blood having both been bumped by the respective crews in front of them. Despite diversive coxing tactics from Julia, there was nothing we could do to get away from a determined Churchill crew, finally conceding in the plough reach. (Sally)
Row no three of the day and yet again we were stuck between Churchill and Girton. Baz was back in the coxes seat and the crew was out to show Churchill that we meant to bump them on Thursday and that their flukey row earlier was due to the substitution they had made for the rerow. Unfortunately they were still on a high from their earlier bump and managed to bump out Pembroke leaving us no choice but to defend our place from Girton. We put up a good fight and gave as much as we could so the fact that we had to give in to Girton at the top of the reach was a disappointment to say the least. Next year we will be back..... (Sally)
My first bumps race left me feeling the real skill is in understanding the rules...
Chasing Kings I, we set off from a confident start. We were somewhat surprised to see Kings I pulled into the bank at First Post Corner; assuming that they had bumped, we continued, aiming to row-over ahead of the competent Christ's II crew on our tail.
At Dittons, however, we were instructed to stop by a marshal. Apparently Kings had not, in fact, bumped, and we had achieved a bump by rowing past them.
Later, it transpired that Kings had been forced to stop by the carnage resulting from Downing II's bump on Peterhouse, although it is unclear why LMBC II - directly ahead of Kings - were able to pass through, while Kings could not. The upshot was that a technical row-over was awarded.
Christ's II are currently whinging about the whole affair on the message board, claiming that they would have bumped us had we not stopped. Certainly they did close as we lost power round Grassy - but by Plough Reach we had found our stride once again, and it would have been a close race. We'll find out tomorrow. (Matt C)
Pretty much as Matt described - the way Bumps works, I'm afraid. I have to say I'm most disappointed by Christ's reaction to the whole thing - their Captain Danny Lanyi appealed to CUCBC for a re-row claiming it was Iain Law who told us to stop. Utter bollocks.
Once again Kings crashed just ahead of us - they really should learn to get round 1st post corner, and this time they couldn't claim to be impeded... we rowed past, were awarded the bump and pulled in.
The comedy was when Christs II (who were no where near the overlap they claim, until we held it up) decided that they'd also stop. Jesus II then happily rowed past and were awarded the bump against Christs. Ordinarily I'd feel sorry for Christs, but after all the fuss they threw up over yesterday, I think they could be thought to deserve it. (Sam)
Strange sense of deja vu...
Once again we set off chasing Kings I, and trying to avoid the challenge of Christ's II, who were fired up following the supposed injustice of yesterday.
For the second day in a row, Peterhouse lasted only until First Post Corner, this time being bumped by LMBC II. Kings once again pulled into the side to avoid the wreckage, but this time it was generally accepted that they could safely have passed through. We were thus awarded the bump.
The interesting footnote is the fate of Christ's II. We continued rowing until advised by our bank party that we had bumped, at which point we pulled into the side. Christ's II, thinking that they had bumped us, easied and started to celebrate as soon as they had passed us. Unfortunately for them, we had already bumped, and so they were themselves bumped by Jesus II charging past their easied boat. Apparently Jesus didn't realise this either, and so went on to row the entire course.
According to the fines list, it looks like a Christ's II-Kings I swearing match ensued. Christ's £50 fine probably indicates that they came out on top.
Tomorrow, we'll be chasing Peterhouse - given past form, we'll do well to avoid being involved in at least some kind of pile-up! (Matt C)
Yay! My 2nd ever bump was almost as quick as my first against Peterhouse II last year. We had a pretty bad start, decided not to bother with the stride and had them within 25 strokes!
Overall, we achieved our crew goals for the term with a bit of luck, some guts and a little skill - just what Bumps is all about. Best wishes to next year's crew, taking the 2nd boat onwards and upwards. (Dan)
Just like Ed said... 6 strokes start, 10 wind and we had overlap. Didn't bother surging, pushed instead and they acknowledged a few seconds later! (Sam)
we did our 6 stroke start, strode for 10 then i think we heard the 1st whistle, another few strokes and we were there. yet another short race for the 2nd boat. (Pig Man)
Despite heavy winds and fairly good opposition, the men's third was able to bump relatively quickly. Some discrepancies arose in the actual point at which the bump occurred, but most onlookers agree that it happened under the motorway bridge. A good row by all. (Andrew)
A reasonably good start saw both Downing III ahead and Peterhouse II holding station with us. We suddenly made up ground on Downing and had overlap on them from just past the motorway bridge to just before First Post Corner, while Peterhouse faded away. Due to some slightly passive umpiring and stubbornness on the part of the Downing cox, we lost a bit of paint scraping our bows on their stern, before we finally pushed them towards the bank. Friday sees us behind Fitz II, who were bumped today. All in all, a good introduction to the bumps for the uninitiated in the crew, though the ban on greenery was a bit disappointing. (Andy)
Woohoo! The mighty III's march onwards. Here are some of Downing's thoughts yesterday (snaffled from their website):
"1st and 3rd have been giving it all the talk in the chat rooms, setting themselves up for a big fall! Time for the third VIII to bump some 2nd boats and piss the CUBC hon sec off! :o)" Well, let's just say that they achieved one of their goals, though I think that they forgot he was allowed to fine them...
Well we did it again, despite Fitz II having matching all-in-ones in a (failed) attempt to scare us. Downing made a great start and gained on us, but by the time we had strided, we started to pull away from them with every stroke. We don't know what would have happened next as we hit Fitz a couple of metres after the railway bridge.
Well its Jesus III tomorrow who have been bumped every day so far before 1st post corner. We'll be trying to maintain that trend... (Michael)
We did our start, then we did the stride, followed by preparing for a push on the legs. Oh, and then we stopped, cause there was a boat in the way. Bring on Jesus III. (Andy)
Good start generally in that we made up a little ground on Jesus III, and stayed approx steady against Fitz II. Then we started to eat away at that one and half length lead, while leaving Fitz II trailing. One whistle. We kept on going. 2 whistles, we started to picture those blades. 3 whistles, I was placing those blades onn my walls. "Overlap", came the call came, 'Kerplunk' went Dave Gill's seat, pop went my visions!
Fitz II were at least 2 lengths behind us at this point, but now they started to gain. The rhythm faltered as people wondered what had happened, and Davey boy wrestled with his seat, every now and again taking a futile stroke in frustration. Sitting behind him I was trying my hardest to avoid both getting hit in the back and impeding Iain's blade. It seemed like an eternity, and Fitz were gaining, albeit slowly, with evrry stroke. Jesus III were apparently held to a length for most of this time as well. About the time that Downing III caught Fitz II (3/4 of a length behind us), Dave decided that he'd had enough of a rest, and that his seat was fixed. As we joined in, the rhythm again became a little unsettled, but soon calmed down. The encouragement from the bank party and the spectators made a difference at this point as we desperately made a push to reach Jesus before we came to the Reach. They also had a push to escape, but the vocal encouragement of a couple of old bufties in splashtops, sampling the ale from The Plough gave us the bit of extra inspiration we needed as we started to come to the corner. All of a sudden the strokes were going well. Despite the tiredness, we had reached 'The Zone' as a crew, and we charged after Jesus. 2 whistles. 3 whistles. Surely we can't hold this pace much longer I thought....
But then, finally, relievingly, there came the familiar shudder throughout the boat, and the call to easy. As we pulled in, it was clear that we were all rather pleased with our achievement over the last 3 days, and I know I shall remember today for a long time to come.
Well, after the pretty easy bumps of Downing III (crabbed) and Fitz II (fell off seat), we were left with Jesus III who so far had failed to get past First Post. Lacking a cox box on the way down, we managed to snaffle one off the women at the start. Our start was reasonable, but nothing special, so it was a long haul to bump Jesus. Just before Grassy, we were a canvas away, and then had a little overlap, when disaster struck. Four's seat came off, which somewhat slowed us round Grassy. Fitz behind us were unable to pressure us while Jesus pulled out a length with their extra two rowers. Coming out of Grassy though, the crew got it all together, and with all eight cylinders going again, we closed on a tired looking Jesus and bumped just past Ditton. Great feeling, carrying a flag back to the boathouse. Bring on the Mays! (Andy)
This was possibly the most stressful race I've rowed. The start went well and we wound up to race pressure gaining rapidly on Jesus III while pulling away from Fitz II. Tben with canvas on Jesus disaster struck and our 4 man broke his seat. Visions of blades evaporated as we saw Fitz II start to gain. However with encouragement from the bank, we quickly realised that we had significant speed as a 6. Downing caught Fitz and that left Homerton about 3 lengths behind us.
4 recovered and we quickly got back to race pace. Jesus had failed to capitalise on our mishap and we were now moving faster than at any other point. With cheers from the crowd on the bank at the Plough, we knew we were really close and we finished them off after Andy took a great corner round Ditton. Simply unbelievable, an absolutely fairytale finish to a great Bumps. (Michael)
After an inauspicious beginning, getting very cosy with several other crews on a very windy reach, the unititiated bumps crew sat poised at the start. A firm, strong start saw the girls immediately move up on Caius, while Sidney were equally quick off the start behind them. However, a firm push together saw First and Third move up to a length behind Caius under the motorway bridge, leaving Sidney paddling behind. We quickly took another half length off on first post reach, before holding with overlap for what seemed agonisingly like an age. Passing several other already bumped / bumping crews on the bank encouragingly cheering us on we finally bumped just before first post corner. A very encouraging row for Friday's racing. (Isobel)
I wasn't there so a description comes second hand...
Apparently there was a very controlled start which was followed quickly by cutting the distance to a length. They reduced it to a canvas and held it for a while before steadily reeling Caius in to get a bump by 1st post corner. (Sally)
The crew got off to a good start, and quickly took half a length on Christ's. Christ's held them at this distance for an admirably long time, but they were no match for the superior strength of the mighty 2nd VIII. We closed on them at Grassy, and after another agonisingly long time with overlap, bumped a familiar looking Christ's cox just on the corner (is he familiar looking with his clothes on, girls?).
Looking forward to taking on Girton II tomorrow. (Caroline)
We gained maybe half a length on Girton early on, but seemed to be making little progress, and in Plough Reach my seat started sticking and in a few strokes it came out from under me and went into the footwell. After missing a few strokes trying and failing to put it back on, I decided to attempt to row on without it, and was soon taking full strokes reasonably in time though the extra effort of dragging myself up the slide certainly wasn't helping, and we held our distance from Christ's to row over. (Becky)
Today saw us chasing a Peterhouse II boat already in free fall, having been double overbumped by Homerton the previous day. Caius III did not trouble us, though apparently we should have hit Pt II far earlier. It was all over by first post, starting from 2nd station.
Thanks to the Caius' rowing avoidance this was my first "proper" bumps, but it was what followed that will forever be etched on my memory.
After the bump and in true 4th boat fashion we did not really know what to do. We pulled in on the inside of first post corner, while PtII went for the outside. Despite blades pulled in all round the narrowed river proved a task too far for Caius' cox, just as bringing a life jacket had the previous day. They pulled off a remarkable parallel parking move, to end up side by side with Peterhouse and interlocking riggers. It looked painful, but not as painful as what was to follow. Unsuprisingly, with the river narrowed even further boats had trouble getting through. After Kings II got their bump on the stranded Caius a further 2 or so boats made it, jarringly, before the fun really started.
Amidst various calls from the bank one suggestion was for Caius to push off and row on. Sadly only bow pair heard this. The resultant push off was just enough for the stream to catch the bows, with the end result that the bow came to rest against BP4 while the stern stayed in close company with PtII. River blocked.
I seem to recall that on two occasions crews who came around the corner failed to hold it up on time. Both the Peterhouse and Caius cox had to get friendly with their stroke men to avoid getting friendly with another boats bow ball as it invaded their personal space. A classic kodak moment, it seems a shame that no-one appears to have caught it on camera. (Keith Noble-Nesbitt)
The truly outstanding effort of the caius 3 boat today was particularly impressive. Its just a shame they forgot their lifejacket yesterday and we only got a technical bump. (Dan)
Good start, made up ground quickly and bumped them in first post corner. Pulled in to watch the carnage. Will be rowing as the sandwich boat in M3 tomorrow. (Dan Bradley)
This one was pretty hardcore for us 4th boat lads. We had a bit of mess at the start as we didnt hear the gun go off. however despite this we managed to take chunks out of Hughes early on. I believe we got it down to about 2/3 of a boat length. At some point on the run up to first post corner they started pulling away. We upped the effort again and managed to hold them for the next section until somewhere on the reach. As we chased them down the reach they pulled away fractionally but again we lifted and held them. Somewhere about 1/3 of the way down the reach our No7 vomitted, but didnt lose his stride. We continued to hold them until about the railway bridge where we started to fade but we drove it home and only truly relented after they'd crossed the line.
Huge credit to Paul Whiting at No2 - he rowed despite being somewhat under the weather. Unfortunately the result of the hard fought race told on him as he vomited after we crossed the line.
All in all a damn fine row. Tomorrow we will row over as head of m4 and then have another go at them as sandwich boat. (Dan)
We had several lengths on Pt II when they were bumped by Kings on grassy. The crew were a little too pumped up to take the rating down as quickly as we should have, but it turned into a nice relaxed row from Ditton, rating in the low 20's.
As we crossed the finish line Caius III could be made out in the distance, coming around Ditton. They were under pressure and planted themselves in the reeds. Bumped. Gotta love the style... (Keith Noble-Nesbitt)
The first race as head of the m4 was nice and relaxed. We took it off quiclkly at the start and rapidly gained distance over the boat behind. We kept up the pressure until approaching grassy and then dropped down to half pressure for the rest of the race as no one was in sight. (Dan)
Second race didnt go quite as well. though we managed to hear the gun this time we were right on target with a good start and we managed to close them to half a boat length as we approached first post corner. unfortunately our plan was an all out sprint up to first post and if we werent within a canvas at that point we were going to wind it down and just row over, which is precisely waht we did. A real nice row right til the end. (Dan)
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