The Club's Results
May Bumps 2012
The famous Cambridge University May Bumps on the River Cam
Wed 13th - Sat 16th June
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.
Bumped St. Catharine's
Bumped by Jesus
We must now pick ourselves up and look ahead to having a great race against Maggie tomorrow and making ground up against Jesus.
Bumped by LMBC
We were able to row with maturity and commitment right to the end and dealt with the wind extremely well, particularly given that it was something we had struggled with previously. I would like to commend all the guys for a gutsy and tough race and even though the result was not what we wanted I hope we can hold our heads high knowing that we took it to them and made them fight for every inch.
It was been a wonderful honour to captain such a dedicated and committed group of guys.
There was some talk afterwards of there being "only another 200 yards to go". The course has to end somewhere and whether a bump occurs 200, 20 or 2 yards from the finish, the crew going down should hold their heads high if, as in this race, they simply have no more to give. Replacing 'crews' and 'row-over' in the second sentence above with 'teams' and 'draw' respectively, I hope I feel as much pride in England's performance against Ukraine tomorrow as I did on the towpath watching this. Thanks boys.
1. M1 crew photo
We closed to a length after about 2 minutes of rowing, and then oscillated at about 2/3 - 1/2 a length off Tit Hall. We knew it wasn't going to be easy, but the silent period that followed caused a damning drop in boat speed. We weren't sure where either of us were, and stuck about 2/3 of a length off them for most of the reach.
They moved away from us in the last phase of the reach as the technical side of our rowing deteriorated (though the power was still there, which shows that we have the ability to grit our teeth and keep pushing even when things aren't going our way) and we crossed the line about on station.
Being in the middle of 5 row-overs gives us the luxury of a do-over tomorrow, so we'll see if we can convince fortune to smile on us through the wind and rain.
Bumped Trinity Hall
And bump we did! It was quick and powerful thanks to some massive pushes and a Tit Hall cox who followed every possible bend in the river. Trinity Hall pulled away from us slightly off the start but we came up to a length behind halfway down First Post Reach. The next series of whistles came in quick succession, and we lifted hard and fast out of First Post Corner. There was a bit of confusion at the end where Tit Hall's cox, who had previously adhered so faithfully to every rule of the river, refused to concede. Nonetheless, it was a satisfying overlap bump in the Gut.
On to Maggie now, ladies - it's time to take them down!
I would know Swords' cheering anywhere, and it helped lift our spirits, and the boat into a fantastic start at the Plough. This wasn't quite repeated on the start gun, but it was again calm, cool and measured.
We had laid clear plans for the race today at our crew pasta (or rather crew rice!) the night before, and it was executed perfectly by Yining. Maybe it was Gonzalo's arrogant confidence on the bank, maybe it was Iain's perfect pushing out, maybe it was that I washed my lycra, or Kingsbury's gold socks or the fact that every crew I umpired bumped today, but something clicked and we stepped up and performed.
The whistles came mercifully quickly as the wash started to rock the boat around. There was a lot of confusion about whether or not we had bumped, but the umpire had his hand up, and Iain swears he wouldn't have told us to hold it up had there not been contact. Bullock told us afterwards that there was almost a re-row, but the umpire was firm, and the CU went with him. Even the spectator at the greenhouse at Grassy was indignant on our behalf.
We're very sorry that we didn't get the chance to cheer Tit Hall. It was two excellent days of racing, and we were concerned when they rowed off, with the umpire trailing behind them. The boathouse was all shut up when we went past, but here are your three cheers: Hip hip, HOORAY, hip hip HOORAY, hip hip HOORAY!
Well done girls, and thank you for all the support from the bank!
Our starts were messy in the tail/cross wind, but the support at the Plough was welcome, as were the rousing cheers to my epic umpiring earlier (thanks Swords and Aaron).
Thanks to the anticipation surrounding bumping Maggie and the chat from Tit Hall about how they were going to get us back today, I was more nervous on the start line than any other day this week. The draw strokes into the headwind were agonizingly long, but apparently effective, as soon after our surge we got a whistle. Gonzalo says that by the time he was on his bike and caught up to us we were almost at a length.
We had a bad stroke under the bridge, but keeping our heads allowed us to recover quickly, and Yining's amazing (and now famous) bridge call gave us a surge in power. The second whistle came quickly, and we lifted again for 3 whistles, then continuous and an increasingly exuberant bank party. This gave us the shot of adrenaline we needed to finish off a very aggressive race. We bumped them somewhere between 2nd and 4th station. Thankfully, the Maggie cox conceded, and we held it up quickly. Pulling in was difficult, made worse by my insistence on back-seat coxing (sorry Yining :( ).
Maggie were perfect ladies about it, cheering us quickly as our bank party gathered greenery. After missing the bump on them two years ago, a bump which would have led to blades, I thought 'revenge' would be sweet. However, I found it lacking. Good luck tomorrow Maggie, give Tit Hall a good fight.
Despite the seemingly endless bumps push, we pushed, it ended, and we bumped. Fantastic work, ladies, and thank you for a thrilling Mays as well as an anazing term!
1. W1 + coaches
Bumped by Homerton
The race started actually rather well. Homerton got a frankly absurd early whistle despite having hardly closed on us at all at that point. Maybe due to that, or perhaps because some of the crew have direct experience of what it's like to be smashed by homerton, a panic set in as they got closer. Race over.
1. M2 crew photo
Bumped Robinson II
In an aggressive start we hit a top rate of 48, before settling on a racy 40. Though the wash was fearsome, we didn't deign to be perturbed.
The balance wavered after the first minute, but we kept lively, and just as it began to get scrappy, we gained a whistle, and pressed on through First Post corner. Our reliable 'lift' move, deployed as a bumps push, sealed the deal.
Looking forward to tomorrow.
Bumped LMBC III
An unusual cross-headwind caused difficulty throughout the first part of the race. After nearly brushing the bank on the start, we gained hardly any ground until First Post corner. Aaron gave a "MOVING" call from the towpath, and I closed my eyes and thought of Strawson, but still there was no whistle.
Then Maggie started closing on Peterhouse, and our bankparty insisted that we row faster. We duly obeyed. At Ditton there came a wall of noise shouting that Maggie had gone wide. As we rounded the corner, the cross-head rotated into a cross-tail, we rowed several inches longer, and we lifted into a bumps push, in a perfect storm with drastic consequence.
The stomp should be fun tomorrow.
Bumped Peterhouse II
We had an excellent push off (all credit to Iain.) and with the clear calls from the bank were quickly gaining on them. Whistles started coming in the gut and the bump just before the plough with a satisfying thud.
Spirits are high, and we feel that maybe we could have gone on forever. But thank goodness we bumped out before Ditton. I might not have any arms left otherwise.
Overbumped St. Catharine's II
Either way, they appeared to drop us early on and bumped out on the corner. At this point I knew an overbump was doable, especially as we felt we'd be a stronger crew into the headwind. So we pushed on, and with calls from the bank that the distance for the overbump was coming down nicely moved onto catz II.
The horrific headwind on the reach helped bunch us up, and we caught them just out of ditton corner.
I really enjoyed rowing with this crew. We were occasionally (often?) lazy in what we did, but if we decided to row well we did just get on with it, be it in paddling, sparring or racing. The attitude remained positive throughout term, and even when things got tough during the last race.
I learnt some new things that I felt improved my rowing this term, old person, new tricks... But definitely makes it all feel more rewarding.
Gonzalo did a good job of stroking most of term, and was very gracious in accepting the last minute crew change. Hopefully he thinks the aggravation was worth it.
The one regret... Not throwing Emma in the river.
1. The Gunshow
2. The Gents
Things started well. We rated a little over 40, setting off to a strong, though inevitably jittery, first-day Bumps start.
By the bridge, we had hit our stride. We had settled into a really solid rhythm with great coverage, which saw us gain quickly on the experienced St Cat's team ahead of us.
Victory seemed inevitable. Katie steered an amazing line round the corner, helping us to gain about a length on Cat's. The crew did an awesome push out of the corner, described by our bank party later as 'absolutely textbook'. The crowd cheered. Ian blew two whistles. We were giving it everything we had. Things were looking good.
Then everything changed. Katie steered another great line round Grassy, but unfortunately a bumped crew had tucked themselves tightly into the corner and out-of-sight. Without any forewarning, we crashed into them and the bank.
Yes, the crash was a disaster, costing us a bump and a fighting chance at blades this term.
What happened after the crash, however, was far from a disaster, and little short of awe-inspiring.
Our bank party were off their bikes and rushing to our aid with the determination and reaction-speed of a mother rescuing her small infant from a burning building.
Katie, barely skipping a beat, got bow four rowing on and brought us together with the composure and decisiveness of a cox with many more years experience on the river.
The crew instantly reset and rowed on as if nothing had happened, regaining our rhythm in the first few strokes, and surging on to leave Emma with no hope of catching us. This was despite:
- the half-hearted whistle that trickled out from their bank party in a mixture of shock and faint hope after watching us crash
- the fact that Nina later revealed to us that the impact of the crash had actually launched her feet out of the shoes and she rowed the rest of the race feet out
We heeded the gruff Scottish plea from the bank to 'just go for it!' and regained a surprising level of ground against Cat's down The Reach. In the end, however, it wasn't enough and we rowed over, utterly exhausted.
While obviously disappointed with the turn of events, our team spirits remained high. Today's race was a reflection of the gutsiness and cohesion that this crew has found in its final outings. Tomorrow's race, we hope, will translate those qualities into victory. Watch out Cat's, W2 are a coming...
We didn't row well today. We were tired from yesterday's chunky row over, and impatient about wanting the bump we knew we deserved from the first race. As such, we didn't settle into the nice rhythm of previous days. What's more, the dread of another row-ower became somewhat of a self-fulfilling prophecy with all of us probably leaving a little too much in the tank in the first segment of the race. With the exception of a few solid pushes out of the corners and down the Reach we didn't gain much ground on Cat's who knew they couldn't be complacent with us behind them and rowed a much better race today.
Today's lesson: over-rating is overrated.
We are determined to hit the river tomorrow with the calm, controlled, and strong rowing we know we are capable of.
We had planned to row an unsustainable, chunky piece to First Post and then wind it down to a comfy 28 for the row home. While the rhythm and composure were much better today, and we were surprisingly unphased by the wind, there just wasn't the push or the power that we will certainly need tomorrow if we are to finish the week with victory. We'll need to dig deep tomorrow...
Bumped Magdalene II
Despite the delays and windy conditions we kept it together, gaining on Magdalene, and though I could hear whistles behind me as Murray Edwards caught us up, their bow ball never appeared and we held them at around half a length.
A push after the motorway bridge brought us closer (and I may have slightly lost my calm facade), when the Magdalene cox decided to take a wide line we were able to smoothly draw up parallel, bumping them easily before First Post.
Murray Edwards unfortunately got entangled in our clearing as they tried to take the inside line so we gave both them and Magdalene a cheer before collecting our greenery.
Well done girls! I couldn't have asked for more.
There was a different feel in the row up. I put this newfound equilibrium down to several factors including:
- a good core session and crew chat beforehand
- Skilbeck borrowing my socks and not getting a chance to give them back, forcing me to crack out the reserve pair. Some may interpret this superstitiously. Others may infer more aromatic interpretations.
- half hour crew meditation under the calm caresses (read damp, irritating slaps) of willow branches due to our race being delayed over an hour by protesters.
The start was quite powerful and controlled, which was surprising given that our starts have always been a major weakness.
Murray Edwards were fast. Very fast. We expected this. We remained calm and confident that rowing together would ensure we bumped Magdalene first. ME did a huge push under the motor bridge which saw them gain distance and whistles, but they started to suffer when they realised their efforts hadn't worked.
Our crew gave it everything and pushed as if every stroke was our last. Softly-spoken Katie was replaced with war hero Katie.
Whistles. Bump. Greenery. Glory. The End. Well done W2 - a fantastic end to the 2012 rowing calendar.
Bumped St. Edmund's II
We started, our seven and stroke men in gales of laughter at the antics of Jesus IV behind us, and we got half way through our lengthen strokes before the cause of Iain's shouting became apparent.
A glance to my left shows their stern rapidly falling behind me; I lift my blade barely in time to avoid the stern of their boat as the rest of the our crew tries to hold it up urgently, but to no avail; my spoon thumps their cox in the back, and my blade handle punches me in the stomach (leaving a bruise which made tapping down painful for the next couple of days, if you're feeling sympathetic), ripping my feet out of the footplates and me off my seat, and I very nearly go for yet another swim in the Cam. Apparently they caught two crabs and an overhead crab off the start. If only things had continued in that vein.
In the first few strokes, we were treated to the sight of Jesus IV behind us travelling across the river and soon reaching the bank, having perhaps not got their starting angle quite right.
Then St. Edmund's II in front of us caught a couple of severe crabs, and we bumped them at about the 10th stroke of the race.
So, a good result for us, but bad luck for St. Edmund's II. We need to keep focused and be prepared for harder races for the rest of the week: we still don't actually have much idea what St. Edmund's II (who will be chasing us tomorrow and hoping for revenge) are like when not catching crabs: apparently we were gaining on them before this happened, but there was not really enough time to get a good idea.
Draw - 1; Draw - 2; Draw - 3 (3/4 length down);
Wind - 1; Wind - 2; Wind - 3; Wind - they've got a cra-; Wind - 5 (1/4 length down);
Length - there; Length - there; L - HOLD IT UP (cox is hit by bow's blade)
Given the number of blunders on St Edmunds part our race was exceptionally short, though their multiple crabs are probably indicative of the carnage that will be occuring in our wash tomorrow. Solid 'row' boys, let's go out tomorrow and do the same.
We did gain quite well on Trinity Hall III, apparently getting to within about 3/4 length of them, but then St. Catharine's III in front of them caught some crabs and so got bumped promptly despite having rowed over yesterday. Then we were closing on Selwyn III and seemingly fast enough to get the overbump before the finish line, but they also bumped up before we could catch them.
Two more pairs of boats also bumped out, so the only thing we could possibly chase was a quadruple overbump on Clare Hall. This was judged not feasible (or perhaps they had actually reached the finish line by this point) and the boats behind us had also bumped out so we were instructed to wind it down near the Plough.
On the Reach, Jason at 6 kept expressing concern that Homerton II would get a double overbump on us, but in fact there remained plenty of distance between us as well as the scope for us to have wound it back up if necessary. Having said that, we did not seem to keep this part of the race as tidy and efficient as we might have.
This result denies us blades, but there was not really anything we could have done about it - in Bumps we will always be subject to the whims of the crews around us. We need to keep the focus tomorrow: maybe we will catch St. Catharine's III or maybe they will bump back on Trinity Hall III and we will be chasing the overbump on Jesus III (who are down 2 so far). Also, we might have some real pressure from behind this time from Christ's III (who are up 2 so far), so we need to keep our cool and be prepared to keep pushing on even if we are having to row over.
We start, the boat two ahead of us, St Cats, who we would like to heavily scold for being too damn awful, catches three or so crabs off the start and so Tit Hall catches them instantly. We get depressed as we row past but feel the overbump is on the cards. Nobody chases us as the fearsome Christ's III catches the meek St Edmund's almost as quickly as we did.
Unfortunately, the overbump wasn't on the cards, because although we were gaining on Selwyn III, it wasn't enough to catch them before they bumped out Jesus III at Ditton. Then there really was nothing to chase, and we paddled down the reach, watching a desperate Homerton boat overrate us by ten in a desperate attempt to catch up and so avoid the sandwich position the following day.
Bumped by Christ's III
Alex did a very good job of steering us around them, but the Bumps push had taken a lot out of us and it soon became apparent that Christ's III were noticeably gaining on us and we did not seem able to respond.
We went quite wide around Grassy Corner and they got overlap, but they steered for the bump and so came through outside us, allowing us to pull away coming out of the corner. This, however, did not last for long: they moved up again and caught us outside the Plough.
So, a very disappointing result, and again one that was influenced by the goings on in front of us. It is a shame that we did not find the energy to keep off Christ's III, whom we managed to beat in Nines Regatta, as we had apparently got most of the way to overbumping Jesus III, but I think we can be pleased with our performance especially considering how much we had put into the earlier Bumps push.
Tomorrow is a new race, so we need to go into it aiming to do as well as possible and not let ourselves be put off by today (or by protesters).
We start, we push, we bumps push, we get overlap with St Cats' III whose cox then concedes, all before first post. This all sounds just fine, thank you very much. Unfortunately, a second before the Cats' boat concedes, the Tit Hall III stroke man apparently fell off his seat, allowing the Tit Hall cox to concede a half second before the Cats' one. We easy and almost hold it up because we think we've bumped, and Christ's power it round the corner. Then the next instruction is a command to go back to full pressure at race pace, as Alex weaves in and around the melee ahead of us, unavoidably losing us yet more distance and speed over our pursuers. We get back in to rhythm, conveniently exhausted after our fantastically effective bumps push, and spend a very long time desperately trying to push Christ's away. I must apologise for our grassy line, although luckily they steered for the bump. We were caught a length or two off the overbump, as we reached the plough. Gutted.
So a disappointing result from the Bumps campaign considering the standard of the crew, but this was mostly because of the antics of St. Catharine's III and Trinity Hall III ahead of us. Yesterday was the only race that we could have done anything about ourselves, and that may have required planning not to chase the bump but just to go at a steady pace and hope for an eventual overbump - which is considered a dangerous strategy.
So as predicted, the boats ahead of us, after spannering around for the last few days bump out again, pretty much immediately. We're used to this by now, and had planned for the overbump or the double overbump from the beginning. We knew we could do it; all that remained was a little bit more pushing. Ah, were that were so. Over half way to the overbump on Cats', just round first post corner we're told to easy then hold it up as we approach their stern. Then we hear the klaxon and we're told that King's celebrated A Bump (we're also told this is very exciting for King's) by not clearing and parking across the breadth of the river. They were at the head of the division, and as a result, unless you'd bumped before first post (as Christ's did, earning their blades, to much bitterness from us given we beat them outright at Nine's), racing was over and everyone was awarded technical row overs. There was no time to rerow the division, no way to make an exception for people just about to overbump because they were already running an hour behind. So we were livid.
We entertained ourselves pettily by rowing slightly scrappily but pretty efficiently in the truly dreadful headwind on the reach, and catching up to Cats', easying perfectly sat and drifting past their stern to bump them gently, before letting them get a bit more distance and beginning to row again, every time a little nudge; this is us bumping you, this is us bumping you. Goddammit.
1. M4 strike a pose
2. M4 crew photo
Bumped Pembroke IV
Bumped Sidney Sussex II
Bumped LMBC IV
1. M5 crew photo
Bumped Emmanuel V
Bumped Robinson IV
Bumped Clare V
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||16.50|
Ineligible after entering fewer than 3 crews:
|Cambridge weather:||Wednesday||text or graph|
|Thursday||text or graph|
|Friday||text or graph|
|Saturday||text or graph|
1. The Club
2. FaT strike a pose