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May Bumps 2018

Wednesday 13th - Saturday 16th June

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

1st Men's VIII

Bow: Jon Swain, 2: Gabriel Bliard, 3: Will Broadbelt, 4: Matt Simpson, 5: Stephen Kindness, 6: Peter Rees, 7: James Henderson, Stroke: Riccardo Conci, Cox: Harry Ellison‑Wright

Day 1: Rowed over, Day 2: Rowed over, Day 3: Bumped by Pembroke, Day 4: Bumped Pembroke

1st Women's VIII

Bow: Jamie Fox, 2: Vashti Davies, 3: Anna Bullard, 4: Lotte Hondebrink, 5: Olivia Brett, 6: Bethany Mason, 7: Katie Irwin, Stroke: Robyn Hamer, Cox: Ben Williams

Day 1: bumped Maggie, Day 2 : rowed over, Day 3: rowed over, Day 4: rowed over

2nd Men's VIII

Bow: Sam Chapman, 2: Josh Elias, 3: Ollie Dutton, 4: Ruaridh MacDowall, 5: Harry Perkin, 6: Ben Tinkler‑Davies, 7: Tom Hilbourne, Stroke: Alistair Brown, Cox: Clement Chan

Day 1: Rowed over, Day 2: Rowed over, Day 3: Bumped by Emma M2, Day 4: Rowed over

Ruaridh Macdowall reports:


The level of hype atbh before the race today was immense, and we were certain today was the day.

As we awaited the 4 minute gun, we gathered round the fireside for story time. We closed our eyes and Clem (Clement Chan who will be in Cindies on Saturday - first come first served) did some Derren Brown mind games and coxed us through the first minute of the race while on the bank, apparently this was helpful or something.

With the free speed the double bucket provided, we rowed fast, despite having a ham sandwich in 7 seat, almost as fast as Akhil Shah.

We had a brief moment of optimism when we heard a whistle, but alas it was Darwin’s whistle on FaT, sad times indeed.

The appearance of Darwin and FaT banked up on the riverside was not an especially welcome one, and crushed what remained of our hopes of bumping.

We eased off and had a fairly casual paddle to finish the race, as Queens’ had seemingly decided to not bother chasing us, as they were presumably quite tired having already rowed over 3 times in the last 2 days.

Sadly our celebratory mad sesh in spoons was thwarted by Hilbourne and Ollie forgetting their I.D.s :’(

P.S. Good luck to all Akhil Shahs racing tomorrow, we believe in you

Uploaded Thursday 14th June, 23:31


Sam Chapman reports:


The dawn of another bumps campaign brought the familiar mix of excitement and nerves in equal measure. Our aim for the day was simple, plough our bows into Darwin I as soon as possible. And whilst we’re at it, avoid the wretched sandwich boat position (in the form of Queens’ II). They say time flies when you’re having fun, but I’ll amend that to include the time between the 4 minute cannon and start. Before we knew it, we were fully compressed at front stops and ready to go.

Right on the start cannon we make sure to hold in our 1st stroke and propel the boat forward, the start was a good one (or at least better than yesterday!) and Clare M2 were away! You pay for them later in the race but those initial twenty-something strokes are relatively pain free, however we had only maintained our distance to Darwin whilst they pushed onto Pembroke II. Pembroke II themselves were making FaT feel very uncomfortable and despite Darwin closing the gap Pembroke bumped FaT leaving clear water ahead of Darwin. Our only knowledge of this at the time was the distant peep of whistles, and we were hoping desperately to hear our own soon. It was clear from early on that we had left Queens’ for dead, however Darwin had opened a gap when chasing Pembroke that we couldn’t close. By the time we neared the finish, it was clear that the outcome would be a rowover. Alas, Rome wasn’t built in a day – Clare M2 will be back tomorrow ready for more (and by more I mean less rowing, but faster!)

Yellow Fire

Uploaded Thursday 14th June, 13:06


2nd Women's VIII

Bow: Jess Lindley, 2: Lottie Thompson, 3: Josie Newman, 4: Julie Ramambason, 5: Abbie Currington, 6: Susie Hill, 7: Jordan McCoy, Stroke: Amarynth Sichel, Cox: Enlli Lewis

Day 1: Rowed over, then rowed over Day 2 : Bumped by Maggie W2 Day 3: Bumped by Cauis W2 Day 4: rowed over

Susie Hill reports:


Jess Lindley reports:

Day 4:

The final day of Mays 2018 left W2 with a single day left to bump; an experience which would represent a first for half of the boat, and a last for the other half. Anticipation levels were high as we met atbh: Cauis had looked slow on day 1, Maggie had caught them fast and with three whistles on Maggie the day before, we felt that this one was ours for the taking. We settled on the ergs for ‘Storytime with Chrysa’ (sorry, W2 privilege only) before a strong row up to our marshalling spot – by day 4, tiredness had fixed our ratio in a way that 8 weeks of training could not. A delay in the preceding division allowed us a nice long crew chat on the bank in the sunshine, and meant that no practice starts were allowed, so by the moment of the 4-minute cannon, we were feeling slightly nervous. With bow and 3 discussing how nothing could possibly EVER be this stressful again, we were pushed out into the middle of the river for a final BANG!....and we were off. The start was perfect: sat, chunky and powerful, we sped towards Cauis, gaining one whistle on them within a few strokes of our lengthen call. We kept the pace at a speedy r36, taking it tight on first post corner before pushing into the wall of sound at grassy, by which point, in Chrysa’s erg story, we would get a second whistle. Sadly, though, on this particular occasion, we appeared to have been offered fiction rather than fact: tired from four days of racing and some of that in sandwich, we simply could not gain the second whistle on Cauis. In a final valiant effort to secure us a bump in this campaign, Enlli took what must have been the tightest ditton corner of the race – there was one stroke where all of bowside’s blades swooshed over the grass before the speed of the boat carried us perfectly out of the corner, so that we all dropped our blades into the water a millimetre off the bank at the catch. Highly impressed by this tightest of lines, we raced on, only to hear Gripper call for a “strong row home now girls”. In other words, we prepared ourselves for a rowover. Trinity Hall were nowhere near station on us, but we knew we had to race all the way to the finish. We ploughed down the reach and pushed off the bridge – but the bridge is a long, long way from top finish. Thanks to some motivational “legs” calls from Enlli, we pushed off the bridge, legs aching, lungs burning, and thundered past the P&E. Almost at the finish, the call came to ‘Wind it down”. And straight away, in synchrony, the call came simultaneously from bow and four “keep rowing it’s not the end!”. Reluctantly, the whole boat somehow forced out ten more strokes of race pace, cheating Trinity Hall of what could have potentially been a sneaky, entirely accidental finish-line bump. And then, under the Green Dragon bridge, the mighty ex-sandwich stopped, whimpered and slowly, s l o w l y rowed it home. Bumps was, on this occasion, bumpless. But we raced strongly and we de-sandwiched. Which, after all, was the goal.

Special thanks to Chrysa and Enlli for their unwavering support all term, even when 10% more pressure in the second half of the stroke was frequently nothing more than a pipe dream…

Uploaded Wednesday 20th June, 12:42


Enlli Lewis reports:


Day 2:

Warning - the following race report may include cheesy-sandwich related puns that some readers may find distressing.

Like Gripper and the Old Spring, W2 and sandwich just go together. But after two row overs in one day we decided that W2’s rye-romance had gone a bit stale and that we kneaded to de-sandwich. And that’s exactly what we did. Yes, our interpretation of de-sandwiching may have been a bit liberal… Being the keen beans that we are, we wanted to de-sandwich fast and early - a bit too early, a race too early to be exact.

After a cracking start, we thundered towards first post, smashing all records for boats with average heights below 4ft 3” * (excluding, of course, last year’s M2 crew). So smooth was the rowing from first post corner to the reach, I have nothing interesting to report! Girls done good! At this point an attractive man walked past, finally breaking through Julie’s extensive barriers of concentration... lol jks – “your blade work brought all the boys to the reach” – in fact, Julie’s blade work was so fantastic, Maggie wanted to get closer so they could learn a thing or two. Unfortunately, they came a little too close and accidentally bumped us in the process. I am therefore pleased to announce that after being a May bumps sandwich for 1 ½ years, this W2 filling is starting a new dynasty of not rowing over twice each day! Although maybe not for long – Clare W2 are of course the designated club sandwich - no one else has better buns.

* This race report in no way represents or adheres to international standards of race timing, and is only the opinion of the writer. It in no way represents views of the Boat Club, Clare College, Cambridge University, British Rowing or Nigel’s stopwatch.

Uploaded Friday 15th June, 21:03


Josie Newman reports:


Day three:

Feeling fiery after having been bumped the day before, we set off determined to regain our favourite spot of sandwich. This meant bumping Maggie, and as we knew we were pretty evenly matched crews, the plan was to fly or die. This is exactly what happened, but unfortunately we managed to do both of those things. There was a slight delay at marshalling, due to a bit of drama from a houseboat, but we had a strong row up and a great start at the Plough (for the fans). We tried to bank up a bit closer to Maggie than where we were meant to be, but apparently this isn't allowed. Then we waited, and after several bumps campaigns I have come to the conclusion that the countdown does not get any easier the more you do it, and nerves were high as the cannons went off. Four minutes, one minute, and just as all of us we questioning every rowing related decision we had ever made, we were off. The start was aggressive, starting at rate 39 and settling around 37, and just as Gripper had asked, we flew away from Caius and had a whistle on Maggie somewhere around first post. This was the motivation we needed, and we pushed into them, feeling strong around the corners. The Clare support around Grassy was amazing, and we gained a second whistle on Maggie. We maintained this past the Plough, around Ditton, down the reach, getting a third whistle at some point (I can't remember when). At this point we were giving it everything, pushing until we could taste blood and felt like our legs were about to explode. Presumably though, Maggie were also doing this, and we just couldn't close that gap. Just past the spinning zone we got to the 'die' part of the plan. We couldn't maintain the power any longer, just as Caius came out of nowhere (like actually out of nowhere). Suddenly they had whistles, and with our empty tanks there was nothing we could do. They bumped us just before the railway bridge, despite us still not having let Maggie get away. It was not the result we wanted, and there was disappointment throughout the boat, but it was just the way it had gone between three very evenly matched boats. We couldn't be prouder of ourselves - we put in amazing row, which in the end just wasn't enough. We'll be back tomorrow, and hopefully will get the revenge bump we deserve!

Uploaded Friday 15th June, 18:23


Jess Lindley reports:


Ow. This was the watchword for Clare W2 yesterday. Suffering from the usual Mays curse of sandwich, and on our fourth full-crew outing of the term, W2 rowed up to our marshalling position in full knowledge that the best we could hope for in the first race would be a row over. Yay. Making it to our start position in good time, we pushed out somewhere around 25 seconds (although Nigel was down at the other end with W3 and hence we were lacking our resident timer), waited nervously for the cannon and BOOM. We were off, a strong start cancelling any hopes that Cauis may have had of building into us. Some beautiful corners and a strong settle to r35 saw us through grassy, into ditton and onto the top of the reach. Whistles made us nervous, shortening slightly, but calls from Chrysa and Gripper on the bank reassured us that they were for Maggie on Cauis – and sure enough, just into the spinning zone the bump took place. The relief in the crew was palpable: at this point we could drop it to a what-felt-like very leisurely r32 to row the rest of the way. There was no-one on the horizon, so we saved our legs for the second race.

The second race began with the promise that if we hadn’t caught Queens by ditton, we would wind it down. We didn’t catch them, and ditton seemed very VERY far away, and we didn’t wind it down. In fact, we chased them all the way to the finish. Sandwich is meant to be painful, and on this occasion it lived up to its name.

Uploaded Thursday 14th June, 18:22


3rd Men's VIII

Bow: Akhil Shah, 2: Elliot Lynch, 3: Oliver Jagger, 4: Nick Bossons, 5: James Bradley, 6: Sergio Rossoni, 7: Mathew Best, Stroke: Dylan Braithwaite, Cox: Tom Smith

Day 1: Bumped FaT III. Day 2: Bumped Selwyn II

Ariane Dupas reports:


Akhil Shah reports:

This was definitely not the race we expected. We were nervous with anticipation and excitement for the first day of our May bumps campaign, and as we headed to the start line, we were all wondering what type of race to expect. Previous races suggested that FaT III were a strong crew, with similar race times to us. Quoting Elliot: “It’s gonna be a long one”. Arriving at the start line, we were greeted by Gripper, who had just been chatting to the FaT coach. The words we were not expecting came out of Grip’s mouth next - they’re shit - their coach was either very honest or lying. I think all of the crew thought that this was a lie, and we focused into the boat, preparing to start.

Gun! The cannon went off, and we started strongly. “Build one! Built two! Build three! Legs Long! Wind it down?” The last call from our cox Tom took me by surprise as I turned to my right to see us fly by a stationary FaT boat with a very flustered crew inside. Apparently they had started off terribly, at completely the wrong angle with their stroke catching a crab; Grip was right! That was it, our race over in six strokes. Easy pickings, you may say, but this sends a strong message for the Selwyn II crew that rowed over ahead of us. We will be chasing them down quickly tomorrow.

Yellow Fire!

Uploaded Thursday 14th June, 23:48


3rd Women's VIII

Bow: Jordan McCrissican, 2: Nina Cooper, 3: Mariam Haji, 4: Eleanor Krige, 5: Vicky Alcock, 6: Philippa Nunn, 7: Victoria Lindley, Stroke: Marta Uncio‑Ribera, Cox: Tom Quarrell

Day 1: Rowed over Day 2: Bumped by Homerton W2 Day 3: Rowed over Day 4: Bumped Kings W3

Victoria Alcock reports:


Clare W3: Queens of the unexpectedly exciting row-over

Being one above sandwich, the race plan today was to come out fast, getting Lucy Cav demoralised from the start, and hopefully opening the door for us to capitalise on an inevitable Homerton/Kings bump ahead of us, so we could go for the over-bump on Jesus.

The row up felt strong; more sat than usual, and with a r40 start opposite the plough. This, plus the stomach-churning prospect of being bumped into sandwich left us feeling focused and motivated.

As per the race plan, at the cannon we set out strong, with another great start. Like we predicted, Homerton bumped Kings extremely quickly, so by the time we passed the motorway bridge we were free to push on for the over-bump. Lucy Cav weren’t done with us yet though, and remained roughly on station until grassy, at which point we began to pull away. A few minutes of painful but solid rowing later we were well onto the reach, and -according to Tom- had Jesus W3 in our sights. I think we were all a little sceptical that we’d managed to close the 6 boat lengths between us and Jesus, but sure enough just after the bend in the reach we got a whistle. Freshly motivated by the sheer audacity of over-bumping back ahead of Homerton, we pushed hard, and soon one whistle became two. Two became three, and then three became two, and then back to three. Credit to them, Jesus were giving us quite the fight, avoiding spoons at all costs. Cheered on by the waiting M3 division, we put down everything we had left in the last 100m, but unfortunately it wasn’t quite enough, and we finished the race at a canvas, just feet away from the over-bump.

While we were obviously gutted to have come so close to an over-bump and missed, we rowed home feeling really proud of our effort, and eagerly awaiting a well-earned bump on Kings tomorrow.

PS: Shoutout to our amazing bank party- Ariane, Ollie, and Nigel- for somehow still managing to shout support with lost voices, and to our cox Tom for always knowing exactly what to say to motivate us.

Uploaded Friday 15th June, 23:32


Jordan McCrissican reports:


After our dramatic showdown with Homerton W2 yesterday, we rowed up to marshal feeling determined- we had pushed ourselves well beyond what we thought we were capable of and that itself was a win. The aim was to catch Kings before Homerton could catch us, we knew we couldn’t rely on them catching crabs two days in a row.

It was a nervous wait for the gun to go off, we knew we had to push really hard off the start and there was no room for error.

Our start wasn’t as good as we hoped and Homerton began to gain on us but we were steadily gaining on Kings; just as Nigel was about to give us a whistle on them there were cries of ‘Hold it up’. It seemed there would be another rerow.

Our next start was nothing short of ferocious, no one held back and we gained on Kings quickly but not as quickly as Homerton gained on us.

From the crews perspective there was just a blur of whistles and yells- we could just see Homerton had overlap and didn’t know how far away we were from Kings.

Nigel was just about to give us 3 whistles on Kings when Homerton (finally) managed to bump us.

One thing’s for sure: we’ll give them a fight tomorrow, yellow fire still burns for W3.

Uploaded Thursday 14th June, 23:13


Victoria Lindley reports:


‘The best row-over in bumps history’ would be a fair description of W3’s effort on day one of bumps. Here follows a long description of the most exciting non-bump there has ever been…

Our plan for today was simple: Bump. Having eyed up Darwin W2 on the river a few weeks before we were all mildly optimistic that we could take them, and take them quickly. After some interesting ‘stretching’ to try to intimidate said crew, who were somewhat unsuccessfully putting their boat in the river, we set off from Clare boat house. A strong row up to our marshalling station, and it seemed that we were in luck: Homerton W2 were a no-show. With visions of no one chasing us and a quick bump, our spirits were high as we set off, and seeing the crowds and the sun (much better weather than Lent!), only increased our determination. We marshalled at station, and Homerton were still not anywhere to be seen. So far, so good.

Just before the four-minute cannon, Homerton did indeed row up, looking unflustered and unfortunately rather strong. However, we still had our sights set on Darwin and were unperturbed. The four-minute canon went, then the one minute and before we knew it we were squaring our blades and the gun went off. Away we pushed, with a strong start, but almost immediately it seemed we were in danger. We didn’t have any whistles on Darwin and Homerton were very quickly gaining on us. It seemed we would be bumped far before first post, with Homerton overlapping our stern despite desperate efforts from everyone in the boat. Then we had a very impressive push, and Homerton were quickly relegated back to two whistles. Before long, though, they were gaining on us once more, but just when it seemed that the bump was imminent, there were screams of ‘hold it up’. We did so immediately, and all looked over our shoulders to see Carnage with a capital C. Perhaps 10 boats were all piled up alongside each other. Whilst waiting for a decision on our fate, we tried to keep our spirits up, which was not aided by Homerton’s coach telling them that they were ‘by far the fastest boat on the river’, the ‘fittest crew’ AND to our indignation, that they had bumped us! Of course, this hadn’t happened, and the marshal’s decision came in- a rerow.

Of course, given Homerton’s near-bump on us, we were somewhat low. Darwin had bumped out, and the nearest crew was three stations ahead of us, so it seemed that we would either row over or be bumped- neither were fantastic options, given we had already rowed a solid portion of the course. Yet, once more we were pushed out just past the motorway bridge, and off we went once more. This time around, Homerton did not catch up to us so quickly. However, it did happen. And yet, once more we pushed away despite overlap. It turned out that this would be the theme for the next 2k- Homerton would nearly catch us, and we would push away. Thanks to some well-timed crabbage from Homerton’s bow, we even managed to open up some distance at points. After what seemed like an age of near misses, we turned the corner onto the reach. At this point, we were all exhausted, having constantly been adding 10% more power at Tom’s request (turns out you can still build on your 100% pressure?). Homerton gained on us once more, and again, there was overlap. Tom then requested that we took the rate up two, and as one half of stern pair I can safely say that if I had had any breath at this point I would have screamed, but somehow we did it, and yet another crab from Homerton meant we opened up significant distance past the railway bridge, though, being unsure of our finish line, we raced all the way to the Green Dragon bridge. Upon the final call of ‘wind it down’, all you could hear from the boat was gasping and the occasional moan of pain. A few minutes later, however, we were elated. We had staved off not one, not two, not even three but about 7 near bumps, and as a crew there was a newfound sense of pride and unity- we had survived to bump another day. Returning to the boathouse, it became apparent that our epic saves had been reported on CamFM, and we were proud to have many messages of congratulations sent our way. Whilst no doubt Homerton will return tomorrow in full force, we now have something they don’t: a wave of pride and elation that will carry us through the follow days. Yellow fire!

Uploaded Thursday 14th June, 10:06


4th Men's VIII

Bow: Will Kitchen, 2: Ridhwaan Suliman, 3: David Emmanuel Pearce, 4: Jack Cove, 5: Freddie Bird, 6: Sam Martin, 7: Wulf Scouller, Stroke: Reed Morgan, Cox: Joe Edwards

Day 1: Bumped Jesus M4

4th Women's VIII

Bow: Jocelyn Bisson, 2: Miriam Gordon, 3: Annie O'Neill, 4: Rachel Newhouse, 5: Ramya Narayanan, 6: Philippa Slay, 7: Anna Crucefix, Stroke: Hermione Burn, Cox: Izzy Rudd

Day 1: Rowed over, Day 2: Rowed over, Day 3: Bumped Magdalene W2

Hermione Burn reports:


Day 1:

After a somewhat air-strokey start we pulled it back together the gain whistles on Sidney W2 within the first 100m. This was quickly followed by two whistles, which we maintained up until first post. Approaching grassy we gained three whistles and a bump was looking imminent.....until we started drifting near and near to the bank of grassy. A heroic emergency handbrake turn by Izzy helped us to avoid colliding with the bank, but this gave enough time for Sidney to scuttle out from our grasp. Once we had righted our angle, the chase was back on. We managed to gain whistles again on Sidney but but by this point our lack of stamina was showing. They slipped away and we rowed over. Our bump may have been thwarted by a broken rudder, but fear not...we shall bump

Uploaded Saturday 16th June, 10:47