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Lent Bumps 2008

Tuesday 26th February - Saturday 1st March

Previous event: Pembroke Regatta - Following event: Cardinals Regatta

1st Men's VIII

Bow: David Hardeman, 2: Matt Causier, 3: Will Kerr‑Muir, 4: Ed Day, 5: Chris Baker, 6: Ben Evans, 7: Wanne Kromdijk, Stroke: David O'Brien, Cox: David Jones

UP 3 - Day 1: Bumped Trinity Hall, Day 2: Bumped Emmanuel, Day 3: Bumped Caius, Day 4: Rowed over

Paddy O'Furniture reports:


Tap o' tha morning to you!

The first ting Oi knew about bumps was being dragged out of the pub at some unruly hour (Oi tink it was about tree o'clack in the afternoon) on Wednesday and put in a boat. Oi'd been in der since Saturday and was getting quite friendly with the barmaid/barman (Oi can't tell after a few points).

Anyway, dey told me dat if Oi rowed harder, Oi could go back to the pub sooner. So Oi did.

On Wednesday Oi gat very angry because the black Trinity Hall blades reminded me of my half-finished point of Guinness, so dat was a quick race.

On Tursday Oi gat very angry again, Oi don't know why, I was still drunk. It took langer to race becase Oi'd forgatten me hipflarsk.

On Friday Oi discovered Ouzo. Just what y'need to wake you up in the marnin. After a few shats of that Oi was darn the pab for breakfarst until the ambulance arrived to take me to the bootharse. It was very windy, this remoinded me of a song by U2, Oi carn't remember which one though because they all sound the same. Anyway Oi tart I sarr Ronan Keating on the bank cheering on Caius, so Oi tart "Dat darned sell-out Keating, Oi'll get you for dis". And he stole me hipflarsk. Dat made me angry so we bumped again.

Darn pub ran out of Guinness on Saturday morning. Had to drink Fosters.

Uploaded Saturday 8th March, 10:55


David O'Brien reports:


Day 1:

To expand on Will's concise account:

A rapid practice start, probably the fastest we've done, maybe not the neatest(?). I was more than happy with the rates, I believe we hit 45 and finished at 39. Dave, correct me if I'm wrong.

Some solid paddling on to station. Generally good throughout the row up (including bumping Churchill on the reach - see video) and row home.

The race wasn't ideal. A reasonable start until we hit the rough water. We never really felt cohesive. I inevitably lost some of the feel for the rhythm in the chop but I think we could have remained more 'in control'.

Day 2:

That was the badger.

Day 3:

That was another equally fast, powerful, stripey and nocturnal mammal. Racoon maybe?

Day 4:

Well, we stuck to the plan, we gave it all we had. I felt backed up all the way. Jesus had a bit of a blinder according to their own bank party (and ours). They obviously felt that an overall result of down two was worth fighting for. Either that or they really didn't want us to get blades. Anyway, they were as fast as us on the day and never really let us progress through the signals. We had one whistle on and off but no more. Good job guys. I'm proud to have rowed with this crew.

Some stats:

Highest position for M1 in lents since: 1985.

Bumps program prediction: down ~3

First 'good' result of term: Pembroke Regatta

Number of years of massively exceeding all expectations: 2

Men/women symmetry rating: 8/8

Uploaded Sunday 2nd March, 17:42


Will Kerr-Muir reports:


Day 1: Good result, badly executed.

Day 2: Good result, well executed.

Day 3: Good result, well executed.

Day 4: Not the intended result, but reasonably well executed.

Uploaded Saturday 1st March, 18:16


Philip Garsed reports:


Day 1

From my perspective on the bank: A reasonably fast start, immediately dropping the chasing Churchill crew. However, seemed to rest on laurels slightly and the gap closed slower than expected. Keeping a good line around the corner ate distance from Trinity Hall, until the race was finished with a signature Clare "KILL!". Whilst perhaps improvement could have been made technically, a solid and committed if not fantastically neat row.

Uploaded Thursday 28th February, 17:54


Photos of the 1st Men's VIII: click to view full size. (see all 19 photos of this crew)

Videos of the 1st Men's VIII: click to watch the video. (see all four videos of this crew)


Clare M1 Bump Emma

Clare coming round Ditton and bumping Emma


end of their practice start

Wednesday: on the reach - the very end of their practice start

1st Women's VIII

Bow: LJ Michie, 2: Clare Sutherland, 3: Laura Cato, 4: Márti Malaj, 5: Nicola Pocock, 6: Katie King, 7: Catherine Smith, Stroke: Alice McNamara, Cox: David Ponting

DOWN 3 - Day 1: Bumped by Emmanuel, Day 2: Bumped by Downing, Day 3: Bumped by Caius, Day 4: Rowed over

Alice McNamara reports:


Day One

6 weeks of planning, training, anticipation and debate – who is faster? Jesus? Clare? Emma? Unfortunately, I don’t really know the answer yet

Our row up was controlled and smooth, and while our practise starts were nervous and a little frantic, they were still pretty good. However, the real start was beautiful, hard and fast. We held Emma at arms-length and by the end of the start we were half a length up on Jesus. Our rhythm call had been a matter of great debate and I made a big effort to enforce a big gear change, knocking a couple of pips off the rate to leave us with something more sustainable. Emma stayed generously on station – we didn’t zoom off, but we were edging away. We raced down First Post Reach and suddenly the boat lurched dramatically to bow side. A crab in the middle of the boat brought us to a shuddering and sudden halt. Within a few strokes, Emma were on us and it was all over.

We cleared quickly and sat licking our wounds, only to have Downing, who has started 3 stations back, plough into us at full tilt, leaving a large chunk of Downing boat in my blade.

On the way back the radio commentary noted that on our way down the Long Reach we started massive gaining on Peterhouse I, still racing while we were simply paddling home!

So, the question as to who the fastest at the top of W1 really wasn’t answered. It’s still up in the air as to how all the crews will do over the whole course. Everything to play for on Day Two.

Day Two

“…That was one of the best rows I have seen a Clare crew do in years…” Nick Acock

Well, who was faster? Emma? Clare? Jesus? Only one answer to that… CLARE! Unfortunately, I was asking the wrong question.

The start today found us a lot more calm and relaxed, but at the same time, focused. Our start was good. I’m very pleased how the starts have come together over these last few days. We settled at a high 37 (isn’t adrenaline amazing?) but we had the length. We got the whistle coming out of our start although we failed to capitalise on this advantage. Round First Post Corner and the through the Gut we held – half a length up on Emma, on station with Downing.

Emma went wide on Grassy and again we failed to capitalise, but we were hard on their heels, spurred on by a massive cheer from the bank. We took a good line out of the corner, and although Downing took a lovely tight line, we were still holding them. However, down Plough Reach we began to flag.

David took a beautiful line around Ditton, but Downing had slowly begun to creep up on us and a minute or so down the Reach, Emma bumped out. Finally, Downing went in for the kill. Perhaps we could have pushed harder and gone completely balls out, but neither did we panic or quit.

I must be the happiest person on the river that got bumped today! We proved that we deserve to be up there with the big boys (so to speak.) Jesus should be very scared and I’m sure we gave Emma pause for thought when the whistles started blowing. Yes, there are things to improve on, but I think everyone should be damn proud of our performance.

Day Three

If it was easy, everyone would do it.

It wasn’t really a long enough row to form an opinion. We hit the start hard, but tense and obviously without enough control. 20 strokes and two crabs later and Cauis, scenting blood, closed. Soon it was all over.

So, one day left ladies. This is our final chance to prove our quality. Let’s go out there and do it.

Day Four

Finally! It wasn't our best row, but it got us our best result - such is the fickle nature of bumps.

We've learned a lot this week... BRING ON THE MAYS...

Uploaded Tuesday 11th March, 14:09


Photos of the 1st Women's VIII: click to view full size. (see all 17 photos of this crew)

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


Thurs - practice start

Thursday - practice start at the plough


Thurs W1 - top 5 crews

Thursday - W1 from grassy - FaT, Jesus, Emma, Clare, Downing

2nd Men's VIII

Bow: Jan‑Henning Dirks/Jonathan Birch, 2: Ben Simonds, 3: Owen Churches, 4: Phil Bateman, 5: George Gentsch/Philip Garsed/Jonathan Burley, 6: Tom Nixon, 7: Andrew Ho/Philip Garsed, Stroke: Jason McEwen, Cox: James Michael

UP 1 - Day 1: Rowed over, Day 2: Bumped Caius III, Day 3: Rowed over, Day 4: Rowed over

Philip Garsed reports:


Day 1

Whilst I didn't see the start I believe it was fast and committed. An unfortunate amount of carnage due to the incompetence of Caius caused the crew to have to hold it up before restarting. However, passing my vantage point on the outside of first post the rowing was strong and noticeably faster than the surrounding boats. I should also congratulate James (cox) for his quick thinking when the rudder string snapped! He instantly hand steered to start the boat around grassy before grabbing the rudder steerer behind his back and steering the rest of the course like this with all but stroke in the dark about it! Anyway, tomorrow there will be an exceptionally slow Caius boat in our sights!

Day 2

Wow. The shortest bumps race I have yet to see. The race was over within 6 stations (at least 30m before the motorway bridge. An immense start had the crew rowing for substantially less than a minute and for a distance of approximately 150m - less than 7% of the course. An awesome start, a powerful row and a well deserved result.

P.S. For people who don't know any Latin, James's post for today translates as: "I came, I saw, I conquered". Apparently.

Day 3

Well, we had a really nice, fast practice start in Plough reach. Unfortunately the actual start was anything but. We seemed to panic as a crew off the start and never settled into a rhythm. We got inside the length when LMBC hit the bank and eventually managed to get up to three whistles in Plough reach. Here we held them whilst failing to make any sort of move on them, and despite overlap on Ditton, with a good line from James we didn't make the concerted effort needed to secure the bumps. After this, we ended up dropping back, being affected by the headwind and finished the row over fairly scrapily. Not a good row today at all. We really should have had them - we know we're faster so we'll see what happens tomorrow.

Day 4

After yesterday's uninspiring race we were determined to do better. We managed three (ahem) really nice practice starts on the way up to the start which put us in the right frame of mind.

Today's start was much better than yesterdays, and we got the length call on first post reach. We then concentrated on working through the signals, but unfortunately were unable to gain any more signals as LMBC were by now on the tail of the boat they were chasing and pushing for the bump. As we rounded Grassy, we passed LMBC who had successfully bumped.

With most boats in front bumped out, there was not even the double overbump to push for. However a push out of Grassy, followed by a call of "Head Race" saw a dramatic improvement in rhythm and neatness, and we rowed up the reach to the finish in style, constantly increasing the distance between us and the chasing FaT boat whilst rowing in a fairly relaxed but strong way.

An unfortunate result, but one that was well executed. We had our chance on LMBC yesterday but failed to take it, and today was just bad positioning with respect to slower boats two in front. However today was certainly some of the best rowing in the 2nd boat I've experienced, so I think we can be pleased with that!

Uploaded Sunday 2nd March, 13:35


James Michael reports:


Lents Day One, Tuesday:

Chasing St. Edmund's I, chased by Peterhouse II

Well, this was it; in glorious sunshine, and terrible wind, we boated and focussed immediately. Having undergone the usual parking faff on the way up, we had a not-too-neat practice start and resolved to do better.

Due to the wind, we pushed off late and after a neat start we were only a length back from Eddies; we reeled them in fast and, by the road bridge, we were less than half a length back when they bumped out. We held it up, and restarted with Peterhouse only half a length back, although we quickly moved ahead of them. Going round first post corner, however, the rudder string snapped, and the technique started to waver; we resolved to keep up the speed, and get at Robinson II, then a long way ahead. We pulled into the ferocious wind on the reach, and finished some 7+ lengths behind Robinson, who set off 6 stations ahead- a courageous performance in very trying conditions!

Tomorrow, it's time to settle old scores- Caius III are in the gunsights, and we've got our finger on the trigger.....

Lents Day Two, Wednesday:

Chasing Caius III, Chased By FaT IV

Veni, Vidi, Vici.

Lents Day Three, Friday:

Chasing LMBC III, Chased by Caius III

That was frustrating and annoying. We had a neat practice start- the best yet- but, come the real race, we started badly. We advanced reasonably quickly towards LMBC III, getting three whistles around First Post and being a canvas back from the Gut until Ditton. We just couldn't get in the Coup de grace to finish them off, unfortunately. They went very wide on Ditton and we gained the inside, overlapping by a couple of seats, but just couldn't get close in enough to finish and dropped back, finishing a length back as the reach took its toll on our technique and our speed.

It was an extremely gutsy row, make no mistake about that. I'm proud of the crew for their commitment to keeping it going; but we just couldn't get in enough to finish them off.

Tomorrow will be very different indeed.

Uploaded Friday 29th February, 15:43


Photos of the 2nd Men's VIII: click to view full size. (see all 20 photos of this crew)

Videos of the 2nd Men's VIII: click to watch the video. (see all six videos of this crew)


Rowing over on Saturday

Rowing over on Saturday, viewed from Grassy corner.


Practice start

Practice start by the Plough on Saturday

2nd Women's VIII

Bow: Caroline Bentley, 2: Anne‑Laure Poupon, 3: Sonja Lehtinen, 4: Caroline Ashcroft, 5: Jess Palmer, 6: Sarah Lewis, 7: Laura Darby, Stroke: Natalia del Campo, Cox: Nell Holden

DOWN 1 - Day 1: Rowed over, Day 2: Bumped by First and Third II, Day 3: Rowed over, Day 4: Rowed over

Jess Palmer reports:


Day 1 Tuesday

Chasing Lucy Cav/ Hughes Hall I, Chased by Queens II

We headed off strongly into the wind and sunshine confident that if we kept focused we would easily catch Lucy. Our start could have been stronger but as we put the first power ten down we made up ground on Lucy who were rapidly catching Corpus at the top of the division. Lucy got to Corpus before we could get to them and FaT II promptly bumped Queens behind leaving us with clear water either side to row over through the high winds on the reach.

Day 2 Wednesday

Chasing Corpus, Chased by FaT II

We knew today that a powerful start would mean we could bump Corpus before FaT could get to us, but the over enthusiastic practice start at the Plough showed up our adrenalin. We cleared our minds and concentrated on putting the power down and it seemed to work, with whistles going off from the bank fairly quickly as we ate into the gap separating us from Corpus. We were pulling away from FaT II behind untill we caught a crab but we composed ourselves and held them off round Grassy (Thanks to a great line from Nell) unfortunately another crab just before Ditton had them breathing down our necks and despite giving it everything FaT caught us just on Ditton. Frustrating as by all reports from the bank we were SO close to bumping Corpus.

Day 3 Friday

Chasing FaT II, Chased by Girton II

I think we need more GRR. It felt so good today we were together, we were neat and we were fast, we just didn't have that something extra. We needed to capitalise on a faster race speed that FaT but they pushed at the relevant moments and despite this feeling that we were eating away at the gap we never quite sealed the deal. Another close one- lets make sure that we bring all of the power and neatness to tomorrow's race and just add a bit more aggression. We can get FaT II and everyone knows it- lets be one of the few crews to bump a FaT boat during Lents!!

Day 4 Saturday

Chasing FaT II, Chased by Girton II

Well we had a gutsy row. We powered up on FaT II and I'm sure I heard a whistle on a couple of occasions but the incredible slowness of Newnham ahead of them meant they bumped out (not that I was totally aware of it at the time). Which left us with an over bump on Corpus to chase, and chase it we did when Nell told us to easy there and look behind us after the finish Corpus were barely more than a length and a half ahead. It was an awesome row girls. Down one definitely isn't reflective of our quality- think of all our progress this term. I am so pleased to have rowed with you all.

Uploaded Sunday 2nd March, 18:58


Philip Garsed reports:


Today was a demonstration of how fickle bumps can be! The girls were steaming down on Corpus and had dropped the chasing FaT crew, but unfortunately lady luck had other ideas... With a bit of determination, there should be little difficulty in reversing todays result.

Uploaded Wednesday 27th February, 22:03


David O'Brien reports:


Unlucky race today, you deserved the bump. Good solid rowing for the most part. I genuinely believe you can go out tomorrow and repair the damage. It will take guts and determination but with your speed off the start, you can get FaT II back.

Uploaded Wednesday 27th February, 20:34


Sarah Lewis reports:


Day 1 - Tuesday:

chasing Lucy Cav I, chased by Queens' II

We started at 3rd in our division. Lucy Cavendish bumped Corpus ahead of us quite close to the start (frustrating, as we had gained half a length on Lucy Cav). Meanwhile, FaT had taken out Queens behind us. We were never in danger of getting over-bumped, so we rowed over with nothing but the wind (lots of it) as opposition. Lovely sunny day!

Uploaded Tuesday 26th February, 19:25


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

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


Rowing over on Tuesday

W2 off the start on Tuesday, on their way to a rowover


Saturday rowover

Rowing over on Saturday, viewed from Grassy corner