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Lent Bumps 2014

Tuesday 25th February - Saturday 1st March

Previous event: Lent Bumps Getting-on Race - Following event: Cardinals Regatta

1st Men's VIII

Bow: Jack Barden de Lacroix, 2: Richard Gunning, 3: Ross Buckingham, 4: Ivan Mechkov, 5: Ben Evans/Jordan Ward‑Williams, 6: Quentin Gouil, 7: Callum McKenzie, Stroke: Chensong Gao, Cox: Ed Mills

DOWN 2 Day 1: Rowed over. Day 2: Bumped by Catz. Day 3: Technical row over. Day 4: Bumped by King's

Edward Mills reports:


Day 1: chasing Girton, chased by Trinity Hall

Our start was good, albeit not exceptional: despite a slightly scrappy first few strokes, we took it up to 40 and quickly closed on Girton. Anton had the whistle in his mouth, waiting to blow, but we came onto our cruising rate a little too early and stayed about a length and a quarter behind as we came into First Post Corner. Tit Hall put in a push at this point, getting a (very optimistic) whistle on us, but a really solid move on the heels for us took us out of their reach. After Tit Hall had crashed on Grassy Corner, we had nothing behind us to push off; to an extent, I think this took the edge off our rowing somewhat. We came down Plough Reach and onto Ditton back on station with Girton, but as we got tired it felt like we let them slip away slightly, to the extent that they'd opened up the gap to about 2 lengths by the time we reached the finish at the Railway Bridge. While this may not have been the start we'd hoped for, there are plenty of positives: we know that our start is solid, and that we can work effectively off crews behind us. With clear targets set at the post-race briefing, we're all confident of success going into the rest of the week.

Day 2: chasing Girton, chased by St. Catharine's

After some really solid rowing down to the start, only slightly complicated by the heavens opening and hail falling just as the M1 division pushed off past the Railway Bridge, we were back on our station and ready to go. This time, our start was a lot tidier, and we wound it up to 43. Having decided to really go for the early bump, we held the high rate right through the first minute, surprising Anton and forcing him just to shout the word 'whistle!' in lieu of getting it to his mouth. Once we'd got the first whistle, we kept closing to 3/4 of a length, and came agonisingly close to two whistles, but Girton started to hold us again as we rounded First Post. They never got back on station with us, but unfortunately St. Catharine's, who we'd left trailing early on, were still very much in the race. They started to close on us towards Ditton Corner, and a sandwich developed, but Catz just had that little bit extra in the tank and got to three whistles by the bottom post on the Reach. There followed a heroic back-and-forth up the Reach, with our pushes coming just as they finished theirs, but I finally had to concede the bump at the White House. An unfortunate result, really, but as Anton said - Bumps aren't fair. We know that we're faster than plenty of crews in this division, so let's go out and show it tomorrow.

Day 3: chasing St. Catherine's, chased by King's

Gaaaah. Frustrating. Callum's summed it up very well, so I'll just add that our start was by far the best that we've had this week. Closing so quickly - approaching overlap even before First Post - was a real thrill, and something that we fully intend to repeat tomorrow. We now know that we can rate high and hold it, so let's use that to our advantage tomorrow, taking back our rightful station for next Lents.

Day 4: chasing Girton, chased by King's

Simply put, the row down was some of the best paddling that we've had as a crew - the nerves that we were all feeling translated really well into a focused crew. As a result, we flew off the start, hitting the mid-40s and coming down to 39. Our 'fly-or-die' strategy was clearly working, and we got overlap coming into First Post Corner. But then ... but then ... I'm not quite sure what happened, to be honest. Maybe I'd tried to push a little too aggressively into the corner. Maybe Girton took the corner tight and forced me to go even tighter. One way or another, on First Post our bowside blades clipped the bank, bringing us to a halt. Thinking that we'd bumped, the natural tendency was to stop, and it took a good 10 seconds (although it felt like much longer) to get going again. By this time Girton had opened it back out to station, and King's had come back to 1 length on us. Despite a heroic push, and a quick build to 35, I had to concede the bump right on the sharpest point of Grassy Corner. It was immensely frustrating to have been bumped, of course, particularly since two more good strokes from us would probably have led to our bowball burying itself in Girton's stern. Nevertheless, the fact that it took so long for King's to catch up, even after we'd effectively come to a complete stop, showed just how quick our start had been. The fact of the matter is that we should have ended the week staying level, but we ended it down two. Bumps, though, isn't fair, and now that we know we've got the boat speed we can turn it to our advantage once more. Onwards and upwards - the HORR beckons ...

Uploaded Sunday 9th March, 16:32


Callum McKenzie reports:


Day one: Chasing Girton, chased by Trinity Hall

Despite the rather enthusiastic report from Ed about our start, I wouldn't quite call it exceptional. It was solid however - despite us missing the second stroke (well, me at least). It was a punchy first 90 seconds, and closed on Girton to within a length. We maintained this for a couple of minutes, however, we lost the send of the boat as the race went on, and beyond Ditton corner it started to fall apart slightly. Heavy at the catch and not sending the finishes out. To really put the pressure on for tomorrow we are going to hit that start just as hard, if not harder, and grow a pair or 5 and just put our bodies on the line and make Girton crack. Yellow Fire!

Day two: chasing Girton, bumped by Catz

First of all, we had a great row. After yesterdays row we were a bit miffed that we didn't row particularly well after the first few minutes, and we planned to hold on to that punchy rhythm for longer today. Our start was really tidy, better than yesterday. Within 20 seconds we had shorten the gap on Girton to a length. Whistles galore. After coming out of First post corner we were still rating around 38 and were still tapping it along nicely. By this point we were 3/4 length off Girton, and agonisingly close to 2 whistles. We had a few wobbles around the gut/grassy, but focused back on through plough reach. After grassy Catz made a big move and started to eat into us. At this point we were still flirting around a boat length off Girton, with Anton blowing whistles periodically. Coming onto the reach Catz were about a 1/2 boat length off us and still coming with speed. They got overlap half way down the reach and we put in a huge push and held them off for a while and started to pull away - this was when we went back to 3/4 length onto Girton - again, agonisingly close to 2 whistles. However, Catz put in a huge push and got the bump. Full credit has to go to Catz for the speed and Girton for holding us off. Despite not getting the result we wanted, we had a quality row and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Where does this leave us? Well, word on the grape vine is that our captain, big Ben Evans, is finally on the mend and fingers crossed he should (deservedly) get back into the boat tomorrow, and we can race as the crew that we have trained as all term. Cave Adsum.

Day three: Chasing St. Catz, chased by Kings

As I write this I have so many emotions running through me I don't know what to do. I thought I would bash out my anger/whatever this feeling is onto the keyboard and see what comes out. First things first - we were painfully close to a bump it is not even funny. I will try set the scene a bit better. We got bumped yesterday by Catz, which we were surprised about, but were happy with the way we rowed as a crew. Nonetheless, as a result we were quite apprehensive about todays racing. This, plus the fact we were being chased by Kings, who have been very quick all season, meant we weren't as confident as could have been. We did however get a half mended Ben back, so we were back to our Lents crew. We knew we had to fly off the line to keep away from Kings, and after some encouraging words from Anton, we were ready to enter Death's Valley (lol). I know each day I have been saying 'our start was solid, we had a great start etc.', but today we absolutely shot off the line. Within four strokes we got a whistle on Catz and 6 strokes later we were rating 45. Coming out of the water flow, we had 2 whistles on Catz. Coming up first post reach we had three whistles on Catz, and we were absolutely miles away from Kings. We were flying. Three whistles. Three whistles. Just about to come around first post corner. Bell. Bell. One metre off Catz and had inside advantage at the corner... 'HOLD IT UP!!!'. What's going on? Had we bumped? No. Two rowers from Girton (who we being chased by Catz) caught crabs and parked their boat on first post corner. Catz then smashed into them (who unfortunately collided with Girton's cox - we wish them well). BUT, we had been 100%, catagorically, without doubt, denied our bump. Catz did have three whistles on Girton, but we were a lot closer to Catz than they were to Girton. Arghhhhhh! As a result, we were given a technical row over. We would have annihilated Catz's cox if we kept at race pace, so safety reasons are obvious, and Kings were >3 lengths behind us. I am getting so angry thinking about this, that I am struggling as to how to end this race report. All I am going to say is this: Girton, we are coming for you.

Day four: Chasing Girton, bumped by Kings

Haha. Isn't bumps great? Again... we were agonisingly close to another bump. After a frustrating finish yesterday we were fully pumped up to smash into Girton. Our race plan was simple. Fly off the line and charge at Girton with all we had. And we delivered to a tee. Our start again was crazy quick and within 10 seconds had gained 1 whistle off Girton. Coming out of the motorway bridge we had gained up to half a boat length off. Coming up to First post corner we were a third of a length off. Whistles going mad. The bell went and we had overlap. We absolute charged and kept the speed on. Then... disaster. It is a fine line trying to find the perfect racing line, and occasionally you have to poke your head on the other side of that line to see where the limit is. And today we poked our head over that line. We crashed into First post corner as we had overlap with Girton. Everyone was very confused and the whole of bowsides blades were up on the bank. We were stopped for about 5 seconds then realised we had to keep rowing. Then we put together 10 of the most out of sync strokes together to get back up to race pace (not a scenario we had particularly had in the play book). At this point Kings were about half a length off us, and we went around grassy and they took the bump. What a roller coaster. Going from literally seconds from a bump up, to being bumped close after, certainly was dramatic. However, we have rowed solidly as a crew and ultimately we triumph as a crew, and fall as a crew. Overall, this has been a very entertaining bumps, with movement up the whole ladder, and we are happy that we have contributed to that excitement in one way or another. Well done to the colleges who bumped up or got blades. Now, I need to get a shower for boat club dinner. BCD BCD!!!

Uploaded Sunday 2nd March, 3:08


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

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


Wednesday, Men's Division 1

Brief clip of M1 from 2:30 onwards.


Thursday, Men's Division 1

Brief footage of M1 from about 2:18.

1st Women's VIII

Bow: Riana Betzler, 2: Chrysoula Litina, 3: Jelena Renic, 4: Rachel Boyd, 5: Kate Jernigan, 6: Annie Elkington, 7: Helen Waters, Stroke: Kate Davis, Cox: Harriet Boswell

UP 4 Day 1: Overbumped Pembroke! Day 2: Rowed over. Day 3: Rowed over. Day 4: Bumped Jesus

Chrysoula Litina reports:


So after a failed attempt to sabotage our boat by Trinity Hall, who almost managed to impale our cox, we had a solid row up to the start. We had a strong start, but first day nerves were definitely present, but we managed to settle into a good rhythm and got our first whistle by first post corner. However, the rowing gods had another plan for us and Caius already had a whistle on Newnham. We got a third whistle on Caius on Grassy, but they had tasted blood and bumped out on the corner forcing us to stop. After Harriet put her Winter Olympic inspired slalom skills to the test (and the rudder wire unravelled) we were on our not so merry way again and desperate to put some water back between us and Catz. Encouraged by our very optimistic bank party, 'they're only 5 lengths away'[we saw the video - you LIED!!!], we slowly proceeded to eat into Pembroke and got our first motivational whistle halfway down the reach. After having an eternity of first whistles, whilst still being reassured that we were moving into them with every stroke, we got our second whistle just before the bridge. Cheered on by our new Emma M1 friends around the bridge, and our very own Clare M1 homies, we moved to our 'third' whistle and swiftly onto the bell (at least a third of a length away). Seeing as we were running out of river, Harriet called for our KILLER move and we finally got the long-promised OVERbump. Up 3 in only one day - we'll quite happily take that. YELLOW FIRE!! (Credit to Anton, Nigel and Mike for creating false hopes that actually became true - cue Journey 'Don't stop belieeeeevinnggggggg'.)

Uploaded Wednesday 26th February, 20:47


Photo of the 1st Women's VIII: click to view full size.

2nd Men's VIII

Bow: Alex Gunawan, 2: Robin Elliott, 3: Ben Jennings, 4: Tom Broughton, 5: Louis Tate, 6: Ed Oughton, 7: Calvin Khaing, Stroke: Ollie Rusk, Cox: Becky Fletcher

STAYED LEVEL Day 1: Bumped Selwyn II. Day 2: Rowed over. Day 3: Rowed over. Day 4: Bumped by Peterhouse II

2nd Women's VIII

Bow: Jac Davis, 2: Naomi Woo, 3: Rebecca Zhang, 4: Sareeka Linton, 5: Olivia Jenkins/Betsy‑Ann Ward, 6: Molly Spink/Betsy‑Ann Ward, 7: Christian Clarkson/Rozalie Ryclova/Maria Gorinova, Stroke: Anna Ritchie, Cox: Alice Harvey‑Fishenden

UP 3 Day 1: Bumped Murray Edwards II. Day 2: Bumped Caius II. Day 3: Rowed over. Day 4: Bumped St. Edmunds I.

Alice Harvey-Fishenden reports:


Day 1

Chasing Murray Edwards II, Chased by Wolfson I

A short race today! Anton did a great job of pushing us out straight and therefore we were able to take advantage of Murray Edwards II being pushed off wonky. They didn't quite manage to straighten up, and ended up parked neatly on the far bank. We therefore rowed past them and pulled in. Our start was good, hopefully we'll have a good race tomorrow!

Day 2

Chasing Caius II, Chased by Murray Edwards II

Another relatively short race, but fortunately because we were the better crew not because of error! Despite some hard steering from me off the start, we had a whistle on Caius by the motorway bridge. We continued to close in on them reasonably quickly, with minimal panicking. Apparently Murray Edwards gained on us a bit at this point, and Anna tried to indicate this to me with a grimace, however we had three whistles on Caius and therefore I was concentrating on the steering and missed it. Unfortunately the video is not high enough quality for us to appreciate it in retrospect. I called a push for ten, which was very effective and we quickly covered the last few meters very quickly, bumping them half way down first post reach. When I spotted that the Caius cox had conceded (I missed her first half-hearted attempt), we held it up and rowed into the far bank.

Day 3

Chasng Peterhouse/Wolfson W2, Chased by Caius II

We knew today was going to be a difficult one, with St Edmunds on for spoons and Peterhouse not looking too bad. We got a reasonable start, but ended up a but panicked. Nevertheless we steadily gained on Peterhouse, looking much stronger than them. We were about half a length behind them when Eddies completely gave up and Peterhouse got the bump. After this Christian (who was rowing with the non-matching oar with a wonky clam on it) conveniently caught a crab which stopped us from crashing into Peterhouse. We restarted and had a casual row to the finish, chucking in some square blades over the finish line.

Day 4

Chasing St Edmunds, Chased by Wolfson

After starting pointed towards the bank, we failed to gain on St Edmunds off the start, and were slightly worried by Wolfson behind us. However, we managed to get straight and I called for a push for ten which got us back on track. We chased Eddies down over the next twenty strokes, keeping calm and getting the catches in at the front. At half a length to go Eddies started to fall apart very much as they did yesterday and we covered the last half a length in about three strokes.

Uploaded Saturday 1st March, 16:49


Naomi Woo reports:


My first time rowing bumps! A little rain and a little wind, but Anton reassured us it was merely a "light breeze". What Alice neglects to mention about our "good" start was my embarrassing little crab during the draw strokes. But to give a picture of how short this race was, no sooner had I recovered than did we hear whistles, bells and all sorts of chaos, and next thing I knew we were parked on the bank and informed that we had bumped (thanks to Murray Edwards II's little mishap)! To be honest, it was a little anticlimactic, but we've certainly saved up our energy for tomorrow. And the row home was lovely, especially because the sun came out and we had a beautiful view of a rainbow the whole way back!

Uploaded Tuesday 25th February, 19:51


Photo of the 2nd Women's VIII: click to view full size.

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


Day 2

Clare W2 bump Caius W2