The Club's Results
Lent Bumps 2011
The famous Cambridge University Bumps on the River Cam
Tue 1st - Sat 5th March
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.
Rowed over Head
I don't remember much of the start, merely that we strode to 36 out of First Post and then spacked around Grassy, the boat rocking quite sharply as we rounded the corner. Coming onto Plough Reach we had a first push on the straight, whilst continuous whistling signalled Downing's uncomfortably close presence. By the time we got to Ditton, Downing were closing for the Bump, maybe within a couple of feet. Coming out of the corner, Gonzalo shouted to steer stroke side with more urgency than I had expected. I turned to check Downing's position and saw their stern running alongside me. Rudder on hard. We spun out to the far side of the reach, abandoning the racing line and giving Downing clear water in front of them.
There was a slight sense of deja vu at this point, given that we were in much the same position as we had been in the first round of Pembroke Regatta against Girton M1. Racing Girton, we had panicked and lost. Remembering this, I gave a call to keep calm and get the legs down hard (our default 'they're bloody close, this can't be good' status). They had half a length overlap at this point. As planned, we carried out a series of pushes straight down the Reach, keeping the rate at 36. Given that their racing plan had involved bumping us before Ditton, they simply did not have the energy to respond and had fallen back to half a length clear water by the Railway Bridge.
It suddenly dawned on me that the impossible was possible. We were at Morley's Holt. 50 strokes to go. Top finish was in sight. Downing made their 3rd big push at the P&E as we wound for the line, and finished it just as we had 2 small crabs on stroke side (perfect timing!). I counted the last two lifts to the line, and we'd done it!!! ROWED OVER HEAD. Against everyone's expectations. Wretching, shouts of joy and pain, and cheers from the bank followed.
90% of Bumpit had been proved wrong. And Downing had some serious thinking to do. Whatever happened in the next few days, we could hold our heads up proud after that race. If we were going to lose the Headship, we would do it in style, doing our best every single stroke and making Downing work bloody hard for it.
Let's have another 10 successes tomorrow.
Bumped by Downing
Good luck to them for the rest of the week.
Sad, but inevitable. If success is trying your hardest to row the best stroke you can, every single stroke, then today was a success, despite the result.
Bumped by Caius
The race plan was also simple. Don't stride. Just rate 40 for 2 minutes and see what happens. Since Caius had bumped Maggie just after 1st Post on Thursday, there was no holding back.
As it happened, we ended up rating 43 off the start and settling (?) to 41, holding Caius all the way to Ditton. This was the furthest they had been pushed all week, and when asked whether they had been made to work for the Bump, responded in the affirmative. We got within a length of Downing, but they knew what we were up to, and had a fast 3 minutes until we bumped out behind them.
Despite the results, this was a great set of Bumps. We started the week predicted to spoon and only went down 2 places, setting ourselves up to take the Headship back in the near future. Thank you to the crew for their unfailing commitment, and to Lianne for turning round a desperate situation with her formidable training plan.
1. Holding Maggie Off
2. Holding On
3. Pushing Off the Bridge
Bumped by Downing
Credit to an excellent Downing crew.
Bumped by Emmanuel
Bumped by Pembroke
In all, this bumps has been, ultimately, disappointing. The aim was to retain the headship, and had anybody asked me whether we would before day 1, I'd have said probably yes. I still think our best cruising speed may have held Downing, but their speed off the start was nothing short of phenomenal, and it was something to which we just had no answer.
(The crew has learned this term how cheesy I can be, and I'm afraid you haven't seen the end of my rambling yet).
We started out this term in a tough spot - coaching was patchy, crews weren't definite, and we've been plagued by illness and injury throughout. Neil arrived with three weeks til bumps, and transformed us from a group of girls of varying standards and commitment levels to a crew that buckled down and manned up.
With three weeks to go, Neil didn't have much to work with - too late for huge technical changes, but he did inspire us, and ultimately create a crew in the best sense of the word. With sketchy results all the way up to bumps, and an early loss in Pembroke Regatta, we knew we had a lot to prove. The day after we lost in Pembroke, we sparred with Queens W1 and our confidence was restored. Later that week we sparred with both M2 and M3, with decent results that proved to the crew that we had a lot more potential to move boat than we'd had a chance to demonstrate.
With this attitude, we looked forward to bumps as a chance to finally prove that we weren't the spoonbarge everyone expected.
Day one saw us bumped by an explosive Downing crew, whose standard we really didn't understand until that day. They very clearly deserve the headship, and are really in a league of their own. They completely raised the bar in women's college rowing. We were both shocked and devastated to have been bumped so quickly, but realised that there really wasn't much we could have done when faced with such formidable opposition.
Day two we went into the race with Emma chasing us relatively confident that we could hold them and looking forward for a second chance to show what we had. Again, they gained on us off the start and steadily closed. We realised again that despite how far we'd come as crew, we hadn't come far enough, and despite some impressive evasive coxing from Swords we were bumped coming round Ditton.
By day three we had been through two separate devastations, but, if anything, had grown closer as a crew. We looked forward to finally proving ourselves. After a less-than-perfect start, however, Pembroke soon began to close, and had overlap by Grassy. We enlisted the 'do-or-die' push to open up to clear water, while they steered for the bump and missed. We managed to open up the gap slightly, but they responded with another massive move to get back to overlap. At this point, I started finishing short so as not to hit their bows with my blade. Swords called another massive move, and somehow the boat responded and I was taking full strokes again as we pushed them away a second time. All credit to Pembroke who responded again and closed again, and there was no where for us to go as we came round Ditton, where they finally bumped us. The disappointment that we'd bounced back from twice returned for a third go, and again the crew rallied.
Day four we had the 'Christ's buffer' behind us, and looked forward to finally being able to row past Ditton, and do the 2k that we'd been training for. We moved off with a decent rhythm, Christ's and Queens' bumped out behind us, and we finally got our long row down the reach, although not in the kind of 'glorious isolation' we had hoped for.
My only regret is that we weren't able to give Neil the result he deserved. When he arrived in Cambridge three weeks before bumps and encountered a 'crew' desperate and terrified, he never faltered, but gave literally everything he could to help us make the most of what we had. Turbo ergs, epic outings, and lots of pasta eventually saw us come together in a way I've never experienced before. Personally, this is my worst bumps result (unless you count not getting on in W3), but my experience this term in this crew has probably been the best I've had in First and Third.
We suffered this year from a serious increase in the standard of women's rowing in Cambridge. However, as JPD said after the race, the fact that we're devastated by finishing fourth on the river indicates just how far FaT women have come over the years. The only real disappointment I feel now that bumps is over is not that we should have trained more or pushed harder - we did all we could - but that we weren't able to keep the position that so many girls before us fought so hard to put us in. On the flip side, we now know how it feels to go down, and are that much more determined to go up in the future. (Weights sessions start this week).
So, our result didn't follow our plan, and is disappointing for both our crew and our club, but this term has been far from a wasted effort, and I don't have any regrets. The eight girls and one boy in this boat have grown as athletes and as team members - thanks to Neil and to each other. Thank you girls & Swords & Neil - it's been immense.
1. Catches In
2. Under the Railway Br...
3. The Reach
"They got pretty damn close, but didn't manage to bump"
I think this sums up not only physical facts, the speeds and distances between the boats, but also the mental attitudes of both crews.
It could be said that first day nerves and a lack of practice start led to us spannering it along with no real sense of what we were doing for the first two minutes and that we shouldn't have even let them get that close. However I think we adhered well to our race plan:
"set off, don't worry too much about rowing well and take it easy to begin with so that you have enough energy for the second half."
The start was certainly not as together as it could have been, not everyone's thoughts being focussed on the task in hand. However once we had finished solving the maths problems posed by our captain at the start of the week we noticed that Sidney had gained significantly and we decided to have a go at rowing in time. A concerted push as we came onto "THE REACH" saw us bring our boatspeed up to something approaching respectable and we began to move away. We crossed the line just outside station.
Overall I was pleased with the effort put in by everyone, although maybe Josh should skip lunch before our next race so that he doesn't have to deposit it into the river, or possibly take some sea-sickness tablets, it does get quite choppy out there.
Emma indignantly asked me when in my life I was planning to start wearing 'actual kit'.
I replied that I didn't know who she was, nor what she wanted; that if she was looking for a navy and gold long-sleeved tech top, I could assure her that I hadn't participated in the latest kit order. But what I do have is a very particular set of kit; kit I have acquired over a very long career. Kit that makes me a nightmare for people like her.
However, the two key elements of the off-season training kicked in.
Firstly, my enormous cookie and Coca-Cola consumption over the summer meant that Aaron and I were taking stern pair substantially above the 60kg average weight of the rest of the crew and digging the stern into the water.
Secondly, the interminable weighted pullups our weight trainer had us doing meant I was able to pull really, really hard while finishing like a spanner.
The combination of the two meant that once Sidney got inside 1/4 of a length of us, they looked to be struggling in the wash/uber-puddle combination and we got to hold them in the scary position of only-overlapping-by-6-feet until they started going backwards again.
From the P&E onwards they gave up and let us have a bit of recovery for the last 300m of the race.
Two days rest, and then time for more of the same!
Bumped St. Catharine's
Very good row from M2, which saw them putting a decent amount of distance onto Sidney from the start. An excellent turnaround from the first day and very good rowing from them.
Catz were very unfortunate, as they didn't just hit the bank they were also trapped there by an evil tree so they couldn't get out again.
I was pleased with the start, faster and less spactastic than tuesday, Sidney didn't gain, some say we pulled away a bit. Catz were faster through the gut, I think our pressure dropped a bit when we saw Sidney go out and we weren't really expecting there to be anything to chase up ahead. The rythm felt good down past the plough, then coming around ditton I heard our bank party screaming "Catz have crashed". This seemed a good time to call for a wind and unsustainable push, we had no idea how badly they had crashed but its bumps and you have to take every chance you're given. Then we rowed past them, stuck in a bit of hedge/reeds. There was some confusion in the crew as to whether we'd actually bumped or not but their bank party throwing his bike down in anger said it all.
Not the most satisfying way to do it... [that's what she said]
In keeping with the meme... "Steer, I need you to steer".
Bumped by St. Catharine's
From there we watched Jesus investigating whether they could manage some manslaughter as well as spooning, after Wolfson decided to join Newnham's garden party.
--edit: It seems I caused much hilarity on the messageboards by conceding vigorously from the stroke seat. The result was obvious, and given the apparent standard of Catz' coxing I didn't want to give them any more chances to crash into things.
It left me wondering why strokes conceding isn't a more normal thing to do; we have a better view of when an 'overlap' bump happens, and can in almost all cases get our hands higher in the air than the cox.
Bumped by Caius II
We thought this would be an epic battle for the M2 headship; sadly we were wrong. In spite of an effective and aggressive race, never dropping below 40, Caius had no difficulty munching up the distance and taking us down at the exit of First Post. In spite of a prompt easy from them, Caius' bowball got ripped off on first contact with a bolt on our shell, and the remaining pointy metal thing had a second stroke to rip through Penelope's sleeve.
This made me unduly angry about the stupidity and negligence of boat manufacturers, and I unfortunately went and complained about this to Caius' bankparty. Hopefully my out-of-breath rambling was sufficiently incoherent they weren't too offended.
Thanks from me to the crew and coaches who made this a very fun fortnight, far surpassing my expectations when I was parachuted into the stroke seat 10 days previously; both in levels of entertainment and rowing.
PS To explain Penelope's cryptic comment: We talked about doing a complete swap of crew order for the row home, but decided we couldn't be bothered and ended up with Josh stroking and me trying to be a big 6 man. I was quite happy to paddle back spackily at 60% of our previous length, but Penelope seemed to find this unpleasant.
Josh, please promise me not to stroke again any time soon - I haven't felt this miserable since the beginning of Michaelmas.
The race started, with a large degree of nervousness in the boat, understandably, however a reasonable start, and a decent rhythm was set up which helped considerably. The two crews ahead bumped pretty rapidly, leaving W2 chasing a perhaps optimistic overbump, however they set about the task of pushing Cauis II back with some gusto. While we never threatened Pembroke II, we can be satisfied with the margin we put on Cauis II.
Additionally, my intense stalking of rowing related news sites has led to this gem from the Cambridge Tab:
"Some serious luck for First and Third II, who looked like they were about to get bumped there, but Caius II caught a crab."
Can anybody shed some light? Cauis II may have crabbed (I have no idea) but I'm near as damn certain they never gained?
I thought we did a solid job of it. Nonetheless, the experience of having to row over after having front loaded to explosion point is one we don't really want to repeat. Bring on Thursday!
Bumped Anglia Ruskin
1. Disappearing out of ...
2. Off down Plough Reach
3. Exiting Grassy
Good moves away and a calm demonstration that we weren't going to let them get to us. Good row.
Overbumped by Magdalene II
A bit complacent through the middle, allowing the speed and set of the boat to come off, when disaster struck, they were too close and it was quickly game over, just after the pink house.
Still, I think it was encouraging that we did not give up immediately and stern 6 kept pushing relatively hard even with that crabbed blade floating in the water (part of this is that people in the stern didn't even know that we crabbed). The crab took at least 12-15 strokes to recover from - just enough for Magdalene to bump.
Bumped by Churchill II
A bit rabbit in the headlights, they were quick, and obviously out for the early bump, and by failing to respond we gave them the bump at first post corner.
Viewing the chart further down, it can be seen that Hughes Hall didn't make a double overbump, overbump or even a bump today, and instead had to row the entire course without colliding with any terrified crews and ripping open their faces to devour their souls.
This will make them angry, so angry that if we had remained 6th in the division we would have almost certainly been triple overbumped by them tomorrow - instead this fate will befall Churchill, and we will cower triumphantly at the edge of the river as Hughes pass by.
Good job guys - when we needed to push today we did, and we've held onto the M3 headship.
A well executed race plan. Big 10s every 20 or so strokes until Clare were bumped by Trinity Hall. After giving some early ground, especially coming into first post corner we held them through the corner and into the gut, and by the time they were breathing down our necks again at Grassy, Trinity Hall were all over them.
It would have been nicer not to have been overbumped, but some row-overs under pressure ensured that we can walk away from bumps feeling proud that we committed when needed.
1. Off down Plough Reach
2. Exiting Grassy
3. Through Grassy
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||-21.00|
Ineligible after entering fewer than 3 crews:
|Cambridge weather:||Tuesday||text or graph|
|Wednesday||text or graph|
|Thursday||text or graph|
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|Saturday||text or graph|
1. O'Neill at the dinner