The Club's Results
May Bumps 2006
The famous Cambridge University May Bumps on the River Cam
Wed 14th - Sat 17th June
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We were a bit unsettled at the start, when I heard a count of 5 I wasn't sure if it was for the start or the one minute gun. Fool. After about 5 strokes it was fine, but perhaps we didn't attack the first minute hard enough. Settled onto a good rhythm at 34, but not as tidy as we're used to in the rough water. The gossip was that Downing were faster than Queens ahead of them, but that didn't seem to be the case, and all three were about on station coming into first post.
Downing weren't cornering well, so we gained a bit, pushed hard down the gut, and closed to within half a length on Plough Reach. With burning legs, we nailed Ditton, and had overlap at the start of the reach. They weren't gonna give us an inch, so we lifted it to 36 and put in back to back pushes until they finally broke at the railings. Churchill never threatened, and were 3 or 4 lengths behind, much like when we were out paddling on Tuesday.
The first day's never a great race, but we got the result and know what to do better. We've got another serious score to settle with Queens, so keep all pets indoors.
Jesus then ominously rose out of the debris, and looked like they were having a shot at an overbump. We found a nice rhythm at about 5k pace, had to put a bit of work in to leave them a length down at the finish. Impressive commitment from them.
Obviously disappointing that we won't get our blades, but I reckon we've got a chance of bumping Hall tomorrow if raise our level as much again.
Bumped Trinity Hall
Tomorrow we've got a great chance to sort Queens out, as they narrowly failed to bump LMBC. Guns.
Why not? Queens were resilient, no doubt. For me it was rough water than beat us, the three crews ahead all got closer (apparently Catz had been on the piss), and it's very hard to keep control of the boat. By the railway bridge the doors were falling off, and a modest increase in rate didn't give us any extra speed. Jesus were presumably going for the overbump again, and this time were about 4 lengths back.
It would've been nice to go up more than two, and in particular I reckon we could've bumped LMBC given the chance. Still, we were faster than all the crews around us, and certainly in the top four with Caius, Catz and Jesus. Our training through the term was disjointed, but in some of the racing we did realise the potential we'd been having glimpses of all along.
1. The three crews ahead
2. Bow 4
3. Rachel holding on
We had a decent start and were closing on Selwyn coming into Grassy. On rounding Grassy we found Downing and Christ's bumped out, with Downing's stern gradually drifting out further blocking the river. Churchill and Selwyn just made it past on the inside, both crews clipping their blades on the stationary Downing. Unfortunately, three seconds later Downing were far enough out that there simply wasn't space to get past and despite Honey's half-second warning, our blades started hitting their stern and cox. Jo (at bow) was lucky not to be thrown out of the boat as her blade bounced off them. My own blade (5) got lodged on the cox somehow, pushing me backwards into the river over my rigger. We weren't moving by then, so I just surfaced beside my empty seat and held onto the boat as we cleared to the side. There were no racing crews behind us since King's had bumped New Hall very quickly.
We were expecting a technical rowover and thus doubly disappointed on the row home, but the news came in fairly quickly that we had been awarded a re-row on Thursday before the other divisions. As we had been closing quickly on Selwyn, who were just inside station on Churchill, this was great news.
The re-row went very well. We had a slightly shaky start but settled quickly into a strong rhythm and soon had whistles. With half a length to go, Honey called our killer push and were on them within ten or so strokes. One of the best bits of rowing I think we have done, and very satisfying!
1. Lilie quietly dying
2. Lilie suffering some...
3. Blades going in
After that classy practice start outside the Plough, i think we all felt we were in that good zone- that zone of beast aggression and zen concentration. We'd reached that stage where it didn't matter who were behind or infront of us anymore. We were just going to race our own race and follow our own plan.
Our actual start wasn't quite as good as the practice start (my finishes were a bit shit, sorry!) but we settled into a sweet rhythm with excellent focus: when an imperfection in a stroke occurred it got fixed quickly and got forgotten quickly.
But just as i'd buried the urge to chunder under the motorway bridge, and steeled myself for the long ballbusting row-over, there went the whistle!
wtf?! JfC! Huh?
Within a minute it was all over red rover!
I tell you, I haven't felt that elated for a long while. I wanted to jump in the river
And Jenny, cheers for that impeccable line!
Take that, all you hataz!
(and thanks to the selwyn cox too!)
This was probably one of the best pieces we've done. Watching Caius fade away was satisfaction enough, but hearing one, two and three whistles in the space of a minute was simply beyond the realms of what we had planned for. And to bump Selwyn just out of Grassy - sweet.
It was nice to see Selwyn and Caius disappear off our stern, and by the time we crossed the line they looked about half a Reach away from us.
Bumped by Caius II
i don't think we rowed much worse than previous days. We just couldn't match Caius' pushes, especially on the reach when they really barnied. We had a good plan, but we weren't reactive enough. Also, possibly, just a little bit of complacency had set in.
But hey! Considering everything, we did good. It's been an insane rollercoaster. And I wouldn't exchange it!
Well rowed, Caius.
1. "FIRST AND THII...
2. 2nd men readying for...
3. The crew celebrates!!
A fairly mediocre start with quite a bit of ripping was disappointing, but we quickly settled into a very powerful, long rhythm that would have impressed Pembroke II if they'd be watching. Unfortunately they missed it as they were too busy getting whistles before we'd even strode down. Our usual plan almost held distance with their Bumps pushes, which bodes well: Hopefully LMBC III really are THAT bad.
Of course, our race was just beginning. Miss. Leadbetter neatly steered us round LMBC/Pem and then St.Eds/Christs who were on First Post. This meant Magdalene II were hopefully flailing around somewhere in Plough Reach, just waiting to be overbumped. With this thought we almost took our rate up, and joyfully headed around Grassy.
Disaster! Magdelene II overbumped Clare II! Taking time out from watching Brian's head, I asked Catherine who we should push for now. A sad shake of her head told me all I needed to know (NB: I don't NEED to know any maths).
In hindsight, the quadruple overbump on Girton II would have been eminently possible if we'd ever trained for more than a two minute race. And we'd rowed as a crew. And they'd crabbed. Lots of times. It will be interesting to see how Clare II do over the rest of the week, and of course Magd have put themselves in front of St. Eds, which may prove problematic.
Fitz II behind us made a laughable attempt to overbump us; their cox certainly got very excited. To give them their due, we only stopped twice on the reach - footplate failures, uncertainty of the finish point, and just plain tiredness after a longer piece than some of us had managed in a year - and they must have been within distance before we took it up for the finish.
Bring on LMBC III and the third boat headship, I say.
Interestingly it seems the 6 man has the b(r)e(a)st pectoral definition, perhaps even pushing for a B cup. Others in the crew are not far behind though and so some form of official measurement is called for before the week is out. If anyone would like to volounteer to be the independent arbiter email djtn2.
In other news we had a solid row over and are looking to bump a Maggie crew on Thursday.
Bumped LMBC III
This was the most erotic bump I can remember. Two giant phallic structures - one red, one blue and gold. The blue and gold approached the back end of the red and ever so gently rubbed up and down the helpless side of the red until their cox gave in.
In other news this was Rupert's first ever headship.
A major rethink of our race plan (pull really hard. No, no; REALLY hard) and a complete overhaul of our start (maintain for 20 rather than 15) gave us the false hope we needed and again we approached the start in high spirits.
The start was a lot better, and I was quite enjoying myself. We got within a length of LMBC III after 30 seconds and a minute more saw us within half a length. We had to swerve around some bumped out crews ahead and didn't deal well with the cornering. The boat just would not sit - I can't believe I'm saying that given our crew, and that we're in a novice shell. Still! When the canvas whistle came we practially doubled our boat speed (and sat it past the cameraman, which was a nice touch).
The scum hung on for an admirably long time, but we got there. Yay, a headship at last!
PS We did a burst at 36 on the way back that was definitely our best rowing yet. Come Saturday we'll be ready to race!
In the meantime, we're chuffed about getting the 3rd VIII headship and looking forward to bumping Clare II tomorrow to maintain a pleasing symmetry with the Lents.
Most importantly, my fitness and tan are improving on a daily basis.
Bumped Clare II
In other news... Thunderbirds are coming.................
Bumped Christ's II
Thunderbirds performances: 4
I think that tells you all you need to know about this crew.
1. Cheery Dan
2. Brian is somewhat wo...
3. Closing in through t...
On for the bump tomorrow - as Harrie says, let's do it in 5 strokes... maybe less if Clare Hall try another antiphase start... xxx
Bumped Clare Hall
Bumped Churchill II
We knew Churchill were going to be no Caius but then no Clare Hall either, so the girls just had a decent start and reeled them in. Some 'conservative' whistles by Iain kept everyone on their toes, but they still managed to do it before first post corner.
Roll on New Hall.
Bumped New Hall II
1. Charlie sorts out gr...
2. The tow path melee
3. Rather cheery having...
Bumped by Vets School
Bumped by Selwyn II
Bumped by Newnham III
1. Iain consoles the crew
2. Sam Adams
3. Peter Brandt
Bumped King's II
And why did Jesus have ETANIMOD written on their backs?
Double overbumped Sidney Sussex II
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.
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!
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.
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.
Bumped by Selwyn III
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.
Bumped by Corpus II
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!
Thanks to Thursday's stunning rowing, we're still up 4!
1. Poor injured Fergus
2. Last ditch effort
3. Under some pressure
Unfortunately, although we gained on the Corpus II crew ahead to show we were the fastest crew in the division, the robinson snails let Corpus off the hook.
A short paddle later we were sitting by the P & E, and had just given our drinks order to Richard when we were warned that a crew could still potentially bump us.. Given we had no binoculars with us to check that far back up the river we took the marshalls advice literally and gave the surrounding female crews a comedy ending.
The result is disappointing for M5, who are so clearly superior to all of the rest of the division (only Corpus II, now 7 places higher, being of a similar standard). However, tomorrow should give the crew a chance to prove what they are capable of.
Erica (not Pedro)
Some faulty directions from a confused marshal just before we set off meant that we pulled in at the P&E and were just about to send Richard off for Pimm's when we were informed that we would actually have to row all the way up to top finish. Determined to make a show of it, we wound up to race pressure for the last fifty metres.
Bumped Robinson III
OK I've finally posted the photos from day 2. Sorry for the delay.
Bumped Christ's III
The start didn't go quite according to plan after our reliable stroke again managed to pull an air stroke in the draw for the second time (although to his credit, this was the second draw stroke, not the first, and even though he lost his seat whilst doing this, he got himself back together for the third draw stroke!) but the wind somehow worked nicely and luckily Christs III had a pretty bad start as well.
The boats behind us quickly dropped off, leaving the pair to slug it out down the course. We heard first whistles coming round Grassy I think, then pushed hard up Plough Reach. Some excellent cornering by Rich meant each corner took a fair chunk off their lead. By the time we came out of Ditton, we'd reached three whistles and felt we could catch them, but it's fair to say we weren't perhaps the fittest crew on the river and our longest practise bumps pieces had been to Ditton corner.
What followed was a classic push counter-push the entire way up the Reach. We rowed them down to about a foot but a double semi crab took the speed out of the boat and they started to pull away, but we built it up again. We didn't quite have a killer push inside us, much to the agony of ourselves and the bank party, but neither did Christs. Thankfully, we kept it together to the railway bridge, forcing them wide to avoid being clipped round the corner. From that point on, there was only one way this was going to end, and we bumped about 15 strokes after the bridge.
Although I ached a fair bit, this bump felt fantastic. To make a bump so far down the course for the first time was something special and I felt we'd really earnt that one and a half lengths and position as head of division 5. Little did I know we'd make a habit of these long, hard rows...
We decided to follow our pre-Bumps practice of going all-out for Ditton. As it happened, this was not enough by a long shot - despite some encouraging early whistles, Christ's rallied into the Reach and managed to push us away a bit. A classic push battle ensued, as we gained and lost on them for the entire length of the Reach. By the Railway Bridge, we had inched close enough to affect their steering - their cox realised he would steer into a bump if he tried for the racing line. He went wide and Rich took a perfect corner, and with a huge push out of the bridge we gained overlap. That was the final straw for Christ's, and they crumbled and were bumped out.
This race was massively satisfying - it isn't often you see a proper long-distance duel in the 5th division. Today's race was our longest piece as a crew ever, and it was great to see that we managed to hold it together without spacking out or blowing up. The high point was hearing Rich call for Adam at bow to "take a reeally long stroke, NOW!" as he tried to bladeclip their stern.
Rowed over as sandwich boat
We knew the row would be hard work. Kings II looked odds on for spoons and the Wolfson II boat we were chasing looked ominously strong. Given the reputation of the bottom of division 4 over the last two days, there was the odd muttering of a double overbump on Churchill but it would be a huge ask. Then again, we did have the fact that rowing over meant having to row over as head of division 5, a slightly daunting prospect and not something we wanted to do before trying to secure a place in division 4 again!
Wolfson II did shoot out the blocks very quickly, pushing away from our fairly tired crew and bumping Kings II in the gut. The crews in front bumped out as well, leaving us with the double overbump as the only option to stay in division 4. Over the course, we did make considerable water on them, but it was never really on. After the high of bumping Christs III, this was a frustrating end to our days racing.
Rowed over Head
We started off fairly well, although Christs III moved up on us slightly. A small crab on their part let them slip off us slightly towards Christs IV, keen to show up their team mates. From this point on, Christs III never got past station against us. Some strong rowing and tight lines with a few pushes chucked in stretch our lead to over 2 lengths. We took it all the way to top finish, happy with the result, but knowing we needed that one last bump to finish off our bumps journey perfectly.
Bumped King's II as sandwich boat
King's II, on the other hand, were a very nervous crew. They were on for spoons, and we were a wildcard crew to them, having just come up from the 5th division. As we loitered and chatted on the bank, they sat stiffly in their boat for the last fifteen minutes before the start. They were pushed off a good minute and a half before the gun, and spent some time sitting alone in the middle of the river looking rather bemused. Their nervousness turned out to have an edge of desperate determination.
Our start was by all accounts no worse than theirs, though we had feared they would push us away initially. Halfway down First Post Reach we were informed that they had crabbed out, but they obviously recovered fast and we didn't gain significantly.
Once we started cornering, though, we began to push up on them. The first whistle came in the Gut, and we got two whistles coming around Grassy. A huge push into the Plough Reach, energised by the cheering from the Plough, and we had overlap on Ditton Corner.
Surprisingly, they somehow managed to steer clear of the bump on the corner. It was rumoured after the race that we had actually bumped them here, but Adam at bow felt nothing. Down the Reach we had more or less continuous overlap. I don't know how many "Bumps 10" pushes we put in, but about halfway down the Reach we were shattered. Rich was taking the racing line, but their cox steered away from the bump and so we had significant overlap without hitting them. Urged on by Iain, Rich began to drift into them for the bump, but it felt like an eternity before we finally made contact.
By this point virtually nobody else was racing, so we had plenty of time to pull in to the bank and succumb to fatigue and elation before taking it on home. A fantastic conclusion to a challenging set of bumps.
We set off fairly strongly, holding them to station coming round first post corner. A well timed crab round Grassy let us move up half a length on them as we weaved through the glut of crews who'd bumped in front of us.
As we turned on to Plough Reach, we came into view of the small army of FaT supporters lining either side of this part of the river. It's amazing how much strong support can lift you when you're hurting and tired. This pushed us up to within a cover of Kings II by the time we reached Ditton, the three whistles hinting that this could almost be over.
Another good line round Ditton left us with overlap on Kings II. On the towpath, their was heated discussion of whether we had grazed their stern with our bow on the corner, but none of us in the crew were aware of this.
By this point, Kings II had firmly ensconced themselves on the meadow side of the reach whilst we had exited the corner tight to the towpath. Rich gently guided us towards them for the bump. Kings had nowhere to go, but the crew was nearly ready to crack. A couple of killer bumps pushes still didn't give us contact, but eventually, after what seemed like forever, we reached their side of the river. With Rich screaming that two's blade was inches away, it was now or never. The final killer bumps push took us that last inch, with Kings II still refusing to concede (although who could blame them when they'd held out so far trying to avoid spoons), but the marshall eventually gave us the bump half way up the reach.
Shattered but happy, we pulled into the bank for our greenery, having earnt our position in division 4 the hard way! A fantastic end to a tough week for our crew. It's been a pleasure rowing with them! Thanks to Erica for her coaching (and subbing!) for our crew throughout the term and to Adam for not lashing out at a stroke who was a 'bit' of a slide rusher and never moved forward when we were spinning.
Rah Rah First and Third!
Erica (not Pedro)
I was slightly worried that King's would push away from us initially, and that M5 would panic slightly if we were outside distance early on, but as it turned out, we held station all the way up until a King's crab just before 1st post. King's recovered only 1 stroke later, but from then on, we started moving up. Coming through Plough Reach, the boys had just gotten their 3rd whistle and a nice line into Ditton forced King's a little wide. I thought that there was a very slight glancing bow-on-stern contact as we exited the corner (and I wasn't the only one to see it) - but the King's cox didn't conceed, and the JU didn't indicate anything to that effect - so a chase down the reach was needed to make certain of the bump. Every bumps push we put in was countered by King's trying their hardest to push us back - but our pushes took *slightly* more than theirs every time. At one stage our bowball was right up just beyond their strokeman, and one last beefy surge and we made a much bigger contact than the one out of Ditton - the bump occuring just before the White House. The King's cox didn't conceed again, but the umpire informed us that we had been awarded the bump. All credit for King's for holding us off for so long and making the crew work hard for the bump. All in all, a great performance for the week - some really impressively long bumps and satisfying row-overs - and it's been great to have bank-partied you this week.
1. A few minutes later!
2. Pushing some more on...
3. The fight continues...
Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the following information, note that the results are unofficial.
Michell Cup points
|1st and 3rd||22.50|
Ineligible after entering fewer than 3 crews:
1. Umpire Walker
2. Badly parked
3. Plough spectators