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May Bumps 2017

Wednesday 14th - Saturday 17th June

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

1st Men's VIII

Bow: Euan Beck, 2: Matt Simpson, 3: James Henderson, 4: Ben Evans, 5: Stephen Kindness, 6: Peter Rees, 7: Jon Swain, Stroke: Riccardo Conci, Cox: Julia Kelsoe

FINISHED SECOND ON RIVER. Day One: Bumped Pembroke, Day Two: Bumped Caius, Day Three: Rowed Over, Day Four: Rowed Over

Jon Swain reports:


Day 1:

Day 2:

Uploaded Thursday 15th June, 23:06


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


Clare bump Caius

Day 2 - Clare bump Caius to go second on the river.


Clare bump Pembroke

Sweet first day bump on Pembroke, going up to third on river. Clare enters video from 1:45.

1st Women's VIII

Bow: Jamie Fox, 2: Robyn Hamer, 3: Ariane Dupas, 4: Philippa Slay, 5: Edith Ross, 6: Anna Peel, 7: Rosie Boxall, Stroke: Ada Krzak, Cox: Harry Ellison‑Wright

Day One: Rowed Over, Day Two: Bumped by Emma, Day Three: Bumped by Newnham, Day Four: Bumped by LMBC

Philippa Slay reports:


Day 2

Today was not quite the race we anticipated. Needless to say we started out today absolutely set on catching Jesus, and our plan was to set off fast and catch them by Ditton, before they would inevitably catch Downing. Harry got us fired up at the boat house, and we had a decent row down to the start in the sun, hampered only slightly by the strong wind on the reach. When the race came our start was not the best but by before First Post we had made ground on Jesus and had our first whistle. We held them at a length from there all the way round Grassy, and although they did pull away slightly on Plough Reach, we were determined not to give up the chase. There is no doubting the commitment that was put in to today's race. Any idea of red-lining should perhaps be replaced with black-lining - when you row so hard that you literally see black due to unconsciousness. Unfortunately the loss of a rower mid race due to this meant that we had to concede to Emma, much to their surprise since they were still over a length away. The silver lining was that we got to stay for long enough to see Clare M1 bump Pembroke on their way up to the start, since apparently actually bumping them yesterday wasn't quite enough to satisfy them (and also the fact that we didn't have to suffer the pain of rowing over for a second time).

Tomorrow we will be back, taking Emma by surprise again, only this time from the other side.

Uploaded Thursday 15th June, 23:41


Anna Peel reports:


We rowed up to marshal in the sun with several possible outcomes everpresent in our minds – and a determination to start the week with a bang. The cheering of our supporters around Grassy felt like a shot of caffeine as we rowed down, and as the cannons began the countdown, the anticipation was a palpable bubble around the boat. Bang went the final cannon, and the first five strokes went past in a blur of unreality (quick and strong though!). We pushed into First Post Corner, gaining a whistle as we pushed in, and working steadily onto two whistles in the gut – Nigel, Gripper, Esther and Ben screaming for us to move further gave us energy, but Jesus held us at two whistles out of Grassy and into Plough Reach, and by the Plough we had stopped gaining water on Jesus. A slight upset in a blade (not a full crab!) dropped us to a length around Ditton, where the surprise of seeing a delighted and banked up Caius and Downing let us know that Jesus weren't getting away with a bump anytime soon. Despite Harry's strong calls and urging from the bank, we held Jesus at a length from the Reach until Top Finish. Lessons learned today: we know where we need to push (smash it the heck out of Grassy!!) and we now have the fury to get us there. Watch out tomorrow, Jesus – we will fire through two whistles straight onto three and beyond to prove Clare domination on the river!

Uploaded Wednesday 14th June, 22:43


2nd Men's VIII

Bow: Ollie Dutton, 2: Adam Harrison, 3: Alistair Brown, 4: Gabriel Bliard, 5: Fred Benham‑Crosswell, 6: Rory Fairhead, 7: Jordan Thornton, Stroke: Jordan Ward‑Williams, Cox: Clement Chan

Bumped by FaT 2, bumped by Sidney Sussex, bumped by Pembroke, rowed over

Alistair Brown reports:


Day 3

We went into today knowing that we would have a fight on our hands to hold off Pembroke M2, but confident that we had the grit and the stamina to pull away from them and get the row over. We knew that we had to push hard off the start to build some distance between us, and also to be ready to pounce back onto Sidney M1 if the opportunity arose.

We went off hard and sharp as planned, quickly building into a strong race pace. Pembroke also jumped quickly off the start though, gaining an early whistle on us just after the motorway bridge. We held them at just over a boat length up until around first post, where with a strong push from us, and a fantastic line from Clement, they fell back slightly and lost their whistle.

This back and forth exchange of whistles set the tone for the rest of the race. In the middle of the gut, another push from Pembroke brought them back into whistle range. It was around this point that Sidney bumped Darwin up in front, leaving us with some cleaner water to build away from Pembroke once again as we rounded grassy corner.

Once onto the plough, Pembroke mounted their most dangerous attack yet, gaining first one whistle and then a second. The race wasn't over yet though, and we dug deep to push them back to one whistle. As tired and in pain as we were, we knew that Pembroke must be feeling the same. If we could stay out of their clutches for just a little longer, then the row over would be ours. Unfortunately, Pembroke also realised that something had to change if they were going to get the bump, and as we rounded Ditton, they launched a final do or die push, closing quickly back to half a length, and then onto three whistles. We went for a lift out of the corner and slowed their advance a little, but not enough, and they got the bump as we entered the reach.

It was a disappointing end to the race, but we always knew that Pembroke would be quick. It was still our best row yet, and a performance that we can be proud of. If our upwards trajectory of rowing quality continues we're optimistic that we should be able to stay well clear of Queens M2 tomorrow.

Uploaded Saturday 17th June, 12:52


Jordan Thornton reports:


Day 2

We knew today was the day for revenge. Talks the night before, and a chat with Darwin M1 before had resulted in a solid race plan: Max it from the start and jump FaT before they catch the crew ahead.

The row down was solid, feeling slightly less nervy. A half slide build up the reach and practice start by the plough were sharp, giving us the feeling today would be different.

The cannon went off, and we immediately got moving on FaT. By the time we'd settled into race pace, we were moving up on them, getting a whistle before the road bridge. We gained as they approached Darwin, getting up, closer. Just inside a length we held our ground on FaT, taking a brilliantly close line around First Post corner and pushing into them through the gut. Sadly this was where the race took a turn for the worse. Darwin, with all their might had held this far, but were finally caught. As they cleared off the river, and resulted Clem in avoiding collision, we took a slightly wider line around grassy, upon which the now-closing-fast Sidney Sussex boat capitalised, pushing into us with great pace. A final push away held them for a few more strokes, however we were spent. Our tactic from the beginning was to fly and die, and that was what we did.

Today, despite being bumped, we showed signs of the crew we actually are. Tomorrow, I have high hopes of a great row, where we can pull a phoenix from the ashes.

Uploaded Friday 16th June, 13:38


Gabriel Bliard reports:


In a classic bumps configuration, we were chasing a crew who almost had the bump served on a platter. The fear was that Darwin M1, the 8 two places above would be incredibly slow (as they soon proved to be). Nevertheless, we had a solid row up with two bursts on the way. The tension was palpable and we couldn't quite find the smoothness of our usual pieces. Our opposition, with reason, were also quite tense. The start was good, and we built slowly and steadily into downing. Sadly, Darwin were too slow and decided to be caught within 45 seconds which is shameful for a second division row. Once we were set for the overbump, the crew suddenly got quite shaky, the boat slammed down in first post corner and more than one stroke was missed (mine included :S ). The rate had considerably dropped so we had a lift call on the plough. Forgetting that we were a relatively small crew and very dependant on rate, we stayed at a low 30s despite gripper's desperate calls to do a half slide build to reset ourselves. We ended up being caught halfway up the reach.

Despite some negativity in this report, we're a very strong crew and I'm sure the next results will show that.

Tomorrow's row will sadly have the same challenge of having Darwin two in front, but I believe we'll be more prepared and with a better attitude, have a cleaner row and jump onto FaT before they have a chance to bump. Yellow fire!

Uploaded Wednesday 14th June, 21:46


2nd Women's VIII

Bow: Rosie Ugur, 2: Marta Uncio‑Ribera, 3: Anna Crucefix, 4: Eilidh Thompson, 5: Rosie Vince, 6: Rachael Young, 7: Abbie Currington, Stroke: Hermione Burn, Cox: Alex Horne

Day One: Rowed Over, Day Two: Bumped into Sandwich, then Rowed Over, Day Three: Rowed over as head of Division 3, then rowed over. Day Four: Rowed over twice

Abbie Currington reports:


Inspired by Alex who does so love to rhyme, (apparently)

A poem, I thought, would document well our time,

Although I confess I'm not one for prose,

I may as well give it a shot I suppose.

We prepared at the start point for chasing Caius,

We raced and we caught them, a bump with such ease,

Up to Sandwich, we'd row once more on this day,

Our chance for Div Two or else Sandwich we'd stay.

Under the Railway Bridge we let our greenery aside,

And waited a while, nerves rising inside,

The boats up ahead, they bumped and they bumped,

From seven to two lengths onto Sidney we jumped. (actually six and a half, but oh well)

We couldn't quite catch them, so relaxed after Plough,

Sticking to the game plan, we'd recover for now,

And although we'll be racing twice another day more,

We'll be hoping, as always, for bumping galore.

We've trained, we've practised and it's ours for the taking,

We're on for Div Two, let there be no mistaking,

Good luck to all crews with bright yellow blades,

Most of all W2 with our CBC shades.

And despite this poem being two stanzas too many, (and a half)

Let's go get 'em tomorrow, a bump for our Penny! (Sweet)

Uploaded Friday 16th June, 1:33


Hermione Burn reports:


After some incredible manoeuvring by Alex who nestled us into the shade by the bank to wait for the 45 minute delay (shoutout to Abbie at 7 who was backing it down for a good 20mins!!), we made a strong paddle up to our starting position. We had a pacy start, setting off at rate 40, 'settling down' to 38, before eventually bringing it down to 35 by the Plough. We held our distance from Downing for most of the way, but sadly no bump. Maggie behind us were no more than a twinkle in the distance. We have all realised that 2.6km is a long way, and we have no intention of doing that again! We're coming for you Caius

Uploaded Wednesday 14th June, 19:23


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

3rd Men's VIII

Bow: Amaru Araya‑Williams, 2: Michelangelo Chini, 3: Ruaridh MacDowall, 4: Tom Hilbourne, 5: Harry Perkin, 6: Jason Delp, 7: Will Broadbelt, Stroke: Tom Broughton, Cox: Izzy Rudd

Day One: Bumped (technical) by Girton II, TIB, Day Two: Bumped Girton II, Day Three: Bumped Darwin II, then Bumped FaTs III, Day Four: Bumped Corpus II

Amaru Araya-Williams reports:


Day 4:

Before I begin the Day 4 race report in earnest, allow me to indulge slightly and return to where this bumps campaign started, back at the beginning of the term. “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get”, and the same is very much true for the people in a racing Eight. With crews only ever fixed for around 6-7 weeks at most because of the terms, all sorts of different people have to come together to form a tight crew bond. Possibly taking the analogy a bit too far, the favourite chocolates occasionally get scoffed far too soon, with special mentions going out to Ben Leitch and Alec Downie, who were not in the final bumps boat but are very much part of our crew (love you boys!). The coaching team that M3 have also had the fortune of experiencing has been fundamental to the success of this crew, so thank you Gripper, Andy Walters and to the other assortment of coaches who helped us along the way, and to Rob Cheeseman for the last minute advice during bumps!

Fast forward to the final day of bumps in blisteringly hot weather, our intimidation exhibition paddling to the Plough was not quite as settled, or intimidating, or particularly exhibition-like as it has been previously. Our practice start changed this however, eliciting a number of (well only one particularly embarrassing…) gurns, followed by some our best rowing to date to get on to station. Though the allegedly ‘impartial’ martial was expecting us to bump – stating as much even as the Corpus crew walked past to answer nature’s call – we knew how well they kept the FaT crew away the day before so we were taking nothing for granted. Once the race started, the first whistle took a long time to come, but again another killer line around the not-corner before motorway bridge got us the whistle, and like a carbon-copy of the day before against FaT, we got our unofficially (but realistically) fifth bump of the campaign shortly after the bridge. Izzy also enabled me to achieve the absolute bowman dream, of getting the bump by physically slapping the stern of the Corpus boat with my bare hand as we overlapped, so thank you!

This early bump allowed us to have one final, glorious paddle home, fully taking in and appreciating the spectacular Clare support on the meadows by First Post, around Grassy and at The Plough. There was even a request from the Bank for some showboating, which we duly obliged by a bit of cheeky ‘Canadian-backstop’ rowing, a particularly masochistic abs workout after a week of bumping (I mean, we’re M3 – we barely have any strength in our abs, which a few of us realised after getting a bit stuck on the first attempt!).

On a personal note, this also happens to be this reporter’s final college bumps, due a pesky quirk of Cambridge that involves having to grow up and graduate. It’s been an absolute pleasure to row with this crew, and I can’t wait to come back next year and cheer them all on from the bank. CAVE ADSUM!!

Day 3:

Well, today was the big day that all of us had expected on Day 1: the opportunity to bump to the top of Division 4, become sandwich boat, and then try return the Clare M3 into their rightful place, by bumping up into Division 3. We knew that today required complete and utter focus, taking the races one at a time. So as we all assembled at the boathouse, there was only one thing on our collective minds – where were our personal TV crew!?

Despite not having our escapades recorded today, we did some of our best exhibition paddling to our starting post (with a number of checks of our bow-ball at every possible opportunity…). We meant business. Gripper, taking the role of ‘Mama’ for the following (shudder), met us at the bank, and “Mama always had a way of explaining things so I could understand them”. He told us in detail what our plan for the day should be: first, you’ll bump Darwin, and then you’ll turn around and bump FaT…again. Darwin II was first on the to-do list, and they were dispatched with brutal efficiency, getting the job done before we’d even gotten around First Post Corner, having only started from Third Post. We gained whistles at a rate not even Gripper could keep up with, being unable to reach for the bell before the bump was completed!

This sealed the grudge match, with us as sandwich boat chasing FaT III at the bottom of Division 3, the same FaT crew that had only escaped our bump by a cruel twist of fortune on Day 1. They were chasing a potentially slow-moving Corpus crew, so we knew we had to row our absolute best to be able to bump FaT first. We got off to a good start, but FaT matched us and had begun to gain on Corpus, our worst nightmare! However, after Izzy desperately announced that we might miss the bump, the crew took off and with a characteristic Izzy killer-line around the ‘not-corner that is actually a pretty significant corner’ by Baitsbite lock, we had gained our first whistle. Once the second whistle came, we quickly drove into FaT and got the bump halfway down First Post Reach. Now with an official bump on FaT, balance was restored to the Cam and the crew were able to fully appreciate the cheers from the crowds lining the river on the beautiful row home. I can’t help but think that after the bow-ball fiasco, FaT must also have been thinking on the row home: “[They] must be the stupidest son[s] of bitch[es] alive, but [they] sure is fast”.

Two bumps today, so two shoe-horned Forrest Gump(Bump?) quotes!

Uploaded Monday 19th June, 9:46


Izzy Rudd reports:


M3 kept it short and simple today, having put aside the angst of yesterday for a level-headed, well-delivered bump on Girton II. We didn't let the BBC Russian Service crew (yes, you read that correctly, the *BBC*) distract us as they strapped us with GoPros, filmed us getting the boat out, and coaxed a Russian-language interview out of the reluctant - albeit rather fluent - Michi. The row up was a little excited, but we had tamped it down by the railway bridge and delivered a couple of solid practice starts. The bump itself took slightly longer than we had anticipated, with Girton even gaining slightly on FaT towards Grassy. However, once I informed the boys of this fact their performance improved DRASTICALLY, with Michi and Tom putting in an awesome push through First Post and Amaru and Ruaridh responding spectacularly to bring us round to bump about halfway round Grassy. I must say that having yet another precariously attached object on Vera's bow did put me slightly on edge, but this meant that the bump was caught on 3 different cameras - no room for speculation today! "Mama always said you've got to put the past behind you before you can move on" and that's exactly what we've done.

Uploaded Thursday 15th June, 22:02


Tom Hilbourne reports:


We were all quite pumped for the race and motivated ourselves with the classic YouTube clips (Rocky Balboa: get hit and keep moving forwards; Any Given Sunday etc.). The whole day started as it meant to go on to be honest. Delp was stuck in a traffic jam on the A14 and wondering if he was going to be at the boat house on time, Amaru shouted "yes boys" every 5 minutes and Izzy only decided to wear anything that was yellow. We managed to warm up on the ergs which was pointless since the M5 division had to be re-rowed so we ended up waiting at the P&E for over an hour. Ruaridh leapt on the opportunity to top up his tan and could be seen from the bank lying in Michelangelo's lap.

We finally set off very focused with the women's crews cheering us on. We turned onto station and bumped the bow into the bank (would become important later) and waiting anxiously for the gun. Nigel's timing was on point and without further ado, we were off. It was quite scrappy, to be honest, but the commitment was there (the Sconse Master was right so it seems) and we shot round first post corner and before long had two whistles. This stayed for a time being (reminiscent of the King's M2 bump from lent). We lengthened out and actually started to row as a crew into grassy gaining three whistles and then the bumps.

After much congratulating, we rowed down to the P&E expecting to have to turn since we would then be sandwich boat, only to be told that we had been disqualified since the bowball had fallen off mid race. Apparently, it's acceptable for the bowball to fall off during a bump but not before it. I could finish this race report having a go at CUCBC, or how it was all FaT's fault. Instead, I'm leaving you with some wisdom from Forrest Gump: "Shit happens".

Uploaded Wednesday 14th June, 20:27


Photos of the 3rd Men's VIII: click to view full size.

3rd Women's VIII

Bow: Bethany Mason, 2: Olivia Brett, 3: Elly Cockman, 4: Ran Huo, 5: Vashti Davies, 6: Helen Llambias Maw, 7: Josie Newman, Stroke: Katie Wilkinson, Cox: Ben Williams

Day One: Bumped Christ's III, Day Two: Rower Over, Day Three: Bumped Fitz II, Day Four: Bumped Medwards III

Ben Williams reports:


Day two:

The cannon was loud, the start was good, the pressure was high, two whistles on Darwin by first post. Darwin then bump out.

ON FOR THE OVERBUMP. Medwards a long way in the distance, starting to reel them in slowly but surely. Gained a couple of lengths on Medwards by Ditton, then Medwards get a technical row over. Bummer.

Still being chased by Queens (far off into the distance), we had to complete a painful row over with no one to chase and nothing really to work with.

We're not doing that again.

Day three:

*mood change* free of any possibility of W3 blades, everyone was much more relaxed atbh and Ariane even allowed a crew yellow fire shout (thanks bud). The row up was the best we've had so far this week and the nervous toilet break count considerably reduced. Awaiting us at the P&E and then the plough were local chapters of the CBC W3 official fan club (consisting of Katie's and Elly's parents) - life membership comes with a complementary set of minion/finding dory stickers of your choice. Everyone seemed to quite like our practice start, so we rowed up calmly and crisply, marred only by some fairly dubious parking from me. Here we go again.

9,8 7, 6,5......BOOM (not as bad as station 7 under the bridge, but still slightly soul-rendering). The start was excellent, and immediately we began to push up. The first whistle came, and the first whistle held for "ages" (ERCP-2017) - in fact it was less than 15 strokes. All that anyone remembered afterwards was me shouting something about angry and something about toast, then suddenly we were holding it up. This is what I saw:

In a blaze of golden yellow fire, smoke started flying off the water as Bethany and Olivia literally lifted us out the water. Simultaneously, middle four showed they'd had their cornflakes this morning and drove us for what is widely regarded as the greatest power four strokes seen since the inception of rowing. Katie and Josie then thought they'd give it to go and the ratemeter spiked at precisely 53.

Ok maybe not, but some superb rowing and a neat coxing line got Fitz around First Post (woooooo!).

Fame quickly followed, with a brief Cam FM interview and a shout out for W4. The row home was perhaps not the most focused we've seen, with S Club 7 making an appearance under the railway bridge and some excellent coordinated cheering with W4 (much love guys). We'll return bright eyed and keen to see Medwards approaching our bow. See you on the river.

Day Four:

We smashed it. The lucky bean held us steady, it's been an amazing term guys thank you so much <3

Uploaded Wednesday 28th June, 19:41


Josie Newman reports:


The sun was shining for the first day of W3’s May Bumps campaign, the culmination of a great term’s rowing. We had a few first timers, and felt the pressure as we rowed down and marshalled at the P&E. Huddling in the shade, we watched the previous division, deciding that rowing over looked far too painful and that we would try and bump as soon as possible. We had a strong row to our starting position, featuring a couple of rogue starts and a few bursts. Our starting position was thankfully in the shade, but not so thankfully under the railway bridge, so the cannons were deafening. It seemed like we were still recovering from the one minute cannon before we were being pushed off, and came forward, and we were off. Admittedly one of the worst starts we’ve ever done, with several of the crew missing the first couple of strokes. But this didn’t matter, and by the third stroke we had it back and were closing in on Christs. One whistle, two, three, and there was no time for the bell before we were told to hold it up and hastily pulled into the bank. It was everyone’s favourite kind of rowing; short enough that there was no pain. We had a relaxed row home in our greenery, saving our legs. Bring on the rest of the week!

Uploaded Wednesday 14th June, 18:07


Photo of the 3rd Women's VIII: click to view full size.

4th Men's VIII

Bow: Oliver Jagger, 2: Sam Chapman/Dani Besenyoi, 3: Mathew Best/David Orr/Hector Epanomeritakis, 4: Sergio Rossoni, 5: Alexander Johnsen, 6: Alec Downie, 7: Will Moreland, Stroke: Dylan Braithwaite, Cox: Olivia Scalise‑Gaspar

Day One: Bumped LMBC IV. Day Two: Bumped by LMBC IV. Day Three: Bumped LMBC IV. Day Four: Bumped Pembroke I.

Alec Downie reports:


Day Three:

Day Three of May Bumps dawned for M4 with no little angst. We were frustrated by getting bumped yesterday, but we knew it was largely down to a mechanical problem and nothing to do with our ability as a boat. The crew had done well to hold Maggie off until Ditton when rowing in sixes. In particular, your correspondent had no desire to be the center of drama for a third day in a row, having managed the enviable feat of getting the boat club fined on Day One for "Early celebration resulting in slow clearing" (£40, since you ask) and having his seat come off the sliders no fewer than four times during the race on Day Two. Hardly covering himself in glory.

We were particularly concerned since we knew the Pembroke boat that Maggie were chasing was not particularly good, having been bumped twice. We needed to get Maggie quickly, or else we'd have a long overbump shot ahead of us while being chased by a decent Robinson M3. Although we'd bumped Maggie before, Olivia tried desperately to convince us not to be over-confident, while Toby on the bank persistently undermined her by saying that we shouldn't have a problem getting them.

The row up went fairly well, despite having to integrate a new three seat (shout-out to Mat), and our starts were considerably stronger and more stable than the current UK government arrangements. We arrived at the starting area with plenty of time to spare and had one last chat, focusing on emulating our practice starts and staying together. When the four minute gun went off, we got back in Lashby, double-checked our sliders, gates, and shoes, and waited for the gun.

As it transpired, we needn't have worried; we put Maggie to the sword in about 30 strokes. Our start was strong once again, hitting rate 38 as it has on the last two days. Spurred on by Gripper and Toby and despite some slightly sloppy strokework, the bump came about halfway down First Post Reach. It arrived so quickly that Gripper didn't have the chance to use the bell or even blow three whistles. Bow reported that there was chatter about a few Maggie rowers falling off seats, leading to us rapidly closing at the end. We'll claim that it was fear of our approach, although Lord knows sometimes these things just happen. Regardless, we were please to be restored to our rightful place after Day One and are cautiously optimistic for getting Pembroke tomorrow.

Uploaded Friday 16th June, 18:49


Sergio Rossoni reports:


Despite being at position 10 in the 5th division, Clare M4 was in a sandwich today. Chased by Maggie M5 and chasing Maggie M4, we wanted the yellow fire to leave red blood behind (figuratively speaking...). Ironically chased by some red-coloured crew that easily disappeared out of sight, we had a tense but powerful paddle up to our starting position.

Our starting sequence was nervous but fast, and we quickly got that whistle meaning Maggie M4 was there for us to bump. The whistle disappeared briefly as Maggie reached the peak of their starting sequence, but we soon pushed the boat again to get it back. However, a sudden "HOLD IT UP" came from the bank, as our crew squared their blades and looked around confused. Did we bump? Did we get bumped? Did Gripper lose his mind? Ah, just normal 5th division carnage ahead. The fear of a technical row over vanished as soon as the umpire told us we were going to have a re-row. Exactly what we wanted, we were not even close to being done.

Our second start was as strong but a lot more controlled than our first one. In three strokes we lengthened out to a beautiful full rhythm, and soon after that we heard the sweet sound of a whistle. First Post Corner was coming up and Maggie was slowing down for the turn. Two whistles before we could reach First Post. Olivia’s sharp trajectory and her calls to steer the boat managed to get us three whistles before First Post was over. As the boat lined up with the bank to get through the Gut, Gripper’s bell was ringing. Maggie’s cox didn’t concede easily but their stern was at our bow seat before Grassy Corner. BUMP!

Half-quoting Toby who was bank partying us: "Well done guys, tomorrow do this again, but better!"

Uploaded Thursday 15th June, 1:07


4th Women's VIII

Bow: Enlli Lewis, 2: Georgina Brown, 3: Paola Velasco, 4: Julie Ramambason, 5: Miriam Gordon, 6: Nina Cooper, 7: Jess Lindley, Stroke: Kerry Smith, Cox: John Clay

Day One: Rowed Over, Day Two: Bumped by St. Catharine's, Day Three: Bumped by Caius, Day Four: rowed over

Anna Peel reports:


Jess Lindley reports:

Day one, and W4 were ready for our Bumps debut (and our racing debut as an actual full crew with the correct eight rowers in the correct order, to be entirely honest). Following application of the all-important race glitter, black and yellow ribbons, and suncream, we pushed off and began a long, hot hour of marshalling as the carnage of the previous division was cleared from the river. Finally, though, we were at station, the minute cannon sounded and we were pushing out and getting to frontstops, ready for the…

BANG! And we were off. Having worked out that LMBC II had raced Champs Head only eight seconds slower than us, and we were chasing LMBC III, we had high hopes. However. Lower divisions = carnage and ours was no different. Nobody is entirely sure what happened in front of us, but it is rumoured to involve an LMBC bump on Lucy Cav, who then rowed on regardless to get the overbump on Sidney. Meanwhile, we rowed past a stationary LMBC at a strong 32 off a scrappy start and pushed for the overbump. Cheered on around First Post by a triumphant W3, a screaming bankparty and a well-timed power ten from John, Lucy Cav were suitably scared to succeed in bumping before we could catch them Around grassy, the slow realization that we were indeed rowing over set in, and we prepared ourselves for the long haul. On the reach, Emma IV having been nowhere in sight since about the motorway bridge, we wound it down to more of a high pressure steady state. Save the legs for today – onwards and upwards!

Miriam Gordon reports:

The strong wind brought with it warnings of an unexpected, undeserved and unrecoverable crab rampant on the Cam. It was caught by seat 4 in Clare W4 before the motorway bridge (she will remain unnamed), and the risk was controlled at the cost of being bumped and subjecting Caius W3, Jesus W4 and Emma W4 to a technical row-over.

After some truly fantastic brownies by Nina, W4 are optimistic about tomorrow bearing in mind the wise saying, ‘you are what you eat’.

Big thanks to the fantastic team on the bank for the enthusiasm and endless support!

Uploaded Thursday 15th June, 22:18


5th Men's VIII

Bow: Andres Bustamante, 2: Olly McMillan, 3: Martijn Lugten, 4: Ridhwaan Suliman, 5: Will Theis, 6: Austin Jaspers, 7: Nick Wise, Stroke: Richard Gunning, Cox: Adira Levine

Day One: Bumped Peterhouse III, Day Two: Bumped St. Catharine's IV, Day Three: Technical Row Over, Day Four: Bumped LMBC IV

Nick Wise reports:


M16 and the Half-Bumped Prince

Day Three: Michael Harmon waxes lyrical

Let me tell you something, I know words, I know the best words, believe me, they’re the best. But I also know the best boats, I can tell you that much, I have some of the best boats you’ll ever see, beautiful boats, expensive boats, with great crews, believe me, they’re incredible, really amazing. Now I’ve been to all the places, to Grassy, to the Plough, to South Ditton, North Ditton, all the Dittons — to Fensylvania, to Oxford, to Homerton, and in all of these places I’ve seen the same thing. I’ve seen, let me tell you, I have seen carnage like you wouldn’t believe, absolute carnage, it’s terrible, worse than you can even imagine. Now I just left the Middle East, and I’ve got to say — can I say this? I’m going to say this — that I know the best boats, I can tell you that much, I have some of the best boats you’ll ever see, beautiful boats, wonderful boats, one of them in particular, it’s called M16, and it has performed like you’d never believe, so incredible. Now the M16, as you may have heard on the failing CamFM, which is the liberal mainstream media New York Times is ruining our country and a hard Brexit to reopen the mines and clean, clean coal, reported this morning that MI6 suffered a terrible tragedy, which they called a “technical row-over.” But they won that second day of bumps like you’d never imagine — bumps before humps, that’s what I say — and we are not going to let a rigged row-over hold us back, because let me tell you, the M16 has won the popular vote by such an incredible margin, a margin that no one could have predicted, not even me, and I have the best margins, they’re huge — MI6 has done wonderful things, incredible things for this country and this people, and they are going to win so much tomorrow they are going to be tired of winning, and it’s going to be repeal and replace the row-over, and I might just give them a blade — can I do that? I’m going to do that.

M16 and The Orders of Felix

Day Two: Michael Harmon investigates

Coming out of their cage, MI6 has been doing just fine. Had to had to bump Catz, because they wanted it all. And bump Catz they did, in a flash of inspired choreography and brute force unseen on the River Cam since at least the previous afternoon. Martijn “Mr. Bowside” Lugten, choking on his alibi, said today’s victory was “just the price I pay,” while Nick “Trombone Sporty” Wise recused himself from today’s investigation, claiming “destiny” was “calling him.” Meanwhile, Jaustin “Austin Jaspers” Aspers has been described since the race as “ruthlessly sunburnt” and “in the shower.”

Though the crew’s victory was swift, the race was not without incident or collusion with hostile foreign powers. MI6 oarsmen reported a Russian film crew documenting the boat’s warmups and pre-race ritual sacrifices, prompting stroke Richard “Computer Code That’s Become Sentient” Gunning to arm his automated defence system against possible attacks.

To conclude: today witnessed a paradigm shift in the M16 lineup, as it was the final outing for bowside strongman Will “New York Review of Boats” Theiss, the crew’s resident Paul Simon and its primary Art Garfunkler. Theiss, who after the race was seen sculling with an questionable degree of urgency to London Southend Airport, will be providing Saturday’s bumps coverage live from Paris, assuming his easyJet M3 manages to bump the Ryanair M2 on arrival at Corner De Grassy. Theiss’s fellow crew members have said they will miss his “singing,” his “business casual” rowing attire, and the adorable way his feet always bled through his sandals.

In their quest for additional foliage, MI6 has poached David “Good Shout” Orr to fill Theiss’s big, bloodied shoes. Oar, a veteran of Clare M4 and global ambassador of Canadian apologies, described the promotion as “lovely dubbly” and “true.” On the challenge that awaits him and his battle-hardened crew tomorrow, Oar had only this say:

So boaties pull me closer in the backseat of your rower

That I know you can’t afford

Bite that sunburn on your shoulder

Aloe vera on the corner

Of the Clare punt that you stole

From your floormate back in Old Court

We ain’t ever rowing over

M16 and the Goblet of Yellow Fire

Day One: Michael Harmon reports

We chose to go to the bumps. We chose to go to the bumps in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organise and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.

And we are well on our way. After a questionably graceful start, the M “M15” 16 began its bumps campaign with all the promise of a refilled MCR biscuit tin. Despite what Ridhwaan “I Must Work” Suliman described as a “minor crash” into “some trees,” MI5 continued to chase Peterhouse M3 toward its inevitable watery grave. Due to a serious incident upriver, the M15 was afforded a golden opportunity to restart its race, throughout which they consistently gained on the “oldest” college’s M3, ultimately securing the bump just before Grassy “Martijn Lugten” Corner.

Following this early triumph, the MI5 crew was understandably overcome with emotion. Andres “Doge’s Palace” Bustamente, having just completed a weeklong training course in Italy, was despondent to learn that “May bumps” is not in fact a gelato topping, while Will “Where is Southend?” Theiss was spotted later that afternoon in the bushes, smelling a picture of the Eiffel Tower. Likewise, Richard “Just a Hologram” Gunning tried to stop the boat singlehandedly, performing a crab-catch handbrake turn into what Nick “Are These Cookies Real People?” Wise astutely described as “someone’s garden.” (Wise, who has “two small crescents of sunburn from where my arms were too short to cover my whole back,” also extended a warm shoutout to the baker of those alarmingly lifelike biscuits). Olly “Is the national flower of Trinidad and Tobago the ibis?” McMillan corroborated this story, reporting that “we were so excited about the bump that we just crashed into a house rather than actually pull over.” A triumphant finish indeed.

Many years ago the great British explorer George Mallory, who was to die on Mount Everest, was asked why did he want to climb it. He said, “Because it is there.”

Well, bumps are there, and we're going to climb them, and the moon and the planets and Catz M4 are there, and new hopes for knowledge and peace are there. And, therefore, as we set sail we ask Lord Sainsbury’s blessing on the most hazardous and dangerous and greatest adventure on which man has ever embarked.

Uploaded Friday 16th June, 22:30