May Bumps 2014 Day 4: W3

When W3 gathered at the boat house for the final day of May Bumps, we did it in the spirit of finally catching and bumping Homerton II, who had just escaped in an exhausting and exciting race on day 3. With the weather being much cooler than the days before, our spirits were high – we wanted to give our best and enjoy this last day as a crew.
Our row up to marshal was calm and controlled; we moved as a crew and had a good practice start in front of the Plough.

Marshalling at station 4 was almost getting a routine now for us, and our lovely bank party including Dame Barbara, our College President, joined us for our last race as a crew – we were eager enough to leave this station behind and move up one place!

Knowing that we had to bump fast on Homerton II, as they were chasing a spooning Clare Hall, we gave everything we had from the start. We pushed stronger and moved our hands quicker than ever and soon gained a whistle on Homerton. However, they had an easy catch with Clare Hall and bumped on them before we could seriously close the gap. Once more, we tried for the overbump – this time on Sidney Sussex II: we sat up tall, moved together, pushed even harder and did not give up chasing them over the whole course. With the cheers of spectators on the banks and waiting crews, we rowed over for the 3rd time.

Although not exactly the outcome that we had hoped for, we knew that we couldn’t have done more and overall we had a very successful racing week of which we can be proud. See you in next year’s bumps!

Manuela Gross

May Bumps 2014 Day 4: W1

After 5 races, including 3 row overs across the full course as sandwich boat, W1 were grateful the glaring sun had retreated behind clouds for the final day of Bumps. The previous days had been as exhilarating as they were tiring, but today we set ourselves a simple goal that dispelled all weariness: level up. If we raced like we knew we could, station 17 in the Women’s First Division would be ours.

We pushed out for our first row atop of the second division, followed by college President, Dame Barbara, who had bank partied both W3 and W2 already. We executed a crisp and powerful start so that Kings W1 were not able to gain a whistle on us like the day before. After Grassy we watched as Kings fell to an exceptionally strong Jesus W2 crew, leaving seemingly endless clear water behind us. As we rounded Ditton, we were confident enough to take the rate down a few pips to conserve energy, and we hit a calm but assertive stride. Then Mark alerted us that the only other racing crew on the course was Downing W2, the sandwich boat at the other end of the division. Everyone else had bumped out! We wound it down to a firm paddle, and exchanged pleasantries with the crews marshalled for the M2 Division as we rowed down to top finish, Downing W2 still nowhere in sight. Has there ever been a more casually rowed Bumps race? Maybe only Ying knows. Either way, this row over was definitely my favourite of the week.

Phase 1 complete. We span to reclaim our now habitual sandwich boat marshalling spot and refuel on flapjacks and sweets. We also discovered the full story of W2’s almost-bump on Trinity Hall W2, giving us even more impetus to bump their W1. On the row up, driven on by the crowds, we had one of our most powerful and fastest starts in front of the plough. As we pulled in at the last station, dangerously close to the lock, it dawned on us that for at least two thirds of the crew this would be our last ever Bumps race, and last ever outing as a crew. Another reason to push hard.

Our final start of Bumps wasn’t the tidiest we’ve ever been, but as a crew we were more single-minded than ever. We closed down on Trinity Hall and caught them after the railway bridge. The 17th spot in W1 was ours. Phase 2 complete. Level up.

The most memorable moment was the row home, knowing that the club had finally finished in the W1 division for the first time since 2005, knowing all our hard work had paid off and writing the latest chapter in the club’s history. As we rowed past the Plough, W2, W3, friends, family and it seemed the whole of Cambridge sent up a wall of noise as if we were rowing through a stadium. I may never hear that sound again, but I am going to bet that next year’s W1 will.

Holly Smith

May Bumps 2014 Day 4: W2

When W2 gathered at the boathouse for the last day of bumps, everybody’s nerves were palpable: We had bumped every day so far, and blades were in our reach. We would be chasing Tit Hall II, and we were sure that we had it in us to bump them. The question was, would we catch Tit Hall before they would catch up with Caius II? Coach Alex reminded us that we had to make this race count, to stay calm and collected, if we wanted greenery. We thus put the “B” word out of our minds for the time being and concentrated on the row-up. We had a good practice start at the plough, pulled in at our station, and waited for the guns.

When the final gun released us into this last bumps race, I felt determined to give it my all, and I knew every single girl in the boat felt the same. However, Bekah’s seat came off half-way through the start sequence. We may have been slowed down by this, but Magdalen W2 behind us failed to gain on us considerably. What followed was a seriously impressive display of determination, as Bekah raced THE ENTIRE COURSE off her seat, managing to keep up as we took the rate up to 41 around Grassy Corner. Unfortunately, our bucket-rig meant that her and my blade frequently clashed; as a result, I caught more crabs during this race than in all the three years of rowing I did for MECBC together.

Were W2 in pain? Yes! Did this matter? No! We, a crew who hadn’t done much more than 50 strokes worth of racing in each of the days before, tried to grind down Tit Hall. And we did gain on them, sometimes getting as much as three whistles. Whenever cox Christina called for a “jump” sequence, somehow we managed to take the rating up – special mention must be given to stroke Emma for making us go faster even on the third jump. Whenever Christina called for pressure, we found more pressure, and we put it on the footplates.

We persevered, but it wasn’t enough. We rowed over, and needless to say, were heartbroken. To be so close to blades, especially for those of us for whom this was their last bumps campaign, and miss out, is simply sad. But what is more important, and what will, I hope, make a more lasting impression on all of us, is that we didn’t give up. This crew was a fantastic crew, and this term was a fantastic term for us. “Lucky crews get blades, good crews go up three” – W2, we rocked!

Henny Schulte to Buehne

May Bumps 2014 Day 3: W1

Oddly enough, the race plan was for a row-over – we were racing at the top of the division, ahead of King’s whom we had bumped the day before. We had a strong row-up, catching up with King’s several times and winning the psychological battle.

We had a long wait for the cannons, and then were being pushed out. The start was strong. Kings got a single whistle several times (I don’t know whether it was an honest whistle or not, but like to think it wasn’t), but we stayed together and pushed just a little harder off the whistles and soon enough were walking away from them. According to FaT live timings, we had pushed them away to two lengths by The Plough, and they fell away further along the reach. We picked it up a little under the railway bridge to entertain the men’s boats who were marshalling. We were pleased with our row over.

Rowing over meant we were sandwich boat. To be honest, we expected to row over again at the bottom of the first division: we were chasing Selwyn again, and they were chasing the spooning Tit Hall. And the overbump onto Churchill looked unlikely as they were chasing St Cats. We knew we had to go ridiculously hard off the start if we were to have any chance of catching Selwyn, so we did. Unfortunately, that just meant messiness. In any case, Selwyn caught Tit Hall before the motorway bridge, although we had gained on them a little. We chased the overbump, but didn’t believe that we had the ability to catch it, having already raced 2k. Even so, coach Mark wouldn’t let us wind it down (which had been in the race plan), so we kept going at race pace. Eventually we crossed the finish line.

We were happy with our races today, with them going exactly as we expected. Tomorrow, we need to push off King’s again to row over at the top of division 2, and then bump Tit Hall to cement our place in the Women’s first division. That would be a perfect end to my years with MECBC.

Sally-Anne Bennett

May Bumps 2014 Day 2: W2

After day 1 we’d been told that we couldn’t “always expect a race that lasts 80 seconds”…

Basking in the sunshine pre-race was soon replaced by sheltering in the shade to avoid heat stroke, as we waited to row up to the start. We were geared up to race for longer today, but why do so in this heat if you don’t have to?!

So when the final cannon fired we went off into our start sequence with powerful strokes and as the wind count increased the boat was racing. When the call came from Christina that someone in the St. Catharine’s boat ahead had caught a crab that was all we needed to tell ourselves that this race was ours.


There were so many whistles coming from the bank that I couldn’t make out how many whistles we were on, but then came the call that we would be jumping in 3…2…1… “It’s just you and your footplate” had been drilled to us and when we took that first jump stroke everyone in the boat must have crushed those footplates – clearly this time we really did hit warp-speed, because the very next call was to hold it up.

WE BUMPED! And no, we can’t always expect a race that lasts 80 seconds…but we’re pretty happy with 59 seconds too!

Emma Heydon

May Bumps 2014 Day 2: W3

Having had a taste of bumps success on Day 1, W3 were feeling eager to get on the water for Thursday of Mays 2014. Having bumped Peterhouse II, we were pitched against Sidney Sussex II for Day 2. We had a strong row up to marshall, with a promising practice start on the Plough Reach. We arrived at our station early, and tried to relax with Dr. Saxton and our bank party pre-race.

The four minute men’s cannon sounded, and we prepared for battle. Gates were tightened, footplates were tightened, abs were tightened. Shoulders were relaxed and deep breaths were taken. We were ready.

We had a solid start, and were moving together as a crew. However, so were Sidney, and by First Post Corner it became evident that if we were to bump, it would have to be an over-bump on Jesus III, currently head of our division. Spurred on by this challenge and the fearsome motivation of W3 cox Katie Prescott, we dug as deep as we could, ignoring the sweltering heat. Despite a good line round Grassy Corner, we didn’t manage to gain significantly on Jesus, and reached the finish line exhausted but not having conceded distance to the Queen’s boat behind us.

Rowing over was not what we had planned, but as a crew it felt positive to know that we had given the race our all and that come Friday, we had another chance to prove ourselves.

Olwen Wilson

May Bumps 2014 Day 1: W2

After a jubilant W3 had returned Owen to the boat house post-bump, W2 set off, keen to repeat the performance. Reports of the sirens having halted the earlier men’s divisions meant that we paused at various points along the river, with plenty of time to soak up the sun, load up on haribo and talentspot. We thus arrived at the start fairly relaxed…and were then slightly alarmed by the 4 minute cannon sounding before we’d pulled into our station.

Despite this slight stress, we were pulled in with time to spare, and collected ourselves…and then the minute cannon sounded, we pushed out again, rolled forward to frontstops, squared up and then began to race. The race itself was over swiftly: the whistles came quickly and the deal was sealed as Christina called to ‘jump’, our closing move. The victorious row home, resplendent in greenery, was made even better by the news that Christina had passed third year with a 2:1!

A thrilled crew then posed for several crew photos back at the boat house with varying degrees of swag, before tucking into some well earned race baking. All in all, the perfect bumps day. Same again tomorrow (and the next day, and the next day) please!

Nina Jones

May Bumps 2014 Day 1: W1

From the moment we got the boat out we had our game faces on. W2 and W3 had already bumped and we wanted to make it a clean sweep for MECBC. On the row down we pushed hard onto Fitz, leaving plenty of water between us and Magdalene- we were definitely winning on the psychological warfare front!

We got off to a bit of a panicked start because of some confusion with the countdown, but eventually settled into our rhythm and gradually crept up on Magdalene. It was not too long before we got one whistle but then seemed to be stuck there. We could hear that Magdalene were pushing up on King’s and knew that we had to make a move or row over. We were gaining more and more whistles but by the time we got to continuous whistles, Magdalene were pretty close to bumping King’s. However, we were determined to not have to row over and finally hit their boat- pretty hard!!

Hopefully tomorrow we can bump King’s and break into the first division.

Maria Rust

May Bumps 2014 Day 1: W3

Gauging from the great results in Lent, W3 pushed off knowing that bumping a second boat is a very achievable target. The row up in the sun was quite calm and in controlled; once we had pulled in at station 11, our coach Robert joined us and gave the final motivational speech. We tried to keep calm and focused but one could feel the tension in the silence that preceded the countdown.

The start run smoothly, the boat was well sat and we had good cover since the very first few strokes. As we passed under the bridge, there were some minor issues in the “bucket” and this gave Clare III the opportunity to get as close as a length away from us. However, we recovered very promptly and we started gaining on our boathouse buddies Peterhouse II, giving coach Robert the opportunity to use his brand new whistle. When we reached the first corner, everything became quite confusing as we could hear many whistles and bankparties yelling at their boats. However, our cox Katie did not lose focus and asked for more power. The crew was very responsive to the calls, and after a chase that lasted two minutes, we bumped Peterhouse II!!!

Covered in greenery, we headed back to the boathouse to return Owen and wish good luck to our W2. Tomorrow we will be chasing after Sidney Sussex II who was bumped today by Homerton II. Hence, we have a solid opportunity to bump again!

Stay tuned!

Olimpia Onelli

Results 2013-14

May Bumps

W1: bumped Magdalene I, Kings I, Trinity Hall I. Rowed over twice. Moved up to division 1. Finished 17th in division 1.
W2: bumped Girton II, St. Catherine’s II, Magdalene II. Rowed over once. Finished 6th in division 3.
W3: bumped Peterhouse II. Rowed over three times. Finished 4th in division 4.

Nines Regatta

W2: 1st leg – beat Clare II (easily), 2nd leg – lost against Wolfson (1/2 length)
W3: 1st leg – beat Clare IV (easily), 2nd leg – lost against ARU (3/4 length)

Champs Head

W1: 5:46 min, 2nd of Mays division 2
W2: 5:56 min, 2nd of Mays division 3

Head 2 Head

W1: 8:22 min, 5/10 of division 2

Lent Bumps

W1: bumped King’s, Lady Margaret, Pembroke, finishing 11th in division 1
W2: bumped by Clare II, Wolfson, bumped Caius II, finishing 5th in division 3
W3: bumped Darwin II, Clare Hall, finishing 10th in division 3

Newnham Short Course

W1: 12:10 min, placed joint 4th with Jesus

Fairbairns Cup

W1: 17:32 min, joint 3/17 of all College Women’s Senior 8+
W2: 19:43 min

N1: 11:39 min, 3/41 of Women’s Novice 8+
N2: 12:29 min, 16/41 of Women’s Novice 8+
N3: 13:15 min
N4: 14:02 min

New Hall M1 IV: 12:51 min

Winter Head

W1: won division
Ariel: ?
Pocahontas: ?

Autumn Head

W1: 3rd of College Women’s 8+

Queen’s Ergo Competition

N1: average split 02:02.3 min
N2: average split 02:07.5 min