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May Bumps 2008

Wednesday 11th - Saturday 14th June

Previous event: Peterborough Regatta - Following event: Marlow Regatta

1st Men's VIII

Bow: James Fulcher, 2: Ed Day, 3: David Hardeman, 4: Ben Evans, 5: Will Kerr‑Muir, 6: Joel Jennings, 7: Chris Baker, Stroke: David O'Brien, Cox: Laura Sutcliffe

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

David O'Brien reports:


Day 3:

Epic performance today. Nothing more to give. Five consecutive days behind Pembroke in the Mays and they've finally escaped. Twice we came within a couple of feet. We've got to hand it to them, they won't bl***y give in. If we can't get them next year, I might have to think about a post-grad degree.

By the way, photos of all divisions are available at <a href=""></a> thanks to cur1350.

Day 4:

That was what bumps is all about. Made all the more sweet by the frustration of the previous three days. Sorry to Fitz for denying them their blades (for the third year running I hear?!). I'd like to think other crew's performances earlier in the week are more to blame. It was pretty satisfying to fend off a crew that has been performing consistently well all year. This is the fourth consecutive set of bumps where Clare M1 have started the week as a reasonably good crew and finished with some phenomenal performances that, by all accounts, generate boat-speed comparable to anyone on the river. I really thought it was a long shot this time, I'll admit, but we pulled it out of the bag again. Its great rowing with you guys.

Uploaded Sunday 15th June, 12:23


Will Kerr-Muir reports:


Day 1: A great warm up, followed by a reasonable row for a first day. Some more speed to be squeezed out tomorrow, especially if we can take proper lines round corners without badly-cleared crews.

Day 2: A better row. More woomph to come tomorrow. We had length signals on Pembroke and were generally a little closer than yesterday. First and Third stayed somewhere in the vicinity of station for a minute or two then went backwards rapidly.

Day 3: Two feet off. How annoying.

Day 4: This should have been Thursday, but it was no less awesome today. Fitz didn't come near.

Uploaded Saturday 14th June, 18:41


Paddy O'Furniture reports:


Day 1

A surprise appeararnce arf Ronan Keating arn de start loine maide lats arf crews create carnage in front af ars so we didn't harve charnce to cartch Pembroke whose rowing hard settled into a rhythm nat unsimilarr to "Life is a rollercoaster".

Legend hars it dat he'd been in de Plough all marnin and dey'd run out af Guinness. Oi do hope dey've re-stacked.


Day 2

Dat darned Keating has stolen all me Ouzo agin, sneaky chap. Had to make do wid Baileys. Nat quite de same.

Day 3

Oi gat me Ouzo back bat de battle was haff empty, and worse still, Keating was an de bank cheering on Emma. Dat's a sure-foyer wey far dem to git bumped. De Ouzo made as git very close to Pembroke bat dey gat even closer to Emma. A grand shayme, to be sure.

Uploaded Friday 13th June, 21:42


Photos of the 1st Men's VIII: click to view full size. (see all 27 photos of this crew)

1st Women's VIII

Bow: Jess Palmer, 2: LJ Michie, 3: Laura Cato, 4: Katie King, 5: Alice McNamara, 6: Holly Marsh, 7: Nicola Pocock, Stroke: Fionnuala Ratcliffe, Cox: David Jones

UP 2 - Day 1: Technical rowover, Day 2: Bumped Trinity Hall, Day 3: Bumped First and Third, Day 4: Rowed over

Jess Palmer reports:


Ok I'm getting complaints about my not informative race reporting. The total rant remains though!!

Day One

Chasing LMBC I, Chased by Downing I

Rant: We went out and rowed like we knew we could- and we should be damn proud of that. We moved through the whistles and the Kill move was long and pretty awesome! I honestly thought we'd made it, and was gutted to realise we hadn't. Bumping Tit Hall hard and fast tomorrow then girls? It'll make up for that moment of utter deflation we had today after what was a pretty sexy row!

Actual report: Almost made it to LMBC before they made it to Tit Hall (who I'd forgotten existed), but it wasn't to be. Technical rowover was pretty gutting at the time but is also alot better than actually rowing over.

Day Two

Chasing Tit Hall, Chased by Downing

Very very very quickly finished off. Less than two minutes of rowing and Tit Hall crumbled while Downing disappeared in our dust. All of this despite Nick calling 2 as the gun went off after an interesting push out! Sorry to all the supporters who didn't get to see it as it was all over too fast!

Day Three

Chasing FaT, Chased by Tit Hall

I loved every second of today, from the great warm up, the smooth start and the massive push through the whistles as FaT crumbled!(and then of course showing off on the way home)! The power 5 of the 1st whistle worked so well the next 2 were less than 5 strokes before the next whistle sounded. The kill went smoothly again very early by First Post. FaT cox was a bit reluctant to conceed even after we seemed to make contact but my blade square in her back seemed to sort that! Jenny has some nice blue paint now and I think some red is in order for tomorrow.

Uploaded Friday 13th June, 23:54


Alice McNamara reports:


Day One

Chasing LMBC I, chased by Downing I

I have spent all term worrying about Downing. Last night, we all thought Downing were faster than us and our plan was simple - get Maggie, before Downing could get near. However, in practise, things worked out a little differently.

Off the start, Downing gained, pulling in to about a length. Then we hit our stride and it was a genuine pleasure to watch as Downing fell back to outside station. We got a whistle on Maggie and sat there for a long time, but eventually they crumbled and by Grassy we were on the bell (apparently an optimistic bell.) Then the call came to hold it up. 3 seconds of bumping bliss and then Dave called "you haven't bumped!" Gutting.

Turns out we all forgot just how bad Tit Hall were. We were about 1 foot from Maggie when they killed Tit Hall.

Downing rowed over, with Queens behind them on station. So - tomorrow we know that we are faster than the two crews in front and the two crews behind. It's not going to be easy, but it is going to be VERY satisfying.

Day Two

Chasing Tit Hall, chased by Downing

FINALLY! Seven terms rowing and I finally got my first bump! And in the end it was quite easy. Took only 1 minute 42, according to Ron. We had a slightly dodgy start because we got caught on the bank, but even without our synchronised secret move on '2', we were up off the start. Downing never got a look in and by the time we bumped, they were already out of the picture. FaT will not find it easy to sleep tonight.

Uploaded Friday 13th June, 0:06


Photos of the 1st Women's VIII: click to view full size. (see all 28 photos of this crew)

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


Thurs - the start

thursday - the start, chasing Tit Hall


practice start thurs

thursday's practice start at the plough

2nd Men's VIII

Bow: Will Awde, 2: Ben Simonds, 3: Jan‑Henning Dirks, 4: Matt Causier, 5: George Gentsch, 6: Tom Nixon, 7: Philip Garsed, Stroke: Jason McEwen, Cox: Phil Bateman

UP 1 - Day 1: Rowed over, Day 2: Rowed over, Day 3: Rowed over (Technical Result), Day 4: Bumped Robinson II

Philip Bateman reports:


Day One: A good row up and some solid practice starts set the scene for a gutsy first afternoon. The first few strokes weren't our best but the rest of the sequence was executed tidily and we settled into a good rhythm, grinding Christ's M2 down to within half a length. Whilst we didn't quite manage the bump, we're more than confident of finishing the job tomorrow.

Day Two: As we'd planned, we started, closed and cornered better today which took us to overlap on Christ's just as we got onto the reach. Unfortunately, they managed to survive 20 massive strokes and so we didn't quite get them, although it does mean that tomorrow will be all the more satisfying.

Day Three: Our best start sequence ever outside the Plough set the scene for the afternoon. We started very well, and closed to the point of almost overlapping Christ's by First Post. Christ's again pushed off our final move and this time were rewarded with a bump on Robinson. After some swift cornering to avoid the ensuing carnage, we passed a banked up Fitz crew and were surprised to be told by the umpires to wind it down as we had overbumped. However, by the time we'd rowed back to Chesterton, it had become apparent to the umpires that Fitz had bumped Girton (who had failed to stop), and so we were awarded a technical rowover.

It's frustrating that Christ's got away (full credit to them for some sterling races over the past couple of days), but we did row as well as we have all term to close so rapidly. If we can replicate this tomorrow, we'll have a good chance of finishing the week with a bump on Robinson.

Day Four: Despite the start being a bit scrappy, we rapidly settled into today's race and rapidly closed on the spooning Robinson II to bump around head station. Result. Then a good row home. Awesome. We've maybe been a little unlucky this week but it's been really fun and we've showed just how good Clare M2 boats can be and finished on a high.

Uploaded Saturday 14th June, 18:25


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

2nd Women's VIII

Bow: Selina Ley, 2: Caroline Ashcroft, 3: Sarah Preece, 4: Anne‑Laure Poupon, 5: Clare Sutherland, 6: Sarah Lewis, 7: M├írti Malaj, Stroke: Natalia del Campo, Cox: Nell Holden

UP 3 - Day 1: Bumped Jesus III, Day 2: Bumped Queens II, Day 3: Rowed over, Day 4: Bumped Wolfson

Anne-Laure Poupon reports:


Day 1: What can we say ? We had had a nice warm up, with a nice build on the reach, and we had some time to calm down before the guns. Then the start and a power 10 : by the end of it, we hear a first whistle. Ten strokes later two whistles, followed by a third, Nick doesn't really have time to do three, because we are still gaining on Jesus III, and everything just goes crazy, whistles, the bell, and a rather "violent" bump since Jesus III wouldn't concede it. Eventually we probably didn't row more than a minute, and we bumped before the first corner.

Sorry for the enthusiastic crowd on grassy, who couldn't see anything... And now, Queens' II !

Day 2: Well, sorry again for our great supporters... Queens' II gave us less trouble than we thought. The plan was simple : go fast, and if it doesn't work, go faster ! Our start had less panick than yesterday, and the rest went smoothly... with a bump right after first post corner. Now let's go for blades !

Day 3 : This time our start was not as good as the others. Everything was a bit frantic, there were a few missed strokes, but we still went quite fast. The problem was not really to bump Newnham, but to bump them before they bumped Wolfson. Actually, they bumped them right before first post corner, which didn't let us any chance to bump them. We had nobody to overbump, being 3rd on the river, so after a moment of panic (we had to wind down, and actually completely stop behind Newnham, whereas Queens' was still going on), we very quickly put 4 lengths between Queens' and us, and rowed over quite nicely. Bad luck, but it was nice to see that we could hold the distance and also race during nine minutes.

Uploaded Saturday 14th June, 1:50


Clare Sutherland reports:


Day One:

After the initial shock of the gun, our start pulled together nicely and we closed in on Jesus. Nell called for power, the whistles kept going and then we bumped. It was over so quickly.

Day Two: Chasing Queen's, chased by Jesus III

We had a better start today, together from the first stroke. A slight wobble at 2 whistles before we closed in for good by first posts corner. A good race; lets go for Newnham tomorrow.

Day Three: Chasing Newnham, chased by Queens II

The challenge today was to get Newnham before they got Wolfson, who'd come down from W2 division. Despite hitting the start hard and getting whistles on Newnham, they got Wolfson before First Posts corner, right in front of us in the middle of the river. We had to wind down, but Wolfson cleared in time for us to pull away from Queens once more. Once we'd recovered from the scrappy panic on the gut we rowed strongly all the way home on a clear river. Behind us, Tit Hall just failed to get Queen's on the Reach.

Uploaded Friday 13th June, 18:27


Alice McNamara reports:


Day One

Chasing Jesus III, chased by FaT II

A textbook bump. Clare W2 had a faster start, a faster settle and a faster push than the startled Jesus girls, and then it was all over. They never had a chance. Beautiful revenge for last year. Go out there and do the same today.

Uploaded Thursday 12th June, 11:06


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

3rd Men's VIII

Bow: Owen Churches, 2: Vladimir Orlov, 3: Matt Howard, 4: Ben Pennington, 5: Nathan Lawrence, 6: Vas Vorontsov, 7: James Michael, Stroke: Richard Barnwell, Cox: Niki Lapsley

DOWN 2 - Day 1: Rowed over, Day 2: Bumped by Selwyn III, Day 3: Rowed over, Day 4: Bumped by Wolfson II

David O'Brien reports:



A really strong performance yesterday. You guys demonstrated everything I had hoped you were capable of. No mistakes, no panic, no cracking under pressure. For a first day's row, it was just the job. Unfortunately, Downing III are not going to be the sort of crew we want to try and grind down over the course. Today will require a big re-think. We'll commit entirely to the first 800m and plan to finish the race in that distance. With a slightly more mental approach than yesterday but an element of the same control and relaxation, I believe we can take Downing by surprise and, in bumps, that is often enough. Lets hit some new rates and see just how fast we can get that boat moving. I look forward to it.


Good stuff again. I think we did exactly what we set out to do. Believe it or not, I'm pretty sure the boat was moving quicker than yesterday. It wasn't sustainable and it wasn't particularly efficient but it was gutsy and committed. Unfortunately, Downing (and Selwyn) were just too fast. Tomorrow is looking pretty good though. Tit Hall behind us again. As long as we stay chilled and fend off their insane start, they'll be out of the equation before long. Back to Wednesday's race plan and we'll be sorted.


A second solid row-over. Exactly what was required. Selwyn took their time getting Catz in front and Tit Hall were rapidly destroyed by Wolfson behind. Tomorrow is not going to be easy. Back to plan B (nail it) and we'll see what we can pull out of the bag this time. Exciting stuff.


I knew yesterday would be tricky and, in the end, Catz were the stronger crew. However, that didn't stop us making some ground in a great display of pure determination. This was the fastest I've seen the boat move all term and the firm pressure paddling on the way home was also pretty sweet. You guys should all be proud of the progress you've made this term. I bet none of the crews around us had any novices in and we weren't outclassed, far from it. I think we'd have given some past Clare M2 crews a run for their money. I hope you're all keen to stick with CBC next year.

Uploaded Sunday 15th June, 12:12


James Michael reports:


Wednesday, Day One: Chasing Downing III, Chased by Tit Hall III. A good, solid row well within our capabilities- everyone knows the course and knows we can row well together. We pulled in to the bank just as the 1 minute gun went, and weren't thrown off by it- unlike Catz III. Tit Hall closed to the length before First Post, rating higher and rowing more sloppily than we were, but they seemed to die and were culled by Selwyn behind. We settled down to Rich's long efficient rhythm and moved well down the course. Tomorrow is our chance for another crack at Downing.

Thursday, Day Two: Chasing Downing III, Chased by Selwyn III. The plan was to hit the start hard and gain some distance on Downing, as in a long slog as on Wednesday we're pretty well matched. Although the wind did blow us into the bank at the start (I for one started with my blade against a steel piling, I think others did too) which messed up the first few strokes, it was soon back together and we were flying down the course. We threw it all at Downing, closing within station and getting a few (slightly optimistic, though not by much!) whistles for the length coming round First Post and through the gut. However tiredness began to set in as the effort took its toll, and the technique started to waver as we closed round grassy. Selwyn scented blood and moved up on us disconcertingly rapidly with a big push and we conceded a few lengths after grassy. It was a fair bump by Selwyn and they chose their moment well, so credit to them; but credit must also go to Clare M3 for executing the race plan well and closing in on Downing; we just lacked the experience to keep our heads when all around were losing theirs. Tomorrow may well be long, but the crew are going in determined and experienced.

Friday, Day Three: Chasing Selwyn III, Chased by Tit Hall III. We planned on today being a rowover and followed the plan well. Unfortunately the actual start did not match up to the practice start- which was the best we'd ever done- although it did the job and we were soon moving fast down First Post reach. Tit Hall were culled by the rapid Wolfson II before First Post corner, and so we lengthened out to a nice rhythm and reset; the technique improved and we headed home. Coming past the Plough and the banked up crews was great as we wound up with a final Power 10 for the finish line in front of W2. Magic. Good plan well executed. Tomorrow, Catz III are the target and giving them spoons and denying Wolfson blades being the object- now, let's carry it out...

Credit today must go to Nick and Dave for a good job at pushing us off; we were straight and ready despite the outflow. Niki too did an excellant job keeping the motivation and technique up to scratch.

Tomorrow, well... we'll see what happens...

Saturday, Day Four: Chasing Catz III, Chased By Wolfson II. Today was very much meant to be a bump-or-be-bumped 400 metre race- either way, we weren't going round First Post corner. We had a few nice practice starts and knew that today we had to throw everything into the race. The gun went, we headed off- and ditched the normal Rhythm call at the 15-stroke point for a Power 10 instead to keep the rate high! And keep it high we did, with a full-length race pace away. We closed about a canvas on Catz ahead and got an (optimistic) but very encouraging length whistle from Nigel on the bank, but coming up to first post corner the adreneline we were running on started to wear off and the legs tired; Wolfson closed in rapidly and finished the race just as we closed into First Post corner; we conceeded early but they ignored it and carried on for at least 6 more strokes, so perhaps a fine there.

All in all, a good day's racing, despite the bump. M3 has, in Richard's words, come on massively over the term and so to be able to sprint like that and shift- really shift- whilst still rowing reasonably neatly is a credit to the crew.

Nick (assisted by Dave) again did a sterling job at pushing off, and we ended up straight despite the stream; thanks must also go to Nigel who's supported us fantastically on the bank all week. His presence and calm experience benefitted the crew during the hectic races.

Now for BCD...

Uploaded Saturday 14th June, 18:30


Photos of the 3rd Men's VIII: click to view full size. (see all 18 photos of this crew)

3rd Women's VIII

Bow: Prash Ratnakumar, 2: Sonja Lehtinen, 3: Brittany Wellner, 4: Bron Elliot, 5: Laura Darby, 6: Anne Grijzenhout, 7: Nell Godfrey, Stroke: Emma Warren, Cox: David Ponting

Day 1: Bumped Sidney III, Day 2: Rowed over, Day 3: Bumped Downing III, Day 4: Rowed over

Alice McNamara reports:


Day One

Chasing Sidney III, chased by Clare Hall II

The most exciting bumps race I've ever seen. We all knew that Sidney were no match for us and the getting on race results suggested that there would not be any pressure from behind. We had about a whistle when it all went pear-shaped. A crab of doom sent 4 off her seat and in the ensuing mayhem, 3 was soon on her back as well. Dave's cry of "stern 4 keep rowing" did not inspire much hope in me!

However, by first post corner we got it back together and started to row all 8. It is a testament to stern 4 that they held Clare Hall II off for those worrying moments. But once they were all 8, the bump was inevitable. Sidney were 3 lengths off by now, but W3 went at them as though they had a canvas. The bump came just out of Grassy.

An impressive bump indeed. Although a less impressive, quick bump might have been better for my blood pressure!

Uploaded Thursday 12th June, 11:13


Photos of the 3rd Women's VIII: click to view full size. (see all 11 photos of this crew)