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Lent Bumps 2015

Tuesday 24th - Saturday 28th February

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

1st Men's VIII

Bow: Richard Gunning, 2: Ed Oughton, 3: Callum McKenzie, 4: Ross Buckingham, 5: Anders Kjemtrup, 6: Ben Evans, 7: Andrzej Hunt, Stroke: Jon Swain, Cox: Esther Momcilovic

Day 1: Bumped by Robinson, Day 2: Rowed over, Day 3: Rowed over, Day 4: Bumped by Fitzwilliam

Esther Momcilovic reports:


Day One

Chasing King's, being chased by Robinson

We had a great row down - if nerves were present, they weren't showing in the paddling or bursts. Our start was one of the best we've done all term - powerful and together, hitting 43 then onto rhythm at a nippy 38. Midway through our start sequence we got one whistle on King's, thanks to Anton's excellent push-off, with Robinson just inside station behind us. We continued to move on King's as we came down First Post Reach, gaining to 3/4 length, and then getting the second whistle just as we came up to First Post Corner. Unfortunately, several things went wrong at this point: Robinson made a big move, which began to put more pressure on us as they moved to half a length away. King's were generating rough water and (we must hold our hands up to this) we didn't row the corner well. The boat was unsettled and the catches not as sharp as they could have been. As we came out of First Post Corner, we were still on 2 whistles with King's, but Robinson had moved to a canvas away. We tried to lift but didn't quite have the breathing space we needed to come out to length and lift with confidence. Robinson made another strong move, and my back became acquainted with their bowball. I decided to concede before the relationship became any more intimate.

The result was disappointing, but we shouldn't be too disheartened by the row. We were a fast crew that had the misfortune to have a very fast crew behind us. Our aim for the rest of the week is to hold off Emma tomorrow, then go for the crews that Robinson will hopefully send down!

Day Two

Chasing Robinson, being chased by Emma

Our start today was even cleaner than yesterday. We moved rapidly out of the blocks and settled onto a slightly more relaxed rhythm, allowing us to get the length and composure which were a little absent yesterday. We actually moved into Robinson by about a quarter of a length, though they were swiftly gaining whistles on Girton. Around First Post Corner, King's bumped Catz and Girton and Robinson both ground to a halt close behind (the latter two re-rowing later, resulting in a bump on Girton). As a consequence, we had to steer wide round First Post, allowing Emma to move in a little. We weren't perturbed though, and a confident lift brought us back outside station on Emma. We held this confidence throughout the rest of the course. Despite a somewhat ambitious whistle from Emma, they never got closer than 1 1/4 lengths, and we moved out to 2 lengths on the Reach. It was a confident, powerful row which had consistency and determination. Tomorrow we're going for the bump on Girton - let's do this!

Day Three

Chasing Girton, being chased by Emma

After having missed the bump on Girton last Lents, there was an element of the personal vendetta about today for some of the crew. We knew we were faster than King's, who had bumped Girton on Day One, and we knew Emma were no threat behind us. The cannon went, and another strong start had us moving quickly into Girton. We got one whistle on First Post Reach and two as we came round Grassy. Our corner wasn't great but a strong push onto Plough Reach kept us chomping into their water. Coming out of Ditton, we made a lift and closed down to three whistles. (I even at one point heard the familiar clunk as Anton adjusted the bell...). Sadly, bumps isn't just about being faster - you have to close the deal. We sat on 3 whistles, so close to the bell for about 50m, but just didn't have the control required in the rough water to make the final push. Girton (full credit to them) kept their calm and held us at bay. We crossed the line just outside 3 whistles on them. Frustrating.

Day Four

Chasing Girton, being chased by Fitzwilliam

It was a bit of a bugger, the way this Lents worked out. Today we found ourselves chasing Girton, a crew we knew we could bump, who were chasing Catz, the very definition of a spoon barge. Behind us we had a Fitz crew that were on for blades. The stars were not aligned in our favour! Sure enough, Girton bumped Catz before First Post Corner (goddammit why couldn't we have started maybe one place higher!). We were left to slog it out and hold off Fitz. Three times they came in to about a quarter of a length and three times we pushed them away back to half. We were rowing the best we had all week - strong pushes, confident finishes. Our Grassy was tight and we had the inside line compared to Fitz. Unfortunately, this meant that as we came out onto Plough Reach, with Fitz edging for overlap, they could claim the inside of Ditton. To have steered a tight line would have been suicide, as they'd have clipped our stern. It was time for a wide one. I steered out on Ditton, bow four responding amazingly to my calls to take us wide but keep us poised ready for the turn. It was crunch time. Fitz made a surge - they were steering for the bump. Their bows sailed over our stern - we were going to escape!....alas, a small nudge as they just clipped us, landed, and promptly crashed into the outside of the corner. I valiantly ignored the bump (can you blame me...?) until the marshals informed us that in fact that was a bump and can you please stop rowing Clare and trying to pretend it wasn't. Unlucky. According to the umpire, had we been on the surge, with our stern lower in the water, or had we had a foot more ground on them, they'd have missed us and crashed and we'd have got away. Such is bumps. Hats off to Fitz for a great bump and well done on their blades.

And so we find ourselves down 2, a result that I don't really feel reflects the ability of the crew. We were bumped by two very fast crews that got blades. Above us are at least 3 crews that we're faster than, and at least 2 that we could have bumped if we'd been a bit luckier (/a bit less spazzy). Roll on the Mays!

Uploaded Monday 2nd March, 10:55


1st Women's VIII

Bow: Riana Betzler, 2: Lydia Price, 3: Olivia Jenkins, 4: Anna Zeugner, 5: Mateja Sborchia, 6: Edith Ross, 7: Chrysoula Litina, Stroke: Imogen Sharkey Ochoa, Cox: Tom Watson

Day 1: Bumped by Jesus, Day 2: Rowed over, Day 3: Bumped by Queens', Day 4: Bumped by Newnham

Tom Watson reports:


Day 1 - Bumped by Jesus:

Well that went exactly as expected. To be fair, sandwiched between what have consistently been the two fastest women's boats this term, anything other than being bumped would have been a minor miracle. Still a few positives to take away from it though - we had by far the best start we've ever done, and gave Christ's a bit of a shock as we had a whistle on them before Jesus got one on us. Unfortunately they did a big push around first post corner with Downing in their sights, and we just didn't have that extra gear. Despite Jesus bearing down hard on us through the gut we kept our composure and made them earn every inch they gained, eventually conceding shortly after Grassy. It's easy to say after the fact, but getting onto Plough Reach was all I was really hoping for today and we (just about) managed it thanks to some of our best rowing this term. Now we can look to the next three days, with the same game plan as M1.

Day 2 - Rowed over:

After the most stressful prelude any race has ever had, arising from an absurd series of individually innocuous events that ended with me screaming at W2 to give me their lifejacket or else we'd get disqualified, we settled in fairly well on the row up and were ready to race. It felt a little less together today, partly from what had gone before and partly the fact that the outcome of today's race wasn't a foregone conclusion, but apparently we looked better from the bank so maybe a little disruption can be a good thing. Either way I'd rather not let it happen again. As for the race itself, we kept it nice all the way to Ditton - I wasn't looking back but Caius never got a whistle on us so we were never in much danger. Unfortunately, as expected we weren't able to get a whistle on Jesus either. The pairs either side of us bumped out along Plough Reach, and by halfway down the long reach our only non-rowover option was a double overbump in either direction which looked unlikely. So we settled down to about rate 30 to save our strength for tomorrow. A solid performance today, bring on the next race.

Day 3 - Bumped by Queens':

Perhaps the worst aspect of bumps is that your starting position is determined by the results of previous years. I have no doubt that if we'd started off a little lower in the division, we'd be looking at blades tomorrow. Unfortunately the luck of the draw has been squarely against us - Queens' beat Christ's in Bedford Head, and Christ's are now head of the river. Nonetheless we put in a fine performance, holding them at a length until the end of Plough Reach, when they came in for the kill and took the bump coming out of Ditton. The challenge now is to forget about the result and bring the same enthusiasm and energy we had today to day 4, and go to BCD with our heads held high.

Day 4 - Bumped by Newnham: pretty much sums it up.

Newnham came out of the blocks going hell for leather, and at the end of the day I think they wanted a third bump more than we wanted a second rowover. We stayed strong until the wind hit us around first post, we faltered a little, they smelled blood and charged in for the kill.

Well, now we know the job that's waiting for us next term. The last few weeks have been a fairly frustrating time, with various wrinkles to iron out and complications affecting our training, and we took a little longer to get off the ground than would have been ideal. More important is that we still have a huge amount of potential; we didn't quite unlock it this term, but there's a lot of time between now and Mays in which to do so. As long as we use the memory of the last four days to spur us on to better things next time, it was worth it. Cave adsum.

Uploaded Saturday 28th February, 17:51


Chrysoula Litina reports:


Day 2 - Row over

Chasing Jesus, being chased by Caius

Where to start from.....after a very very very stressful start from the boathouse, first looking for our cox, then looking for a life jacket, me needing my heart medication.... we got our heads in the game and casually paddled down to the starting position. Even closer to the canon, half deaf by 1min, and with a startled first stroke, we had a start that felt a bit jumpier than the first day, but according to the bank looked cleaner... (I am never satisfied so expect negativity :P). We moved rapidly and settled in a good 36, had a wide first corner...Riana is too strong at bow making it seem as if Caius were getting closer, but let's be honest they had problems of their own with Queen's regal rowing behind them. We never let it drop and didn't let them get close enough, doing builds in and out of the corners. After a very tight Grassy, to show off to our fans on the bank, we were clear ahead of Caius and they got bumped. After that we just settled into our own nice little rhythm and rowed rowed rowed our boat all the way to the finish line. It was a fierce, commited row. Looking forward to round 3 and the hunt, and getting some magenta blood on my blade!!!! YELLOW (blood thirsty) FIRE!!!

Uploaded Friday 27th February, 9:57


2nd Men's VIII

Bow: Karel Nanninga, 2: James Henderson, 3: Euan Beck, 4: Ollie Rusk, 5: Dominic Schröder, 6: Robin Elliott, 7: Louis Tate, Stroke: Fred Benham‑Crosswell, Cox: Clement Chan

Day 1: Bumped Peterhouse II, Day 2: Bumped Hughes Hall I, Day 3: Bumped St. Catharine's II, Day 4: Bumped St. Edmund's I, Bumped Emmanuel II (to get up into div.2 and claim super-blades!)

Robin Elliott reports:


Day 4 - Bumped St. Edmunds I, Bumped Emmanuel II

With sombre determination, we gathered round under the flagpole for a pre-race chat. We knew what we had to do and what it meant to us, and the rest of the club. We rowed down focussed, with a touch more nerves than previous days. An absolute beamer of a practice start at the plough put us in high spirits, along with the sea of yellow at grassy.

Our start was shaky, and boat behind us started moving up into our water. This didn't make much of a difference though - the first whistle came well before first post corner, and then more flew by. A bell around first post corner and a tidy bump just into the gut. To those sitting at grassy, apologies that we didn't make it that far.

With four bumps in hand and our best race yet, we were now sandwich boat, having to play our hand in the second Division. Time for Level 2.

After consuming enough food to feed a small Bulgarian village, we headed down to the lock for our final race of bumps. There were only two possible outcomes for us - a bump, or a row over. I think it's safe to say we all would have been happy with either. The start was fast, but so was Emma's. We briefly got a whistle near the beginning but it faded away - this was unlike any other race we had had. But from some sterling calls and by now well-honed racing lines, we managed to work our way from being four lengths behind Emma to two and a half coming into the reach. After minutes of silence, the first whistle came somewhere into the reach, and we all went into overdrive. Two whistles, three whistles, and then we exploded at the sound of the bell, with a surge like nothing before. We bumped just a few hundred metres from the railway bridge with the best finish of our campaign.

They say good crews go up three, and lucky crews up four. Well boys, we went up five.

Uploaded Saturday 28th February, 16:46


Clement Chan reports:


Day 2 - Bumped Hughes Hall I

Fantastic display from the crew today, who overcame quite a poor showing from me to bump Hughes Hall I. We started out strongly, taking advantage of a slightly delayed start from Hughes Hall to get a whistle on them. We continued to gain on them, getting a second whistle and then a bell as we came out First Post Corner. However, I made a large mistake on Grassy Corner and while it would have been easier to crash into Hughes Hall, I tried to take line around them, losing a lot of speed and over two boat lengths of clear water. The crew did regroup very quickly after the bend and we got back to two whistles by Ditton Corner. Our bow was overlapping with their stern a couple of strokes down the reach and when they finally conceded, our bow was aligned with their five seat. I thought that was a gutsy performance from the guys and I do apologize for the extra kilometre you guys had to row for the bump. Same thing tomorrow, and let's chase down Catz II!

Day 3 - Bumped St. Catharine's II I

The crew was once again wonderful while my performance again left much to be desired. We started strong and by First Post Corner, we got our first whistle. After a tight corner, we got three whistles and continued to gain on them. However, I took too tight of a line on the wrong side of First Post Reach and subsequently followed a wide line around Grassy. While Catz was't able to pull away, we lost momentum. The crew showed great spirit to once again be within a metre half way through Plough Reach and when we finally got the bell, we did a massive surge to force the Catz cox to concede around Ditton. While it probably should have been easier, we got the job done and we can look forward to an exciting last day of Bumps.

Uploaded Friday 27th February, 17:37


2nd Women's VIII

Bow: Anna O'Brien, 2: Robyn Hamer, 3: Samantha Passmore, 4: Julia Kelsoe, 5: Charlotte McGarry, 6: Anna Peel, 7: Rosie Boxall, Stroke: Anna Ritchie, Cox: Jordan Sandberg

Day 1: Bumped by St Edmund's, Day 2: Bumped FaT II & Rowed Over, Day 3: Rowed over & rowed over, Day 4: Rowed over & rowed over

Anna Ritchie reports:


Despite the driving rain and the fact that our cox, fresh off a root canal, was struggling to pronounce her consonants we were all hopeful that today would make up for yesterday’s disappointment. The nerves were definitely felt off the start, culminating in a small yet impressive crab from myself (I thought i’d add a bit more excitement to the mix), but luckily the rest of the crew ignored the foolishness going on at the front of the boat and we managed to get it back together. We held off Wolfson who were trying to creep up on us, kept the rate high to gain steadily on FaT and with a massive push at the three whistle signal, bumped them before First Post Corner. The first bump for the vast majority of the crew - lots of excitement!

Now becoming the sandwich boat, spirits were slightly dampened (literally) by a long wet wait to row at the bottom of the next division. We knew something big would need to happen to bump St Edmunds who had got us yesterday, and unfortunately today was not our day. Coming round Ditton it was clear we weren’t going to catch anyone - Rosie however was undeterred and pushed so hard that she snapped her seat off. Leisurely rowed the rest of the course with bow six, whilst Rosie happily brandished her trophy at all of the crews waiting for the next division, who were definitely all suitably impressed.

Uploaded Thursday 26th February, 23:10


3rd Men's VIII

Bow: Ben Leitch, 2: Matthew Coates, 3: Tai Anwar, 4: Hector Newman, 5: Olivier Grouille, 6: Matt Simpson, 7: Adam Sanders, Stroke: Toby Roeder, Cox: Lydia Price

Day 1: Bumped Jesus III; Day 2: Bumped by Jesus III; Day 3: Bumped by Peterhouse III; Day 4: Rowed Over

Tobias Roeder reports:


Day Four

Chasing Peterhouse

The last day of Bumps began inauspicious. Just after pushing off, Olivier’s foot-plate came loose again. So, we pulled back in, tried to fix it, pushed off again, still trying to fix it and rowed down in fours finally fixing it around the White Bridge. According to the unwritten rule that important people come late, we had pulled into our starting position only a few minutes before the 4 minutes cannon for the last days. Today, we actually managed to enjoy the full roaring beauty of it, while spinning under the Motorway Bridge. Pulling in just before the 1 minute cannon, Anton pushed us back out. The start cannon took us somewhat by surprise, but as an experienced crew, we still got it together. Some solid rowing kept us at the same length behind Peterhouse, but Fitzwilliam fell into their hands before we could catch up on them. This did not make us falter and we put up a good show for the audience at Grassy and the Plough. Lydia apparently enjoyed it so much that she had us row about 300 m past our Finish line on the Reach. On the row back, stern pair provided further entertainment with a performance of “Piano Man” (as ordered by the cox). With the last day of Lent Bumps completed and BCD ahead of us, we can look back on some hard, committed rowing, with a fat portion of bad luck and some incompetent umpiring.

Uploaded Saturday 28th February, 17:40


Ben Leitch reports:


Day Two

Chasing Robinson, being chased by Jesus

The crew set off from the boathouse in high hopes, despite the pouring down rain. Having just lost our bump virginity, we were confident that we could catch an already defeated Robinson III crew. Arriving just as the 4 minute canon sounded, we were a bit agitated and lost our nerve slightly, and with only Anton as our bank party member, we didn't get a proper count down. As the final canon went off, we made a strong start, but let the pressure off too early. At Grassy, Jesus were closing in on us, but we held them for a long time at about half a boat length. When they were at a canvas they surged forward and attempted to hit our stern with their bow, but they missed, steering them off course (oh... like they did yesterday!). Taking advantage of the situation, - Peterhouse looked like they had bumped Jesus since both boats stopped - we made a recovery and rowed over.

At least that's what we thought.

The umpire gave us warning for not conceding to Jesus, despite there being enough space between us to outpace them and, consequently, awarded Jesus III a bump. Since we did not contest the result straight away, the result was made final. Obviously, we were annoyed and later contested with the chief umpire, who, after 'observing the bump', clearly needs to take a visit to Specsavers. All in all, a disappointing ending to an already dreary day.

Day Three

Chasing Jesus (again), being chased by Peterhouse

Still feeling the negativity from yesterday's controversial bump, we needed to make sure we pulled together to bump Jesus back or, as Lydia our cox told us "Crew-cify them". Whilst we weren't willing to get the hammers and nails out just yet, we did need a spanner to fix some problems with our 5 seat, Olivier's, footplate. With a delayed push off, we rowed nicely down to the Reach and practised the best start we've ever done. We confidently prepared ourselves for the start and, on the cannon, began together nicely, lengthening out well. However, like yesterday, our pressure faulted and Peterhouse gained on us early. But that wasn't the problem. At bow, I noticed that one our bowsider's blades was going all over the place. Olivier wasn't taking long enough strokes and the boat was unbalanced. About 200m before Grassy, Peterhouse III bumped us. However, on banking up Olivier lifted up an unworthy trophy into the air: his footplate. It had come off after the winds and he had ingeniously been holding on to dear life with his feet pressed into the sides of the boat. We were bumped yes, but getting as far as we did with a Frenchman panicking in the middle of the boat sort of makes up for it. On reflection, it was mentioned that we may have rowed even better! Something to think about for tomorrow...

Uploaded Friday 27th February, 16:21


Adam Sanders reports:


Bumps is kind of like Game of Thrones, but with less sex and more terrified and confused ducks. Crews vie with each other in an eternal struggle to prove their worth; to settle old grudges and form new ones; and to see which crew boasts the greatest incompetence. With that in mind, we set out to show that we were the House Baratheon to Jesus M3's House Targaryen (I think, I've never actually watched Game of Thrones. In retrospect this was a poor choice of simile).

Anyway, it was an uncharacteristically warm afternoon and we arrived at our marshalling point fully relaxed and ready to race. Anton gave us some words of advice, but I can't remember what they were. We were pushed off in good time and given a twenty second countdown by the gorgeous Jon Swain, but despite this the fully predictable starting cannon still caught us by surprise and our start was fairly awful - at least half of the crew pulled an air stroke during the start sequence, allowing Peterhouse to make an early move against us.

On the plus side, we're better than Peterhouse, so this wasn't really an issue. We quickly opened up the gap between us, whilst reeling in Jesus M3. This may have alarmed Jesus, as their cox responded by attempting a frankly ambitious shortcut that involved not steering around First Post corner. Granted, this line was much shorter as the crow flies, and dispenses of the need to steer the difficult line around Grassy, but it's worth bearing in mind that one of the key differences between boats and crows is that boats don't fly.

Needless to say, whilst Jesus had effectively proven that the ability to walk on water is not a guarantee that you can steer on it, we breezed past with peccable technique to seal Clare's first bump of the week. This was also the first bump for everyone in the boat bar myself and Liv, because we are clearly better than other people.

We finished off day one with a leisurely paddle back to the boathouse, during which I took the time to wave at my many adoring fans. Unfortunately, disaster struck at the last possible moment as Ben 'Saboteur' Leitch neglected to remove his greenery before exiting the boat, dooming us to an unlucky bumps week if you believe in that sort of thing, which apparently Ben does not.

Adam 'Saxman' Sanders signing out.

Uploaded Wednesday 25th February, 22:56