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May Bumps 2016

Wednesday 8th - Saturday 11th June

Previous event: May Bumps Getting-on Race - Following event: Marlow Regatta

1st Men's VIII

Bow: Tim Tito Rademacher, 2: Jon Swain, 3: Euan Beck, 4: James Henderson, 5: Quentin Gouil, 6: Ben Evans, 7: Callum McKenzie, Stroke: Riccardo Conci, Cox: Basma Khogeer

BLADES! - Day 1: Bumped Queens', Day 2: Bumped Downing, Day 3: Bumped FaT, Day 4: Bumped Jesus

Callum McKenzie reports:

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Day one - Chasing Queens', chased by Kings

5 years. 5 years we have been behind Queens' (including the agonisingly close encounter last year). Was today going to be our day? The row down was a little jittery, but by in large solid for a day 1 row down. We were slightly delayed for the starting cannons as we had to wait for some m2 re-rows... not deterred by this, we waited, got in the boat and pushed off. We handicapped ourselves slightly however, as when we pushed off we were actually behind the chain, so were about a length ahead of Kings and more than station off Queens'... Oh well. We had talked about just keeping everything relaxed and row the rhythm we know we can do, but it turns out we were a little too relaxed as we settled and maintained rate 35 for the race. Queens' went hard off the start, overrating massively, and we kept station with them. It was all very quiet up first post reach, first post corner and the gut with Queens matching our speed. We picked up our first whistle coming into Grassy. Then we hit the wall that was the Clare grassy corner supporters! Wow, that was loud. This was quickly rewarded as when we came out of Grassy we got 2 whistles... 3 whistles... into Ditton corner, the bell... SMASH!!! BUMMMMPPPPPPPP. Tim thought it would be a good time to learn to play the bongos - good beat bro. We had finally got them! In all honesty it was a solid row, but no where near our fastest. Everything felt very casual, so for the rest of the week we are going to spank it off the start like we've done in training and really have some fun with the boats ahead. Word on the street is that the last time Clare was 7th was in 1974... let's see if we can break a few more records as the week progresses. Cave Adsum.

Day two - Chasing Downing, chased by Queens'

I have to say, todays push off was superb. Words could barely leave my mouth at its pure elegance. Although I did see we had about 6 inches of slack in the chain... so still room for improvement. After yesterdays rather chilled row, we decided to give it some stick today. However, the joys of bumping up did mean we started underneath the motorway bridge right next to the cannons... hollllllly sh*t that was loud. So, start gun goes... everyone jumps off their seat and flunks the first stroke. Ah well. After that though, the start was good - a lot more zippy than yesterday, hitting 44 off the winds and for the first 45 seconds were rating 40. The water was still very bumpy, so didn't make rowing particularly easy. We got our first whistle around the gut I think (can't remember, bit of a blur) and was putting some good power down into the water. Out of grassy we made a reset / power call and quickly gained two whistles. The rowing wasn't the cleanest but with the higher rate plus choppy water we did the best we could! The two whistles were quickly followed by three going past the plough and coming into Ditton corner got the bell and secured the bump! Earlier than yesterday as well! Bonza! Todays row, although not as neat as yesterday had a lot more commitment and power - especially as we got within half a length to the bump. All in all, a good day! Now to keep on climbing the river. But, mainly, I'm bloody glad we bumped because that cannon is effing loud.

Day three - chasing First and Third, chased by Downing

We knew today was going to be a tough battle. FaT have been quick throughout term and we guessed that they were going to go balls out to try catch Jesus, so we knew what we faced. Our start, although thankfully not underneath the bridge anymore (!), was directly next to the outflow, so we just made sure our first two strokes of the start were as clean as possible... and in actual fact our start was really crisp, rating well into the 40s with some good zip. We immediately noticed the calmer water up first post reach, however coming into first post corner again threw up some crappy wash - so as we rounded, Basma made a call for clean finishes which set us up well. As we entered the gut we were just off a length of FaT, who were themselves just outside half a length off Jesus. We picked up our first whistle coming into grassy and up plough reach we got our second, however FaT were really pressing hard on Jesus and as they rounded Ditton I believe they had, or were near to, overlap... Unaware of FaT's progress on Jesus we just focussed on our rowing and we delivered some powerful, well put together strokes to keep us gaining on FaT, where we got three whistles into Ditton corner. Just as we were exiting Ditton corner we got the bell (overlap) and we went for it, and based on the previous 2 days were expecting a bump within the next 15-20 seconds... but nothing... just more bell. At the same time FaT were right on Jesus, also on overlap! We kept our heads in and knew with our fitness that we would eventually get the bump, but didn't realise how close FaT were to Jesus. FaT supposedly went for a swipe on Jesus, missed and that gave us a window to clinch the bump half way down the reach! Phew! We got them!! It was a really solid row from start to finish and full credit to FaT for an awesome race, proper bumps racing! Now on to tomorrow. We know what we have to do. Cave Adsum.

Day four - chasing Jesus, chased by First and Third

WE DIT IT! BLADES!!!! Words cannot describe how utterly proud I am of our crew. We put in the bloody hard graft weeks before and all the way throughout term - every erg, every weights session, every outing was SO worth it. The bump itself was just powerful and quick, getting Jesus outside the plough. This is the highest a Clare mens crew has been for 46 years!! BOOOOOOOMMMMM. For me as my last bumps campaign this could not have ended better. I will truly, truly miss CBC. It has undoubtedly been the best part of my years here at Cambridge. Every single one of you are beautiful. All of the coaches have been amazing, but Gripper has been absolutely bloody outstanding (and the push out today was superb). For me it's a huge shame that I can't stick around longer to be coached by him more. Anyway, enough soppy bullshit. BLADES!!!!! Fourth on the river! Highest Clare Men's VIII for 46 years!! Cave Adsum.

Uploaded Sunday 12th June, 10:05

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Tim Tito Rademacher reports:

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Day 2 - Chasing Downing, chased by...who cares at this stage, who is chasing us

After yesterdays almost casual bump on Queens’ without too much pain, we decided to step up today and show some of that determination that earned us some convincing wins and a course record this term. Determination has already moved us from ‘a boat with potential‘ at the start of training camp to ‘encouraging’ at the end of it. Throughout term we kept up the hard work, we were determined to make this boat go faster than all other college crews. We knew we had put the work in and, as we all know, bumps is about execution, a portion of luck and lots of banter.

So, we knew we are fast, and today we wanted to prove it to Downing. As an extra incentive Gripper’s brother coaches Downing. The smile on his face, when he found out we are chasing them, was a delight. Gripper has enabled this crew to move beyond having potential and this was our opportunity to give back.

Station 7 is right next to the canon, so after a deafening canon sound, that reverberated through my entire body and made me jump, we were off. We hit the outflow straight away before it could actually upset us too much. We were also wobbling around so much that it did not matter anyway. At least, while wobbling we moved fast in the right direction hitting a rate 44 of the start and pushing onto race pace around 37. If a normal ride in the bows during bumps is close to a rollercoaster ride, today took it to the next level. It was not pretty and we had to wait to the exit of first post corner to get our first whistle, but it was fast enough. Grassy was decent, we gained a second whistle. Our style is probably best described as slowly grinding our opposition to piece. And we have to the confidence to know that they will eventually fall to pieces, if we just keep going. We pushed out of grassy and started to develop some rhythm and almost instantly got three whistles just to loose the rhythm we has been chasing for so long straight away. Although Plough Reach was a bit wobbly, they had started to feel the burn because the yellow fire does burn strongly in our crew. Gripper asked us to push on, so he could get the bell out, and we did not want to be asked twice. He got the bell out at the entry to Ditton and Downing fell to pieces. The only tangible memory we will have tomorrow is a bit of Downing magenta on the bows of our boat.

Tomorrow, we will start from station six to chase FaT for a top 5 spot. W1 showed us how to do it today, so we will try to follow their example tomorrow and add some blue and gold to the collection of scratches on the boat. Cave adsum!

Uploaded Friday 10th June, 23:44

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Quentin Gouil reports:

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Day 3: chasing FaT, chased by Downing

Bumps are more nerve racking for the bank party than for the rowers.

After marshalling in the VIP area (only 6 boats but room for 12, when lower down they have to overlap), we had a solid row up to our station on the outflow. This meant some convoluted but deftly executed push off maneuvers, and with a slightly less deafening bang than the day before we were off. Applying Riccardo's tactic to the letter (row well = go fast), we had an excellent first minute, setting a new standard for tomorrow. We got a whistle on FaT in the gut, but most of us were blissfully unaware that FaT was gaining quickly on Jesus, and we just kept doing our thing. Then the whistle got more insistant as Gripper smelled the danger. We had a push, two whistles, then three as we approached Ditton, the bell shouldn't take much longer... there it is, let's finish them, gosh it hurts, haha we've done the 2x10' race pace in training they can't resist us, wow we're really travelling across the reach now, come on final push... And then Tim reaches out to tap their shell and give us the bump. Bongo.

Only later did we learn that we escaped the row over by an inch, as FaT had overlap on Jesus and narrowly missed their opportunity. Fortunately the UK's health and safety diligence assured that no one in our bank party had a heart condition, and we found them alive and beaming with relief. FaT were excellent sportsmen and congratulated us on this hard-fought race. Tomorrow we do it all over again, one last time. I can't wait.

Uploaded Friday 10th June, 23:20

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Ben Evans reports:

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Day two - Chasing Downing, chased by Queens'

Andrew Watson's pushing out and exceptional use of the majority of the chain was obviously sufficiently superior to that of his brother that Clare M1 were able to bump Downing

Uploaded Thursday 9th June, 22:26

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Jon Swain reports:

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To celebrate our bump on Queens', here's a quick introduction to the crew:

B: Tim “Unkaputtbar” Rademacher

CBC’s favourite CUL rower. Hobbies include erging, excessive erging and eating his bodyweight daily, then more erging.

2: Cpt. Jon Swain

I do the admin in exchange for the other 7 blokes carrying me down the river. I also write rubbish race reports occasionally.

3: Euan “Shit Chat” Beck

It’s a good thing his rowing is better than his banter, otherwise he’d be in M5. Spends so much time on the message boards he’s considering changing his name to “anonymous coward”.

4: James “Pissy James” Henderson

Incredibly talented at sweating and threatening to steal people’s seats. Probably best not to mention Mich BCD last year.

5: Quentin “Dr Q” Gouil

Claims that jumping over a pole twice a week is a good as erging. Or if it’s raining likes to suggest we play squash instead.

6: Ben “Bevans” Evans

Rumour are that Bevans has been at Clare since it was first founded, and if he cuts his hair he loses all his strength.

Sub: Peter “Mystery Pete” Rees

For a long while many of us at CBC weren’t sure if Peter really existed. He’s sort of like The Stig, if The Stig wore Goldie kit and subbed in for the last day of bumps.

7: Callum “LADenzie” McKenzie

Self-proclaimed Lad of the boat club. Maybe at 26 it’s time to find a new nickname?

S: Riccardo “Tricky Ricky” Conci

Our softly-spoken Etonian fresher. He’s quite good a rowing, when he manages to turn up...

C: Basma “Besssssma” Khogeer

Cooks good crew meals, Hamster enthusiast, Girton’s worst nightmare.

Uploaded Thursday 9th June, 8:12

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Photos of the 1st Men's VIII: click to view full size.


1st Women's VIII

Bow: Anna O'Brien, 2: Robyn Hamer, 3: Edith Ross, 4: Lydia Price, 5: Claire Watkins, 6: Anna Peel, 7: Charlotte McGarry, Stroke: Ada Krzak, Cox: Julia Kelsoe

UP 2 - Day 1: Rowed over, Day 2: Bumped FaT, Day 3: Bumped Emma, Day 4: Rowed over

Claire Watkins reports:

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Day One: Chasing FaT, chased by Christs

With our blades named and new kit shining we marshalled nice and early, had a crew chat and then rowed down - credit to Julia for fitting in a cheeky practice start despite them being supposed to be cancelled! When the gun went (quite loud at station 6), we flew out of the blocks, escaping the outflow and getting our legs working. We gained the first whistle on FaT somewhere down First Post Reach, and continued to move, gaining ground but not quite reaching the second whistle. Girton took out Christs behind us, and we began to slip back a bit round towards Ditton, and partly down the Reach Andy gave us the call to back off. We rowed the rest of the course at an adequate pace to keep Newnham at bay, with the top five crews all battling ahead of us. Lets see what tomorrow brings!

Day Two: Chasing FaT, chased by Girton

We fancied an extra long warm up today, so had a cheeky spin at Churchill, returned to collect a lifejacket and set off to marshall in plenty of time. The row down was a little twitchier than yesterday, but when the cannon sounded we unveiled our revolutionary new race plan: start fast, keep going fast, bump. We got the first whistle on First Post Reach, the second thanks to Julia's line round First Post Corner, the third in the Gut and the bell & bump as we rounded Grassy, with another brilliant line from Julia. Job done, happy W1 back in the top 5 and bring on tomorrow!

Day Three: Chasing Emmanuel, chased by FaT

Today's race plan was simple: do what we did yesterday, for however long it took. We blasted off the start again, leaving FaT to the mercy of Girton, and gained our first whistle on Emma before First Post Corner. I'm not overly clear on where we got the second whistle.. somewhere before the Plough? If CamFM thought we were throwing the kitchen sink at it yesterday, today we threw the whole houseful of furniture... it wasn't pretty, but it was a chunky rhythm, and gradually we pulled closer to Emma's stern. Three whistles followed on the Reach, with Andy yelling at us to make it count. Passing under the Railway bridge we inched ever closer, but found ourselves about 3 feet from their stern when Nigel mentioned 'I think they need the bell'. An optimistic bell from Andy gave us the lift we needed and we hit their stern with a satisfying thunk, in front of the marshalling M1 crews. A longer row than we might have hoped for ('we'll go flat out to Ditton and then see what happens'), and perhaps we made it a little longer than it needed to be, but a brilliant committed piece that we should be proud of. Tomorrow we'll see if we can sharpen it up a bit and take the race the Jesus!

Day Four Chasing Jesus, chased by Emma

Writing this a few days later I have to admit its kind of hazy... Another fast start let us gain a little ground on Jesus, but I don't think we ever quite made it to the first whistle. We went absolutely flat out to the Plough, where Andy told us to take a few moments to recover and settle into the rhythm for the rest of the course. Emma closed on us a little here, and with some very optimistic whistling from their coach, continued to gain as we came onto the Reach, with Girton chasing them down. They never got closer than 3/4 length, and Julia kept our focus firmly on Jesus ahead. Girton finally took out Emma under the Railway Bridge, and we continued our chase, but it wasn't to be. This was definitely our technically best row of the week, and it certainly wasn't lacking in power either - we're back in the top 4 and its a great place to be! This week has been a brilliant end to my last bump campaign after 6 years, and I can't wait to come back and watch next year!

Uploaded Monday 13th June, 12:25

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Photos of the 1st Women's VIII: click to view full size. (see all five photos of this crew)


2nd Men's VIII

Bow: Ben Leitch, 2: Adam Harrison, 3: Jordan Thornton, 4: Rory Fairhead, 5: Stephen Kindness, 6: Robin Elliott, 7: Fred Benham‑Crosswell, Stroke: Matt Simpson, Cox: Clement Chan

BLADES! Day 1: Rowed over head then Bumped Queens' II, Day 2: Bumped Christ's II, Day 3: Bumped Pembroke II, Bumped First and Third II

Ben Leitch reports:

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Day One: Chased by Sidney Sussex at top of Div 3, chasing Queens' II at bottom of Div 2

The classic sandwich boat scenario once again made it's appearance for Clare M2. Having had a great term of rowing, we were pretty confident that we would have a comfortable first race and indeed we did! Our tactics for the first race at the top of Div 3 was to do a four minute piece as hard as possible to push away from Sidney and then evaluate our situation as we got to Ditton. We started off nicely and it didn't take us long to gain an extra length away from the crew behind. The rest, they say, is history. We brought it down to a leisurely rate 32 on the Reach so we could reserve some energy for the big race against Queens' in the next division.

Queens' have been looking a bit dodgy all term, let's be honest, and with previous history with them, we were determined to catch them quick. We had a nice start but we definitely felt uneasy on the choppy water - something we haven't had a lot of practice with. Despite going perhaps too tight around the first corner before the motorway bridge, we soon got our act together and gained our first whistle. We kept calm, kept the length, and found our way to Queens'. It was a bit chaotic up ahead (a Maggie cox in the water?) but luckily my blade whacked Queens' just before First Post Corner as they held it up. They claimed it should have been a technical row over (because of the clusterfuck up ahead) but the umpire had been listening to ClareFM and knew we were amazing so he awarded us the bump. Sick rowing home, amazing curry, bed. See you tomorrow!

Day Two: Chasing Christ's II, chased by Queens' II

Knowing well that Christ's bumped out early on in Day 1, we knew we had the ability to knock them dead quickly. The question was - where would we do it? Motorway bridge? First post? After coming out of a very decent start at rate 41, we settled and kept a nice long stroke. We gained our first whistle about 20 strokes in, which quickly became two whistles. As we headed under the motorway bridge, the water was very choppy, even more so than yesterday, and we slapped around a bit. But we definitely held it better than Christ's, for when we exited the bridge, getting clear of the outflow, we heard Gripper blow three whistles. It wasn't long after that we made the bump - goooood times! We only rowed for about 2 minutes! But, we can't become complacent. Tomorrow will be harder and longer as we try to bump our neighbours Pembroke II. So far, however, we're looking pretty damn fine. #yellowfire #TheManTheMythTheClem

Day Three: Chasing Pembroke II, chased by Christ's II

Our row up to marshalling was a bit rocky. I think subconsciously we knew that today's row was going to be hard and there was a nervy feel to our strokes. However, we didn't let our nerves get to us as we sat on the bank awaiting the four minute canon. After a motivational speech from Gripper - who had just little bit of history with the boat up ahead - we got our heads in the game and prepared ourselves for what we thought was going to be a long gruelling battle towards Pembroke. We set off nicely on the start and hammered it down towards the motorway bridge. Just before, however, we surprisingly heard our first whistle! We were gaining on them much faster than we had thought! We stuck together, keeping our catches crisp and our strokes long and battled under the bridge and gained whistle number two. Meanwhile, we could hear that FaT II, chased by Pembroke, weren't too far away. We knew we had to make a move. We gained three whistles when (I think) Pembroke got one whistle on FaT and the bell proceeded not long after. Our bump came just before First Post Corner. Boom. With aching legs and blood in our mouths, we paddled nicely home ready for tomorrow's challenge and the quest for... yet another bump. Fingers crossed.

Day Four: Chasing Fat II, chased by Pembroke II

BLAAAAADESS!!!! Sweeeeet rowing, more sweet rowing, and a bump before First Post. Absolutely ecstatic!!! Thanks to all who cheered on at Grassy as we paraded down the river with our flag. CAVE ADSUM!! Onwards to BCD!! :D :D

Uploaded Saturday 11th June, 18:25

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2nd Women's VIII

Bow: Els Alsema, 2: Hannah Templeman, 3: Rozalie Ryclova, 4: Philippa Slay, 5: Ariane Dupas, 6: Hermione Burn, 7: Rosie Boxall, Stroke: Harley Evans, Cox: Joel Adams

DOWN 4 - Day 1: Overbumped by Corpus, Day 2: Rowed over & rowed over, Day 3: Rowed over & rowed over, Day 4: Bumped by Caius II

Rosie Boxall reports:

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Day 2 , race 1

A non-scratch, yet a still sunburnt crew was ready set off our *first real race* of this bumps campaign and first outing as a full crew in over a month. As our demonic supervisor/Rosie's babysitter, Chrysa put it: our bumps campaign starts today (W2 raced enough for two days of bumps anyway). Just to clarify: you may think that yesterday was a disaster. However, it was merely a tactical over-bump-down to ensure that we get back in our rightful positions of sandwich boat for the second bumps campaign this year - obviously to get the most kudos and the best toned legs at BCD (we do it for our fans, we know you wanted to see us race past grassy twice - #RigbyBoat).

Anyway, the race. Having learned the lessons from yesterday (not forcing people to row on the wrong side), we were determined to blaze it down the race course at rate cave adsum (i.e. 36-ish). we had LMBC W2 behind us for motivation. practice start went well so a boatload of yellow fire was ready to get that row-over at the head of div3.

Our start was pretty solid and we rated 38 - according to the gadgets of our 7-seat (& honorary three-tard), we got our split down to 1.50s/500m, which isn't too shabby. Maggie behind us did make a move and gained a whistle on quite quickly, which they held for about half the race. So we pushed - in and out of first post corner, through the gut.... then we pushed into grassy and out of grassy.... while our memories are getting hazy... I am pretty sure we pushed damn hard on the plough because we started losing Maggie. (At this point one of the Maggie girls can be heard screaming "I can't do it, I'm going to die!", YAAAS girls).

Joel (aka the coolest cox on the river, see pic below) took an amazing line around Ditton and kept us amazingly motivated on the reach, where the rate started getting a bit sluggish. We did respond very well to whatever Joel was saying about hips and arms and back-swings and kept rating 34, and we definitely kept the power on because under the railway bridge, Maggie lost their steam and we took it home. We exchanged cheers with maggie under Chesterton bridge (we also exchanged some healthy college rivalry and/or mild threats for tomorrow, but it mattered not for our minds were already on the next race).

Day 2, race 2

This was long, and painful. We were feeling the effects of the first race, but still held Downing at post for the whole race.

BRING ON TOMORROW, YELLOW FIRE.

xo xo, your two three-tards (Roz and Rosie)

Uploaded Friday 10th June, 13:23

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Hermione Burn reports:

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A scratch, sunburnt and smiley crew set off for our first race of the week. After a strong start we settled down to a rate of 36, and kept our distance from Wolfson W1 who were chasing us. Wolfson got bumped before the motorway bridge and we powered through to first post, taking a sharp line through the corners. By Ditton, Corpus W1 were approaching. We managed to hold them off until nearing the end of the reach, but ultimately they were a faster crew. We’re looking forward to double the fun and some sandwiches tomorrow, in our two races!

Uploaded Wednesday 8th June, 22:27

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3rd Men's VIII

Bow: Ollie Dutton, 2: Yihan Pei, 3: Ben Jennings, 4: Jason Delp, 5: Gabriel Bliard, 6: Jamil Jami, 7: Alistair Brown, Stroke: Toby Roeder, Cox: Izzy Rudd

UP 3 - Day 1: Bumped King's II, Day 2: Rowed Over, Day 3: Bumped Clare Hall, Day 4: Bumped Girton II

Ben Jennings reports:

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Day 4:(Chasing Girton II, nominally chased by Clare Hall)

Despite blades no longer being an option (the curse of starting third in the division - the only position impossible to overbump from), we arrived at the boat house determined to demonstrate we were a crew lacking in luck rather than skill. Racing through the now daily debate of whether we were going to wear zephyrs with speed we hoped to replicate on the river, we were soon at marshalling eyeballing Girton M2. While practicing 'bumps astrology' (using yesterday's bumps chart to predict other crews' speed) is a time-honoured tradition, you didn't need to be Mystic Meg to fancy our chances against a crew on for spoons. Still a little nervous, I was quickly reassured that Ollie thought he could take their bow man.

Heartened by the presence of our good luck charms (Andy Walters and Lydia), our start felt a bit smoother, and before we had gone 20 strokes the whistles on Girton began arriving. Two and three whistles came quicker than I think any of us expected, and before we knew much about it, we were holding it up, having made the bump opposite the crowd on first post corner. To no one's surprise Kings were completing their bump on Clare H*ll at about the same time meaning there were four boats trying to clear at the same spot. Amazingly it looked as if complete carnage would be avoided, that was until a FaT crew, not wanting to disappoint the fans, decided to try an ambitious shortcut to the long reach across the grass.

It was only when we got back off the water at the boat house that we started behaving like a normal M3 by having a disagreement about how to bring the boat to heads - an appropriate end to our campaign. Rowing with this crew has been one of the great parts of Cambridge, lots of respect to those who had to balance training with exams (and in one case a job) during this term. Thanks for carrying me in the three seat.

Finally, a warning for the future: we will be the crew at the alumni dinner in 2066 still boring everyone with complaints about how our blades were stolen from us.

Uploaded Sunday 12th June, 22:37

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Oliver Dutton reports:

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Day 3: (Chasing Clare Hall, chased by King's II)

Anger was rife throughout the crew as blades seemingly slipped from our grasp yesterday. After surveying the situation some of us dreamed of a beautiful Corpus crab so even the slow Clare Hall would catch them, leaving us free for the overbump we knew we could do though the reality was we'd hit Clare Hall. Condemned to the situation we hit them hard without remorse or particular enjoyment, making contact just before first post corner. Tomorrow is Girton M2, we will finish as we started: Strong.

Uploaded Friday 10th June, 22:10

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Yihan Pei reports:

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Day 1: TL;DR https://youtu.be/2uaPZdhxnek

Day 2: (Chasing Corpus II (but really chasing Jesus III for Overbump, chased by King's II)

Today we were reminded of why so many people say bumps is shit. We knew that we were faster than Corpus, but Clare Hall, which Corpus was chasing, was much MUCH slower than every boat around us. A solid row down and a scrappy practice start later we were ready, focused in on task ahead, knowing full well we most likely had to go for the overbump on Jesus III.

Our start was much better than Day 1 and we hit a nice strong rhythm (Felt like 34?). Then, the expected happened, Corpus got the bump on Clare Hall around First Post corner (200m from the start). That forced us to take a very wide corner as we were hot on the heels of Corpus. Izzy was even forced take Alistair out for a couple of strokes so that we wouldn't crash into the banks. Nevertheless, we had a sharp reset and flew into the gut, our mind refocused on the overbump. Izzy took a fantastic corner around Grassy and with the loud cheering from the banks we gained a boat length on Jesus. Around this point things get a bit blurry, but a combination of great lines by Izzy and determination from the crew we managed to close into about 2.5 boat lengths on Jesus coming onto the reach. Unfortunately we didn't manage to close the gap by much more after that, and finished the day with a row over. Despite the result it was a great row and the crew really showed some grit. It's a shame that Clare Hall let us down as we could have definitely gotten Corpus given some water, they will pay the iron price tomorrow...

Oh if you needed to ask, King's II was never a threat, although they put up a gutsy effort and finished about 3 boat lengths from us.

Uploaded Thursday 9th June, 21:07

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Tobias Roeder reports:

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Day 1: The Monarchomachs (chasing King's II, chased by Wolfson II)

We were going into this race with high expectations and (at least outwardly) a very self-assured attitude. The row down to the start was a pretty standard affair, not the best we have ever done, but pretty sure this was due to the inward tension. Many of the crew members had not bumped before (or not in Mays). And while we had taken half a minute out of Wolfson II (behind us) at the Spring Head2Head at the beginning of the term, much could have happened in between. But our worries about them were surely unnecessary. When the start gun went off, they quickly disappeared at the horizon, making for a very happy Stroke, who was, however, startled a moment later, but I am getting ahead of myself.

The more interesting part of the race was clearly us descending onto King’s II. After winding it up, we quickly got the first whistle half way down to First Post Corner and the second by reaching it. There Izzy took a wide line obviously to play a bit with the hapless King’s (reminiscent of their founder Henry VI), although both 2 and Stroke were a bit concerned of how close the bank came for a second (or in Stroke’s case how close it had come, only realising it afterwards). Nevertheless, King’s was ready for the taking by Grassy, when we pushed into them and went through three whistles, long whistle and bell in a couple of strokes, as Izzy told us to now make the Bump. We were merciful and only gave the purple boys a slight touch, which meant that there was a bit of confusion, when the Bump actually happened. By the time we cleared the river, King’s were already given us cheers, while our bank party anxiously tried to get us to the side. We did not actually obstruct anyone, it has to be noted, partly because Wolfson was so far off. Greenery was provided by the inimitable Lydia Price, who felt quite nostalgic remembering M3’s last year’s Bumps campaign, which saw her coxing (and giving an inspirational speech this year’s Stroke will not forget). The row back was as beautiful as was befitting and the spirits of the crew could hardly be higher. After this, we actually know how good we are. Time to break out the Holy Lance tomorrow and poke Christ’s Body (Corpus II)!

Uploaded Wednesday 8th June, 22:27

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3rd Women's VIII

Bow: Rosie Vince, 2: Hanmin Wang, 3: Tamsin Bell, 4: Miriam Gordon, 5: Josie Newman, 6: Emma O'Hare, 7: Jess Lindley, Stroke: Katie Wilkinson, Cox: Alex Horne

UP 1 - Day 1: Rowed Over, Day 2: Rowed Over, Day 3: Rowed Over, Day 4: Bumped Sidney Sussex II

Josie Newman reports:

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Day two and we were feeling confident after our efforts yesterday. We knew we could hold off Queens, so Churchill W2 were our only focus. We had a good row down (think we've finally learnt to balance the boat), and even got a swap offer, so must have been doing something right. Counting down we were nervous, but held it together and the start was much improved on the previous day. We went for it straight away and put everything into the first minute. We held them around the corners, taking good lines, but there were no whistles and we started to realize we were in it for the long haul (again). The top of reach bought a reset, and we continued to push for them. However, we had not anticipated the strength of their crew, and we managed to let the gap lengthen to about four lengths. At the railway bridge we made the call to save our legs for the following day, so took a strong, but slightly slower row down to the P&E. Bring on tomorrow, it certainly doesn't look like it'll be another row over whatever happens...

Uploaded Thursday 9th June, 18:33

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Emma O'Hare reports:

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We were all a bit nervous starting on the first day of bumps, but excited to see what the first day would bring, with the ideal race plan of 'catch them in three strokes so we can stop'. We all set off fairly evenly, but after a little over a minute (probably, I wasn't counting) we were told to hold it up - we were heading straight for some carnage blocking the river. We wound it up again and went round them (in what felt like a better start than our first try), and queen's resumed chasing us. We managed to keep them at a fairly comfortable distance, and around ditton were told we were three lengths away from the boat ahead (Christ's, who we later found were five spaces ahead of us) and were going for the overbump. We chased them all the way to the finish line, and managed to get them within half a length! Unfortunately, there wasn't enough space to close the gap. The general consensus on finishing the race was 'wow, I can't actually believe they were quite close.' Looking forward to the next day!

Uploaded Thursday 9th June, 12:14

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4th Men's VIII

Bow: Will Broadbelt, 2: Ben Williams, 3: Andres Bustamante/Vikram Thakur, 4: Georg Starke, 5: Felix Kreis, 6: Jamil Mustafa, 7: Harry Perkin, Stroke: Iwan Williams, Cox: Lydia Bloomfield

DOWN 1 - Day 1: Bumped by Caius IV, Day 2: Bumped by LMBC V, Day 3: Rowed over ahead of Robinson III, Day 4: Bumped Darwin M3

Iwan Williams reports:

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Day 4 – Chasing Darwin III, Chased by Hughes Hall III

The weight of expectation weighed heavily on M4’s shoulders this morning: having rowed over yesterday we were chasing Darwin again in a rerun of Wednesday. After nearly catching them before the Caius rugby boat overcame us, we were expecting to bump. This was our last chance and it would also be the first bump for everyone in the crew (after getting spoons in Lent Bumps). It wasn’t all plain sailing though as Hughes Hall were chasing us who’d already over-bumped twice – extra pressure for a good start. Fred’s/Euan’s/Louis’/Nigel’s calming influence on the bank helped instil confidence, although perhaps Jamil’s prediction we’d bump within the first 50 metres was a little ambitious. When the cannon sounded we got a good start and closed up to Darwin’s stern by the motorway bridge, in an unexpected realisation of Jamil’s bump aspirations. Darwin responded though and briefly pushed off, whilst our technique crumbled. Personally I’d died by First Post but Lydia’s formidable calls helped us rally and we closed up again. We regained a tiny bit of technique and pushed through to get the overlap needed for Darwin to concede before Grassy Corner. It was great to be able to get the bump and end on a high, and thanks have to go to our amazing cox Lydia, our bank party and all our coaches! We couldn’t have done it without you!

Uploaded Saturday 11th June, 15:02

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Lydia Bloomfield reports:

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Day 2 - chasing Caius IV, chased by LMBC V

After a frustrating defeat yesterday, we started our row down to the lock determined to give a great performance. Our aim was a strong start to get away from the stereotypical rugby crew that is LMBC V, and keep pushing away until they tired and crashed out.

After a strong start we were away and keeping Maggie at bay, but in front of us Caius bumped Darwin almost immediately. Faced with a choice of an overbump or row over, we pushed on and gained on Homerton, coming within a length and a half by grassy.

Unfortunately LMBC went for a big push as we approached the corner and as we were slowing down round the bend they crashed into us, making for a spectacular, albeit painful, bump.

A bump from Maggie was not what we were hoping for today, but we're heading into tomorrow with a steely determination not to get spoons.

Uploaded Saturday 11th June, 9:07

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Ben Williams reports:

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Day 1: Chasing Darwin III, chased by Caius IV

While many had attempted to describe bumps in the lowest division, none had truly managed to capture the absolute carnage that it brought. Equipped with face paint, a host of spare unisuits and some yellow hair chalk (Jamil abstaining on the basis he had a hat), M4 arrived at the lock full of promise. The sun was shining, all the other boats were late and as of 20 minutes before everyone had finished their exams (kudos to Will for coming straight to the boat house post natsci finale).

As for the race itself, unfortunately it didn't go quite to plan. Having waited over half an hour everyone was feeling jittery, and this showed in our start. We struggled to get any clean strokes, yet miraculously were gaining on Darwin ahead. It is the beauty, but also the ruthlessness, of bumps that while you may be faster than the guys ahead, if the same is true for those behind nothing else really matters. Caius caught us when we were less than two feet behind Darwin, everyone's first bump slipping tantalisingly out of our grasp.

We returned to the boat house having not done ourselves justice and, whatever the result this week, that is what we intend to do.

Day 3: Chasing LMBC V, chased by Robinson III

All still disappointed at how the week had turned out so far, a determined M4 crew arrived at the boathouse determined to turn it around. The race plan was set out, and the feel arriving first at the lock was one of confidence but also (unsurprisingly) nerves. Thankfully the division was running to schedule, so no jittery waits on the bank for the first cannon. How quickly those four minutes goes. Our start was good, strongly pushing away and keeping up with the crews ahead. The first stretch between the motorway bridge and first post felt good but slightly rushed, seeing Robinson start to creep up behind. Where on previous days we had started to fall at the corner, today we lengthened our strokes and actually settled into a much nicer rhythm. Some excellent calls from Lydia and the sheer force of willpower to avoid spoons meant we started to pull away, and by the time we had reached Ditton Robinson were firmly behind us. Halfway down the reach the pain was really kicking in, but with any chasing crews way off in the distance each crew member wanted to show off the work they had put in during term. Cheered on by W3 and W4, nobody gave up until the ultimate "easy there" call - good job guys.

Tomorrow is our day.

Uploaded Friday 10th June, 23:37

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4th Women's VIII

Bow: Vashti Davies, 2: Ran Huo, 3: Danielle Saunders, 4: Niamh Gibbons, 5: Marta Uncio‑Ribera, 6: Rachael Young, 7: Katie Irwin, Stroke: Betsy‑Ann Ward, Cox: Jing Jin

DOWN 6 - Day 1: Bumped by Magdalene II, Day 2: Overbumped by Homerton II, Day 3: "Bumped" by LMBC III, Day 4: Bumped by Magdalene III

Rachael Young reports:

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Day 3 - Chasing Lucy Hughes, chased by LMBC

We rowed down to station with a strong, well-ratioed steady-state – discovering mere minutes before the race how to get the perfect ratio! Unfortunately this late-stage discovery meant that when the starting gun fired, we forgot our epiphany and settled back into the race pace that got us onto Bumps but has not yet so far kept off a boat for longer than until the Reach. We began to gain on Lucy Hughes, getting up to a boat length away from them slowly and steadily (allowing Lydia to use the whistle!!); however, behind us Maggie got off to a strong start and a strong “fly” portion of the “fly and die” scheme. Before the motorway bridge, they had us at canvas – but could not close the distance any further for a solid ten or more strokes. This might have signalled that they were reaching the “die” portion of their strategy – but ahead of us carnage loomed, with Sidney’s atrocious crab having blocked up the entire river behind them. As Jing slowed, afraid for our lives, Maggie closed canvas and ran their bow over our stern; but the marshals must not have noticed that this slowing was due to the fuckup ahead, and when the meeting was called to determine the conditions of the rerow, our marshal claimed that Maggie had overlap on us (and of course the Maggie bank party vigorously agreed…) Nigel and Gripper had already fought the marshals to win W3 a technical row-over, and so felt they couldn’t stand against a marshal’s word on this matter. We had to accept the technical bump from Maggie, and were forced to row home as they obnoxiously blared celebratory music over the coxbox.

Uploaded Friday 10th June, 23:14

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Betsy-Ann Ward reports:

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Day 2 – Chasing Magdalene, Chased by Lucy Cav/ Hughes Hall W3 (Lucy Hall)

Edith said we need to tell the world what a great row we had today, so let me start at the beginning…

We set off from the boathouse, race faces on, feeling much calmer than yesterday, with everyone benefiting from now having at least one day’s bumps experience, and it really showed in our beautiful row down! After marshalling (no need to mention the parking drama!) and giving The Kraken an inspiring drum roll and perfectly-in-time “YELLOW FIREEE!” cheer (we’re getting really good at those), it was soon time for our practice start: the best practice start ever seen (Jing, 2016). We were rowing well and feeling good, ready to give it our best shot!

So the cannon fired and we were off to a good start, but it wasn’t long before Lucy Hall had one whistle on us. Horrifying flashbacks from yesterday’s race sprung to mind, could it be about to happen again?! No. We stayed strong and pushed off Lucy Hall, keeping them at a boat’s length away for at least a minute before Wolfson W2 finished them off with a bump before 1st post corner – phew! Jing called a reset and we settled into a more controlled rhythm along the gut, but it soon became clear that the race wasn’t over yet, as Homerton W2 appered around the corner. We powered on around Grassy Corner, barely noticing the roars of the crowds, giving everything to keep Homerton away, but they were now about 2 lengths behind and were slowly gaining on us. When we got to the Reach, Jing called another magical reset and a power 10, by this point Homerton were getting dangerously close but we never gave up, pushing off them as much as we could, hoping against hope to stave them off until the end of the course. Unfortunately Homerton were just too fast and they bumped us in the 2nd half of the Reach :( fair play to them. Nevertheless we had a row that we can be seriously proud of (rating between 31 and 34 the whole time!) – yeah girls! #rowhardorgohome.

Colin the Caterpillar cake was eagerly awaiting our arrival at the boathouse and after a lovely crew picnic on Grassy Corner, we finished the day with probably the classiest crew meal in the history of bumps, at Clare Formal, where the one and only David Ponting wished us well. We’re really hoping for some greenery soon, surely our luck has to change before long? Lucy Hall, we’re coming for you!

Uploaded Friday 10th June, 10:14

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Edith Ross reports:

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Day 1 - Chasing Queens III, chased by Magdalene II - Katie Irwin reports:

This was the first bumps for all of us apart from Betsy-Ann, so we were grateful for her last minute advice as we got the boat out: “The cannon can be loud but don’t worry, you don’t need your ears for rowing”. After a triple motivational pep talk from Jing, Edith and Lydia, we were ready to take on anything, and set off to marshal sporting our newly-perfected race faces.

The row down was focussed and well-sat, and we waited in place for a few minutes, listening to the cannons count down (no one was deafened, thankfully). The final cannon sounded, Jing dropped the chain thing, and so it began. We were in time, putting down pressure and moving fast. We were off to a good start. Unfortunately, Magdalene II were off to a better start. We managed to hold them off for a few strokes, but they had us bumped within about 30 seconds.

Although our first taste of bumps racing was very short and not-so-sweet, we are looking forward to trying again tomorrow. Magdalene, watch out!

Uploaded Wednesday 8th June, 23:06

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5th Men's VIII

Bow: Amaru Araya‑Williams, 2: Michelangelo Chini, 3: Matthew Wong, 4: Geoff Macintyre (Tit Hall), 5: John Clay, 6: Eliot Lynch/Tom Hilbourne, 7: Tai Anwar, Stroke: Hector Newman, Cox: Imani McEwen

FOOT OF THE RIVER - Day 1: Overbumped by Hughes Hall III, Day 2: Rowed Over, Day 3: Rowed Over, Day 4: Rowed Over

Freddie Benham-Crosswell reports:

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Day 1:

Report by Matthew Wong

We arrived at our start point earlier than almost anyone else, where our newly-minted custom designed Kraken Krew T-shirts were waiting for us. After some minor confusion when the canon went off, the Kraken was off on its way! We were steadily gaining on Robinson and at one point managed to get the first whistle, but various malfunctions ultimately doomed the effort - our brand-new shirts were getting caught in the sliders, some of us caught crabs and someone caught a tree after we got too close to the bank. Hughes Hall may have overbumped us, but the Kraken will rise again for there is now nowhere to go but UP!

Day 2:

Report by Amaru Araya-Williams

After the disappointment of yesterday, we all felt the need to try to get some pride back and put in a performance worthy of the Kraken’s name. With a rousing speech from Hilbourne, drawing strength from the triumphs of the Jamaican Bobleigh Team (Cool Runnings is a brilliant film), and from Fred, the knowledge that typically the Kraken strikes from the deepest depths of the ocean (or rather, the tail end of the river), we were pumped. Ultimately, it is likely this excitement lead to our downfall, as another really scrappy start resulted in Mici and his seat ending up in Bow’s – my – lap (I mean, at least buy me a drink first!). After having caught a crab in shock, bow pair recovered, but we lost a length or so to Jesus ahead. We were able to keep them honest with them unable to pull away from us and we did some of our cleanest rowing to date, but we weren’t able to close them down and so we both rowed over. We know that if we achieve the clean, strong start that we do regularly in practice, we can really put the Jesus crew under pressure, until they Krak(en).

Day 3:

Report by Michelangelo Chini

After deciding that the previous two days had been nothing but a warm up, the Kraken komrades decided it was time to bump Jesus once and for all. The race began with a decent start and soon the crew reached the first and second whistles. Unbalance and excitement caused some komrades to miss a considerable number of catches, resulting in Jesus managing to distance themselves. Following the first turn the Kraken was back on the target and before the Plough managed to get the two whistles again, but tiredness, starting to tighten its grip on the lot, reduced both power and accuracy, allowing Jesus to distance themselves. Approaching the railway bridge, the decision was taken to lower the rhythm, allowing the crew to go back to more precise rowing, yet abandoning the dream of a bump to the next day. Though the higher aim was not achieved, the Kraken gave one of its best performances up to date and, surprising as it may seem, had no accident.

Day 4:

Report by John Clay

Coming into the final day of racing, the Kraken was rowing smoothly, and feeling confident in their ability to chase down Jesus in front of them. However, in the aftermath of their may ball, Robinson's M3 were swiftly caught by Jesus, pulling over just around the first corner, leaving the Kraken a long row ahead trying for an overbump. It was the best rowing they'd done by a landslide. The crew was moving smoothly together, and were gaining well on LMBC 4, but unfortunately they ran out of river with just a couple of lengths to go, thereby defending their position at the tail of the river. However, just looking at the pure result doesn't account for the achievement that this set of bumps has represented for the Kraken. The members of the crew can be very proud of the way they rowed, because neither Jesus or LMBC could ever stop pushing for risk of being caught and a boat in which half the crew were novices from this term getting on at all is no small achievement.

Uploaded Sunday 12th June, 19:26

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