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May Bumps 2009

Wednesday 10th - Saturday 13th June

Previous event: May Bumps Getting-on Race - Following event: Cambridge Autumn Head

1st Men's VIII

Bow: Richard Barnwell, 2: Chris Baker, 3: Thomas Boston, 4: Philip Garsed, 5: Ben Evans, 6: Wanne Kromdijk, 7: Joel Jennings, Stroke: Chris Thompson‑Walsh, Cox: Laura Sutcliffe

UP 2 - Day 1: Bumped Churchill, Day 2: Rowed over, Day 3: Rowed over, Day 4: Bumped St Catharine's

Paddy O'Furniture reports:


Oi have hard thart severarl people have requested a rappart far the recent May Barmps.

Oi gat to the start loine approximately 18 hours late having drank a concoction of Baileys, Ouzo and Blue Curacao the previous noight. It seemed loike a good oidea at da toime.

Someone asked me if Oi could row. Dat also seemed loike a good oidea at da toime. Especially as Ronan Keating and Pierce Brosnan were watching from the Plough. Oi started rowing in time to one of U2's songs (dey all sound the same after a Guinness or seventeen), wid the sole intention of irritating dat stupid phoney Oirishman Ronan Keating, and all of a sudden we'd barmped. Although I'm not too sure if we barmped, or were barmped, or just rowed over: that's whart happens if you mix Blue Curacao into a perfectly respectable drink, to be sure.

Now, where's me Guinness?

Uploaded Sunday 21st June, 22:37


Philip Garsed reports:


Act 1: Wednesday

If Churchill be the crew for us, row on;

Give us excess of them, that surfeiting,

The opponents may tire and so die.

That gun again! It had a shaking feel

O, it came o'er the river like a tunderclap

That starts our boat at 48

Splashing and powering onward! Enough; no more:

But the rerow is sweeter than it was before

O lightening start! How quick and fast art thou,

That notwithstanding our lung capacity,

Sendeth as a crew, nought throws us off,

Of what rolling and wash soe'er.

But slowing in the gut and with lower rate,

Even in two minutes: so entangled with blades are bow pair

That it alone is high fantastical

Uploaded Thursday 11th June, 0:52


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

1st Women's VIII

Bow: Abby West, 2: Hannah Morgan, 3: Jess Palmer, 4: Alice McNamara, 5: Nicola Pocock, 6: Em McFadden, 7: Steph Caird, Stroke: Fionnuala Ratcliffe, Cox: David Jones

DOWN 3 - Day 1: Bumped by Downing, Day 2: Bumped by Christ's, Day 3: Bumped by First and Third, Day 4: Rowed over

Alice McNamara reports:


Day One

Chasing Newnham, Being Chased by Downing

We had a grand row up. Over the last few weeks, we have made so much improvement. Our start was a little nervy, but not shocking, but unfortunately we were powerless to resist Downing, who reeled us in quickly and easily. A bump at 1st post corner hurts, but this wasn't a bad row, just a bad result.

Day Two

Chasing Downing, Being Chased by Christ's

Realistically, we knew that the chances of catching Downing were slight and we were looking for the row over. We knew that Christ's had looked surprisingly scrappy on Day One and it had taken them a long time to get FaT. Unfortunately, Christ's had pulled their socks up and, once again, despite a decent row from Clare, it was all over by the Gut.

Day Three

Chasing Christ's, Being Chased by FaT

We shouldn't have been bumped by FaT. We had a faster start and for the first minute I thought that we were going to hold them off. But as well came into the second minute there were blades scuffing along the water that slowed us and once FaT got a whistle, they scented blood. We held them on over lap for a painful 1st Post Corner but they got us on the entrance to Grassy.

Day Four

Chasing FaT, Being Chased by Magdalene

On paper, Magdalene were as strong as any crew that bumped us this week. But we held them. They were slightly outside station on Grassy but pushed back around Ditton and remained around 1 length down the Reach. A rowever after down 3 is as sweet as a bump. A good end to the term.

Uploaded Monday 15th June, 13:13


Jess Palmer reports:


Day One

Chasing Newnham, Being Chased by Downing

My primary emotion to our result yesterday was anger, so I held back from posting a report while I still wanted to hit something! W1 had a fantastic warm up and felt pretty confident that if we kept rowing so well the bump on Newham would be fairly straight forward. We were always aware that Downing would be a threat but nothing to be overly worried about or so we thought. On the night though we had a good row with a little touch of day one nerves but certainly a strong start. Unfortunately Downing were ALOT faster than anyone had anticipated and were getting whistles as we settled out of the start, they pushed in and as we all wondered where Newnham were and how on earth Downing were coming in so fast. It was all over by 1st post corner. For today we need to go out and row over in style.

Uploaded Thursday 11th June, 15:16


Photos of the 1st Women's VIII: click to view full size. (see all 11 photos of this crew)

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


wed rowing to the start

W1 end of practice start at the plough


thurs - rowing to the start

practice start at the Plough and rowing around Grassy

2nd Men's VIII

Bow: Matt Howard, 2: Dan Weatherill, 3: Peter Hill, 4: Will Taylor, 5: David Hardeman, 6: David O'Brien, 7: Tom Leger, Stroke: Matt Causier, Cox: Mary Flook

UP 3 - Day 1: Bumped Girton II, Day 2: Rowed Over, Day 3: Bumped Fitz II, Day 4: Bumped Churchill II

David O'Brien reports:


Photos of all divisions available at:

Courtesy of CUR1350. Taken at the plough I believe.

Uploaded Wednesday 17th June, 20:07


Daniel Philip Weatherill reports:



Clare M2 had a score to settle with Girton M2, after the tragic experience in Lents.

After some pretty messy work at the start in the bows (ahem, ahem...) we got pretty rhythmical quite quickly, sustainable to the point of not coughing up phlegm at the end. Our rating felt quite relaxed, but it was enough. To say this felt "quite chunky" isn't really doing it justice. Peterhouse 2 didn't really trouble us much from behind, and we moved up on Girton steadily rather than extremely rapidly. As the whistle signals came, there was some worry that Girton may bump before we managed to get them. Nick had agreed not to use the Bell, since that caused us problems in Lents. A quite successful move around the corner resulted in a satisfying bump not twenty metres further on than where we failed to make contact last term.


A much more powerful start, but then a bit of a "special" row for the first bit. We were dropping Girton behind, and moving up on Churchill II, but just not fast enough to get them before they hit Fitz II. Then rowed over with not much around anywhere. All in all, a bit disappointing, but not terrible.


Despite a bit of drama at our first practice start, ending in almost being bumped by the crew we intended to bump, the paddling felt pretty light and neat. I don't know if the start was the fastest we've done this week but it felt the most satisfying, and we were soon in a rhythm and eating up water between us and Fitz. Maggie attempted some kind of massive start, maybe closing a little before they dropped off and didn't trouble us further. There wasn't much time for them to do so, however, as before we knew it, our bows had overlap on Fitz and it was all over. All jolly good fun.


I don't know how everyone else felt, but personally I was just a tad apprehensive about this race. We had proved we were faster than Churchill, but there was always the chance of something silly going wrong. However, the paddle up was nice and chunky and together, and some decent practice starts set us up for what felt like an absolutely cracking row to me. We pulled into Churchill quickly, leaving Fitz languishing behind, but we knew we couldn't simply mash straight into them off the start. We settled into a nice powerful rhythm which was eating up Churchill's lead. Despite slightly losing the edge due to taking Grassy slightly less well than we could have done, we munched up the last half/three quarters of a length to finish with a classic crowd pleaser. I know it's naughty, but I did particularly like Matt's cheeky little bang on their Stern as we overlapped.

Uploaded Sunday 14th June, 12:48


Photos of the 2nd Men's VIII: click to view full size. (see all 16 photos of this crew)

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


M2 Mays 2009 Churchill II

M2 Chasing Churchill II, Last Day, fantastic bump!

2nd Women's VIII

Bow: Georgina Plunkett, 2: Caroline Ashcroft, 3: Charlotte Pope, 4: Georgina Messenger, 5: Becky Minnich, 6: Franziska Lautenschlaeger, 7: Márti Malaj, Stroke: Erin Earl, Cox: Esther Momcilovic/Phil Bateman

UP 4 - Day 1: Bumped Newnham II then Rowed Over (technical result), Day 2: Rowed over then Bumped Girton II, Day 3: Bumped Caius II, Day 4: Bumped Corpus

Esther Momcilovic reports:


Day One

It would be an understatement to say that we expected the bump on Newnham to be a lot easier than it was. Perhaps we were still thinking of our triumphs in Lents, where bumps were much easier. Whatever the reason, when we hadn't caught Newnham by First Post Corner, we seemed to give up and Newnham actually pulled away off station. However, Newnham had a few dodgy strokes in Plough Reach and we gained some ground. We continued to gradually eat into them and halfway down the Long Reach, they crumbled. In the space of a few strokes we went from two whistles to contact, which was not so great for their cox...

Rowing at the bottom of the W2 division, we were eager for a bump on Caius II. Unfortunately, Girton II in front of Caius II were slower than Caius II were than us (if that makes sense...), and so Caius bumped before we got them. Caius then decided it was the perfect time to drift lazily across the river and block us off from a possible overbump on Corpus.

We. Hate. Caius.

Day Three

We were ready for today. We knew Newnham II were behind us (AGAIN grrr) but we also knew we had the ability to hold them off, and that they would be tired from their earlier race. We also knew from Wednesday that we had the potential to close in on Caius, as we'd made half a length on them by the motorway bridge last time.


We. Were. Bloody. Fast.

We pushed onto Caius II so hard that Nick had to hold off using his whistles to allow us to finish our start sequence, so that by the time the first whistle went we were actually only about 3/4 of a length away. Caius crumbled within 2 minutes of the start and we bumped them with ease before the motorway bridge. A fantastic result and well-deserved. Tomorrow we intend to attack Corpus with the same amount of GRRRRRRRR!

Uploaded Friday 12th June, 19:31


Philip Bateman reports:


Day Two

With yesterday's bump on Newnham fresh in our minds, we were expecting them to put up a fight as we rowed over at head of division, though I doubt anyone thought they'd get two whistles within the first 90 seconds. Fortunately, we managed to push them back and take advantage of some poor cornering and were on or beyond station with them by the Plough. After this, a gutsy piece of rowing down the reach saw us finish over 5 lengths clear, leaving us to wait in the sun as sandwich boat.

Starting at the bottom of W2, we were quietly confident having seen Caius catch Girton quickly yesterday, and closed rapidly to bump them before the motorway bridge, leaving plenty of time for a leisurely row home in the afternoon sun.

Uploaded Friday 12th June, 10:02


Photos of the 2nd Women's VIII: click to view full size. (see all 14 photos of this crew)

3rd Men's VIII

Bow: Mike Hook, 2: James Latter/Scott Whittaker, 3: Alex Whitney, 4: Jack Jackson, 5: Tom Robinson, 6: William Marsey, 7: David Jessop, Stroke: Dirk Simon, Cox: Charlie Clarke

DOWN 3 - Day 1: Bumped by Kings II, Day 2: Rowed over, Day 3: Bumped by Caius III, Day 4: Bumped by Pembroke III

David Jessop reports:


Day One

Our starting station was right under the bridge, about 6ft from the cannon. On the countdown to the go there were calls of 'protect your ears!', which of course we couldn't, and then the whole world shook and we were off. We stayed on station with boats ahead and behind off the start, but an early bump by Wolfson II ahead meant we were chasing an overbump on Downing III. There was some confusion as to what actually happened to them, as they suddenly seemed to be only 1.5 lengths up on us, but holding station. The fast Kings II were gaining ground behind us, and by Grassy they were onto us. A good line by Charlie meant we pulled out half a canvas, but they closed in again down the Plough reach, and just before Ditton there was contact and it was all over.

Day Two

Rowing up felt really good, and we felt fairly confident that we could hold off Tit Hall, despite being completely drenched. They were faster than we expected however, and after a very dodgy start which saw us veer violently across the river towards strokeside, they moved well within station. By First Post they had us down to half a length and were giving it everything. We really struggled to hit a rhythm, but some gutsy, messy rowing kept them at about two metres as we saw Caius close in on them. Coming up to Grassy, Caius made contact, and the pressure was off. We knew that the two pairs in front of us had bumped out, but some (rather optimistic) calls from Nick that Emma were 'really slow' ahead and that the double overbump was on kept us pushing to the finish. I think they saw us coming and started rowing again, as we didn't get within 5 lengths. Still, a solid, gutsy performance, and we look forward to hitting Cats tomorrow!

Uploaded Thursday 11th June, 19:20


Photos of the 3rd Men's VIII: click to view full size. (see all 15 photos of this crew)

3rd Women's VIII

Bow: Melanie Stefan, 2: Carolin Purmann, 3: Emma Garnett, 4: Ruth Hogg, 5: Christina Pettit, 6: Emma Warren, 7: Anne Grijzenhout, Stroke: Natalia del Campo, Cox: David Ponting

UP 3 - Day 1: Rowed over Head of Division 5 then Bumped Girton III, Day 2: Bumped Jesus IV, Day 3: Rowed over, Day 4: Bumped Newnham IV

Melanie Stefan reports:


Day One

After Dave's concise introduction to sandwich boat logic - "Row this race as if it's the only one today, otherwise it will be" - we were ready to set off. The row-over was good, especially after Downing had decided to chase the opposite bank rather than us, which left us some breathing space (literally, actually). The weather could have been nicer, as in: less torrential, but it kind of cleared up before the second race. The early canon startled us a bit, but fortunately it startled Girton III even more, and we got it back together quite nicely for a really nice and quick bump. Yay!

Day Two

Very much the same as our bump yesterday, including the torrential rainfalls on the way there and the very, very short race, with a bump before the motorway bridge - apologies to spectators standing further down the race course!

Day Three

The weather today was much nicer than the last two days and while marshalling before the race, we found a four-leaved clover. To those who believe in good omens, well ... they're wrong. It's all just superstitious humbug, crazy fools! In fact, we were rather unlucky, with Sidney III ahead of us bumping Newnham IV quite quickly. Those two out of the way, we decided to go for the overbump on Magdalene, after all, what had we got to lose? Well, consciousness, for instance. As illustrated by Emma W who heroically stroked us through an epic battle between good and evil (well, actually, between us and Magdalene, but that doesn't sound quite epic enough) and then fainted just as we passed the finishing line. Although we didn't manage to bump today, this was the best row we have had in this competition: We showed that we can actually work hard for longer than a minute, we gave spectators along the whole race course something to watch (thanks for the support, by the way, that was awesome!) and we (literally) pushed til we dropped. This has given us some hope that, although we're not a lucky crew, we might be ...

Day Four

... a gooooooood creeeeeeew!!!! And yes, we are!!! Although it took us a while to find out. The bump took us longer than the first two, and we did have to fight for every additional whistle. Finally, we managed to get three whistles, went for a final big push and ... dashed straight past Newnham who had suddenly (and wrongly) decided they'd bumped Sidney, stopped and adorned themselves with greenery. Confused, we rowed on for a bit until pulled in by our bank party. There was a bit of anti-climatic waiting around for the final verdict: Was it a technical row-over? A technical bump? A real bump? Were we an unlucky crew? A technically good crew? Turned out that it was a bump after all, so yay! Well done everyone! So, what have we learned today? Good crews go up three, lucky crews go up four (well done W2, by the way!). Very unlucky crews think they bumped, then stop, then get bumped.

Uploaded Saturday 13th June, 23:15


Anne Grijzenhout reports:


Day One

We had a decent row up with two good practice starts. I think all of us were feeling a little apprehensive about the required row over, but we had a good start and held it together over the rest of the course. It was also very nice to have lots of Clare supporters on the bank. We did get completely drenched, but fortunately the P&E provided shelter whilst waiting for the men’s fifth division. Somewhat dried off, we had an even better second row up, right down to the lock. Our start was not as good as it can be, but the whistles were coming nice and quick and before we knew it we had bumped Girton III. Well rowed (and coxed) everyone :-)

Uploaded Wednesday 10th June, 18:37


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

4th Women's VIII

Bow: Prash Ratnakumar, 2: Rachel Schön, 3: Katherine Bosworth, 4: Elizabeth Nixon, 5: Lizzy Ratcliffe, 6: Laura Darby, 7: Harriet David, Stroke: Catriona Reid, Cox: Phil Bateman

DOWN 2 - Day 1: Bumped by Hughes Hall/Lucy Cavendish II, Day 2: Bumped by Emmanuel V, Day 3: Rowed over, Day 4: Rowed over

Philip Bateman reports:


Day One

Despite a promising row up and a gutsy start, the random order of the GoR race crews meant we were being chased by a much faster combined crew. However, with first day nerves out of the way and a number of really slow boats distributed through the division, there's a good chance for some bumping later in the week.

It also rained on the row home. Lots. And I got very wet. :(

Day Two

A much better start today after some good practice on the row up. Unfortunately it wasn't quite enough to ward off Emma V, who (as with yesterday) were clearly just a much faster crew. Hopefully tomorrow we'll be more fortunate.

It was, however, sunny. This was pleasing.

Day Three

So, with Tit Hall III behind the plan was for a solid row over. However, 2 strokes in, it became clear that Emma in front were headed for the bank. Despite a push from us, Emma managed to just sneak away- with the gap at one point having closed to within half a length. Tit Hall then closed, and pretty much from the motorway bridge to Ditton corner were within a length. Despite this, we kept on pushing, dug deep, rowed together (mostly), and eventually sent them packing, opening up a gap of over 3 lengths by the finish. Hard work, but well worth it.

Day Four

With Emma V chasing a spooning Downing III, the plan was (again) to row over. A solid start opened a two length gap on Tit Hall III, with all the other crews apparently bumping out before first post corner, leaving us no option but to row over. As with Friday, it was exciting, with Tit Hall again closing to within half a length or so, and also keeping the pressure up on us right down the reach. However, we crossed the line clear to take the deserved row over.

Given that when we started the aim was simply to get on in the getting on race the results this week - including two very spirited row overs - were excellent.

Uploaded Sunday 14th June, 13:17