The Club's Results

Lent Bumps 2009

The famous Cambridge University Bumps on the River Cam
Tue 24th - Sat 28th February

In the press

Cambridge News articles can be found here.


At the bottom of this page there is a link to Cambridge weather. Club members, please go here to add (or correct) results, crews or race reports.


Results Overview

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

1st men's VIII Rowed over Head Rowed over Head Rowed over Head Rowed over Head
1st women's VIII Bumped by Emmanuel Bumped by Jesus Bumped Jesus Rowed over
2nd men's VIII Rowed over Bumped by Peterhouse Bumped by Girton Rowed over Head Rowed over as sandwich boat
The Gents, Massive Rowed over Bumped by Queens' II Rowed over Bumped Emmanuel II
2nd women's VIII Rowed over Bumped Wolfson Rowed over as sandwich boat Rowed over Head Bumped St. Edmund's as sandwich boat Rowed over
4th men's VIII Bumped by Magdalene II Bumped by Peterhouse II Rowed over Bumped Fitzwilliam II

Guide to the table

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


1st men's VIII

Wednesday
Rowed over Head
I enjoyed this a lot more than I expected to. The weather was good, and it's fun having lots of people around - thanks for the support.

Things went massively pear-shaped about ten minutes before the gun, when we sat around for ages rather than paddling to the start. The 4 minute gun went off in the gut, and we pulled in with less than two minutes to go. Then the real disaster: I didn't have time to put my racing shirt on, so the photos will be ruined just like Fairbairns. We had a long chat about this after the race, and I'm confident that this won't happen again this week.

In fact the shirt incident was a mixed blessing. Not wearing the long sleeves gives me a slightly increased range of movement which I estimate is worth a length for every 500 metres. LMBC were about 2 lengths behind when they were bumped around the railings. An easy calculation shows that it could have been a real treat for the spectators, but rather worrying for us.

Once again we spent the first minute of the race demonstrating that our maximum useful rate is no greater than 36. By Plough reach we had found a rhythm with sensible numbers, but it didn't survive the onset of the headwind so we sacrificed length for rate and plodded on as best we could.

Downing were inside station on us when they bumped LMBC, so we expect an exciting race tomorrow. (Tom C)
Mediocre row. Frantic start, suboptimal settle coming round Grassy. Really found it on Plough Reach, chunky rhythm, big boys' rowing. Fell apart a little on the reach as we got hit by the headwind, rate was forced to stay high. Need to relax a little more tomorrow.
I'm keen for the coming days! (Flo)
First day nerves out the way now... (Thomas)
Thursday
Rowed over Head
Contrary to expectations, the drama kicked off early today. I had left my shirt hanging up in the drying room after the morning paddle, but when I turned up in the afternoon it was gone. My immediate thought was that it was a conspiracy invoked by someone more concerned with winning than pretty photos, but it was soon found elsewhere in the 'shed. An honest mistake, perhaps, but I wouldn't recommend owning up to it if there are sharps in the vicinity.

The rowing up to the start was shite so I wasn't expecting an easy race. However, the logistics were perfect, and I was ready to go wearing the correct racing kit for the first time in many years (gold socks, black shorts, Fairbairn top, not necessarily in that order). As remarked yesterday, this slightly reduces my power output, but it really inspired the other guys to lift it up a "nodge" or two.

Downing were about on station in the gut, 2-2.5 lengths down at the Plough, and adhered to a gentlemen's agreement thereafter. Our stern crossed the line at 8:25, their bow followed a third of a minute later. Tomorrow we'll reduce the rate cap to 16 to really test the guns; no need for technical pairs at this stage. (Tom C)
Much better row than yesterday. Less tense, more confident, more trusting in each other and ourselves. This is what First and Third rowing is about. Cleaner, sharper start, nice settle, good dealing with the headwind on the reach.
There is still lots of room for improvement, but seeing that we have not prepared for these races we can be reasonably happy with today's performances.
To be repeated Friday and Saturday. Job done for today. (Flo)
Friday
Rowed over Head
At the beginning on the week I was hoping that Jesus would have made it to 2nd place by today. Then we could have asked them where our Fairbairns medals are, and enjoyed the captains shouting at each other in what I can only assume is a foreign language.

The race was a definite improvement. We found a smooth rhythm on the reach for the first time, but shortly before the railway bridge we were knocked over to bowside by the crosswind and mysteriously never recovered. The finish time was 8:19, 15 seconds clear of Downing who appeared to row at a more even pace than yesterday.

Later we discovered an explanation for the strange happenings in the last third of the race. Hannes has been using Fordy's over-geared gimp blade, affording him 2cm less inboard than everyone else. The effect is similar to Commodus stabbing Maximus before their duel; victory is still assured, but at what cost? (Tom C)
Saturday
Rowed over Head
From Travisty:

Tom Coker
Bump'n'Grind

It's often remarked that college rowing is primarily about looking good and banter. Back in 2007, the standard of chat in the "First and Turds" boathouse was declining sharply, and a preponderance of unshaven graduate students masked any hint of sexual magnetism. So we abandoned the traditional ethos, and instead set about winning lots of races. Within a few months both the men's and women's first boats were at the top of the Lent bumps charts having rapidly overpowered Caius and Clare respectively. The club's dominance was underlined by a spectacular win at the prestigious Champs Eights Head, a 1500m time trial in May. The prize pot included 18 bottles of "champs"; no-one remembers if we finished them all, but the taste of victory lingers.

Just in case the above makes little sense, and you're still reading, I'll tell you what rowing is about. Winter races are usually time trials, with the more exciting side by side events in the summer. The river in Cambridge, however, is neither very long nor very wide so the usual racing formats don't work too well. Back in the early 1800s, some chaps put their gin bottles down and invented the bumps race. The crews line up (like a grand prix, but with bigger gaps), start at the sound of a cannon, and try to catch the boat ahead. If contact is made, the two crews involved stop rowing, and their places in the starting order are switched for the next day. The protocol may seem somewhat reckless, but the top speed of a rowing boat is less than 15mph, and fatalities are therefore extremely rare.

For the first placed crew, the affair is more mundane. With nothing to chase, the aim is simply to avoid being caught by the crew behind and thus retain the headship. This year the Trinity 1st men's boat started first, chased by St John's and Downing. On day one both crews set off very hard, but the pace was too much for the men in red and they were bumped halfway down the 2400m course. The three remaining days were a two horse race between Trinity and Downing. Our crew is considerably more powerful, but lacking smoothness over short distances. So Downing's best chance was to try and end the race as quickly as possible. On the final day they closed to within half a boat length after three minutes of racing, but their pace proved unsustainable and they quickly fell back, finishing some six lengths behind.

Trinity's women were less fortunate, being forced to field a very inexperienced crew. Last year they defended the headship magnificently, from a strong Emmanuel crew who came within six feet of the bump. This time they didn't escape, and fell to third place after a poor performance on day two. But a crew lacking experience improves very quickly, and they reversed this result to bump Jesus back on day three. Regaining the headship on the final day was a bridge too far, but most of the crew will be back next year and hungry for success. [by the webmaster]
Many good stories, and lots of terrible ones, have a twist in the final chapter. This campaign has been a good story of that ilk, and the twist manifested itself as two middle-aged pedestrians whose imbecilic meandering across Victoria Road caused me to ride into a bollard. While the bike was unscratched, considerable bleeding and swelling was caused to the finger which absorbed the impact. I wasn't at all sure I was fit to row, but any potential subs were still racing or already on the lash.

The practice starts on the way down weren't good, with my ability to feather declining sharply. To remedy the situation I spent the minute before the gun shouting loudly in the manner of Ron Coleman, hoping that some adrenalin would dull the pain. It worked a treat, and the start was great.

The race was more exciting than previously. Downing had a three minute race plan, but our Head focused training had effectively imposed a rate cap of 36. The only option we had was to assume that they weren't quite fast enough and dig in; there was no extra gear to use if they got too close. Luck was on our side, and they faded at Ditton. We finished in about 8:10, with Downing at least 20 seconds behind but still outside station on LMBC.

The times are quite slow compared to last year, but the winning margin is about the same. Whether this reflects a decrease in quality or an increase in stream, only Marcus Aurelius knows. And, sad to say, that burden eventually killed him. (Tom C)
Last day nerves out the way...

A really spectacular race for those on the bank around grassy and the plough with downing closing to about half a length (depending upon who you talk to this may vary). They were working very hard for this though and this showed as we came onto the long reach and moved away with a less front loaded race plan. (Thomas)

1. As Close As It Got
2. Rowing Over Head
3. Headship medal
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1st women's VIII

Wednesday
Bumped by Emmanuel
Panicked, rushed, unsettled; coupled to poor lines. First day nerves out of the way. (Mark)
Thursday
Bumped by Jesus
Very panicked, very messy. Air strokes in the draw strokes made us lose momentum right off the start and into the corner, and an explosive Jesus start had them close to 1 length by our 5th stroke.

We knew Jesus would give it all off the start due to a fast Downing chasing them, and our aim was to hold them off for long enough so that Downing would have a shot at the Headship later in the week. Unfortunately our lack of momentum round First Post meant that Jesus closed rapidly and we were bumped on the entrance to the Gut.

Our lack of experience showed today, as it did yesterday, but every time we go out there we build on that experience, so come Mays, and even next Lents, we'll be in a better position to fight back. (Mark)
Friday
Bumped Jesus
Hearing this news made my day. Best of luck on day 4 - I wanna see a V for victory traced out on the top of that table! (Jij)
YEAAAAAAAAAAAAH! Well done girls!!!!!! (Lyns)
Amazing!! Well done!! Looking forward to watching you go hell for leather at Emmanuel tomorrow! (Neil T)
Just saw the smiley pop up!!! :- D well done girls! (Charlie)
Just listened on the radio.. Sounds like a really amazing row - awesome effort girls! (Katie)
Awesome!!! Can someone please put up a descriptive race report for all of us who missed out on this when it happened live. (S.C. Mertes)
Girls, this is PHENOMENAL! I am so happy for you! (Charles)
Phenomenal performance.

We were quite sure that Downing would bump us at some point, so our plan was to make it as hard as possible for them. With a demoralising bump on Thursday it was a case of damage limitation.

Our start was not perfect, but much better and a lot more relaxed than Wednesday or Thursday despite Downing getting an early whistle at First Post. That was the last whistle I heard from behind and we managed to stride (finally!) to 30 before squeezing to our race rate of 32. By this stage Jesus had opened the gap by an extra length or so.

We had a good Grassy corner thanks to bowside, and a good push into the Plough. By this stage I noticed Jesus wasn't getting any smaller. A tight Ditton thanks to strokeside pressure brought us back on station with Jesus, and an almighty push followed by an excellent rhythm brought us our first whistle (confusing several in the boat, given Downing was far behind!). A quick check of the cox box showed 31, and I could see ahead that Jesus was rating much higher than us, and their faces showed exhaustion. This was followed shortly by two blasts, the Jesus cox steering to the left and my voice apparently going up in pitch.

Absolutely loving the ride at this stage another squeeze got us three, then a continuous whistle. Calls to steer left along with a bumps push were followed by bow hitting 7's blade, creating an unusual double cross shape on the bumps chart, and completely messing up people's BumpIt predictions...

Utterly ecstatic, we don't care how the rest of bumps goes. We proved we weren't a spooning crew and we deserved a place high in the table, despite our general lack of experience.

***Video*** at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tm4V21WVtKo (Mark)
This sounded immense on the radio. Huge Congratulations!!!!!! Go whack Emma tomorrow! (DM)
Well done, ladies! Go return Emma's bump tomorrow! (Cynthia)
Woohooo! Go girls!! Good luck for tomorrow. (Erica)
Well done, fantastic! A really great result to bump a crew back. Good luck for tomorrow. (AmeLia)
You have no idea how pleased I am! Well I am sure you do. Awesome job, I am so proud of you. This is how you know how to row, so none of that fear again please. Go and bump Emma tomorrow! I will be checking the website during my conference talks... All the best!!! (Julijana)
Woop woop, huge congratulations girls and boy :) Just listened to the radio commentary whilst eating my breakfast and I almost choked on my museli with excitement! Best of luck for tomorrow, wish I could be there cheering you on tomorrow but I'll be dreaming of another bump tonight :) (Charley)
Well done girls, everyone is so proud of you, and you should be so proud of yourselves! (Louise)
Saturday
Rowed over
Good job girls, and sorry it didn't work out today, but you are all here next year, so it's certainly something to look forward to. I am very proud of you! Have a good time at the dinner and the bop tonight, and I expect some awesome rowing next term and blades in May bumps. Also, please can someone write a detailed report on the rowing once everything is over? (Julijana)
A really good row.

Not many nerves existed now since there was nothing to really lose. Even if we were bumped we had already stopped the general consensus that we would go a long way down, and that made us very happy.
We showed that, despite having a slower start, we were quicker than Jesus over the course, and we knew that Jesus would have their whistles early on in this race.

Our start was perhaps the best out of all our bumps races, but the stride took a little longer than yesterday. Jesus got two whistles very early on and for quite a long time too, around First Post and into the Gut - turned out to very optimistic given there was still about a length between the boats during this time(?)

No more whistles followed and we opened up the gap from then on. Onto the Plough we were probably about on station with Emma, if a little out, but coming around Ditton Emma gradually opened up the gap until the end showing their speed and strength.

An excellent row from Emma who showed how they deserved the Headship this time round, but also an excellent row from the girls who beat the odds to drop no further than 2nd.

To overcome so many disappointments with injury, obvious from our performance at Pembroke Regatta, and no permanent replacement up until a week before bumps we have done ourselves proud.

Many thanks to all our supporters, and especially to Julijana for subbing in whenever we've needed her, to Kim for being our lifeline, to Jenny and Anne for supporting us on the bank, and of course to Iain who kept us going through the rough times and got us up to speed despite all of the hurdles.

We're already so up for fighting for it back next year. (Mark)
Congratualtions girls - a fantastic achievement to have bumped back yesterday and held your position today, that takes real guts and is something you should be very proud of :) I hope all the ex-novices enjoyed their first taste of senior racing proper and are hungry for more, and that the experienced pros are now keener than ever for Mays (Liz you know you want to...!). Enjoy a well-deserved rest and the dinner/bop (3 boat clubs = triple carnage... news please!) and I really look forward to watching some more bumping action on the last day of Mays :) (Charley)
Well done FaT W1. Looking at the last couple of years, there seems to be a history of underestimating this crew. I don't know whether that's a reflection of your own lack of confidence or just misjudgment by everyone else, but in either case I think you have proved a point this week. It takes a lot of guts to turn around and fight after going down two in the first two days, especially from the Headship, and all the more so when many of you have so little racing experience. You might not realise it, especially the freshers among you, but there are a lot of us bufties out there (in the Real World!) watching the progress of First and Third up and down the bumps charts. You've done us proud this week. Well rowed. (Erica)

1. Overlap
2. Concession
3. Ditton
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2nd men's VIII

Wednesday
Rowed over
We had a good start, and a decent first post reach. Managed to make good ground on Selwyn but failed to move up on Queens. Things didn't go so well through the middle part of the course, I suspect we were all devoting a bit too much concentration to watching the unfolding drama behind. Eventually Peterhouse overtook Selwyn (smooth!) and shortly after we decided to get on with rowing again. Sadly it was too little too late and we again failed to move up on Queens. Need to raise the game a bit tomorrow or the drama might involve us! (C.S.Dunleavy)
Thursday
Bumped by Peterhouse
Not the result we'd hoped for. We had a good start, and even seemed to have moved up slightly off the back of it. Once we settled down though it became apparent that Peterhouse were cruising faster then us. We rowed through the corners better the previous day, however Peterhouse were faster still and we were under serious pressure coming out of grassy. Peterhouse made a good move off the corner and we didn't manage to respond. They had the inside of us round ditton and out of the corner quickly gained enough overlap to convert to a bump. (C.S.Dunleavy)
Friday
Bumped by Girton
We put in a really good race today, don't think anybody in the crew has any doubts about that. Just too bad for us that Girton are pretty quick! Decent start, and we managed to hold Girton at about station up to first post corner and through the gut. Coming out of Grassy they came up on us pretty hard, and once again we were facing overlap shortly after ditton. The first time they got enough overlap we managed to pull it away at the last moment, but they came back even harder and the second time we couldn't get away. The bump was conceded maybe a third of the way down the reach. Word from the bank was that we'd gotten inside a length of Peterhouse by the time we were bumped. (C.S.Dunleavy)
Amidst some impressive results from the rest of the FaT crews(go girls!!) we had to admit defeat to a fast girton crew. We put in a lot of power when girton came close in the plough and out of ditton. For a second I though we could pull away and even bump Peterhouse who were about half a length ahead and failing to bump churchill even with overlap. However, the tiredness kicked in, had a bad stroke which meant girton got us. This gutsy row today shows we deserve our place in division 1 but lets make sure we prove it tomorrow. (Sonya)

1. 2nd men row through ...
2. Jesus struggling (bu...
3. Leading the division...
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The Gents, Massive

Tuesday
Rowed over
We knew it was unlikely we would bump Darwin, since based on this term's results they were faster than much of the first division, let alone the second. Therefore the hope was that they would bump Homerton and we could chase Emma II for the overbump. Unfortunately for us, Darwin closed to inches on Homerton but Homerton bumped Emma just in time to escape. We then rowed as hard as we could but there was no way we were going to catch them.

On the plus side, we pulled a long way away from the crews chasing us, and Darwin are certain to make mincemeat of Emmanuel on Thursday so hopefully come Friday we'll have something to hit. Today's rowing was messy but fun in a way, and definitely far from our worst performance. (Charles)
Thursday
Bumped by Queens' II
We expected a straightforward rowover today, so we failed to bring the focus that this race needed. Queens, on the other hand, really raised their game, and they ground us down steadily over the course. By the time we hit the reach the gap was down to half a length, and about halfway down they pulled out a huge push, for which we had no answer.

However, based on the previous day there's no good reason for us to have let this happen, so tomorrow we'll be switched on, aggressive, and rowing properly again. (Charles)
I guess today's result was a consequence of complacency and a lack of concentration. Queens came out of the block a lot faster than we did and we fell apart when they closed in on us. This was perhaps was our worst row ever as a crew.

It's an unfortunate result but we're confident that we can pull things together and row to an acceptable standard and recover from this setback. Shit happens, the rest of the week is a test of whether we can harden up and get over it. (Tsunami)
Friday
Rowed over
Whew, that came quite close, or it felt like it. The commitment really felt like it was there today, on the row up and off the start. We knew we would have to go a lot faster off the start than yesterday to avoid a repeat, and we did. We were making a small amount of ground on Queens' all the way up first post reach and we pulled away from Selwyn nicely. Then we came round the corner and were confronted by carnage; I took a look behind while holding it up, Queens' and Emma seemed to be trying to get perpendicular to the river and there was no way to get past. Just as RTT informed us there was probably room to get past and get going again Selwyn appeared round the corner and came storming up on us; we restarted with them less than half a length away and managed to get the boat speed up again fast enough that they didn't get us. We then proceeded to row pretty badly all the way down the reach but some real solid commitment in the pushes lead to us slowly pulling away from them again. I couldn't tell exactly but it looked like Selwyn were outside station again when we crossed the line. Even though it would have been a technical row over it was still reassuring to hold them off.
It was clear from the first half of the race that if we know we have to row really well, we can do, we just have to have something to motivate us right from the start, like chasing the crew in front. Even in the second half when our technique was poor we showed that we can still move the boat well if we just commit ourselves properly. I'm happy with the result and I think we have a good platform to go from tomorrow, we just need to not get complacent again, everyone else has caught Emma but that doesn't mean we will if we don't put in everything we've got. It's the last day, we need to go all in because that's what they'll be doing too. (Aaron)
Today we came back with focus, and a better race plan, namely to bump Queens. Emma made sure that didn't happen, but it certainly gave us more motivation than our "painful survival" race plan yesterday!

After 50 strokes we had put plenty of clear water between ourselves and Selwyn, and may have closed slightly on Queens but not close enough for a whistle. However, just round first post corner Emma and Queens bumped out, and managed to park right across the river. We held it up, waited 10 seconds, and as Selwyn zoomed towards our stern were gently advised by RTT to get rowing again. Thanks, Tom!

So we resumed with Selwyn inside half a length and pushing enthusiastically for the bump, but we made sure the outcome would not be in doubt by gradually pushing them back off until we were back outside station at the finish. For me the moral is that even when rowing poorly, bringing the right attitude gives the boat a couple of extra pips. We only have ourselves to blame for what happened yesterday, but Queens will probably go on to get their blades and I think it's fair to say they've done enough to deserve them.

The scores on the doors:
Technique 3/10
Guts 10/10
Turbolegs 6/10
Jurassic crab recovery 9/10
Desire to throw RTT into the Cam - 11/10 (Charles)
Technical rowovers are really boring. (RTT)
Absolutely awful, but committed rowing. Neither together not pretty but damn were we pushing fucking hard. A poor effort by Queens to clear the racing line meant we had to hold it up whilst Selwyn got within half a length of us before we were allowed to restart. We rowed our balls off and opened the gap up to station by the time we crossed the finish line. F**K YES boys. Let's reclaim our position tomorrow! (Tsunami)
Going for this row over was the confidence booster we needed after yesterday's disappointing bump. It wasn't a total technical disaster either, although by no means was it any good in that respect.

Where we gained was commitment. We didn't care that even if Selwyn bumped us it would be a technical row over anyway because we had to hold it up until they were within a half length of us. All we cared about was dominating them, putting them off-station by the time we crossed the line, just because we believed we could. They didn't make it easy for us, as they were committed and determined too. But we need more of this bloody-mindedness if we're to succeed tomorrow.

All in all however, rowing over has never felt so good.

UPDATE: Now Bumps is over I definitely nominate this as our finest hour. (Jij)
Saturday
Bumped Emmanuel II
This was clearly our worst row ever - it should have been a lot easier but we chose not to make it so. Had we rowed like we did at Robinson Head or perhaps day 1 of Bumps even, it would have been over under the Motorway Bridge. As it happened we had to wait all the way til First Post Corner and narrowly avoided Christs overlapping us.

We should probably have done a bit better than staying level, but that's Bumps, complacency on day 2 led to our current situation.

But still, a committed and gutsy row. Pity about the technique, but there you go.

Gents: Massive. (Jij)
Painful, spacky and short. But in the end, we got the job done. The commitment was there and held it together just long enough so that we'd hit Emma before Christs got us. It was dramatic, Christ's knew Emma were on the verge of spooning so they went off hard, almost gaining overlap on us at the point where we'd hit Emma. But it doesn't matter, we got the result we needed.

Gentlemen, it's been an epic term and I have to say I could not have wished for more from a crew. You boys have been FUCKING AWESOME. 2 wins in Robinson Head an Pembroke Regatta and holding onto our already high position for a 3rd VIII in bumps is a pretty decent achievement lads. The banter has been immense and I owe a big thank you to the rest of the boys for making this term so worthwhile (and generally putting up with my arsey-ness).

Gents: Massive. Indeed. You can't stop us motherfuckers cause we're on a fucking boat. Yeah Buddy ;). (Tsunami)

1. Rowing home with gre...
2. Setting off home
3. M3 are happy after b...
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2nd women's VIII

Tuesday
Rowed over
A gutsy, determined row over that's definitely one of the best rows we've had as a crew.

It was pretty controlled off the start (the real one...) and we wound to about 38 before settling around 33. By grassy we were inside a length and a solid push saw us close to half a length by ditton. However we died a bit round the corner and they were able to pull ahead. Not long before the finish they crabbed and we steadily gained on them, but it was too little too late and they crossed the line about half a length clear.

Tomorrow we are chasing Wolfson who we should catch, which means we are still on for going up a division. (DM)
Wednesday
Bumped Wolfson
This was a bit close! The bump happened literally at the finish. Wolfson had already gotten their bowball over the line - but it's a stern finish in bumps - and contact was made before the stern had crossed the line. Excellent work! (Richard)
You were giving me a good scare listening on the radio. The commentary is variable but the guy on first post knew who the crews were and seemed to suggest you were being caught.

As more information came through it seemed like you had rowed over half a length of... Therefore it was a pleasant surprise when the radio guy asked a marshall who said simply 'FaT bumped Wolfson.' (Thomas)
Well it doesn't get much more exciting than that. You didn't lose nerve after the crab and you pushed off the other crew nicely which was truly admirable. In the nick of time you also decided that a bit more pressure could go down which resulted in the space between the whistles being very small for that stage in the race. Couldn't really ask for more drama or a more deserved bump. Well done. (Jij)
Coxing is a constant learning curve, but apparantly I pay a bit too much attention sometimes. Having been told by a million people not to steer for a bump, I can now appreciate that it's ok to do so when you have quite a few feet of overlap. Hopefully I have now had my share of fuck ups for the week.

The start felt nice - it's going to take more than a crab and some over optimistic whistles from the crew behind to unsettle us. We ditched the stride and powered along at 36 round first post and grassy where some nice pushes saw us fend off Clare and move within a length of Wolfson. At ditton it all got interesting. They went wide and a solid push from us saw us close to half a length. Then an even better push saw us close the gap steadily with every stroke. At this point everyone on the bank was screaming at me to steer over, but apparantly I go deaf in races. We hit them eventually with their bow over the line. Phew!!!

Thanks to Wolfson for a great race and to their cox for pulling us in when marshalling. Cheers, much appreciated. Thanks to the girls for getting me my first bump and sorry to our bank party for making it so tense.

Tomorrow we have nothing chasing us and have a longer course to have another go at Corpus over. Hopefully we can keep it together in the second half of the race and take the bump that eluded us yesterday. (DM)
Most tense race ever!! I'm so sorry I made it harder for you girls by catching a crab after the start, but the crew coped really well with it and stayed cool, getting back together quickly. The push round and out of Ditton was amazing, and getting a bump on the line has never felt so good!!! Thank you so much for getting me my first bump guys!! And Happy Birthday Rosie from W2. (Louise)
Thursday
Rowed over as sandwich boat
Not much to say about this one. Frantic start, shit cornering and a bump in front of us almost straight away didn't really leave us with many options. We had a peak at the overbump but the rowing never really came together and with every stroke it seemed less likely. We know we can row better than this. (DM)
Friday
Rowed over Head
Losing a rower to illness overnight wasn't exactly ideal preparation for the day. Sonya kindly agrred to sub and fitted in no problem on the row up with katie coping pretty well at 7 as well.

We were confident for the row over having bumped Wolfson earlier in the week, but we knew that they would be behind us for a fair bit. Our start was clean but lacked power and this let them take some distance off us in the gut, but after we came round grassy (a bit tight...) a series of pushes saw us pull away. By the time we came onto the reach there was loads of clear water between the crews and then Clare II bumped Wolfson at ditton. We wound it down to complete an enjoyable row over. (DM)
Friday
Bumped St. Edmund's as sandwich boat
What an amazing day of rowing. I owe massive thanks to Sonya for filling in, but also for allowing me to experience the joy of the 7 seat. Or maybe it was just our rowing today that felt so good! Either way, it was an awesome day.

Keen to get Corpus tomorrow! (Katie)
Well done girls! Finally in the 2nd division - you deserve it! (Mark)
Well done girls! you did what we could not last year :D go get corpus tomorrow!! (Kristina)
Well done guys! You are really kicking butt. Miss you all heaps.
Belinda :) (Belinda)
Congratulations on moving up a division, and best of luck for the last row :) (Charley)
After the earlier row spirits were high among the crew. We had a great row down to the start complete with two immense practice starts. Even Louise was smiling while we were pulled in at the lock!

The start was powerful and controlled, although we may have settled a few pips too high. This didn't really matter as we had planned to be in for the short haul. Once round the corner (without hitting any reeds this time) we were inside a length and moved to within half a length by the bridge. A nice push saw us close the gap even further and we hit them not long after the motorway bridge which turns out not to be the best place in the world to bump due to a slight paucity of greenery. Oh well, with my bumps record I'll take anything.

We've achieved our aim of moving up a division and tomorrow resume our tussle with corpus. Hopefully third time's a charm... (DM)

1. Rowing over as sandw...
2. Back of the pack - c...
3. Skewing round Wolfso...
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4th men's VIII

Tuesday
Bumped by Magdalene II
Start was okay, some minor spacking, however from where I was sat it felt more due to the wash than us. We were holding Magdalene II at about a length, having lost half a length of the start, and had lost perhaps a few feet on Clare II ahead of us. About a minute odd in, Clare II hit Fitz II, and then proceeded to demonstrate incompetence on an immense scale, ending up diagonally across the river, leaving a very dubious gap for us to attempt to steer through. Hans elected to hold it up for safety reasons, and we were hit by Magdalene II. The umpires thought there was enough gap for us to go through, so we weren't awarded a technical row-over. The crew is pretty angry at Clare II for getting in the way, but hopefully we'll be able to recover our position over the next few days. (Swords)
Wednesday
Bumped by Peterhouse II
The real test for a crew is going down 2 in the first two days. Crews who fail this test give up and spoon automatically. Crews who pass the test keep their heads up and row to their maximum potential. You will not fail this test.

Technically, it was a little messy but the boat got moving on well enough due to the mountain of power you guys have. Squaring up early will help you, hopefully in the row back you managed to find some of this in Hans's coaching. There was inspired coxing and no-regrets style effort going down during the race.

At the end of the day there is plenty of gratuitous crap I could spew about participation and patting you on the back, but I know this crew isn't about that. This crew is about mental and physical solidarity without cliched bullshit. You keep your fighting spirit and you could have something to celebrate between now and the BCD, whether it's bumping up or just knowing that you left bumps a stronger rower.

Good luck for the rest of the bumps. (Jij)
Start was good, pretty quick and smooth, and we held station on Magdalene II, and managed to move away to what looked like 2 1/2 lengths from Peterhouse II. Unfortunately Magdalen II hit Fitz II ahead of us, at which point we rather lost our way somewhat. Some impressive coxing combined with an effective push narrowly avoided the bump round Grassy, however we seemed to loose it somewhat down plough reach, so despite taking evasive action round Ditton, they had a major overlap, and a blade clash sealed the bump. More thought required on efficiency and technique on Friday if better results are to be had.

^^^^ Think I must have been logged in when this was written. It's fair to say Magdalene had pulled away a fair bit when the bump occured. After evading overlap round Grassy, the seemingly inevitable occured around Ditton. A good try, but it's tough for a 4th VIII in the 3rd division. Let's see what the crew can do after a day's rest. (Richard)
Friday
Rowed over
I once heard that a draw was a dull result. A row over being the bumps equivalent, I think we can safely say that it is perfectly possible to have interesting draws... We went off hard, in the vague hope of hitting Peterhouse II before Fitz II crashed into them from the front, however that was a little optimistic, as a result of our fast start Cauis II started to gain on us. By grassy I'm pretty sure they were on three whistles, and going for a bumps push, however a massive push from us held them off, just. We were under pressure down plough reach, and they started another bumps push... We were slower to respond this time, and they gained an overlap, and steered for the bump. A last ditch push, some nifty coxing, and no small amount of luck in the timing of our drive led to them missing our stern by what seemed a ridiculously minimal margin just around Ditton, and they ended up overlapped on the outside of us. At this point they paid for their two bumps pushes, and a minor crab by their stroke left them briefly in sixes and completely out of phase. Seeing that we had the temporary advantage, we decided to put some clear water in, and went for some hefty strokes down the top of the reach, and produced some of our best rowing, considering how tired we were. We pulled away a reasonable distance, and then it was simply a sprint to the line. We held them off all the way, despite them gaining on us all the way. Crossing the line ended what was certainly the most satisfying piece of rowing I've been in, with a sense of elation to be off the down escalator. Massive credit to the crew for producing such a committed row despite being down two, and huge thanks to Hans for successfully keeping us in it with some pinpoint coxing, and thanks to our bank party for support despite all seeming lost at more than one occasion... Keen for tomorrow, very keen indeed... :) (Swords)
Watching a FaT boat row over in front of the Neil McKendrick with millimetres to spare brought back some painful and yet extremely pleasant memories. Good job today guys, you've really earned your turnaround in the bumps charts. If you can keep up the work ethic and avoid complacency tomorrow you'll end the week on an upward curve. (RTT)
YEAH BUDDY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Emma)
That's right boys. That's right. (Jij)
Saturday
Bumped Fitzwilliam II
Well done boys, you deserved this. Good to see you starting the pre-pre-pre-dinner drinks early as well! (Emma)
Well, it's 01:16, and my gardies was good... Anyways, I seem to have developed a tendency for verbose race reports, so I'd hate to disappoint. We were pretty quick off the start, but nothing special, however we got our first whistle after Motorway bridge. It then seemed an age until we got the second, and I must admit, I have no idea when that happened, however the third seemed pretty quick after that. Then, I was personally boosted by cries of "4 feet... 2 feet... 1 foot" from the bank, and after a look, I realised that the stern of Fitz II was within an easy arms length of my spot in the bows. At the next finish, I lent out, trying to catch their bows, bows, however half way through this movement, I felt an almighty shudder, as we crashed into their 7 man's rigger, due to some more nifty coxing from Hans. Mass celebration ensued, as we finally got the bump we felt we deserved. We had initially hoped to mount a positive bumps campaign, however I'd like to reference the report from jij 2 days ago, in that I have certainly left this particular week a better rower, and I can be pretty sure that the same is true for the rest of our boat. Massive thanks to all who coached us and let us have a respectable go at the Lents 2009, it was quite a giggle. (Swords)
This was some of the most abysmal rowing I have ever been involved in, probably including novice term. There was absolutely no balance or rhythm - and we would probably have got the boat home quicker walking along the bank with it.

Thankfully that was the row home, and today we also did some of the best rowing this crew has ever done.

I think it's safe to say this was the best race of the week by far, since Caius (who had overlap on us the previous day by Ditton where we bumped) were a good length behind as we ploughed into Fitz.

The only complaint with this row was that we would have hit them quicker had the boat not stopped dead as everyone launched themselves to frontstops every time Hans called for a bumps push - I think by the end though we had worked out what was going on, and our last push was effective.

This was a determined row, everyone gave it their all, and this showed through. This week has been an intense week for this crew, but I am proud of the result despite going down 1 - our rowing has most definitely improved a lot, and indeed, I would be interested to see if Peterhouse could still hit us now. Bring on the Mays! (Alex)

1. Rowing home with gre...
2. Cracking open the be...
3. Hans
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Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the following information, note that the results are unofficial.

Men's bumps charts

Men's bumps chart, Lent Bumps 2009

Women's bumps charts

Women's bumps chart, Lent Bumps 2009

Michell Cup points

Peterhouse48.00
Magdalene36.00
Homerton32.00
Christ's22.00
Queens'21.60
St. Catharine's18.00
Sidney Sussex16.80
King's16.00
1st and 3rd8.00
Anglia Ruskin0.00
Corpus0.00
Trinity Hall0.00
Selwyn-2.40
Clare-3.00
Robinson-4.00
Emmanuel-6.00
LMBC-6.86
Caius-7.20
Wolfson-8.00
Jesus-12.00
Pembroke-12.00
Downing-14.40
Fitzwilliam-18.00
Girton-20.00
Churchill-24.00

Ineligible after entering fewer than 3 crews:

Hughes Hall24.00
Lucy Cavendish24.00
Darwin0.00
St. Edmund's0.00
Clare Hall-30.00
Murray Edwards-36.00
Newnham-60.00

Cambridge weather: Tuesday text or graph
Wednesday text or graph
Thursday text or graph
Friday text or graph
Saturday text or graph

1. Downing cross the li...
2. The new women's head...
3. Dowining chasing Jes...
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