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Lent Bumps 2011

Tuesday 1st - Saturday 5th March

Previous event: Lent Bumps Getting-on Race - Following event: Second Trinity Challenge Sculls

1st Men's VIII

Bow: Matt Howard, 2: Payam Gammage, 3: Dirk Simon, 4: Phil Richman, 5: James Frake, 6: Dan Weatherill, 7: Chris Thompson‑Walsh, Stroke: Jonathan Waite, Cox: Rebecca Chamberlin

Day 1: Bumped by Trinity Hall, Day 2: Rowed over, Day 3: Rowed over, Day 4: Bumped by Peterhouse

Chris D. Thompson-Walsh reports:



Unfortunately, Trinity Hall were simply the faster boat today. The crew however has come on leaps and bounds, and there was considerable amount of quality on display today (along with a surprising quantity of sun...)

For those interested in reading the entrails of the race, here is the consensus view. We had some of our best paddling and pieces on the row up, but only one, ok-but-not-great, practice start (I can only ascribe this to naked paranoia about the schedule, as we were more or less on time!)

After a rockier start than usual, from just before the motorway bridge, Trinity Hall had made perhaps a quarter of a length. We held them at about this position until shortly before first post corner, where some rougher water unfortunately came upon us at just the right time to punish us severely for some technical laziness. Helped by the corner, Trinity Hall were able to close quite quickly. We can draw some comfort though from the fact that there was a determined and almost succesful resistence mounted in the Gut, showing that the crew was broken neither in its strength nor in its ability to muster some technical precision.

We're looking forward to tomorrow's race. We hope to continue the marked positive trend of recent days, and bring to bear some of the past term's technical improvement and fitness gains which, seen from in the boat, cannot be denied. It's a real opportunity to draw a line and hold it, and perhaps if the start is a bit neater, even give Tit Hall some encouragement down the course.


Today, after 9 consecutive bumps (for the veterans of last year's Lents and Mays crews), Clare M1 held off a challenge from Emma behind to row over.

We went off today with Emmanuel behind, chasing their second bump, and Trinity Hall in front. Our start was ok, still a bit rushed, but definitely quite quick. By the middle of first post reach, we had widened the gap between us and Emmanuel to about two lengths. As crews began to hit their racing rhythm, Emma started to move in; our usual rough spot at the bowside kink before first post corner brought them in to perhaps a length and a quarter. Coming around the corner and out, however, we made that distance back with an excellent push through and out.

As we came into grassy, three short blasts from Emma's bank party signalled the start of a substantial push by Emma. Their rate came up quite sharply, and they began to move in again. However, a superbly judged line from Becky at Ditton combined with a very poor one from Emma quickly gave us back a half length; and this psychologically set the tone for the rest of the race. Down the reach, another nice, together push ushered in a period of rhythmic, pushed out rowing, as we successfully absorbed two further Emma attacks. Another excellent corner from Becky at the railway bridge made it obvious the Emmanuel hope of cutting us off on the inside was forlorn, and from that point on the only real challenge to the crew was working out where the finish line was.

In bumps, unless at headship one ideally should be aiming to go up. However, I'm not ashamed to say that I think M1 can and should be proud of today's rowover. To reverse two terms' bad momentum like that is a worthy achievement, and adds to the immense amount the crew has learned together over the past week.

Finally, we drew a line and held it. Hopefully, this will mark a decisive turning point in the fortunes of M1.


As any student of hermeneutics will tell you, "context is all". Today we rowed over again, entirely unmolested as Emma and Peterhouse bumped out behind us and succesfully took the rest of the division with them. However, whereas yesterday a rowover was a superb result, today it can only be described as mixed.

The rowing, was on the whole, ok; the paddling continues to come on leaps and bounds, but the general feeling was that we didn't translate this into a good attacking row today. We were far to focussed on Emma behind, and once they disappeared, the urgency and aggression declined markedly. Jesus in front got a markedly easy ride.

We have won a great prize so far this bumps: the prize is to be able to compete in bumps as any other crew would, focussed on bumping up as much or more than avoiding the crew behind. On Saturday, we hope to row like this, and take our place back from Jesus.

Uploaded Saturday 5th March, 14:54


Videos of the 1st Men's VIII: click to watch the video.


Thursday M1

All of Thursday M1 by kind permission of Girton cameramen at Grassy. Brief footage of Clare at 1:38; also includes spectacular Caius-LMBC bump in the gut


M1 Friday

All of Thursday M1 by kind permission of Girton cameramen at Grassy. Brief footage of Clare from 1:56

1st Women's VIII

Bow: Hemma Brandstaetter, 2: Georgina Messenger, 3: Claire Brochand, 4: Rachel Boyd, 5: Claire Watkins, 6: Clare Thakker, 7: Christina Pettit, Stroke: Annie Elkington, Cox: Mike Hook

Day 1: Bumped by Queens', Day 2: Bumped by Trinity Hall, Day 3: Rowed over, Day 4: Bumped Caius

Christina Pettit reports:


Day 1

I don't think that today's row was anything to be ashamed of - the start was a bit rocky, although still enough to take us up half a length on Caius very quickly, and the rhythm probably not as good as it can be, but overall it was a good row. Queens' were simply the faster crew. I was pleased with the way we kept our composure as Queens' came up on us - there was never a sense of panic, and I could feel a real response to Mike's calls for pushes.

Tomorrow, let's go off like we mean it again, and really keep the power there. We're in for the long haul, but if we can hit the rhythm that I know we can, and really maintain our commitment in every stroke, I'm confident we can keep away from Tit Hall - let's keep our eyes on the overbump!

Also, if the Queens' green-haired monster doesn't get fined for massive failure to hold it up, I'm going to kick off.

Day 2

We are so much better than today's row. Let's draw a line under it and go out as well as we know we can tomorrow - calm, confident, rhythmic and powerful. We've put in so much work and improved so much over the last few weeks. Don't let that go to waste.

Day 3

I've never been so happy about a row-over in my life! Right from the start we kept it long, strong and rhythmical, and despite some pushes around the corners, Maggie were never really a worry. Let's go out the same way tomorrow, and take Caius down another notch.

Day 4

Yesterday we proved what I said at the beginning of the week - we were definitely capable of bumping Caius - and this time there was nobody coming up from behind to stop us. I never expected it to be a quick bump, and it wasn't, but we kept the commitment all the way - despite some pressure from LMBC behind, who clearly nailed it from the start, knowing they would have their work cut out to stay ahead of Newnham.

It was definitely a grinding them down (like coffee beans) stroke by stroke kind of race, but the surge in boat speed when we finally hit half a length and then a canvas coming round Ditton, after sitting at a length for what felt like a horribly long time, was phenomenal.

Special mention also goes to Mike for taking some great lines and making some great calls throughout this week, and particularly for his tight cornering yesterday.

I know that we all really wanted that bump, and given the massive improvement in our rowing compared to halfway in to the bumps, I think you definitely all deserved it, and should be incredibly proud of yourselves and the crew.

Uploaded Sunday 6th March, 20:48


Georgie Messenger reports:


Day 2

Ok so I think we would all agree that we did not row well today...infact we rowed pretty badly...but hey, it happens, tomorrow we know we can row much better, more powerful, longer and less panicked, even yesterday we showed that against queens (regardless of whether we got bumped or not), but we have 2 days left, tomorrow we can scare Tit Hall and we can certainly row away from maggie.

We need to row up better, more confident and remembering the paddling we got when shep was coaching us..because that was some awesome paddling so we know we can do it...half of bumps is a mindset, maybe we were a bit too scared of tit hall today...maggie are another we all hate them...but equally we need to go in to tomorrow thinking we are going out to bump tit hall, not that we are going to run away from maggie because then we freak out a bit.

On another note though it really feels like we're becoming a crew now which is awesome, after all rowing is supposed to be fun too even if it is a sport :-P

Day 3

From the worst rowing of term, to the best, enough said!

Epic row over today, lets go get Caius tomorrow!

Day 4

Job Done! I don't think many other crews will have improved so much in the space of 4 days, it was like rowing in a different boat from thursday and it payed off, we were a little slower to get into it than friday staying at 1 whistle for quite a while but once we hit that long chunky rowing 2 whistles 3 whistles and then the bell came fast...with some awesome support from the bank at grassy and the plough!...hearing the bell as we came onto the reach was an amazing feeling and we didn't panic but made the kill in good style....this week has been so much fun...bring on WEHORR :D

Uploaded Sunday 6th March, 13:26


Video of the 1st Women's VIII: click to watch the video.


W1 Friday

All of Friday W1 by kind permission of Girton cameramen at Grassy. Footage of Clare from 2:42

2nd Men's VIII

Bow: Dominic Carr, 2: Logan Sun, 3: Rob Norton, 4: Chensong Gao, 5: Chris Cavanagh, 6: Scott Arcenas, 7: David Jessop, Stroke: Matt Causier, Cox: Rachel Wijsmuller

Day 1: Bumped Jesus III, Day 2: Bumped Robinson II, Day 3: Rowed Over, Day 4: Bumped by Trinity Hall II

Matthew Causier reports:


Day 1 : Well, I'm not entirely sure where that row came from but it certianly ranks as one of the better bumps races I've been in. The row had power and technique right from the start (where our bank party reportedly has issues with not being ready with the whistle as we were gaining so fast) to the end (which admittedly wasn't that long after the start).

The good news is that we're chasing an overbumped crew tomorrow. the bad news is that we've set ourselves a very high standard and will really need to be focused tomorrow to row that well.

Day 2 : Unsuprisingly this didn't quite measure up to yesterday's row but was pretty solid anyway. The start, though scrappy, did the job and we settled into a reasonable rate 38. Robinson wanted to clearly went hard off the start and held us to a length off for longer than expected. However when the two whistles came around first post it seemed to settle the boat slightly and we munched into them. When the bell was sounded the power rocketed as the technique improved (against all previous experience of the bell). We now have blue paint to match the red on our bow.

Day 3: Unfortunately today was just not to be. We knew that getting Churchill before they got First and Third would be a challenge but we never really factored in how bad First and Third actually were. We had a reasonable start and settle and got to within a length of Churchill towards the entrance of First Post. Unfortunately at this point they bumped out leaving us to reset and go for the overbump on Selwyn. This was initially a bit scrappy but settled coming out of Grassy. We got to within a couple of lengths of Selwyn but could not quite get a killer push in to close the gap further. Having said that it felt really committed to the end and we never gave up hope. It's a real sign of how much this crew has come on during the last week that we were disappointed with this result, if you'd told us we would row over like that after Robinson head (the last time we raced the entire course) we'd have firstly laughed at you and then begged you to tell us how. Special thanks to Sean for subbing into day (sorry if Rob gave you the idea it would be a nice short row!).

Day4 : Today was just one of those days, the boat didn't feel as together as it has and never really flew. We gained on FAT ahead of us but when Trinity Hall started to come close the strokes shortened and a bit of panic set in allowing them to bump around Grassy. Still a positive result overall though and considering how the boat felt last week still a huge improvement. Bring on the Mays!

Uploaded Saturday 5th March, 17:27


Robert Norton reports:


Day 1: I've been in boats with bigger guys last year but never have I been in a start where the power in the boat has been put down so efficiently and so quickly. Jesus III may not have been the best boat in the river but we also pulled comfortably away from the boats chasing us too. Quite honestly it was a shockingly good piece of rowing that none of us really expected, bring on Robinson tomorrow!

Day 2: The start was not what it was yesterday but the rhythm today was incredible. Rowing felt easy as we took meter after meter out of Robinson, no one panicked at any point. Today we were clean and clinical. On Friday we take Churchill.

Day 4: Today was just one of those days where it didn't come together. We could blame being messed around at the start or that the row over yesterday took a little too much out of us but in all honesty I think today was a bad day that happens to nearly all crews at some point. We're still +1 for the week and in a strong position to move up again next year. BRING ON MAYS!

Uploaded Saturday 5th March, 16:55


David Jessop reports:


Day 1

Definitely our best row this term. Our start was they key to this being a quick bump - the first whistles came under the motorway bridge as we came out of our start sequence. It helped that Jesus III were a weak crew, but we had pulled out at least a length from LMBC III behind when we bumped before first post. Great row, very enjoyable, lets do the same to Robinson II tomorrow!

Day 2

Very pleased after today as Robinson were a better crew than Jesus. Our start and row were much scrappier than yesterday but the rhythm was still there. There was some confusion over the whistles due to the cox-box making erroneous beeping noises, but when the bell came out the response was incredible. The boat leapt out of the water and we pounced on them! Perhaps we were slightly fortunate that Churchill recovered quickly after crashing around first post: we certainly owe them a quick, painless bump on Friday. If we row like yesterday we can give them just that!

Day 3

There is a dubious claim on the FaT website that they allowed themselves to be bumped by Churchill today as a tactical decision so that they would not be triple-overbumped tomorrow by the mighty Hughes Hall crew. Clearly this is complete rubbish, but it was odd that they were so astonishingly slow today (they rowed over ahead of Selwyn on day 1), and this really ruined things for us. We closed to 3/4 of a length from Churchill when they bumped out coming into first post. Apart from the obvious disappointment of not getting our third bump, I'm proud of what we did today. The rowover felt solid and powerful to the end, and despite a couple of scrappy moments which we recovered quickly from, we closed to two lengths off an overbump on Selwyn before running out of river. Hughes Hall attempted a double-overbump on us, but remained distant enough to never concern us.

Tomorrow, we take our revenge on FaT III.

Uploaded Friday 4th March, 23:39


Photos of the 2nd Men's VIII: click to view full size. (see all nine photos of this crew)

Video of the 2nd Men's VIII: click to watch the video.


Wednesday M3

All of Wednesday M3 by kind permission of Girton cameramen at Grassy. Brief footage of M2 bumping Robinson II at 1:25

2nd Women's VIII

Bow: Alice Bean, 2: Julia Kelly, 3: Jessica Williams/Alice McNamara, 4: Jess Fish, 5: Jess Denman, 6: Marie Yurkovich, 7: Chloe Underdown, Stroke: Becky Fogg, Cox: Jamie Klair

Day 1: Bumped by St Edmund's, Day 2: Overbumped by Christ's II, Day 3: Bumped by Wolfson, Day 4: Bumped by Downing II

Alice McNamara reports:


Day 4

Well, it was a short row, but thank you for letting me tag along.

Uploaded Sunday 6th March, 17:59


Jamie Klair reports:


Day 1 Like bad sex, we got splashed all over before we'd even got started.

I'm feeling better about today. If nothing else, let's at least get our 10 mins worth this time!

Day 2 Good technique, great timing, inspiring: all these things sum up our beatbox fuelled row home. good job girls.

Day 3 Just when we thought we'd come on to Darwin, Wolfson thrust in, and it literally snapped off in our hands.

Uploaded Friday 4th March, 17:12


Christina Pettit reports:


Day 1: This was the first bumps racing ever for most of your crew, and I think you held your composure really well as St Edmund's came up on you. Despite the slight setback of having a sub in the boat who had never done a start with you, I thought the start was one of your best, and you hit and sustained a nice rhythm. You're chasing Addenbrooke's tomorrow, who'll be a much easier target, and Darwin behind much less of a threat - let's go out and get them!

Uploaded Tuesday 1st March, 23:21


Video of the 2nd Women's VIII: click to watch the video.


Wednesday W2

Start of Wednesday W3 by kind permission of Girton cameramen at First Post Corner.