The Club's Results
Lent Bumps 2012
The famous Cambridge University Bumps on the River Cam
Tue 28th February - Sat 3rd March
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"Yeah Michael, great line!"
Michael continuously gave us distance around the corners with brilliant lines. Queens, behind us, took a 'Garcia Bumps line' round Ditton, which distracted me momentarily from the pain.
"Wolfson have dropped out behind you!"
Obviously this was garbled in the distance between the towpath and the river, they must have meant Queens or Christs. However, this call came a good 2 minutes before Christs actually bumped Queens and the epic battle behind us came to an end. However, the confusion did result in more pain relief.
"Remember what they did to you!"
Neil's motivational call seemed frighteningly close to us, to the point where I wondered if he had fallen in the river and was clambering back out. Apparently you can just be heard a lot better from the grass near the water.
*2 faint whistles* - all the way down the reach
We sat in a 2/3 length sandwich consisting of Pembroke, Emma and us for most of the reach, oscillating from time to time. I kept hearing whistles that seemed too faint and the wrong tone. They were so insistent and seemed so close that I wondered if Iain had bought a new whistle. In an uncharacteristic breach of my 'eyes dead ahead' policy, I turned to look at him, realized it was Emma's whistle, and resumed what Neil referred to as a 'personal push' with gusto.
And finally, after the race,
"None of the women at the top of the division were the speed I thought they were."
At least we have a better idea of what we're dealing with tomorrow...
Returning to the race we were involved in, FaT and Emma were fast enough to threaten the crew in front of them, and Emma and Pembroke were tough enough to avoid being bumped.
Michael took a brilliant line round Ditton and we quickly heard 3 whistles, then the overlap whistle. We knew it was make or break, but Emma did too, and used their push off of us to gain on Pembroke.
Motivation to push was lost when they bumped out in front of us and we let it slip until we came under pressure from Christs, giving everyone on the finish line the wrong impression. Never mind.
The inch-by-inch approach meant that we didn't have a whole lot to give once we heard the overlap whistle, but the rise in speed was noticeable and we emptied the tank. Drained it completely. In such a situation, with legs all over the place, not even the 2-3 lengths ahead of Christ's were enough to feel comfortable (pardon my incapability to judge from the 4 seat).
Our bank parties found this race great fun, so they were very excited right away. We were overwhelmed with thoughts and questions about what would / could have happened if... But after thorough investigation, the answer is - not much. We still have enough time to achieve our target, and knowing that we can bump Pembroke and hold Christ's off means that we should just go out and do everything as we did today.
Well done girls (and Michael)! Can't wait to be cheering from the bank tomorrow!
Finish the week on a high. Go get Emma. They haven't got anyone to catch to get away from you. Hope to see it all.
We were feeling nervous rowing up to the start (in fact, our paddling was so bad that Fordy felt the need to jump in after the race to remind us how to row).
Our start wasn't great, I was distracted by Christs appearing to point into the bank rather than at us. We strode to 40 and kept it high through Grassy. I was concerned about how much Christs were gaining through the corners, and Kerrie kept calling for pushes. Michael responded with calls for length and power, which worked well.
Iain was calling for time over the feet to calm our frantic rowing, and Kerrie tried to change the rhythm, but it was feeling sharp and I wanted to keep it that way through the corners, consoling myself that we would stride properly on the reach.
Michael was excellent, telling us what was going on in front of us and exactly how we were going to respond to it.
I think we heard 2 whistles in Plough Reach, 3 just after coming round Ditton and then overlap on the reach. The whistles came mercifully quickly as we dug deep for a bit more at the end of Pembroke's sprint.
A very welcome result, my first greenery since Mays in my 3rd year. Pembroke gave us a very good fight, and were exceptionally gracious, congratulating us as we paddled past their boathouse. I wish I could have found the wisdom to be as magnanimous last year. All credit to them.
Bring on tomorrow girls!
To answer Thomas' point, <statto>today is the first time that the 1st Women have been higher on the river than the 1st Men since 1982 - 30 years ago.</statto>
So so proud of you girls, amazing! Go finish off Emma now and put yourself in the perfect position to attack Downing next year!
And remember, there will be other races to come...
To the Emma crew, respect. If I'm ever in a similar situation then I hope I'm able to lift my game and hold my nerve like you did today.
To the FaT crew and our wonderful coaching team, I thank you. It's been immense.
Day 1: We had no idea what we were getting into. The Pembroke regatta results suggested that Christs would bump Queens' early in the race, leaving us with clear water behind so that we could go after Emma without worrying about blowing up. We weren't sure how we measured up against Emma or Pembroke, but were fairly certain that Downing would badger off into the distance.
What actually happened was that Christs and Queens' were behind us for most of the race, and we soon realized that our sprint for Emma might have to be more sustainable than we intended. Some confusion about how to deal with sitting 2/3 of a length off of Emma meant we never really put them under much pressure. We crossed the line largely confused.
Day 2: We resolved to really go for it on Day 2, knowing that Emma had a slower start than us, and figuring that the only reason for Christs appearing to lose a huge amount of speed since Pembroke was that they were holding back, thinking the bump on Queens' was inevitable. Iain came to us after the race the day before and said there wasn't much between us, Pembroke and Emma, but that if we actually settled the next day, we might have a chance. We did attempt to, but were far too excited when we started getting whistles on Emma. It was heartbreaking to get so close and miss, but you don't expect crews to break and give up at the top of the first division. Christs were nowhere until our pressure died significantly on the reach, and they got a few whistles after the railway bridge. By this point, we had stopped worrying about them, and were thinking about trying to bump Pembroke.
Day 3: Frantic, manic, crazed. Iain was not happy. We were after the bump, and it was a fantastic result considering what the women's side has been through in the past year. We were told Pembroke were inside station on Emma when we bumped them, so were focusing on bumping the next day as well.
Day 4: We were cocky. We thought we were going to bump. After coming away from a day with overlap on Emma, we figured they would be terrified of us. As it turned out, they weren't, they kept their heads, and it was day 1 all over again.
We actually did settle this time, albeit only to 35. Better than 40, like on day 3. It was a good row, and I said afterwards that if it had been a 2k head race, I wouldn't have done anything different. We didn't take as much out of them on Plough Reach as we had on days before, and as the race went on, there was no obvious place to make a move. It was committed and it was fast, but it was only when we returned to frantic rowing after the railway bridge that we closed to 1/2 length. It reminds me of not quite bumping Maggie on day 2 in Mays '10, but in reality it was nowhere near that close. However, unlike day 2 this year, the expectation was there.
Fordy said that obviously when both we and Emma rowed well, we were a length faster. We both had good races that day. To their credit, Emma were ladies about it, and seeing the 5 top crews collapsed at the finish line seemed to sum up the Bumps this year.
We have to look at this result in terms of what we, and everyone around us were expecting. My goal for this Lents was to stay level. I wanted to keep W1 within reach of the headship. Instead, we defied the early results, and most of Bumpit, and went up. The headship can still be the target for the crews that come after us, and we've pushed them closer to it. In a race which requires as much sweat and toil and history as Bumps, I think this is the best possible thing we could have done.
Now it's up to you, W1 2013.
Bumped by LMBC
The row up to marshalling lacked confidence, I feel we were unsure as to whether we would be able to defy expectations that we would fall to Queens'. Shotgunning the bench next to Maggie's marshalling position was comical, but then we decided being antisocial would be more appropriate and edged back towards our bit of land. Our spirits were lifted upon hearing that W1 had bumped, and our row down to the start went better. Barrell apparently doesn't like being called a "good boy". He shall be from now on.
After a wobbly few strokes, we found some steadiness at 43 before an effective stride to 37 then 35. Jacob called the first push about 15 strokes before First Post Corner and the second just before coming out of it. Maggie going slightly wide at Grassy came into sight and I suddenly became ultra-keen for the perfect line. We pushed outside the Plough, had the usual wobble, and Queens' bowball appeared on my right as a nice reminder to stay tight round Ditton. A push into the corner and an all-mighty "flat-out" push round the corner made this possible.
Out of Ditton Queens' started to gain, and got to overlap probably around the railings. A series of bumps pushes down the Reach allowed us to fluctuate between at least a foot of overlap and 2 feet of clear water. Realising at the Railway Bridge that we could and would row over, we seemingly unanimously became very angry at the prospect of this not happening, and it would appear that we absorbed their push into the Bridge as their bowball faded out of sight. This allowed us to regain some composure and rhythm off the Bridge with a nice little reset around the Kink.
And then with 40 strokes to go their bowball turns up on my left for some reason. We push again. 30 strokes to go and it's still there, eager to pounce forwards. But we sharpen up with 20 strokes left, I start steering even more evasively, and they slowly start to fall back, rowing over 2 metres behind us according to McKelvie.
I feel that this race has truly brought us together as a crew and shown how far we've come; that we know for sure that every other person in the boat will believe in us as a unit for as long as we believe in us; that we can say that we are a top 5 crew with confidence and pride - cheering from Downing and Pembroke on the row home would suggest so too. And for that I am most grateful to Queens' who put up an excellent fight!
I am so proud of you, boys; more of the same tomorrow, but let's keep them further away.
Also, I hope the Queens strokeman is OK.
Bumped by Queens'
Despite this disappointing end I have truly enjoyed the Lent Bumps and it has been very satisfying to see the crew come together and produce some of the great rowing we always knew we could. I have every faith that we will learn from our shortcomings and keep building on our strengths so that we can correct any feelings of disappointment come Mays.
Bumped by Downing II
We held Downing II to station off the start, though it was not quite as composed as the practice ones we did on the way down. However, they then began to close on us and caught us on the Gut.
A disappointing result, but I think we gave a really committed row. We need to go into tomorrow confident (but not complacent) and not afraid to try to bump Downing II back over the length of the course.
Our real race was a bit too 'Taken' - aggressive, panicky and too short. Perhaps we should have a team viewing of 'The Watchmen' before our next race, so we can be long, boring and painful. Indeed I do think shortness is a problem of the crew as a whole (I'm talking about length, not bow pair), which ought to be improved upon. So yeah, they hit us in the gut. Sub-optimal.
"Hit by Downing II. Pulled in on the inside of grassy. #bumped #FaTproblems"
Anyway, to quote arguably the best rowing coach of all time: "Yeah, but they have to go back to Downing"
We will definitely have that opportunity on Thursday. Being chased by a slower crew and with a bit more calm at the start (though I am going to be inventing ever more inventive commando rolls for getting the boat out) we can settle into a steady state rhythm, settle down and give Downing a run for their money over the entire length of the course.
The rowing felt more confident and in control today, and we did well to keep calm throughout. However, our cover was not as good as it has been, so we have room to improve that and gain boat speed through efficiency.
Tomorrow we again have Jesus II chasing us. After today we can be very confident, but we mustn't be complacent. They will be looking to go harder off the start and take tighter lines around the corners, which may put us under more pressure. We need to stay in control but push out the cover more, and see if we can catch Caius II.
Fear was struck into us however, when while marshalling we observed about half of the women's crews returning with fewer than 9 people in the boat. Not knowing what women-eating dangers lay in the waters ahead, we proceeded cautiously, being careful not to row too fast, for fear of losing our cox.
Our start was a bit scrappy, but adequate. Jesus II behind us closed slightly, getting a probably optimistic whistle from their bank party. Credit must go to Ellie for not letting her curiosity get the better of her, as the Jesus cox decided to explore the previously unchartered waters of grassy and ditton corners. So we rowed over without too much drama, staying on station pretty much the entire way. Credit should also go to the whole crew for accurately judging the level of exertion of their opposite man in the Jesus boat, and matching (without exceeding) it.
Having now mapped out the entire Cam (in a collaborative venture with Lolcatz and the Newnham garden party) we can expect Jesus to take more of a 'racing' line tomorrow: "Make straight the way of the Lord" (John 1:23). We must be prepared for this, and not panic if the gap is slightly less comfortable.
What was encouraging about today is that despite Jesus II getting a lot closer behind us this time we stayed committed and held on, and when we had an off stroke we managed to recover and get on with the next one.
Tomorrow we really need to focus on staying calm, keeping the focus in our boat, keeping the length in the stroke and pushing out the cover, as LMBC II are not going to give us any slack. We need to make sure we finish on a high with no regrets.
In comparison to our very tidy practice start, our actual one was about as wild as Silvio Berlusconi's leaving party. Thankfully no-one caught crabs though (you can, and indeed we did, make a full recovery from mini-crabs.) With Jesus keeping a close eye on us, it would probably have been wise to stop this nonsense and behave ourselves, but we carried on regardless.
Behind us, we were expecting Jesus to be caught fairly quickly by LMBC, which would have given us a bit of breathing space. However, the sneaky Jesuans realised this too, and decided to implement a very short race plan. Coupled with our very short strokes, this led to Jesus getting within a canvas of our stern around first post. We pulled away with a push at grassy, as Jesus went wide again then seemed to blow up, allowing John's to bump them around the Plough. We laboured to the line with no pressure from Sidney behind, and no realistic expectation of catching Caius ahead.
Job done today, but a big improvement needed for tomorrow.
Bumped by LMBC II
Sent from my iPub.
Our start was still rather messy, and LMBC II quite quickly got within a length of us. They then continued to close on us, albeit more gradually. In the Gut as they got very close, we had some strong pushes that picked up the boat speed and held them off for a bit longer; however, we ended up getting bumped just as we were approaching Grassy Corner.
Our quality of rowing was better than yesterday but probably still not as good as on Thursday. I do feel that we were persistently tidier in the practice starts and bursts on the way down than in the actual races, so calmness is definitely something that we can work on.
Nevertheless, I think that we can be pleased with our effort and commitment, and we probably did as well as we could from our starting position in Bumps. It should be remembered that the first outing we had in the actual Bumps crew was just before Pembroke Regatta, and we did really bring things together in the 10 days between then and the start of Bumps.
Bumped Pembroke II
This was our first time in an imminent bumps situation and the amount of whistling, shouting and general noise was so confusing that when the call came to hold it up half our crew thought we had been bumped and the other half thought we had bumped. As Iain said to us when we pulled up to the bank; this race really highlighted the importance of never giving up and pushing as hard as possible.
Bumped Jesus II
Bumped by Trinity Hall II
In the end, it wasn't so bad. In fact, just damaging enough to utterly paralyse us for the first second of the race. So we pulled away, did our standard racing start with four or so air strokes on the first draw (just to be clear, our standard racing start doesn't actually include these), and began to pull as though the hopes of First and Third depended on it. Well before grassy (the only corner I know by name), Tit Hall had pulled rather too close for comfort (for this we can blame a Churchill boat which will feature again in these reports for being bumped out stupidly early and forcing a poor line onto us), and it then became a desperate struggle to hold them off for as long as we possibly could, despite the many minutes we spent with overlap.
Before the reach we managed one major push, and lifted off their boat for all we were worth (which wasn't enough, as it happened), and there were a few blissful feet of open water between our vessels. This lasted until the reach, where our hopes became pinned upon a remarkably sluggish M2 Clare boat which had previously wished us luck in order that we could hold off Tit Hall (I refuse to call them by any other name) until they bumped them. This never happened, and Clare remained a steady and disappointing boat-length behind. Our rowing became hurried and slightly messy, and it ended inevitably someway down the reach, as we ran out of river to drift across. Alas, alack, but Simon felt we rowed well, and it was a gruelling yet character building challenge. Which will help us in our preparation for future races. And didn't leave us feeling at all disappointed. Or frustrated. Or, indeed, mad?
I am quite angry at the moment. I went from "Ahmad" into just "mad". So listen up M3, tomorrow I don't want to row over. I want to bump Tit Hall back. And damn serious about it.
So I suggest you forget your human identities tomorrow because we'll transform into vicious masochistic animals. And we'll push the boat at a horrifying speed so they don't even know what hit them.
Edit: It was brought to my attention that Trinity Hall II are likely to bump Churchill II soon after the start, not giving us enough time to catch them so we are looking for a row over. But please this time lets not think about how long the course is going to take just think about pushing away as far as possible from Clare II.
If we are to prevail in such situations in the future we must be more robust both technically and psychologically, and learn how to row the whole course with a crew chasing us a few feet astern the whole way.
...that was a row to be proud of boys.
Bumped by Clare II
What we didn't realise (eyes in the boat!) on the approach was quite how congested grassy was. As unlikely as it sounds, picture Selwyn and Peterhouse on the inside of the corner, before the houseboats, with Selwyn's bow over Peterhouse's stern, submerging the coxes seat and soaking the poor lady. Their boat was sinking. On the outside of the corner sat an unhappy Magdalene boat - I forget what had happened to their bumper but they probably got in our way before the corner (everyone else did, why not them?). This narrowed the corner such that turning was impossible: grassy was not made to fit three boats, let alone the additional two of us careening around the bend at full race pace. So, we hit the bank with a jolt and a cracking sound, and Clare just rowed on by. Sickening.
So the race is over. We feel depressed and Simon begins talking about the stochastity of bumps when Caius rocket forward. In a daze we hear Ian's call to get out of the boat. Nothing happens. The bank party yells the same with ever increasing urgency and we realise that the Caius boat which had seemed so adequately steered was in fact not going to miss us. We understand what Simon means when he says a crew can leave a boat and pull their blades in, in a good two seconds, all at once. Except Yining, who was left a couple of feet out from the bank with no easy way to get out. Somehow this happened anyway, and Caius whizzed past, scraping everything possible to scrape as they did so. Still this was more successful than their pursuing Maggie boat, which, as I recall (but please correct me because this doesn't seem possibly right) which approached the corner at full tilt and slammed into the stern of the parked Magdalene boat (or the bank. Bit of a blur).
Edit: Yining assures me that the true state of affairs was that Peterhouse bumped Magdalene, then Selwyn ran over Peterhouse because they couldn't stop in time, and the Maggie boat bumped Caius at the corner, causing the aforementioned chaos.
After a good start, and 2 decent minutes into the race apparently all sorts of nasty things happened behind us. And our boat was forced to take a peculiar path along the river. At this stage Clare II were maybe around a length between their bow and our stern but in a very short span of time they were overlapping with our stern. Which I felt was really disappointing until Simon pointed out later that thanks to the ship wreckage behind us and our position in the river we were forced to take a path which was 10 meters longer than what Clare II had to take.
And then as the other reports explained, we didn't make it around that corner and were forced to stop and soon jump quickly out of the boat before the other crews accidentally ram into us while they are coming hot around the same corner.
Today it wasn't anyone's fault. And I enjoyed the race much more than yesterday. I was surprised that someone in the crew seemed a bit disheartened about this. First, this is not how M3 work, if someone makes a mistake, everyone else shares 1/9 of the mistake. Second, It really wasn't anyone's fault. This is BUMPS for you where everything is expected to go wrong. Let's all forget about today and restore our previous levels of cheerfulness. And if I find later (God forbids) that someone is still blaming themselves for the accident then I will not be happy.
Bumped by Hughes Hall
The LBCs told us that Hughes Hall are a powerful first boat and the only reason they are rowing in the 3rd division is because they are a recent club and have not had the time to climb high up the bumps chart. So Simon's plan was simple... "Don't surge!". The idea was that we are most unlikely to row over with Hughes Hall chasing us so the second least likely thing was that we bump Clare II before they bump Churchill II. BTW, congratulations to Churchill II for making sure that we never had anyone to chase and bump on every single day of bumps. Well done indeed.
According to Simon, we had 90s to bump Clare II before Hughes Hall bump us, which meant that we should row at a very unsustainable speed for 90s. Since no other crew have held Hughes Hall for more than a minute. e.g. King's II were bumped by Hughes Hall only 6 lengths after the start.
So there goes the cannon, and M3 are absolutely nailing down every stroke, the rate was incredibly high causing the strokes to go out of sync, but nevertheless the power was awesome. We gained on Clare II initially, before Clare II quickly gained on Churchill II, and started to push frantically high themselves in order to bump Churchill II fast and get it over with. And as expected they bumped Churchill II too soon, leaving us to the slowly creeping Hughes Hall.
The sight of Churchill II and Clare II parked on the side was like a signal for us to give up especially that we were reasonably dead at that point. I experienced a familiar numbness in the head which I have had only twice before during the most extreme workouts.
Anyway Hughes Hall quickly came to overlap with our stern. Their 2-man was about to bash Yining's back with his blade when Yining shouted at Hughes Hall: "Hold it up!". FaT M3, being completely disciplined and obedient, also held up their boat upon hearing Yining's command! But thank God Hughes Hall held up their boat much faster, so nobody was hurt.
We held Hughes Hall for about 2.5 minutes, which is much longer than anyone had expected. Tomorrow, we need to avoid being bumped at all cost. It would look really bad if we get spoons, and I guarantee that the results so far are not a representation anyway of how good M3 actually are (maybe only for how terribly unlucky they are). Better luck for tomorrow.
We rowed past Hughes Hall on the way to the start and took another gawp at their Blues' splash jackets and Lights' insignia which was resplendent and certainly helped the old university patriotism, yet for one reason or another did nothing to inspire us to be self assured. They were huge! All we could do was write a couple of alternative lyrics to one of Disney's finer creations and try to let music calm our nervous demeanours (we never quite seemed entirely sure whether we were writing a song about Yining making men out of us, or whether we were attempting to belittle people who have made enjoying pain their life, but hey, it seemed to work). On the flipside, however, while they might have had, according to Simon, around fifty years more rowing experience, immeasurably larger and fitter bodies and all the confidence in the world, they had managed to break their racing shell and were in a knackered vessel which was clearly bound to sink before the motorway bridge, while we had our very own gorgeous Black Prince.
We pulled away from them at the start, to our everlasting pride, and put up more of a fight than any other crew that week; our ninety second race plan, designed to sprint us up to catch Clare II had to be radically extended, to two and a half minutes such that we got to Grassy before finally being caught. Damn that Churchill boat, again, for being so bloody awful! If they had but held off Clare for but a little while we would have been in with a chance. As it happened, they merely screwed over our racing line again. It was hard work but with no hope of victory and so nothing to lose, quite good fun, really. They were nice about us too. Certainly, that King's boat had nothing on us ("you stupid cox!"). Well, luckily, they'll be well out of our way next year...
Bumped by St. Catharine's II
Even though Pembroke regatta results suggested that we were one of the fastest 3rd crews out there, we nevertheless got spoons for the Lent Bumps. Oh well, we really gave it everything we had but unfortunately it wasn't enough, sorry...
As Ahmad mentions, I too am surprised we were bumped so quickly (about the same distance in as the bump from Hughes Hall the previous day). There could be a variety of reasons, including fatigue, Catz's zeal or just the stochastic nature of bumps. I wished to provide some encouragement mid-race and shouted 'heave!'. I rather surprised myself by the length and volume of this exclamation, which sounded like a roar to Ahmad.
Despite spoons, I think the crew has much to be proud of, and we are still the highest M3 in Lent Bumps.
So, psyched for the race by a heartwarming and cheering email from Julia (bless!) who reminded us that not only could we row over if we pulled ourselves together, but that she would really rather appreciate it, we paddled up to the starting line. Nothing strange about that; it happened every other day too. Hughes Hall were back in their racing shell. We share resigned glances and wish them luck. Sure enough, Churchill set what may be a new record for speediest bump, and decided that their favourite activity, of a Saturday afternoon, was to get in the way of a demoralised FaT crew with nobody to chase. We held Catz II very nicely for a considerable while before, as the others have elucidated, we dissolved and ended up bumped. How annoying. At Grassy, too, in front of all the spectators and at much the same distance as we had the previous day when being chased by the boat race crew of yesteryear.
Yes, you might agree, but not half so annoying as what happened just ahead of us. Cast your mind back to the reach on the first day where we were desperately holding off Tit Hall, praying that Clare would push just that little bit harder, squeeze it through, and bump our neighbours. Now it really doesn't take a genius to guess what happened the second time Clare found itself taking an antagonistic role. If only Clare had fulfilled their potential on the first day, we wouldn't have ended our first season quite so calamitously. Such is bumps.
One member of this crew (despite naturally having obeyed the "ten outings" rule) had done "a bit of sculling at school several years ago" and precisely one tubbing session's worth of sweep rowing, yet fitted in seamlessly and contributed to a very solid row all round. I don't think I can adequately convey how impressed I was with this.
Bumped by Anglia Ruskin II
Bumped by St. Catharine's II
Bumped by Christ's III
a) We are the second fastest W3 on the river
b) We are the best ever Lents FaT W3
c) We didn't get spoons
These are all things to be proud of, so well done girls!
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||-16.00|
Ineligible after entering fewer than 3 crews:
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