The Club's Results
Lent Bumps 2010
The famous Cambridge University Bumps on the River Cam
Tue 23rd - Sat 27th February
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Rowed over Head
Also, TWO overbumps in M1?! It would never have happened in my day....
Rowed over Head
Rowed over Head
Rowed over Head
We'd discussed the possibility of all of this; however, it came as a nasty surprise that, although around Ditton we pulled it out to quarter of a length, they then stayed there all down the reach. A pretty hellish couple of minutes for some of us!
Coming through the railway bridge we had a surge and after that started to pull away slightly more steadily, crossing the line above station. And after that it was a couple of minutes of pure lactic burn, nice...
Huge kudos to Downing - they proved they were capable of some very serious speed, and gave us an awesome race. But in the end, we got over the finish line: well done boys for such a calm and committed row, it was intense.
Sparring with the women was spactastic, but did involve hitting 50 at (nearly) full slide.
More to come when I don't have a dinner to go to.
We approached the first day of bumps with mixed feelings - huge progress had been made since last racing Downing and we had comfortably won Pembroke Regatta, although both of our main rivals were absent. However, our relative speeds at this stage were unknown.
In fact the first race was rather uneventful, seeing us steadily take distance though a very aggressive first half of the race and finishing with a large margin although Downing claim to have wound down for the last km or so. It was clear that LMBC did not pose any threat to either crew so it looked to be a two horse race for the rest of the week.
One of the perils of rowing over head is that you have to be prepared to deal with any race plan from the chasing crew and still be capable of racing the distance. We had no idea of how Downing were approaching each day so tried to approach each day with the same aggression and commitment, and be prepared for either a long race or a 500m sprint. Both the second and third days saw us move out to 2.5 or 3 lengths in the first half and sit there, generally rating 33-34 and feeling fairly comfortable. However, memories of 4th day shock tactics by Downing in 2009 were fresh in our minds so we rowed up on saturday expecting a repeat. Only two of us had rowing the last Lents and we were sure to impress on the new guys the likelihood of such a race.
Downing did not disappoint. They sat on station until the gut, when they began to move on us, and by the approach to Ditton had closed to what looked from the 7 seat to be around 3 feet of clear water but I am told it was more like a canvas. A glance at the bladework and postures of the Downing crew showed that they were sprinting flat out and we knew that they would blow as had happened last year if only we could hold them long enough. We stayed calm and the crew performed admirably, responding cohesively to Natasha's calls. As one member of the crew put it 'I got my head down, rowed as hard as I could and believed they would blow'. We took some distance with a strong push out of Ditton, and Downing sat at 1/4 length for the first third of the reach or so, falling back to 1/2 length approaching the railway bridge. At this point we could see that they were dying off, and we steadily began to move away finishing with around 2.5 lengths clear water. A fantastic end to the bumps, and one that I will remember for a long time. Thanks to Downing for such a great race, and for being such good sports about the result.
Unfortunately we have been unable to compare ourselves to Queen's as a the time of writing an injury has prevented them from competing to race at HBR. We have progressed hugely as a crew and have become fast sprinters which bodes well for regatta season. This is largely down to the efforts of JPD who coached us for the two weeks leading up to bumps - without his support and coaching prowess we would not have finished head and we can't thank him enough. Thanks also to Peter Summers and Emma for their contributions earlier in the term.
I'd like to extend my thanks to the rest of the crew - the team spirit and determination has been terrific this term. We now look forward to HoRR and May term having secured the Lent Headship for another year.
Rah Rah First and Third!
1. with a splash!
2. come down...
just watched that back, its a bit cack, the version I have on my computer is much better, will find a way of getting the good one on youtube
I was watching in the Gut and at Grassy. I thought you'd have had them just comingout of Grassy but they put in a do-or-die push to hold you to Ditton. The same place they got us last year. Good luck for the next 3 races!
P.S. Just found a video of the bump http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=78OLDaQNfOg
P.P.S. I was told this year's W1 got Emma earlier than Emma got us last year, contrary to what I wrote earlier. I apologise to Julijana for this mistake.
Rowed over Head
Hopefully a little pressure tomorrow will bring out the best of FaT W1.
Rowed over Head
Rowed over Head
The first stroke was still a bit nervous but already during the 'build'-strokes it became obvious that there was nothing to worry about at all. Downing had announced that they would treat this as a 'race to the Plough', giving it all off the start and sprinting for us, but they never got anywhere near us. We found our rhythm, pushed through the corners and down the gut, and flew down Plough reach, carried by the cheers of the crowd. Coming out of Ditton, we did our usual push onto the reach and started walking away. The sight of Downing fading into the distance between Ditton and the kink will stay in my mind as one of the sweetest rowing memories ever!
From then on, it was really only about how much margin we could put between us and them. Our bankparty called 3 1/2 lengths coming under the railway bridge, and we gradually extended that to 4 lengths on the finish line.
All that is left is to say a heartfelt thank you to my crew and the coaches. I have never enjoyed rowing as much as in the last two terms. I've never before been part of a crew with such an amazing crew spirit, where the feeling of belonging together and trusting each other extends far beyond the boathouse! Thanks to all of you! Rowing with you guys is a pure pleasure!
And thanks to Sonya for being our 'brain', our motivation and simply the most amazing cox we could possibly have!
Massive thanks to Tom for uncounted hours at the river, for carrying huge amounts of kit while cycling like crazy, for offering your place for crew pasta again and again, and for organising all and everything around us so smoothly that we never had to worry about anything and could totally focus on our rowing. This would not have been possible without your commitment to captaincy!
Finally, our deepest thanks go to the coaches that forged us into the fastest women's college crew currently on the Cam. JPD, who came down from London so often that we gained the impression he'd moved to Cambridge, and who even came out to Ely to see us sparring with CUW. And Iain. Having you back, believing in us, giving us confidence and sharing your experience with us meant more than I can describe with words. Your smile at the finish line was the sweetest reward after every race, better than any pot or medal in the world could be! Thanks for every early morning this term, for every Saturday you came to see us race, for coming all the way to Peterborough and Ely with us! This is your headship as much as ours.
Since Fairbairns everyone knew FaT W1 are coming to get the headship and we were determined to not only stay head but do so with a great margin. On day 4 I have to say we executed this race plan to perfection.
Repeating what was said at the dinner, I want to thank Tom for being a great Captain, JPD and Neil for putting so much hope and effort into us and Iain for always making rowing seem so simple.
A thanks to all who carried the boat with me and Natasha on it. I know we are heavy but it was an amazing experience!!
And finally, thanks to all my girls. I love you all!
1. Crossing the finish ...
2. Nearing the finish
3. Towards the railway ...
Bumped by Selwyn
Bumped by Robinson
Later that evening it transpired that there had been a fair amount of drama at the stern. Allegedly, the Robinson bowman had hardly begun to viciously assault our darling Emma with his spoon, when the noble Simon valiantly avenged the damsel in distress by promptly ripping off their splashguard with his own long, strong stick.
Bumped by St. Catharine's
The abnormally long top tube of my bike clearly had been angering Emma L, and at Chesterton she took it out on me by slighting my bumps beard. I consoled myself, reasoning that first-class coaches must be cruel to be kind, and that besides, excess facial hair was obviously the sole factor in our mediocre performance so far. That night I duly shaved it off.
The air at crew pasta was thick with fear and tension. No, not because bow four were cooking, but because the prospect of being chased by LMBC II the next day was looming. Spooning might not be completely disastrous, but losing the M2 headship to LMBC certainly would be. It was solemnly decided that the race plan would consist of carefully not being bumped.
On the plus side, we didn't have to face the reach in a massive headwind. So we're fresh for tomorrow...
It is lamentable that we are not as fast as we would like to be. However, Pembroke Regatta was won not by speed but by sheer grit and determination. Crew spirit has been fabulous, despite half the crew changing every week, and I have really enjoyed this term. Thank you to anyone who has rowed for M2 at any point - there are at least 14! - especially to Charles and Andy for giving up their time to come back to a crew that hasn't always been fully rewarding.
Thanks also to Emma S, for excellent coxing that was sometimes scary, often crucial and always good-humoured, and to Rich, for never neglecting us and always being encouraging and helpful when we needed it.
Unimaginably huge thanks to Emma L, for taking us under her wing these last couple of weeks, coaching and organising us, and helping out in countless ways. Without her I'm not sure how we would have coped.
It's been a pleasure rowing with you guys. A really tough term with injuries and dropouts but I think we pulled together into something respectable in the end. We proved today and at Pembroke Regatta that we're still the quickest 2nd VIII.
Many thanks to Emma L for providing the continuity in coaching for the last two weeks and bankpartying us for every race. Thanks also to Rich for writing our training plans. We couldn't have pulled through without your endless support.
1. M2 after Rowing Over
A good start and a good row towards the Ditch. A tight corner by Swords on First Post was followed by a not-so-tight corner on Grassy (but not as bad as mine last year on day one). This meant Clare closed and, as the video shows, got within inches coming down Plough Reach.
Coming into Ditton first meant getting hit by the wind first, causing overlap, forcing Swords to go left. Pushes and pushes came down the first part of the Reach, one of the earlier one practically bringing the bow ball of Clare almost in line with Swords. The girls show great nerve to return every Clare push which meant after Clare had given their legs 10, FaT opened up the gap. They continued to open the gap all the way to be several lengths clear by the bridge.
P.S. From the Clare race report 'It must also be said the FaT II were absolutely nails.'
Anyway, we set off, straight-ish, and settled a bit high, so we re-surged to a better rate. Predictably Caius got hit near the Motorway bridge, however they then cleared in front of me, leading to a massive swerve across the river, possibly costing us a bit of speed and rhythm. Clare II were getting whistles behind us, however I was unconcerned, as we reckoned they were going for a sprint plan. Coming int first post the Whistles started to get more insistent, however I stil thought they were about to die. Then we hit a bit of wind onto Plough Reach, leading to a massive voyage of discovery, and I look out to my left in order to get a better view of my new line, only to see the Clare II bow girl. Oops.
Anyway, at this point I heard Iain shout "May be a good time to call a push", and I can't say that I disagreed, so I did. Much quoting of 300 ensued (Give them nothing... Go), and we pushed out to a bit of clear water. They then returned to overlap, with their bowball possibly within touching distance for me, and we did the same again. A wide line (deliberate this time) put me in the middle of the reach, giving us a bit of lateral space, to buy some time. Another massive lift pushed them back a touch, and a combination of the headwind and us moving away a bit seemed to finish them off. That was extraordinarily close.
Bumped Caius II
However despite performing a bit worse than we had hoped, I feel that the experience gained this week will be hugely useful later on. In years to come, some of these girls are going to be rowing in 1st crews, and may well have to defend our shiny new headship from those nasty people at Downing, or whoever ends up chasing them. The row over in front of Clare II will hopefully have given the girls some belief that they can really push through the pain barrier, and that it's not over until contact is made.
After the brilliant effort holding Clare II off yesterday, they quickly closed on Caius, who were bumped just after the motorway bridge.
Bumped by Emmanuel II
The start was a little scrappy, after we were thrown slightly by the start gun coming a couple of seconds too early. We had a big start, rating about 45 and Emma didn't take any length off us. It took a long time to bring the rate down on the settle call, and we stayed at 39 for about about 40secs before finally settling to race rate. This is something to work on for the next race.
Emma's cruising rhythm was simply faster than ours and they moved up on us under the motorway bridge. After some committed pushes, they eventually caught us just before 1st post.
First day nerves now out of the way. Bring on Thursday.
It didn't seem panicked and I believe the coming races will be the moments when we fight restore our position by holding out for the boats that Emmma and Queens' bring down for us.
Bumped by Christ's II
If I'd been whistling, there probably would have been one around First Post corner, but it was difficult to judge and Richard is probably more accurate. This is a brilliant crew, with a great spirit, who rowed a gutsy and impressive race. I'm gutted that it didn't translate into a victory today, but I'm sure their day will come, be it in the next couple of days, or in Mays.
Ahead, Emma never opened up until the crab. The boys had closed, and I nearly gave a whistle, but we were on a corner at the time, and by the time we had come out of the corner, having avoided parked crews on either side, the gap had opened slightly.
We kept on station with Emma M2, and I could've sworn we got to within a length of them, but Richard was very conservative on the whistles! A couple of crabs by the plough allowed Christ's to finally get us, but I have no doubt that we could have held them off if we'd made it to the Reach. Hungry for a bump back tomorrow! It's certainly possible.
Bumped by St. Edmund's
Unfortunately, this was somewhere in the region of 80m. After I saw them gain substantially on us, I told Alex we needed a push. It came quickly and well with a big increase in boat speed and many screams accompanying it. But in the end there's not much you can do against a surging M1 crew.
After we had conceded and pulled in however, we gave them the cheer they deserved (typical of First and Third's sportmanship and good grace).
I feel bad for the boys. They deserve better than this. They have all put in an incredible amount of effort and sacrifice, and the results don't do them justice.
Well done lads, I'd rather be in a boat with you than anyone else...
Bumped by Anglia Ruskin
Not much to it really. We can row better, but they were massive. End result: bumped.
Still, we followed our new race plan to "go mental" and held them all the way to the Plough, giving Eddies something to think about too.
Despite the bump, today was a good day and we managed to spice up the paddle back with a 'how low can you go' on the rate (end result 11.5spm) and a Spartan roar for the marshalling W2 boats, which they seemed to appreciate.
Looking back at this set of Bumps, I think everyone who's ever seen us row would agree that we don't deserve spoons. The commitment (and banter) in the boat has been unfailing, and we are undoubtedly the top M3 crew on the river.
We can be proud of what we've done. Bring on the Mays!
1. M3 crew photo
Bumped by Fitzwilliam II
Despite this M4 gritted their teeth to put in a committed fight as Fitz got 3 whistles coming under the bridge and the bump swiftly followed around the outflow.
Bumped by Caius III
Well raced boys and looking forwad to an MIV comeback in the Mays!
1. Setting off for home
2. Setting off for home
3. Pulled in after bein...
Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the following information, note that the results are unofficial.
Michell Cup points
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Ineligible after entering fewer than 3 crews:
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1. Jesus III up the ban...
2. Lighting the boat
3. Cat and Buns